Back when I started buying, renovating, and selling houses as a business, I already had an inkling that I’d find some of my best deals in up and coming neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio. Of course, that’s putting it mildly. Columbus is where I’m originally from. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s always been the place to be.
So, after a short stint mingling with the wolves of Wall Street a little further east, I decided to come back to the midwest and do what I’d always dreamed of doing: investing in neighborhoods where I saw the most potential and helping to turn them into communities that others found promising, too. Whether you’re from here or not, if that sounds like a real estate investment plan you can get on board with, I invite you to join me. I’ll even show you where to find the best deals to have the greatest impact—in Columbus and on your bottom line.
The Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio
It seems that almost every time I take a peek at what’s happening in the national real estate scene, I come across one or more articles pointing towards Columbus as a homebuying hot spot. In fact, even with median home sales prices leveling off this past spring, Realtor.com named my hometown the hottest real estate market in the country. Factors like days on the market and the number of times listings were viewed shaped their rankings since these tend to signify buyer demand.
And, though these numbers haven’t changed much in the last year, they’re still consistently stronger than what’s happening in major metropolitan areas elsewhere. This demand should come as no surprise, either. Columbus remains one of the most affordable U.S. cities in which to buy a home. And, with interest rates up, gaining access to affordable housing seems to be on every home shopper’s list.
That said, by the end of 2018, overall affordability dropped to a 10-year low here in Columbus. So, though the cost of buying a home may have been well within reach for high-income earners used to bigger city prices, it did make homeownership hard for some people here at home. And, that may have contributed to the downward adjustment in median home sales prices that we started to see earlier this year. When homebuyers back off—or it’s just anticipated that they might—sale prices often come down.
One possible upside of this downshift is that demand to buy in Columbus has actually stayed high—especially in up and coming Columbus neighborhoods where more opportunities exist for buyers to find an affordable home. These are the communities where you’ll want to spend your investment dollars, anyway. Your entry point will likely be lower and the inventory of out-of-date fixers will almost always be higher than well-established, affluent areas like Bexley and Upper Arlington. And, with homeownership demand for these increasingly popular neighborhoods strong, the strength of your returns—as long as you buy and rehab at the right price—could increase, too.
So, where are these up and coming Columbus neighborhoods that hold some of the best investment potential? Right here:
Almost directly north of downtown Columbus, Italian Village has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the years and, right now, it’s on a heck of an upswing. After nearly four decades of decline that started around the mid-twentieth century, revitalization efforts by community leaders finally kicked into high gear in the 1980s. Parks and transportation infrastructure were improved and housing codes updated and enforced.
Many of these changes helped to put Italian Village on homebuyers’ maps in the years that followed and helped to mobilize efforts to keep it there after the crash. And, that level of community dedication is part of why demand for the area just keeps on climbing, and why rising median home list prices are not far behind.
In fact, median home list prices for Italian Village are trending upward more than 17% year-over-year, despite the media’s expectation that all of central Ohio’s property prices were going to take a dip this year. And, though the sight of abandoned and decrepit houses is no longer the norm, you can still find old homes that could use a new look—and a line of eager shoppers ready to buy a modernized Italian Village house.
But, to take advantage of the current rise in popularity and prices, and ensure potentially good returns are still possible to earn, don’t wait too long to buy. It won’t be long before it becomes too hard to find a deal.
Just west of downtown, one of my favorite neighborhoods for purchasing investment property in Columbus, Ohio, is Franklinton. This quintessential up and coming community struggled for years with high poverty and crime rates in addition to low property values and little government interest.
But, thanks to funds provided by national programs like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act after the housing crisis, local revitalization initiatives could actually take action. Vacant, abandoned, and rundown buildings were either demolished or renovated. Where factories once stood, high-rise apartments and art galleries now stand.
As a result of these changes, interest among homebuyers who want to live in an urban setting with an eclectic neighborhood feel has started to go up. And, that boost in demand has helped median home list prices trend upward by a staggering 48.6% year-over-year.
Even at that rate, however, the current median list price of $89,000 is still attainable for a lot of buyers—particularly upstart Millennials wanting a short commute to downtown. If interest keeps building in Franklinton, as I expect it will, realizing potentially good returns on your investment properties should be attainable for you as well.
Olde Towne East
On the other side of downtown in the historic district known as Near East Side, Olde Towne East is another neighborhood sitting in the throes of transition. Of course, like many near-downtown Columbus neighborhoods, its transformation into a safe, family-friendly neighborhood with a youthful, hip vibe has been more than 15 years in the making. Considered up-and-coming before the housing crash, the revitalization of residential and commercial properties stalled when home values fell. Once the market started to shift, and the attention of developers was again renewed, Olde Towne East got its groove back—and homebuyers began taking notice.
But, it’s not just Olde Towne East’s cool factor that has helped boost buyer demand. That you can get a lot for your money makes this area appealing to would-be residents, too. Large three-bedroom century-old homes outfitted with modern amenities can be bought for less than $300k. And, while that’s a big jump from the highest price they might fork over for an old house in Franklinton, it still makes for a very good deal for the buyers who can afford it. It can potentially be a great deal for you, too, if you focus on upgrades that will help sell your investment property quickly and at the right price.
Though each of these up and coming Columbus, Ohio neighborhoods provide some of the best opportunities for realizing potentially great investment returns, you’ll still have to find good leads. And, the more likely the leads are to convert to sales, the better your chances of building a real estate investment business while making a difference in a community—and your wallet—will be. As you’ve probably already guessed, I’ve got an inkling where you can find those kinds of leads, too. Better still, I know how to set yourself up so that motivated home sellers from all over Columbus find you.
Increase Your Potential for Getting Better Columbus Leads
To this day, I’m grateful I came home to start investing in up and coming Columbus, Ohio neighborhoods. It’s not just that the stress of a Wall Street desk job wasn’t for me. It’s that, as a professional real estate investor, my work buying, rehabbing, and selling old and “ugly” houses has a noticeable impact on the community at large. Property values go up, buyers get a move-in ready house they love, and homeowners who need to offload their properties fast get out of a bad situation before it potentially gets worse.
But, had I not become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, I might not have had as many opportunities to make money and make a difference as a professional real estate investor. Thanks to the HomeVestors®’ “We Buy Ugly Houses®” national ad campaign, however, distressed Columbus homeowners know who to call when they need to sell—local franchisees, like me.
And, because of the reach of these and other proprietary marketing tools and resources that I have access to as a franchisee, qualified leads from all over Columbus come my way. That means I have the potential to increase my impact wherever it’s needed—and continually expand my potential earnings, too.
Increase your potential for getting qualified Columbus leads so that you can build the best investment business possible. Contact HomeVestors about becoming a local franchisee today!
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.