South Florida Investing

20 Replies

I'm a new investor (zero deals under my belt) and am looking to get rolling with my real estate investing business. I have a real estate license and a FL state roofing license, plus have plenty of contacts in property management and in different construction fields in South Florida - however, I am finding it difficult even with access to the MLS and using LoopNet to find any deals worth their salt from Monroe County up to Broward County.

I'm lookin to buy and hold invest and prefer a tri or quad plex multi-family.  I'm starting to think I may need to change markets to the Tampa / St. Pete area or up to Jacksonville in order to find deals.


Does anyone have any advice or experience to help a newbie out?

Thanks!!!

Hey Tim, 

Welcome to the newbie Club! I've only bought, rented (2 yrs), and sold one property. I'm hopefully moving to Jacksonville later this year and have been looking extensively all over FL, especially in the J-Ville area. Everything from Low-Income, Middle-Class, Suburbs, MFH, Wholesale, and Foreclosures. Good deals are there, just not terribly plentiful. I too was looking for buy & hold specifically in Multi-Family. That being said, after listening to over 60 podcasts starting from the beginning of the BP Podcast and still working my way up through the years, I've noticed a trend among most guests that made me redo my plan [Which I've posted on a prior Forum post]. First, preparation is crucial because money is made when you buy. Got to get the deal done right and within preset margins from the start. Those margins are a byproduct of educating myself which is an ongoing process. And Second, leveraging your contacts and relationships with people in the areas you want are very important. I trust local realtors far more than the internet or sellers. I've gotten to where I'm cold calling brokers, giving them my story, telling them my parameters and what I am trying to accomplish, and getting on their email bang lists. It seems as though the good deals originate from these brokers and networking more than MLS, Redfin, Trulia, Craigslist, ETC. I look forward to following this post and hopefully seeing you finding success in a few markets that workout for you.

Best of Luck,

Adam Scheetz

@Tim Kanak I completely second what @Adam Scheetz stated. In addition, go to the market where you want to invest, plan on attending a few local REI events. This will allow you to connect (face to face!) with local investors, realtors, wholesalers and maybe even potential sellers.
Also, define your cirteria what type of property in what part of JAX you'd want to find. When a city has 33 zip codes, there will be some areas where you'd want to avoid completely! 

Best!

What part of South Florida are you in?

Small multifamily deals are tough to find right now.

So many investors and owner occupants are looking.

It's very competitive and overpriced because of this.

Brian, I'm in Fort Lauderdale, however I've also looked in the Keys and am familiar with the Miami market.  Even single-family or possible vacation rental deals are tough to find.  I've also been looking for a new commercial property for my roofing business - all of the foreign money has made it much too difficult to find fair deals down here.

Thank you for the input Adam and Alina.  I am only just now thinking of expanding to JAX or Tampa/St. Pete - if I do, I will definitely need to make all new contacts who know the market.  I'd prefer to invest in a B area or an area undergoing new growth - I'm planning some trips up the coast to explore both cities.

Totally agree ....there are deals but they are hard to come by down here.  I've turned my attention to other markets.  Prefer to lend down here than buy right now.  

UPDATE:  Been doing quite a bit of research and am thinking of going one of two routes:

1.  Finding a condo for Air BNB rental near the beach down here in South Florida.  Does anyone know where good investment opportunity lies in this regard or have any tips for a newbie?

2.  Focusing my investing business up in the St. Petersburg area.  The barrier to entry there is way lower than Fort Lauderdale / Miami and deals seem to be more abundant from the research I have done.  

If anyone with experience in either path would like to provide input, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks!!!

Originally posted by @Tim Kanak :

UPDATE:  Been doing quite a bit of research and am thinking of going one of two routes:

1.  Finding a condo for Air BNB rental near the beach down here in South Florida.  Does anyone know where good investment opportunity lies in this regard or have any tips for a newbie?

2.  Focusing my investing business up in the St. Petersburg area.  The barrier to entry there is way lower than Fort Lauderdale / Miami and deals seem to be more abundant from the research I have done.  

If anyone with experience in either path would like to provide input, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks!!!

