I don’t often take advantage of the fact that I live so close to the Riverwalk. But, when family is visiting or it’s time to celebrate a special occasion, you better believe it’s my go-to location for having a good time. It’s not just that I like to see—and show off—the USS North Carolina when the opportunity arises. It’s that I can almost always count on something serendipitous happening, too.
Take last weekend, for example. I’d barely stepped onto the boardwalk to meet up with some real estate investing colleagues when I heard a young man named Nick calling my name. Eager to start investing in real estate at a young age, he’d just emailed me that morning about which up and coming neighborhoods in Wilmington, NC, he should look at first. Not surprised at the coincidence, I invited him to join us on our walk. It was, after all, the very point of our discussion.
The Best Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Wilmington NC
As someone who’s been finding fixer-upper homes for sale in Wilmington for well over a decade—and not always during the nation’s best time to invest—I’ve got a lot to say about where to purchase property.
First of all, our port city is a great place to start a career in real estate investing because, on the whole, it’s a place where people want to live. With big-city sensibilities and a small-town vibe, we get a fair share of upstart Millennials and savvy retirees who made it their goal to someday call Wilmington their home. If you’re there to provide these newcomers with a house when it comes time to make their move, your chance for realizing your fair share of decent returns could be pretty good, too.
Additionally, we’ve got a well-balanced market here—even with the seasonal market fluctuations that are quite common in the south. And, with other markets shifting to favor the buyers, having a little local balance can keep your business going steady.
That said, currently, Wilmington’s median home list prices are trending upwards by 3.1% year-over-year, according to Realtor.com. Home sellers are getting nearly 99% of asking price, too. Provided you know where to invest, there is no reason your potential returns can’t trend up as well.
That’s where looking to Wilmington’s up and coming neighborhoods comes in. Typically, these areas are either struggling communities on the cusp of transitioning or more established ones seeing a sudden rise in popularity. Here in Wilmington, we’ve got a little of both.
We’ve also got a few residents currently in pre-foreclosure. In fact, new filings are up by more than 100% from this time last year, according to RealtyTrac. If you can find these distressed homeowners before things go from bad to worse, you may be able to get your hands on potentially good deals while also doing the homeowner some good. And, in my experience, there is no better place to look than in those neighborhoods that are starting to shift.
Here’s where you should direct your investing attention:
Though real estate in Wilmington is some of the most expensive you’ll find in all of North Carolina—the city is nestled next to the beach, after all—some neighborhoods remain surprisingly affordable. Sunset Park is one such community. Sure, it’s further inland than Masonboro or Odgen. But, its proximity to Cape Fear River and Greenfield Lake still make it a very attractive location—especially now that much of Sunset Park has been revived.
The push to renovate homes and businesses in the area—and start community-driven activities like the Annual Garden and Art Walk—were buoyed by Sunset Park’s inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. But, don’t let that deter you. The decision to buy investment property or not in this neighborhood should hinge more on whether there is a growing demand and an uptick in median home sales prices, rather than on whether there are guidelines for rehabs. Plus, the most stringent restrictions are actually placed on demolitions.
Since homeownership interest is on the rise and median home sales prices aren’t far behind, the chance to pocket good returns by buying, repairing, and selling at least one or two Sunset Park homes is a great one—as long as you keep your costs under control. You could gain bragging rights, too, for being a part of this blossoming neighborhood’s ongoing change.
It’s been more than 10 years since the Wilmington City Council voted in favor of annexing unincorporated Monkey Junction, but that doesn’t mean the debate over the issue has ground to a halt. It’s not that adding to the city’s tax revenue base is a bad idea. Annexed neighborhoods tend to benefit from a larger pool of public funds, too. It’s that this oddly-named community with an entertaining history insisted it was doing just fine on its own.
Of course, that Monkey Junction was fostering new residential and commercial growth is largely why the neighborhood was targeted for annexation. Originally named after a gas station that was home to one or more monkeys sometime in the 1950s, the community grew into its namesake around this local attraction. Since then, growth has come in fits and starts, but progress recently—and finally—really pick up. Even the long-awaited development of Battle Field Park is slated to break ground within the next year.
