When Jason called to ask about buying his first investment property, it was a big deal. I’ve never known my nephew to ask for help with anything. Even as a kid, he wanted to figure everything out on his own, including how to pay for his attendance at the University of Florida someday. Then again, buying houses to renovate and sell for a living, like I do, takes a lot of work and just as much know-how. And, even a handful of minor mistakes can lead to some major financial disappointments.
Luckily, he’s got the elbow grease part down pat. Runs in the family, I believe. And, now that I think about it, looking for a guide to investment in Florida real estate was a smart move. If anyone knows why, where, and how to do it right, it’s a seasoned old pro, like me.
Why and Where Investment in Florida Real Estate is Ripe
If you’ve also got a solid work ethic and a strong hunger to start a real estate investing business, like Jason, you are in very good company. With those two characteristics alone, you’re already halfway to answering whether you should buy investment property in Florida or not. Of course, the desire to do what it takes to succeed isn’t all you’ve got to bring to the table. Knowledge is power, too. And, I can help you there by sharing the same insights that I gave Jason. Let’s start by talking about why, and where, you should invest in Florida.
In a nutshell, we’ve got a strong economy, a growing population, and a housing market that’s landed the Sunshine State at the top of many investors’ to-do lists. In several local markets, the number of available jobs is rising higher than the national average. More people are moving to Florida from other parts of the country than any other state—motivated, in part, by the chance to find a good job that will provide for a great home. And, this has all contributed to an increased demand for housing that has, in turn, pushed median home sales prices of single-family houses to more than $259,000.
You can help meet this demand, and contribute to an increase in your bank account, by buying low, renovating smartly, and selling high. There are some cities, however, that are performing better than others—especially if you invest in single-family homes for a living as I do. The places where Florida investment opportunities are the most ripe are right here:
If you can find your way to buy, rehab, and sell homes at the right price in Gainesville, your wallet will be happy, too. The unemployment rate is even lower than the state’s and the number of new jobs added just this year is higher than the national average. What’s more, the rate of job growth is so strong that it’s tipped the income-to-home cost ratio in favor of buyers.
That helps to keep housing affordable for locals even as home prices rise. And, since people who can afford to buy a home often do, it also makes homeownership desirable. And, that’s what we’re seeing in Gainesville. This boost in demand keeps homes flying off shelves in record time. And, that’s caused median home list prices to trend upward by 8.1% year-over-year. In order to see a similar jump in your potential returns, the time to invest in Gainesville is now.
Tallahassee is another great Florida spot where there is plenty of potential to realize good returns on your investments. To start, unemployment is low here, too. In fact, at 3.1%, unemployment is the lowest it’s been in over 10 years. And, in the last year alone, job growth has increased by 2.3%. This has helped the income for Tallahassee residents keep pace with the rising cost of buying a home. And, that has helped to drive demand for homeownership, and sales prices, even higher—a trend that isn’t expected to slow down any time soon.
But, because demand is high and expected to keep rising, an inventory squeeze could be in Tallahassee’s future. But, as long as you look for off-market real estate deals to buy, renovate, and sell, you can easily meet the demand, grow your portfolio, and benefit from the resulting push in median home sales prices, too.
Lakeland has a lot going for it, too—including a housing market that is worth investing in, provided you buy, renovate, and sell smartly. Unemployment remains low and so does the overall cost of living compared to nearby Tampa. This has helped make Lakeland an attractive option for home buyers who want to improve their quality of life as well as their chances of buying a nice home.
But, unfortunately, the city isn’t affordable for everyone. Seniors, in fact, have a difficult time making ends meet here and they make up one of the largest segments of Florida’s population. So, if you choose to invest in Lakeland, keep your target home buying market close to your chest when performing repairs—whether it’s seniors or another group, like Millennials. If you want to ensure you sell your investment property quickly, you’ll have to repair it, then price it, accordingly.
The good news is that, although median home sales prices fluctuate more in Lakeland than in many other Florida markets, their overall upward trajectory indicates that demand is rising. This bodes well for selling a renovated investment property for potentially good returns, especially if you buy at the right time and price. But, it also holds the potential to squeeze inventory and drive prices out of reach—even for you. So, the key to buying great Lakeland deals will be to find off-market properties owned by distressed homeowners who are motivated to sell fast.
Of course, knowing why and where you should buy investment property in Florida is only half the battle to succeeding as an investor here. Without qualified leads on fixer-uppers, all the market insight in the world won’t really amount to much. And, the best leads on real estate investment opportunities with the highest rate of conversion are those that come directly to you. How to get motivated sellers of small, old, or just plain “ugly” Florida homes to reach out to you is easy, too. In fact, you can begin the process now.
How to Buy Florida Real Estate Investment Property Now
When you’ve never bought, rehabbed, and sold property anywhere before, understanding all the ins and outs of investment in Florida real estate can look like a big lift. And, if you don’t have someone to lean on for guidance, like my nephew, the load can feel very heavy indeed. Just finding motivated seller leads is a process that can take time, money, and more elbow grease than you want, or can afford, to give.
But, that’s exactly why I recommended that Jason become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, like me. With the strength of the HomeVestors nationally recognized brand, “We Buy Ugly Houses®,” behind him, coupled with the marketing tools and resources he’ll have immediate access to, Jason will get the qualified leads he’ll need to start investing in Florida real estate right away. There’s no other system that sets you up for success like it in Florida or anywhere else for that matter.
Get better Florida leads by joining the best professional real estate investment franchise around. Call HomeVestors today!
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