How soon is “too soon”?

20 Replies

Hello BP community! I and my wife will be moving to Jacksonville Florida from the San Francisco bay area. I'm lucky enough that the sale of our home here will give me options to invest if real estate (SFR or MFR) in Florida. Now the issue is that we won't be moving for another 12-18 months. So is it still too soon to start asking questions about Jacksonville or learning about which areas might be a good spot to start looking for potential investments? If it is too soon when do you think would be the best time? 3 months? 6 months? And if it's not too early any suggestions for Jacksonville specific communities would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve only been on the site for a few weeks but I’ve already learned a ton and look forward to learning more and meeting potential new friends.

Thanks for any help and insight


Hi Jason,

and welcome to BP!

Me and my boyfriend are also planning on moving to Jacksonville to invest. We will be visiting the different neighborhoods around the city before selecting anything.

Are you planning to do buy-and-hold? And have you visited Jacksonville? I would recommend starting out by seeing different areas and getting in touch with local realtors or turnkey properties.

Best wishes,


Learn everything you can... now. It's easier to continue learning then it will be to get up to speed. Start now and you'll probably have a good idea of where you want to invest, you'll know those areas well, you'll know the trends, the rents, you'll be able to look QUICKLY at MLS and evaluate deals.

But all this will take time... so start now.

Never too soon to get started. Jax is a good market but there are lots of poor investments that get pitched because the market is strong so just make sure you do your due diligence. 

@Ingrid J. Hi Ingrid. Yes I'm looking for buy and hold that has cash flow and if I get appreciation above inflation that'd be nice too. My wife lived in Jacksonville for 6 or 7 years but that was a decade ago and I'm sure things have changed. We will definitely drive the neighborhoods and get to know the city before we do anything but I'm hoping to narrow down the search somewhat before we get out there. so how'd you choose Jacksonville to move to?

@Chris Carson Thanks Chris. My wife lived in Jacksonville a while back but I'm sure it's changed. I don't know much about the city really other than it's supposedly growing and real estate is still relatively cheap. Do you have any suggestions what I should check out on line to learn more about Jax? Any help would be great!

Metro Jacksonville and the City Data forums are both pretty good. They are not geared towards REI but they will give you some good info on the various areas of town. Other than that, your best bet is to talk to local investors.

Start getting a hold of brokers out there now if you can and build your network. Read every business journal and have a better understanding of what works best in your market, even if things change, you have a base line to your analysis. 

If you can start attending any REIA clubs that specialize in investing out of state (since you're in the Bay Area) and talk to others, I'm sure you're not alone.

Here's a local REIA meetup you may want to attend:


@Jason Barnett Okay, nice. It's good to have someone who's lived there before. What did she think of the Springfield neighborhood? We're considering it for buy-and-hold.

We began by evaluating what was important to us personally, before analyzing any metrics. There are many great cashflowing cities, so we wanted to make sure we selected a place that fit our personal criteria first. An example of one of our personal criteria was: it needs to be one flight away from Norway, so we can easily visit family and friends. Secondly, we had to make choice of whether to go only for cashflow (typically Midwestern cities) or cashflow and appreciation (slightly more expensive west coastal cities). Finally, we did an evaluation based on where we would like to live. It's gotta be somewhere you can see yourself enjoy yourself, so we ended up with Florida, instead of some of the places in the Midwest. When doing an analysis on cashflow, average purchase price and crime statistics we ended up picking Jacksonville. It wasn't so much that it was the only choice. It was more the fact that we needed to conclude our research to avoid getting analysis-paralysis, and just start somewhere. 

I'm still considering doing apartment complexes in the Midwest for cashflow, but that can always be done later on. The most important thing is to get started, and learn as you go. 

@Ingrid J. Sounds like you've done your homework. My criteria were slightly less stringent...Had to be growing, no state tax, and no snow. This left Texas and Florida (both of which are growing) but I think I've already missed some of the growth in Texas so Florida had more opportunity. When do you think you'll be moving? 

@Jason Barnett Well, that works as well. And coming from Norway I can understand the part of wishing away the snow.

It depends on what kind of deals we find. We're in the process of evaluating our lending opportunities, and ideally we'd like to start with a househack.  

Kathy Fettke Real Worth Network has some info on Jacksonville. Free to join: