A friend of mine sent me a text the other day that said, bluntly, “Is Atlanta still like it is in this show?” After a few texts, I found out she was watching some Netflix crime show and part of it was set in Atlanta in the late 70s. My response was pretty simple: no. In fact, and maybe I’m biased toward my home, but I doubt any city has grown as much Atlanta over the last few decades.
This once sleepy company town has become one of the world’s great cities. We have one of the country’s most important international air travel hubs and are home to dozens of Fortune 500 companies. We’ve made incredible strides in changing a sometimes-divisive legacy. It’s inspiring. And, it’s reflected in the housing market.
The Atlanta housing market has seen a huge turnaround since the depths of the Great Recession, and while it is unclear what impact the new coronavirus pandemic will have, the fundamentals of this market are strong. Flipping distressed houses in Atlanta poses some challenges but if you know the right places to look, it’s possible to make a good real estate investing career here.
Understanding Atlanta’s Real Estate Market
Remember how I said Atlanta has grown a lot? I meant it. In 1990, the entire metropolitan area had about 3 million people. We’re at around 6.5 million right now and are expected to add another 2.5 million by 2040. Atlanta is becoming a dense regional hub and an important metropolis.
It is also projected that, while the population will grow older, it will remain younger than the U.S. population as a whole. All of this means there will be a lot of young people and their families moving here over the next few years.
What do those people need? Houses.
All of this is important because it means a lot of the established “hot” neighborhoods are at capacity. Homes have been bought and don’t seem to be coming back on the market anytime soon. The northeast side is already at a late-stage of renewal, with high prices and a stable market. The city center is roughly the same.
But, that means there are a lot of opportunities, particularly in the northwest and the southern part of the city, radiating west and south from downtown. Those are the areas where people might start going in the near future.
No matter where your research says you should buy, you have to find the houses. And that’s why you might want to look at distressed houses.
A Strategy for Real Estate Investing in Atlanta
There are a lot of strategies for real estate investing in Atlanta but, in the end, they come down to the same basic operating principles.
1. Do extensive market research to understand what Atlanta neighborhoods are up-and-coming and poised for growth.
2. Find homes in there that are for sale.
3. Determine if the price of the house + the work you put in adds up to less than what you can sell for.
4. Do the work.
Obviously, Step 3 isn’t a matter of exact science. There are a lot of variations in every market. That’s one reason I like to look for distressed houses. These are people who are looking to sell fast, mostly because they are unable to keep up with their mortgage or the repairs. Their house is a burden, and a quick sale helps them out.
One benefit of a distressed house, as opposed to a foreclosed house owned by the bank and being sold at a sheriff’s auction, is that the competition is less. It’s not even on the market yet. That matters. If there is a house in, say, Edgewood or Vine City on the foreclosure sale, people will flock to it like ants to a picnic.
The best strategy is to find that Vine City house before it is foreclosed on—and maybe even before it goes on the market—so that you don’t have the same competition. That’s probably easier said than done, but there is a way.
A Better Way to Invest in Atlanta Real Estate
Now, bearing in mind that there is no sure path to success in this business, but there are smarter ways to do things. The smartest thing I ever did as a professional real estate investor was to become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee.
See, as a franchisee, I get qualified leads on distressed homes. People who need to sell fast know who to contact because they’ve seen the nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” ads. They know that they’ll be treated fairly so when they need help, they pick up the phone to call an Atlanta-based HomeVestors® franchisee like me.
Atlanta might have changed a lot, but this business hasn’t. You still have to do the work, understand the market, and treat people professionally, with respect. That’s as fundamental now as it will be in 2040. But, if you have a better way to get leads on distressed homes in Atlanta, you have a leg up.
If you’re interested in getting qualified leads in Atlanta, request information today. It’ll help you be a part of Atlanta’s future growth.
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