Me and a couple of friends had the idea of investing in property in Macon, specifically in close radius to Mercer University. As far as cities around me go, most property is dirt cheap there, but was built in the 1900's. Ex. A 5 bed 3 bath Victorian for 50,000 in prime location or 2 bed 1 baths for 10,000. (fix and flips, of course.) I can't tell whether you'd be making a fair amount of money flipping century old houses, or digging a very deep trench for yourself. Would it be wise to invest here? Does anyone know the market well enough to offer advice?
Around Mercer University it can be tricky, because the neighborhood can go south very quickly. Anything in walking distance may be OK. Student housing can be profitable. The more desirable areas to live are North Macon and by Hartley Bridge going towards Warner Robins. What are the street names for some of the houses you are interested in?
As a Realtor in the middle Georgia area you have to be very careful about investment property or any property in Macon Georgia. There are some great areas that have beautiful homes and some areas that might be good for investing but there are also very bad areas with high crime rate in Macon. If I were you, I would suggest looking into the Warner Robins and south areas to invest in! It has a huge rental market due to Robins Air Force base.
I agree with @Courtney Spiers however I do believe it is risky to make your investment based on the income generated by another industry (in this case the military). I have personal knowledge that ether Warner Robins or Dobbins Force Base may be reduced or shut down due to DoD budget cuts. If Dobbins shuts down the area will not be as affected as if Warner Robins shuts down. But dont take what I say as 100% true, just something to think about
I can see where you are coming from, but there is always risk with every investment and that just being one of the risk associated with it.
The advice here is solid. Macon is very spotty. I've looked at buying multi / single families there. It's so tempting! When you run the numbers, your ROI always hits the marks. But the location... The number of murders alone will scare off any good tenants / buyers.
That's why I've stuck with Warner Robins. As said, you could worry because it is a one-horse-town but you can resolve that by developing your own diversification strategy. For me, starting out in WR has been a great experience. The competition has been relatively low (compared to Atl), inventory has been moderate, and the purchase to rent ratio is between 1.5 and 2 (I buy n hold).
I recommend you actually get out there and learn your market first hand. You'll quickly figure out what suits your personality.
Robins is not getting shut down. We are not even on the BRAC list. Additionally, the #1 think the DoD looks at when shutting down a base is the economic impact. That alone will keep it open. Dobbins, on the other hand, is in Marietta, close to Atlanta, with a bazillion other industries around it.
If you are used to a big city life and crime is common, Macon may be okay for you to invest in. I do section 8 in WR and they always need housing and ask if I have homes in Macon
I would not invest in Macon expecting to attract Mercer students. I was a Mercer student. I can tell you that there is no way I would've lived anywhere close to the campus unless I was actually ON campus. It's just not the best area of town. Several guys I know did live in and around college street, but very few girls did. As a parent, I would not let my kid live in that area.
That said, I have contemplated buying a multi-family closer to the law school and medical school, hoping to attract some guys to rent. Not that I wouldn't to girls, its just as a female myself there is no way I would've felt safe walking to campus (either the main campus or the law school). A couple houses came up for sale last year that were right across from the law school campus, literally across the street. Even so, the numbers just did not work. And, keep in mind, most of those houses are quite old and they have the issues that all old houses have, even if they're in great shape.
I'm not sure I'd flip in that area, either, because who's gonna buy? Maybe a professor or something, but most professionals buy in North Macon.
Be careful with those old homes as a beginner. They require a lot of money to fix and maintain.
You can always go check out records at the sheriffs office to determine if the area is suitable
I've thought about investing there often, as property is so cheap, but my friends that went to school there all say that it's a dump. Also, there seems to be a ton of properties on the market for such a small city... Is a deal really a deal if there's no one to live in it?