What surprises me most about Jacksonville is how surprised people are to find out this is such a wonderful place to live. I’ve been here my whole life—except for college, and we can forget about that—so I know first-hand what this city offers. In Jacksonville, I found love, happiness, and a satisfying career as a professional real estate investor. It doesn’t have the flash of Miami or the sass of San Francisco, but it’s more affordable, more comfortable, more genuine, and less in a hurry to fall into the sea. All of this contributes to making it not only a great place to live but also a great place to do business as a real estate investor.
Recognizing that Jacksonville is a great place to invest is just the first step, though. In northern Florida or anywhere else, to make it as a real estate investor, you need a steady source of leads. I’ve tried a few different ways over the years, and I’m more than happy to give you my opinion on which is the best.
Why Jacksonville FL Investment Property is Hot—And How to Get Your Hands On It
This part of northern Florida has a strong, diverse job market, powered by proximity to the gulf. With over 70,000 firms in this city, there are jobs to be found. Earnings are buoyed by a lack of state income tax and low property tax rates. Home prices are below the national average, yet there remains several good neighborhoods to raise a family in. Even the average commute is less than half an hour. For investors like me, that means if you can find a distressed property here and rehab it, you probably won’t have a problem finding someone to sell it to.
So, how do you find investment property in good ol’ Jacksonville, Florida?
The most difficult part of the whole process is finding the right properties to buy. Mistakes cost months, and tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. Scanning databases, searching keywords, sending contacts, calling owners, and visiting properties can take months more, all with no guarantee of a solid lead. Let’s look at the popular ways investment property can be uncovered here—and why you might want to find a better way.
There’s more scrolling involved on Zillow than there was in the Library of Alexandria, and the two are about equally full of knowledge today. Yes, there are many houses on Zillow. Many are in Jacksonville, and more all the time. But Zillow doesn’t vet its information heavily and a posting isn’t binding. So, many of the houses listed on Zillow won’t sell for the prices they’re listed for, or have already been sold. Worse, scams abound. Some houses listed for sale simply aren’t, and never were.
Even sellers in good faith may not be in any hurry to close, instead they’re just testing what their property might take in. And, with so many other investors searching Zillow, any seller will be inundated with similar offers. Even if they eventually do choose to sell to you, they may spend weeks or months courting other investors first.
Can you buy a house on Zillow? Sure. Can you build a real estate investment business this way? Doubtful.
Call it social media for real estate investors. You can sign up for free, but that doesn’t mean you’re not gonna pay. You’ll put up with ads, sponsored content, and paywalls hiding the actual services. The site claims to list hundreds of active real estate investors in the Jacksonville area. Whether it does or not? Only they know. The most recent investor to sign up for Connected Investors of Jacksonville, FL as of this post, comes from Mesa, AZ, so that’ll give you some idea of the kinds of “local” investors you’ll be likely to meet.
If you’ve got a little time to kill, you might as well go see for yourself. But, keep your eyes open—and your options.
One of many local investment firms, Traditions Realty sometimes buys more property than they want to renovate. So, they go looking for independent real estate investors to partner with—that’s you, right? They’ll sell you a property, for a commission. It’s up to you to renovate the property and sell it, while preserving ARV. Or, you can sign up for their property management service and generate whatever’s left after their cost and profit for renting it out. Other local companies operate along similar lines.
This is not so bad, especially for first-time investors. You get to go through the motions of investing, you jump through the hoops, you learn the ropes. And, with the right property, you can see a modest return. But, it will only be a modest return because Traditions will eat first on both the property sale and rental management—you only get what’s left over. For a deal or two, this is fine—owning rental property in Florida is a great way to impress your friends. But, if you want to invest full-time, you’ll need better margins.
Now, you’re probably thinking, wait a minute—that’s not three ways to source, that’s three ways not to source! Why am I even reading this article when I could be checking the Jaguars score?! (Don’t worry, they lost.) Well, as the Jags well know, you gotta lose to learn how to win, so, for those of you still tuned in, here’s how I source investment properties in Jacksonville.
Landing Jacksonville Real Estate Investment Leads
You can scroll for leads, you can network, you can content yourself with the crumbs from another’s table. What does each method have in common? You’re dealing with middlemen, and you’re on the losing end. It’s better to go direct.
That’s how I do it. As an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee, distressed homeowners call me. They see the nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” billboards across the city and reach out to my office if they want to make a cash sale. I get calls from motivated sellers regularly because I’m backed by a reputable national brand that has proven itself to Jacksonville homeowners time and again.
If you’re ready to stop scrolling and start earning, contact HomeVestors to get started today!
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