There’s been significant movement in median home list prices, too, which have been on the rise by almost 9% year-over-year, according to Realtor.com. Homes often sell faster here than in other parts of Wilmington as well. With the demand to live in an increasingly hip part of town that remains less expensive than some of its pricey neighbors, it’s no wonder. But, you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy residential investment property here sooner when you see how buying low and selling high in Monkey Junction works in your favor.
Brooklyn Arts District
Not only is the Brooklyn Arts District home to the Brooklyn Arts Center—where visitors always head for a good show—it’s home to a community of creatives thrilled to see the entire neighborhood finally getting the recognition it deserves. A devoted friend to small businesses and student residents, as well as the arts, this near-northside urban part of town was, for a time, widely dismissed.
But, as its reputation as an affordable and safe place for diverse populations grew, its popularity among home buyers began taking off. More mixed-use and commercial developers are gaining entry into the area—something current residents feel is needed for more growth—and demand to live in the Brooklyn Arts District will crack wide open. When that happens, median home sales prices will certainly take off, too—especially if demand causes local inventory to squeeze. You can expect rent prices to shoot up as well since local students and artists tend to go first for an affordable rental.
If, by the time these shifts occur, you’ve already been investing in single-family homes to rehab and sell or rent out, your bottom line could be flourishing, too. Wait until the area moves from a work-in-progress to a work of art and you could get priced out when you could have gotten in on the ground floor.
Kings Grant may well be the quintessential up-and-coming suburban enclave to make today’s list—which means you should make a point to add it to your own. Though it’s already a well-known neighborhood that sits just outside city limits, it’s also a part of Wilmington’s metro area that’s getting an increasing amount of notice. The reason? For a safe, family-friendly neighborhood that’s not far from the water, it’s still relatively affordable—even for the average home buyer. So, when they’re priced out of downtown, but don’t want to head for the hills, Kings Grant is where new homeowners can go and still get a pretty good deal.
Provided you know how to find and assess the value of residential investment property, the deals are there for you, too—for now, at least. With median home sales prices trending up by more than 18% year-over-year—and the average house selling for more than listed—it won’t be long before your local competition catches suburban fever too. By then, you want to make sure you are well ahead of the game.
It’s always an event of sorts when my colleagues and I get together to discuss which up and coming neighborhoods in Wilmington, NC, we plan to invest in next. But, we all know that, more than anything, it’s the quality of your leads that make a difference when it comes to getting good deals. If you don’t have a strategy for generating leads on real estate investment opportunities that have a high conversion rate, you don’t really have a career—no matter where you invest.
So, obviously, I rounded out our chat on the Riverwalk by pointing Nick in the right direction for finding the best Wilmington leads.
Rise to the Top of Your Game Faster with Qualified Leads Now
Most of my fellow colleagues and I started investing in real estate after spending too much time in corporate jobs we didn’t like very much . In fact, I was reaching retirement age before I ever began. So, the fact that Nick wants to start investing in up and coming neighborhoods in Wilmington, NC, sooner rather than later is impressive. Though, I have to tell you: it’s never too late to begin.
Take my career as an example. I didn’t start buying, renovating, and selling property until I was midway through my fifties. But, because I joined the HomeVestors® team as an independently owned and operated franchisee, I increased my chances of rising to the top of my game faster than if I’d tried to tackle my new career alone.
Along with the week long comprehensive training I received as a new HomeVestors® franchisee and my own desire to work harder than anyone else—I also have the nationally-known and trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” ad campaign to thank for where I am today. Through TV, radio, and print, it reaches more distressed homeowners who need to sell their homes fast better than anything else I’ve seen. And, the best part is that, when those homeowners call, the leads come straight to me. It wasn’t long before I became my own investment success story. With access to more qualified leads, you could soon be saying the same.
With limited franchise opportunities available in Wilmington, NC, the time to request more information about how to gain access to more qualified leads is now. Don’t put off the potential to rise to the top of your game till tomorrow, when you can get started with HomeVestors today.