Like many Florida residents, I’m a transplant from the frozen north (a.k.a. New York). When I told my friends and family I was moving to Florida, they weren’t surprised at all—the weather is wonderful, the Cuban food is amazing, and I can play golf all year round. However, when I broke the news to my real estate investment network, they were stunned and even a little bit concerned.
After all, cities like Tampa, Orlando, and Miami are known in the industry for being some of the most competitive (and expensive) real estate markets in the country. Some of my colleagues assumed I would shift my investment strategies to go after the high-end market, but most thought I’d just lost my mind. I was young, and still relatively new to investing, so it must have seemed like a naive decision to them.
I never intended to compete with the big guns in Miami or Orlando. Instead, I moved to Jacksonville, where the cost of living was lower, and the real estate market was much more modest. And as it turns out, Jacksonville is an ideal location for new investors:
- The investing community is active and welcoming.
- The economy is strong.
- The population is growing.
- Housing prices are low but steadily rising.
In this blog, I’ll explain why real estate investing in Jacksonville FL is a good idea, as well as discuss my tips for succeeding in this market as a new investor.
Why Real Estate Investing in Jacksonville FL Is a Good Idea
Jacksonville, FL, is a promising market for new and veteran real estate investors. Jacksonville has a low cost of living despite having one of the fastest-growing job markets in the country. According to Forbes, Jacksonville ranks as the 22nd best place for businesses and careers, accounting for the booming population that’s increased by almost 60,000 residents in the last five years. The more new people move into an area, the higher the demand for homes, which you can capitalize on as a savvy real estate investor.
Speaking of demand, the supply of homes in Jacksonville is much lower than the demand, making it a seller’s market. So, while you may have a harder time generating leads on distressed properties for investment (more on that later), you should have no problem finding a buyer for your flip at or above your asking price. On average, homes in Jacksonville stay on the market for less than ten days, which should help you keep your carrying costs low and your ROI high.
Start Real Estate Investing in Jacksonville FL With These Tips
I’m not just trying to convince you to pack your bags and move to Jacksonville—I also want to help you make smart investment decisions once you get here. These are my tips for real estate investing in Jacksonville, FL.
Diversify Your Investments
One of the reasons Jacksonville is such a great place for real estate investors is that it has a high rate of homeownership—meaning a hot market for fix-and-flips. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore rentals as another potential source of investment income.
Historically, Jacksonville’s had a volatile rental market, with higher vacancies than the national average. However, as housing prices continue to rise, the demand for rentals is increasing as well. Plus, the booming job market is bringing in a lot of newer, younger residents who typically prefer to rent over buying. That’s why I recommend keeping an eye out for promising rental investments in Jacksonville to include in your portfolio.
Pick Your Neighborhoods Wisely
Like any metropolitan area, the housing market in Jacksonville can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. For example, Avondale and Riverside are two of the hottest neighborhoods in Jacksonville, which also means they’re among the most expensive. I recommend sticking with less competitive areas where you’re more likely to find a cheap house to make a modest but sustainable ROI for new investors.
For example, Hillcrest and Murray Hill are neighborhoods adjacent to Avondale and Riverside (respectively), which means they’re within easy walking distance of some of the city’s most beautiful parks, architecture, and upscale restaurants. However, despite this proximity, they’re still affordable neighborhoods for investors, with average home prices ranging between $90,000 and $200,000.
The neighborhoods around the University of North Florida (UNF) see a constant influx of students who need affordable housing for rental properties. In areas like Windy Hill, Park Ridge, and Sans Pareil, you can find ideal rental properties (apartments, multi-family homes, and townhomes) in the low $100,000-$200,000 range, while the average rent ranges from $1,200-$1,600.
Invest in Yourself With the Best Resources
Moving to a new area is tough, but starting a business there is even tougher. If you want to succeed as a Jacksonville real estate investor, you need access to the right resources:
- Lead Generation, as I mentioned earlier, Jacksonville is a seller’s market, which means you might have a hard time generating leads on cheap, distressed properties. The methods you use in other cities may not work as well here—for example, lead lists are so overused that they’re essentially worthless. Other methods, such as incoming marketing, are incredibly effective in Jacksonville.
- Networking is about more than schmoozing with other investors at conventions and seminars. As a new investor in Jacksonville, you should seek out training or mentorship opportunities with more experienced real estate investors who can give you specific advice on navigating our particular market. However, it’s also essential to connect with other people in the industry, such as contractors, real estate agents, and other investors.
- Financing, you can’t start investing unless you have the funding to purchase a property. This can be a little tricky for inexperienced investors who don’t have a portfolio to prove their credit-worthiness, especially if you’re moving to Jacksonville for the first time.
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “easier said than done!” After all, many investors spend years developing lead generation strategies, building a professional network, and earning the trust of lenders. Lucky for you, I have an easier way.
HomeVestors® Can Help You Start Investing in Jacksonville FL
The real secret behind my success as a Jacksonville real estate investor is that I didn’t do it alone—I joined HomeVestors®, a national franchise network with a proven track record in the industry. As an independently owned and operated real estate investment franchisee, I gained access to powerful lead generation tools, including the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” marketing campaign that has distressed homeowners coming to me with leads on houses.
I also benefited from a comprehensive real estate investing training course and the one-on-one mentorship of a local HomeVestors Development Agent to help me get my business off the ground. Plus, the HomeVestors lending portal connects me with a network of preferred lenders so I can compare loan offers and get financing on my terms.
Are you ready to start real estate investing in Jacksonville, FL? Request information about becoming a HomeVestors® independently owned and operated real estate investing franchise.
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.