Florida’s more than just the sunshine state: it’s a potential goldmine. I moved here in the late 90s after leaving my corporate job to start up a real estate investing business. My corporate colleagues thought it was too risky, but my wife was all for it. Looking ahead to retirement, we didn’t just want to settle for a slow-growing 401k. We wanted to take charge of our financial future by investing in ourselves. I’m not going to sugar-coat it and say that it’s been easy. We’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. But, with a little elbow grease and determination, we’ve made our financial goals a reality. And, so far as I can see, business will remain good. Florida continues to be one of the hottest real estate investment markets out there.
Where to Buy Investment Property in Florida
As people continue to move north out of the crowded Miami Dade, Broward and West Palm Beach counties, the opportunities for new real estate investing in Central and Northern Florida are ripe. These were growth areas in the early 2000s but were hit hard by the financial crisis of 2008. While the value of Florida homes stagnated after 2008, it only took the market a few years to recover, in part, because of tremendous population growth. In the years between 2011 and 2017 alone, the state gained nearly a million more residents, bringing the number up to 20 million. That’s a lot of potential home buyers!
So, if you know where to buy investment property in Florida, you shouldn’t have any trouble selling it for solid returns in this market. But, where can you find distressed homeowners in the smaller cities and towns that have the best opportunities for buying, renovating, and selling houses?
You have many options for choosing where to buy Florida investment property because most of the counties in the state are growing, especially those that border the Atlantic. But, the Gulf side, from Hernando County down to Collier, is experiencing a growth spurt as well. If you’re looking in the panhandle, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties are all popular areas. Even landlocked counties in the middle of the state, like Sumter, Lake, Orange, Seminole, Polk and Osceola Counties, are burgeoning markets right now. But if you’re looking to buy an investment property at a low price-point and sell it, you may want to look at some of the less-densely populated, high-growth counties around the state. Here’s where my wife and I recommend.
Situated on the east coast, Brevard County is conveniently located about 50 miles southeast of Orlando and within a two and a half hour drive of the tri-counties. It has a mild climate with a hot summer and a pleasant winter which draws a lot of interest from people relocating. The cost of living is affordable and the unemployment rate is slightly under the national average. Home appreciation has been on the rise over the past decade, meaning that any property you hold is likely to go up in value. To find some good deals on investment properties, check out neighborhoods in Palm Bay, Malabar, Indialantic or Mims. Rockledge and West Melbourne are popular areas for home buyers but higher price points may lead to lower profit margins.
Polk is a landlocked county just southwest of Orlando and a short drive to Tampa. Its location makes it less vulnerable to hurricanes than coastal areas, which is good news for homeowners—and investors who smartly protect their property with insurance. Compared to other parts of Florida, Polk County offers a slower pace of life with a lower crime rate, which is why it’s becoming more popular with families and retirees. The median price of homes here lingers in the mid-150s, making it a good place for you to buy a distressed house to sell to those who are either downsizing in their later years or buying their first home. A home you’ve renovated in Polk County should be easy to sell to any family or retirees looking to experience a more relaxed, rural lifestyle without leaving Florida. Target homes in Lake Hollingsworth, Lakeland Highlands, Edgewood or South Lake Morton.
Located on the southwest coast of Florida, Lee is a quickly-growing county that offers a South Florida feel without any of the congestion. With its warm winter temperatures, new and attractive downtown areas, and palm tree-lined avenues, it’s easy to see why Lee County’s population has grown by leaps and bounds since 2000. It has plenty of beaches and beautiful islands, like Sanibel and Captiva. The most populated areas include Fort Myers and Cape Coral, which are both located on the Caloosahatchee River. Areas to find investment properties include Sanibel, Iona, McGregor, Whiskey Creek and Lochmoor Waterway Estates. But if you’re looking for a cheaper deal, try areas like Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Buckingham or Lehigh Acres. All of these areas are highly-rated by homeowners but are located off the beaten path, and may offer more value for your investment dollar.
Getting Leads on Investment Property in Florida
Florida is a great state to invest in because it offers many opportunities. But, just as I did 20 years ago, you’re going to need help getting started, as well as ongoing support. That’s why I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. I received a week-long comprehensive initial training that taught me what I needed to know to become a professional real estate investor. And as time has gone on, the tools and resources HomeVestors provides me help have only gotten better. In fact, the nationally-known “We Buy Ugly Houses®” advertising campaign is one of the best marketing platforms available.
In the past couple of decades, I’ve been able to meet my personal and business goals. With HomeVestors still behind me, I expect the next 20 years to be just as successful, too. If you are excited by the investing possibilities in Florida, too, get in touch with HomeVestors today.
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