Why Flipping Houses in Atlanta Is a Good Bet For 2020

There just seems to be no end to the growing interest in flipping houses in Atlanta—even for simple curiosity’s sake. Every time I travel to attend a real estate investing conference or to help conduct a house flipping training program for new investors, everyone asks about the market here. Even when I go to see family in Dallas or visit my kid’s school in Chicago, I can almost bet on being approached by would-be and well-seasoned investors alike who want to know just how hot real estate in the ATL really is.

And, as a long-time investor who has made a very good business flipping houses in A-Town, I tell everyone that the real estate market here is hotter than ever—and that things are only just starting to heat up. 

Flipping Houses in Atlanta is Heating Up

Honestly, I think part of what’s sparked everyone’s curiosity about the Atlanta market is that, despite concerns over a coming recession and the effects on real estate it may or may not have, home sales here just keep humming along. Prices are doing alright, too. Days on the market aren’t anything to sneeze at, either. That Atlanta’s real estate market is considered a seasonal one—and that rumors of national recessions almost always send buyers everywhere running for the hills—makes what’s happening here all the more impressive.

What is happening here should impress you, too. Shortly after 2018 drew to a close, Atlanta was named by ATTOM Data Solutions as one of the few major metropolitan areas that continued to see record home price peaks. And, by mid-2019, it was becoming clear that our market was only getting hotter. Average and median home sales prices increased by 6.5% and 7.3% respectively from the same time last year. That’s higher than what’s happening on the national scale.

Contributing to this overarching upward trajectory in home prices is the consistent demand for homeownership in the city. As the southern hub for several industries like agriculture, healthcare, and film and television as well as Fortune 500 companies like Home Depot and Delta Airlines, job opportunities abound here.

In fact, our unemployment rate—only 3.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—is one of the lowest in the country. The cost of living in Atlanta is low, too, when compared to other cosmopolitan cities with several million people. For the upstart professional, growing family, or recent retiree who wants to get more for their money and still live in a big city, buying a house here in Atlanta is a great choice.

And, meeting that demand makes a very good reason to choose Atlanta as your city for getting into flipping houses—especially as 2020 approaches. The desire for more affordable and moderately-priced homes in and near major metropolitan areas is only going to increase. Sure, it can be pricey to purchase property in some Atlanta neighborhoods. Buckhead, Midtown, and Virginia Highlands come to mind. But, even these areas could potentially attract buyers from regions where home prices are outpacing wage growth, like the northeast and southwest.

Still, part of what contributes to, even improves, how much money you can make flipping houses is knowing which neighborhoods make the best bets. And, it’s these hot Atlanta communities that hold the most promise for providing better-than-average returns in the coming year:

The Hottest Neighborhoods for Flipping Atlanta Homes

Adair Park

In many ways, Adair Park is the quintessential up-and-coming Atlanta neighborhood that stands to really flourish as the next year passes. Like a lot of in-town communities, this one suffered the kind of political, social, and economic setbacks over the years that tend to drive people out and push poverty and crime in. But, perseverance is the name of the game in Adair Park and so is finding creative solutions to all kinds of problems.

Now, not only is there a diverse local population that celebrates its differences, there’s a line of other folks wondering if they can come to the party. And, why wouldn’t they? Crime is down, schools are good, and art is embraced. Upcoming revitalization projects, like turning old schools into affordable live/ work spaces, will only further boost its appeal. It’s a short commute to downtown, too.

It could be a short ride to realizing decent returns on your fix-and-flips, too—if you play your cards right. As popular as this southwest Atlanta neighborhood is bound to become, it doesn’t yet compete with the city’s hip eastside haunts. So, although it’s currently a seller’s market here, homes currently stay active longer than Atlanta’s average. But, that trend won’t last once everyone gets wind of Adair Park’s deals.

Until then, as an investor buying, rehabbing, and selling homes, be sure to keep potential holding costs in mind when calculating your offer to buy. Then, be ready to sell as median home list prices continue to rise.

Reynoldstown

Only two miles east of downtown, the historic district of Reynoldstown is turning buyers’ heads the hotter this neighborhood gets. Believed to have been settled by freed slaves, cultural pride and ethic diversity are mainstays for this urban community—despite the homogeneous shifts that gentrification can often create. Of course, it’s this very strength in community that keeps drawing all kinds of people in. A high walkability score, short commute to downtown, and amenities that appeal to both singles and families don’t hurt, either.

