What's the best city in Florida to invest in?

40 Replies

Hey guys, I'm kinda newbie here and want to start to invest in Florida, can you give me some recommendations on best cities to invest? Best zip codes? I'm looking for 50-60k for hold & buy. Thank you!

Hey Guy,

Where in Florida are you looking exactly? The entire state or did you already narrow down a specific area (Central Florida, South Florida, North Florida), with that price range if you are looking in South Florida I would suggest to look at Lake Worth, Boyton Beach and some parts of Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach... let me know if you need any help would be happy to be of value.


Depends on your situation and what you plan on doing.  Who do you have that you trust on the ground, if you're living out of state and how far are they willing to travel?  

If you wanted to do buy and holds for 50-60k, in broward/dade county area you're looking at primarily really run down neighborhoods or complete tear-down houses which need 25-35k in rehab cost.

 I think a good first step would be to find out what's going to be closest to you if you are going to live here. If you're not going to live here, find out where your "boots on the ground" would be able to go to check on your rentals.

Just my two cents,

Ok so first, thank you guys for your support. It's my first post here and really glad for all your help! I'll try to be more specific: I am an investor. I have 5 properties in Israel, where I'm originally from. The market here in Israel became really expensive. So I've started to look here, and headed from many people that Florida state is one of the best states to focus on. Now, my system is to look for foreclosures, short sales and auction deals. Most of them need some rehab, and totally it should be around 50-60k. So from my research I've heated that Jacksonville, Tampa and Lakeland are good places to look at: by their high numbers of foreclosures deals, neighborhood with these range of prices, and good forecast. Of course there are many more categories in my research but these are my conclusions. It's really doesn't matter for me whether it's central, south or north Florida. I just need a good market, and I will find my people, like I do in Israel and Europe:) What's your opinion about that? 

I'm from Lakeland and I love the market here. Sleeper community between Tampa and Orlando.. Low cost housing with good rent returns..  Also decent fix and flips here.

Message me and I'll send you the market data, you can decide for yourself

@Account Closed Lakeland is a great market for buy and holds and hasn't been pushed up in price like its surrounding markets. Lake County Florida, Eustis, Mount Dora and Tavares are also great cities to get houses at that price and rent well.

@Account Closed ","user_avatar":{"medium":{"url":"https://biggerpockets.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/avatar/no_avatar.svg"}}}" href="/users/GuyN">@Account Closed about Lakleand being a great buy and hold market.  I have one of my rentals there and I'm looking to add more.  You have many great people on BP that are local to your target areas.  If you visit the area I'd love to grab lunch or coffee with you.  

Hey @Account Closed , good luck with investing abroad. I'm also looking into investing in the U.S., is it your first time, are you doing it personally or via an Israeli company?

Are you looking for partnerships or going solo without foots on the ground?

All the best and happy holidays,


Originally posted by @Guyoz Golan :

Hey @Guy Nizri, good luck with investing abroad. I'm also looking into investing in the U.S., is it your first time, are you doing it personally or via an Israeli company?

Are you looking for partnerships or going solo without foots on the ground?

All the best and happy holidays,


Hey @Guyoz, I'm not doing that through a company, I wrote you a pm, take a look.

@Guy Nizri,

To make the @ work, do the following:
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There's no "best" city or zip code. In Florida you can have markets in side of markets, and they can change by simple crossing a street. 

Pick a general area first for example, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and then contact a local investor's agent to help you identify neighborhoods that investors are working. Any investor's agent should know how do do these searches for you.

@Guy Nizri @Jake Stenziano

Hi Guy,

I am a New Yorker Moving to Florida for the sam exact reason as you, to invest in real estate.  New York is too expensive and cap rates do not make sense where I live.  I am going to move to Jacksonville, Fl because the market has a fair amount of large multifamily assets, properties in the 100 to 500 unit range.  I would say to research a city for what type of asset you are  targeting and then look at demographics, i.e. job growth, population growth, size and number of households.  Make sure there is at least 2% job growth for 2 consecutive years where you are investing.  Jobs=tenants.

