My sister-in-law, Kelly, has been a secret fan of the now-defunct reality TV show, ‘Jersey Shore’ since the day it hit the airwaves back in 2009. I don’t know how many times she’s rewatched those episodes—all four seasons of them—but, it’s gotta be up there. I don’t really blame her, of course. The 141-mile stretch that makes up New Jersey’s coast is an exciting place to live, work, and dramatize on television. I wouldn’t bother buying investment property here if I didn’t think so.
Exciting, however, doesn’t always mean easy—especially when it comes to finding Jersey Shore real estate deals to invest in. I’ve watched many of real estate investors struggle over the years. After a while, some just throw in the towel. But, because I’ve stuck to it—and, successfully so—others occasionally ask how they can get a little of what I’ve got. Believe it or not, I tell them there is enough to go around.
How to Find Jersey Shore Real Estate Deals
When discussing the local real estate market and how, or even if, you can build an investment property portfolio with Jersey Shore deals, it’s hard not to wax nostalgic. New Jersey took a beating during the housing crash, bruising the egos—and the pocketbooks—of almost every local real estate investor. Even those who bought and rehabbed homes to resell or rent out along the pricier shore communities, like Avalon, didn’t escape unscathed. Then Superstorm Sandy hit, landing waves of destruction along the New Jersey coastline and pummeling some cities, like Long Beach Island, with particular gusto. Thankfully, in the years following these disasters, much of the beach communities collectively called the Jersey Shore have recovered. For those of us who took the risk to invest in single-family homes in areas like Keansburg to the north and Cape May to the south, our wallets have bounced back a bit as well.
That’s not to say that every place in Jersey Shore offers the best opportunities, however. For example, the median home sale price in Keansburg rose by an impressive $100,000 between December of 2017 and 2018. In comparison, the current median home sale price of $345,000 for Cape May is lower than this time last year—by about 7%—likely due to more inventory flooding the market. So, when you buy and sell is critical, but where you invest along the shore matters, too.
On this point, don’t be fooled into thinking that you should automatically skip over Jersey Shore’s most expensive communities, like Stone Harbor, or its roughest, like Atlantic City. As long as you’re able to buy low, renovate smartly, and sell high, your chances of realizing solid returns are pretty good. And, with foreclosures starts and bank repossessions up across the state, acquiring a decent deal in a million-dollar neighborhood could be possible, as long as your pockets are deep enough. After all, homeowners experiencing financial distress because of job loss, a death in the family, or divorce live everywhere.
In fact, there are certainly plenty of distressed homeowners in Atlantic City, which posted the highest foreclosure rate in the state by the fourth quarter of last year. But, since crime and unemployment are down, and interest from developers is up, Atlantic City isn’t that seaside town you avoid at all costs anymore. In fact, word on the street is that America’s Playground is poised to become New Jersey’s next up-and-coming neighborhood. So, you might want to run, not walk, in its general direction.
That’s the real key to successfully investing in any one of Jersey Shore’s coastal communities: finding good properties at below-market prices in up and coming areas. For this reason, many investors focus on chasing Jersey’s distressed properties for sale through local auctions, mortgage lenders, even government entities, like the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency—especially since New Jersey leads the nation in foreclosures. Sometimes, they’ll combine this tactic with buying lead lists, then creating mailers to send to potentially stressed homeowners who could be convinced to sell with the right postcard. And, despite the pitfalls of using each of these, it is possible they’ll help you acquire the occasional property.
But, having a real estate lead generation strategy that finds potentially good deals solves only part of the problem. Ideally, you want those leads to have a high rate of conversion, too. Neither bidding on a foreclosure auction home nor putting a flyer in a divorcee’s mailbox really gets you closer to closing on a deal. The best way to do that is to find a way to reel in homeowners who are already looking for a way to unload their property before they drown in financial distress. Believe it or not, that is much easier, and less fishy, than it sounds.
The Best Way to Reel Jersey Shore Deals Toward You
My ‘stick-to-it-ness,’ as Kelli calls it, hasn’t been hard when it comes to investing in Jersey Shore real estate because I’m never short on qualified leads. That’s made possible by the nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing campaign that you see and hear everywhere—and, that I have access to as an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. So, when a distressed homeowner in my neck of the shore calls the number on a billboard wanting to sell their house fast, one of the local HomeVestors® franchisees answers. Generally, distressed homeowners reach out when they’re ready so it is possible for me to start to establish a relationship of trust with them—not after another investor calls them with an offer in the middle of dinner. A relationship of trust makes the transaction go easier for both of us.
Don’t go fishing for leads the hard way. Contact HomeVestors today to get a line on how you can help Jersey Shore homeowners in distress by buying, rehabbing, and reselling their homes today.
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