A friend of mine came to visit me here in Orlando, and on his first night we went out to dinner at Soco, a kind of fancy southern comfort food near the soccer stadium. He expressed a bit of surprise at how good it was and how many restaurants were nearby. When I asked why he was surprised, he said he just kind of assumed the only thing in Orlando was Disney.
I guess I can kind of understand that. After all, it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world. But that kind of mousy monolith obscures the fact that this is a large and dynamic city with a lot of different neighborhoods that are ideal for your real estate investing.
If you’re a real estate investor in Orlando, you know that this is a growing market that offers a lot of possibilities. There are certainly challenges here, and different areas are growing at a different rate. That means you have to be smart and targeted about where you invest. You want neighborhoods that are on the verge of breaking out so you can buy low and potentially see some good ROI on your hard work.
Let me tell you about three up and coming neighborhoods in Orlando that prove there’s more than theme parks here. There’s opportunity here if you’re buying investment property anywhere in Florida.
The Top 3 Up and Coming Orlando Neighborhoods
When I mentioned that Orlando was growing, that’s the truth. Just in a year, our population grew by over 50,000. They say that was the 5th-highest number of any metropolitan area in the country. What is sparking this growth? Jobs.
It’s true, of course, that there are an enormous amount of jobs in the tourism and service sector, but that’s not the only thing driving our economy. Orlando right now is growing in finance, manufacturing, and all the STEM fields. As a result, Orlando has a very low unemployment rate and high yearly job growth—more than double the national average. These are good jobs that are attracting a lot of young professionals.
All this means that there is a big demand for housing and not a ton of supply. Low interest rates in the area also are driving up demand because buying a house has become more possible. At the same time, prices are going up. People want houses, and they are willing to pay.
But, it’s not just any kind of housing- they are looking for good homes in neighborhoods that offer easy transportation, good places to eat, good schools, and are great for young professionals with or without children.
They’re looking for these up and coming Orland neighborhoods. That’s where, as a real estate investor, you need to be looking. Here are three of my favorite ones.
Thornton Park is where I went to dinner with my friend last week. I chose SoCo, but there were a lot of other choices. Near downtown, Thornton Park is probably the trendiest neighborhood in the city. Restaurants, bars, and boutique stores line the streets, with broad walkable sidewalks and patio dining creating a true sense of community. It’s above-average schools and big parks make it extremely appealing to families.
Right near Lake Eola, Thornton Park is ready to pop. Everyone already knows the charms of Eola, but that is one of the pricier options right now. Its market is very mature, and you’ll be paying a lot of money for houses there. Average prices in Eola right now are close to $400,000, whereas in Thornton Park the average is at around $300,000.
That gives you a lot of real estate investing opportunity. This is a neighborhood that is on the verge of becoming the best neighborhood in the city—and you can still get in relatively inexpensively, with a chance for a great turnaround. The trick is to find an investment house here before everyone else does.
The Milk District
Like art? Like culture? Like a diverse and vibrant nightlife? Well, maybe you don’t, but that doesn’t matter. The people who are moving to Orlando do and that’s why they’ll be drawn to the Milk District.
The Milk District is about a 5-minute drive from downtown, which makes it perfect for people moving here for jobs in the finance or STEM fields. It’s also great for families, as there are numerous great charter schools in the area, including the Orlando Science Charter School.
In a lot of ways, this is an ideal area. It is easy to get to work, but it is also tempting to just stay in your neighborhood. There’s a lot to do here. There are a lot of different music venues, and hip, trendy but affordable restaurants. You’ll walk past murals by local artists on your way to the community gardens.
That means you have a lot of chances to take advantage of that. Homes right now are running in the mid-$100s. You also have the option to either sell or rent your investment property out while the market continues to grow. If you can find a distressed home here, you’ll be sitting pretty with a great cap rate.
As Orlando grows, there will be people moving into the suburbs. Newer residents with growing families will be looking to get out of the city. And, of all the suburbs, Tangelo Park probably offers the most opportunity for real estate investing. This up and coming Orlando neighborhood is a very diverse area with above-average schools, including a brand new elementary school with a beautiful campus.
Tangelo Park is really interesting. It has a more quiet, almost rural feel. You feel more connected to nature out there. But, there are also a lot of really good places to eat and drink. It’s a suburb with its own vibe—there’s nothing square or cookie-cutter about it. It’s great for people who might not want to be in the city, but don’t want to be in a “suburb” either.
And prices? Well, right now the average home prices are very well under $100,000, making it incredibly affordable. You can get in under market value, though, fix the house up, and sell it. As people start to move here, your asking price will go up and up. With a low barrier to entry, this is the right time to look at investing in Tangelo Park.
The Best Way To Find Investment Properties in Orlando
Knowing the neighborhoods is different than being able to find the houses. In this tight and growing market, supply is still pretty short. That makes it harder to locate an investment house for sale that is worth your time and money. I used to have a hard time, too—that is, until I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee.
See, as a franchisee, I get an early opportunity to hear about homes for sale. People who are looking to sell fast, for whatever reason, call a HomeVestors® franchisee like me. The nationally-recognized HomeVestors name has been trusted since 1996 because of the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” commercials. So when distressed homeowners need “solutions for ugly situations®”, they know who to call.
This is the easiest way I’ve ever had to get qualified leads. After all, homeowners who call are already ready to sell. They’re motivated. So, I’m not starting from scratch. I’m coming in already trusted. It makes my job so much easier.
If you want to get into the up and coming Orlando neighborhoods, too, request information about becoming a franchisee today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
HomeVestors of America® is the nation’s only real estate investing franchise, providing business opportunities to real estate and investment professionals across the nation.