 Both are great areas to invest in. Ft lauderdale and Miami have more year round because of the size of the market, business operations, etc but the price point is higher and so is a higher barrier to entry. I'd also look at Key West. Highest occupancy rate in the country by some reports. What areas most interest you? 

I live in Fort Lauderdale.  I've looked in the Keys.  The rents are way too low compared to the price of real estate for buy and hold investing. 

Air BNB could work there, but properties aren't on discount there - not many deals.  

I personally prefer Fort Lauderdale and feel clients would probably treat the property better, as Miami has more of a party vibe in regards to tourism.

Be careful with condos especially when doing Airbnb. 

Many of the condo associations have rental restrictions.

I stay away from condos in general for a variety of reasons.

Cash flow volatility, rehab/rental restrictions, special assessments, etc.

Brian,

Do you have experience renting out Airbnbs down here?  I've actually rented a couple condo Airbnbs out on the FL west coast (Sanibel / Naples area) and find you can usually get a better deal than at a hotel on the beach.  I've also rented a couple of houses on the keys Airbnb and keep hearing about how the margins are better than long-term rentals, but I know that depends on location, amenities etc.

@Tim Kanak The margins are better however it's also much more work from a management perspective due to the high turnover plus the potential of rental restrictions and regulations for vacation rentals and STR's.

Originally posted by @Tim Kanak :

UPDATE:  Been doing quite a bit of research and am thinking of going one of two routes:

1.  Finding a condo for Air BNB rental near the beach down here in South Florida.  Does anyone know where good investment opportunity lies in this regard or have any tips for a newbie?

Tim, I can provide you a contact that I've used to look at short-term rentals in Miami.

Hey Tim, I hope all is well brother! I just acquired this property as a wholesaler down in Naples, Fl. If you're interested in taking a look, there's a lot of equity in the deal. If not, keep me in mind, maybe we'll work together in the future! -Chris 

@Tim Kanak I purchased three properties in St. Petersburg. I closed in August. After many phone calls and offers, I made a few contacts in St. Petersburg. I finally flew down to meet a few REA's and see a few properties that I was very interested in. One of my contacts ended up giving me an opportunity to look at a pocket listing of 3 SFH, all with tenants in place (Section 8) and after running the numbers they cash-flowed nicely. The Section 8 rules are Landlord friendly. So between that and having property management I don't have to do much.

St Petersburg will be revitalized.  There are big plans for Tropicana Field AND there is a lot going on with the St. Petersburg Urban League for the residents of these low income areas for ages 14 thru 26.  There are even literacy programs for younger age groups. I firmly believe the homes I bought will appreciate over time.  I've been looking at Airbnb's in the area too.  There is one down the road from one of my properties.   Would definitely consider Airbnb in the future.  Otherwise I will fix and flip them eventually.

@Tim Kanak I'm a new Realtor that has lived in St. Petersburg for pretty much my entire life. St. Pete is an awesome city. FSBO's are worth looking into as well as multifamily owners looking for renters who could be convinced into selling.

@Francene Iaizzo I visited St. Petersburg Labor Day weekend to go on a tour of the city and see what areas would work for my investing strategy. The downtown area of the city is great. I am generally looking for B neighborhoods and found a few nice looking areas (Historic Old Northeast, Shore Village, Seminole and Dunedin - way north). What kind of discount were you purchasing at? I prefer to give the BRRRR method a shot.

@Jason Abellada I'm looking for deals if you find anything, I prefer tri or quads - but am open to ideas if there is a potential great vacation rental property. 

An update for anyone interested... I've been analyzing and seeing 5+ properties per week in my free time.


The South Florida market is too hot right now I'm finding for multi-families on the MLS. For a deal to work, it probably needs to come from an off market source. If anyone knows good wholesalers, I'd be grateful for an introduction or PM.


I am finding it is more likely for a deal to work (looking for a min. 10% CoC, no PM) via AirBnB. I know people who have been successful with STRs, but it's hard to run the numbers without an AirDNA subscription. Does anybody have experience with buying STRs and running the numbers ? Could you share some info? I would love to take someone out to coffee and help provide some value as a rehab and construction contractor with anyone experienced willing to take a chance on a newbie investor.

Thanks all!

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