From the moment I met Rochelle, I knew she was going to make a great investor. She’s outgoing, dedicated, methodical, and absolutely passionate about real estate. As someone who’s been flipping houses in New Orleans for years, I’ve come to recognize who’s got what it takes to turn flipping houses into a good business and who may tinker with it for a bit, then bail. And, Rochelle is a natural pro all the way.
In fact, before we even talked, she’d already been researching which NOLA neighborhoods were the hottest for buying, rehabbing, and reselling homes. By the time we met at the Commander’s Palace for Happy Hour cocktails, she had a list ready for me. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t that much different from my own.
Hot Neighborhoods for Flipping Houses in New Orleans
In the last decade, most cities around the U.S. have had to contend with making a comeback in one way or another from the housing crash but, because of the devastation previously wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has had to fight harder than most. When home prices fell and foreclosure rates rose in NOLA during the Great Recession, it was almost like adding insult to injury.
Thousands of homes had already been damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina flooded the city in 2005. Over a million of those who survived by evacuating before the storm or fleeing afterward never returned, gutting The Big Easy of more than half of its population. Times were hard and only got harder three short years later when many of the homeowners still living in New Orleans found themselves suddenly underwater on their mortgages, too.
But, the city rallied by rebuilding the broken levees and revitalizing suffering neighborhoods. It took time, and more than $160 billion dollars, but the effort eventually paid off. The city has regained about 80% of its population and, as a result, the strength of its housing market is growing, too. In fact, median list prices have been trending up by about 3.7% year-over-year.
On the surface, that number may not seem as big as the rate of growth that other cities in the region are reported to have. But, look closer and you’ll find New Orleans making the rounds on top ten lists as one of the hottest spots to find investment properties to flip and realize a strong ROI. And, there are some neighborhoods, like those listed below, where the action is really heating up. Let’s take a look:
Lower Garden District
With historic mansions transforming into boutique hotels along Prytania, you might not think the Lower Garden District is a New Orleans neighborhood still in transition. But, the LGD is getting warmer all the time—from St. Charles all the way down to Magazine Street. Hipster eateries and pubs, like Seed and Barrel Proof, are springing up everywhere and so are young Millennial couples out walking their dogs. Quieter than the French Quarter, but only a trolley ride away, it’s no wonder. The Lower Garden District offers a refuge from the party without sacrificing access to a good time. And, that’s helped to push demand for the area higher.
But, there is more to the LGD that makes it attractive to new homeowners and that might boost its appeal for you, too. As gritty as it can get just one block over from a house that’s almost half a million dollars, the Lower Garden District is one of the safer NOLA neighborhoods to live in for the average homeowner. And, that includes freedom from worries about flooding since the LGD is not in a flood zone. So, though you may still opt for flood coverage when you buy property insurance for flipping houses, the odds you’ll need to use it are low. With median list prices trending up, and plenty of opportunities still available to buy, you might want to flip a few homes here before it gets too hot to handle.
Settled by Irish immigrants, this once mostly working-class neighborhood evolved into a multi-cultural suburban haven where young and older professionals alike could establish themselves and provide for their families. Now sprinkled with bars, coffee shops, and parks throughout, there is also always plenty to do and see. That’s helped put the high ground Irish Channel on the homebuying map for a lot of Millennials—currently the largest segment of first-time homebuyers in the nation.
The neighborhood’s mid-range affordability and relative safety from severe flooding are big draws, too. And, the increased demand is pushing prices up year-over-year. But, there are still those who would prefer to get out as their inability to care for their home has also increased. Elderly retirees, once a large segment of the population, and families under financial duress fall into this group. If you can find these distressed homeowners and buy at the right price, your offer of a helping hand may be met with potentially good returns when you sell.
Lakeview is as hot a place to invest in as it is cool for home shoppers to buy in. For a neighborhood that was all but decimated because of its proximity to one of the major levee breaches in 2005, Lakeview’s growing desirability is nothing short of impressive. Driven first by the installation of new flood walls, surge gaits, and pump stations, Lakeview became safer to live in than ever before. Community revitalization efforts designed to both stabilize the local economy and beautify the area soon followed. Before long, people were moving back in and median home list prices were moving back up.
But, though efforts to rebuild the neighborhood shifted into full gear in the years following Hurricane Katrina and the housing crash, not every homeowner has recovered. Rundown homes still dot the landscape, signaling that financial distress—whether due to flood damage, high medical bills, or a layoff—is still afloat. Finding, buying, renovating, and reselling some of these houses in Lakeview can help add to the neighborhood’s comeback status while also adding more green into your pocket.
As hot as these areas are, NOLO is chock full of other neighborhood pockets that are headed toward transition. And, just as you want to ensure you find the best leads on fixer-uppers in neighborhoods that are currently hot, you’ll want to capitalize on the deals that surface in future up-and-coming communities, too. The only way I know how to never miss a beat when it comes to finding houses to flip is to implement a lead-finding strategy that brings motivated sellers of off-market properties to you. And, I know where to find a great one.
Get the Best NOLA Deals With a Better Lead-Finding Strategy
Having lived and worked in New Orleans for a long time, I’ve developed a sense for which neighborhoods are going to give me the most bang for my buck as an investor and which aren’t. It’s a feeling not unlike being able to recognize a great real estate investor-in-the-making, like Rochelle. But, there was a time early on in my career when I was not so savvy. In fact, finding good deals took a great deal of work—no matter where I was looking. And, my business suffered for it. Eventually, it dawned on me that I needed to simply get serious about finding better qualified leads if I wanted to realize the best possible returns.
And, so I found my way toward becoming an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. The marketing tools and resources that I have access to, like the nationally-known “We Buy Ugly Houses®” ad campaign, bring distressed homeowners from all over NOLA to me. These homeowners are motivated to sell their properties off-market because their home has become too much of a burden. When I’m able to pay them a fair price and get myself a good deal, we both prevail. And, as the rest of the nation now knows, overcoming all obstacles is what we’re all about down here in The Big Easy.
Help NOLA get back on top and stay there by improving your strategy for finding great qualified leads. Call HomeVestors about becoming a community-driven New Orleans franchisee today!
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