New to Bigger Pockets Forum - Investor in Lakeland, FL

10 Replies

I’m Stephanie Simmons. I started my real estate investing with a rehab/rental I picked up in 2008 for my mother in law to live in after her husband suddenly passed away. After a few years she got back on her feet and I kept it as a rental property until 2013. In 2016, I purchased 2 condos by Disney and ran them as Airbnb - in the black within 6 weeks. I got divorced and had to liquidate them. About a year ago I decided I would try flipping. I got my real estate license so I could get access to realtor tools and to reduce my costs of buying and selling. I bought my first property in February (it took me 4 months of putting 5 offers a week). I had some other things in my life going at the same time - so it has taken me longer than I wanted to get it on the market. I’m going to be selling it and wanting 3-4 units for rental In Lakeland, FL where I live now.

Where is that property you are looking to sell ?

I highly recommend Lakeland for rental properties.

@David Tsedaka

I have a townhouse in St Petersburg I just listed for my partner. Retail

I have a 3/2 in College park (Orlando) that will be listing in about 3 weeks

The flip I have is a 3/2 in Ocoee (western suburb of Orlando) that I need to finish up and get on the market.

David - I joined a couple of local investor groups on FB but really haven’t found wholesalers that have what I am looking for...

@Stephanie Simmons "I’m going to be selling it and wanting 3-4 units" are you looking for multifamily, or are you looking for 3-4 single family properties? are you looking for Turnkey, or are you willing to rehab? do you have an idea what class neighborhood you are looking for i.e. A, B, C? Is there somewhere specific in Lakeland you are looking for i.e. south, north, specific zip codes? do you consider properties in cities close to Lakeland i.e. Mulberry, Bartow, Winterhaven, Auburndale? do you have a price range in mind?

Originally posted by @Stephanie Simmons :

I’m Stephanie Simmons. I started my real estate investing with a rehab/rental I picked up in 2008 for my mother in law to live in after her husband suddenly passed away. After a few years she got back on her feet and I kept it as a rental property until 2013. In 2016, I purchased 2 condos by Disney and ran them as Airbnb - in the black within 6 weeks. I got divorced and had to liquidate them. About a year ago I decided I would try flipping. I got my real estate license so I could get access to realtor tools and to reduce my costs of buying and selling. I bought my first property in February (it took me 4 months of putting 5 offers a week). I had some other things in my life going at the same time - so it has taken me longer than I wanted to get it on the market. I’m going to be selling it and wanting 3-4 units for rental In Lakeland, FL where I live now.

 Welcome to the site Stephanie.

Originally posted by @Christian Paez :

@Stephanie Simmons "I’m going to be selling it and wanting 3-4 units" are you looking for multifamily, or are you looking for 3-4 single family properties? are you looking for Turnkey, or are you willing to rehab? do you have an idea what class neighborhood you are looking for i.e. A, B, C? Is there somewhere specific in Lakeland you are looking for i.e. south, north, specific zip codes? do you consider properties in cities close to Lakeland i.e. Mulberry, Bartow, Winterhaven, Auburndale? do you have a price range in mind?

I’d prefer a shoulder neighborhood- upper end of lower class - where they cannot typically afford or get approved for a home loan  

2 duplexes would be ideal but I am open to any good deals

I’d prefer turnkey (easier to finance) but I can totally rehab. 

Looking at areas between nice and not so nice - a few blocks off of a lake in North Lakeland would be fine. South Lakeland is fine but it seems to be the higher end of real estate. I’d be good with something close to either of the colleges. 

I’m new to the area - I’ve been spending my extra time driving around trying to learn my way around.      So any suggestions you have would be great!

 

Originally posted by @Stephanie Simmons :
Originally posted by @Christian Paez:

Looking at areas between nice and not so nice - a few blocks off of a lake in North Lakeland would be fine. South Lakeland is fine but it seems to be the higher end of real estate. I’d be good with something close to either of the colleges. 

I’m new to the area - I’ve been spending my extra time driving around trying to learn my way around.      So any suggestions you have would be great!
 

North Lakeland is a great area, especially when you can get close to I4, that gives you a great advantage for renting, because it places people who work towards Orlando or Tampa close to the interstate allowing them to jump on the I4 quickly. The Colleges can be a little tricky, especially close to SouthEastern University, the North side of SouthEastern University can be a rough area, however the University is needing more housing for the students, so you see many of the properties being bought for student rentals, just be sure to check out the area before you buy.

Lakeland in general has great investment neighborhoods, where I find most of the value is in some of the class C neighborhoods, which you will find areas which have a mix of older to newer homes, and you can tell in areas where some investors are picking up lot's to build, which is a sign of a thriving neighborhood, I have recently picked up a couple houses where they are building two new houses in the same block, and we picked up the houses for a steal.

One suggestion I have is to check out the local PCREIA, they meet every first Thursday and third Thursday of each month, you will find many local investors and a great community to learn from.
http://pcreia.com/

@Stephanie Simmons , welcome to BP. You're in the right place. The more rural areas of Florida like Lakeland and its environs offer great investment potential. 1% deals can still be had, and sometimes more.

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