The neighborhood’s overall appeal is why it won’t hurt you to search for deals here. Median home sales prices in Reynoldstown are trending up by 4.1% year-over-year. For an increasingly hip part of town that’s growing pricey to enter, demand keeps going north and could send your returns that way, too—as long as you don’t pay too high a price to get your hands on a house. To avoid that mistake, focus on buying off-market real estate deals from families who no longer want the burden of paying for an in-town lifestyle for one more year.

Cabbagetown

Just across the tracks from Reynoldstown is another community-centered neighborhood that’s growing in popularity almost as much as it’s holding strong to its sense of pride. Close to being crippled in the past by a combination of economic and natural disasters, Cabbagetown emerged from the rubble in the 1990s to become a beacon of southern strength.

When local and federal revitalization programs stepped in to help fund the fight, this once rundown section of A-town also began to get pretty hip. With Atlanta artists now moving next door to those who work in construction, banking, and entertainment, the economic diversity of the community is starting to look as colorful as its history.

Cabbagetown’s median list and home sales prices through the years do seem a bit like abstract art, however. Depending on the angle from which you look, at first glance, you may not know if you should invest. But, since both homeownership demand and prices for homes overall have moved upward, your intentions to buy houses to renovate and sell in Cabbagetown should move forward—especially in 2020. Fixer-uppers owned by old-schoolers on a fixed income still exist on this side of the tracks. But, that won’t be the case for long. So, you might want to board the train to Cabbagetown now if you want the chance to see potentially good future returns. 

Decatur

Only a few miles northeast of downtown Atlanta sits Decatur—a 4.2 square mile urban neighborhood that’s somehow maintained a small-town feel. That the area is easily accessible by three of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail stations makes this feat all the more impressive. A lot of visitors come and go in Decatur, from within the metro area and beyond. With an openness towards people of all political leanings and celebratory attitude towards art, culture, and family, many of those visitors decide to stay.

In response, Decatur City Commissioners recently approved another residential development project to help meet the growing demand. In the past, that’s proved to be an economically-sound decision that’s helped bolster local businesses in addition to providing much-needed housing. New builds aren’t happening fast enough, though, and they may not meet Decatur’s ever-increasing demand anyway.

If the rise in median home list prices across all four of Atlanta’s seasons is any indication, Decatur is hot and will only get hotter. Even with prices trending up by more than 4% year-over-year, houses don’t stay on the market for long. Things could slow down as the holidays approach, but it isn’t likely they’ll stay down. Once 2020 really gets going, your flipping houses business could easily heat up—if you’re careful not to get swept into paying too high a price on a home just to get in.

For as hot as these neighborhoods already are, and for as much as they’re expected to continue heating up, knowing where to look is only part of how you locate deals. In fact, the best way to find houses to flip is to use a lead-generating strategy that looks for good distressed properties with the potential to produce great returns anywhere—whether the neighborhood is established or up-and-coming. Not only will such a strategy help ignite your investing career, but it’s also your best bet for keeping it hot. 

Your Best Bet for Igniting Your Investing Career

I’ve been flipping houses in Atlanta a long, long time. In fact, I was buying, renovating, and selling homes back when the market was just lukewarm. That’s not to say that I’ve always been successful at it. My first few years as an investor were actually as lean as they come. In terms of market health, those were the years that should have really fattened up my wallet, too. That goes to show you not only how green I was, but how poor my methods were for finding deals.

My curiosity was piqued, however, when I drove by one of those “We Buy Ugly Houses®” billboards. I’m sure you’ve seen them, too. They’re a part of the HomeVestors®’ national ad campaign that uses print, radio, and TV to encourage distressed homeowners to call HomeVestors® franchisees about selling their homes. When curiosity got the better of me, I looked into whether I could become an Atlanta-based independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee so that I would have access to the same kind of marketing tools and resources.

Turns out, the answer was yes. And, that’s when everything about my investing career turned around. Before long, qualified leads on Atlanta homeowners who needed to sell their older, smaller, ugly houses started calling me—and my professional real estate investing career caught on fire.

Curious about how you can start a professional real estate investing career “flipping houses” in Atlanta as part of the “We Buy Ugly Houses®” team? Then it’s time to request more information about the limited opportunities in one of the country’s hottest investing locations.

Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.

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