Good Luck

Like @Gino Barbaro I moved to Jacksonville from an overpriced market.  There are some great areas to get your $50-60K rental property here in JAX as well as in Tampa.  At that price I would suggest staying away from the beaches and sleepy towns.

@Account Closed

Hello to you both. I am a buy and hold investor in Florida focusing primarily on multifamily property. Based on what you have described, Central Florida would be your best bet. This includes Tampa, Lakeland, Orlando or what is known locally as the I-4 corridor since each of these metros are along interstate 4. 

The main draw for me are the jobs. Tampa in particular has a lot of jobs moving to the area. Amazon has just built large facilities in both Tampa and Lakeland and Johnson and Johnson is opening a corporate headquarters in Tampa. Tampa is also home to Macdill Air Force Base which is US Central Command. It is the largest employer in the area and keeps demand for housing high.

Lakeland lies right between the Tampa and Orlando metros, so it is emerging. There are still a good deal of foreclosures in inventory in Tampa, but we are also experiencing a big uptick in building. For multi-family, deals in Tampa are few and far between if you are looking for Class C or better. You are better off finding off market deals. Listed properties are usually between 6 or 7 CAP.

My recommendation for Florida is to go to the job growth, which is currently Central Florida and look for off market deals as the market is moving fast and listed properties are already becoming overpriced. 

Feel free to PM me, I would love to discuss further.

 @Guy Nizri   and @Guyoz Golan  I think one of the best investment you can make is in Jacksonville in FL.  I agree with  @Erik K.  that for 50-60K you can purchase great rental. Although I live in Miami Beach my team work in Jacksonville and we can give you adequate advice where to invest. 

I'm from  the Western NY region and have frequented Fla often [think snowbird].  I am hoping to invest in the Fla market in the near future too.  I'm partial to the west coast though.  It seems buying out of town would be complicated given limited time for finding  the right property and negotiations etc.  Factor in travel and the likely-hood that multiple trips would be needed and expenses could really add up.  Wow, makes me think about some members traveling from Israel to expand their portfolio --impressive.  Ideas to starting this venture; sometime it seems like this idea is more of a pipe dream than reality.

Welcome to Bigger Pockets! :) If you are looking to invest in Florida, I'd check out the Bigger Pockets Real Estate Investment Market Index that was just posted today at: http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2015/10/14...

The best cities to invest in the state would be Tampa, Orlando, and Miami. I can't give advice on Orlando and Miami (I don't live in these cities or know their markets very well), but in Tampa you'd be hard-pressed to find a property that will be $60k total for price of property + the cost of renovations. Can it be done? Sure. Can it be rented? Probably. The quality of tenants though will not be the best and the area will be questionable. If you are going to have a property manager, this might not matter but if you are going to manage these properties on your own, I'd be cautious and make sure to get a good deposit. For that price range, you might investigate New Port Richey, Florida -- which has cheap property but blue collar neighborhoods that aren't as sketchy as the $60k Tampa markets. There are lots of foreclosures in this area and competition but if you can find a way to get them rented, there could be some profit potential.

Have you considered college towns? College students always need a place to stay, cheap property or not. While they are messy and you'll definitely need a deposit, you can require co-signers (like their parents) and not have to worry about rent being late. 

Good luck!

In tampa at that price point I'd look in 'seminole heights' it's an area that should have great appreciation in the next few years with low vacancy rates. There are also parts of St Pete that would work well.

Shoot me a message to discuss

Shalom @Account Closed .  I would say stick to the bigg metro areas, where you'll have access to a wider array of service providers, specifically realtors, that you can use as a guide to help you source properties.  The metro areas to pay attention to:

-South Florida Tri-County Area (Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach Counties)

-SW Florida (Ft. Myers and Naples area)

-Central Florida (Orlando and surrounding areas)

-West Florida (Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota areas)

-Northeast Florida (Jacksonville)

Good luck!

@Account Closed , your property manager is going to make or break your investment in Florida. At least at that price point. Our management company is based in Sarasota, and I personally live in, and invest Sarasota. That being said, I push 95% of my clients into either Pinellas, or Polk county for the higher returns. They like it because I charge them the exact same management fee whether they buy here, or buy there. 6-8% in Manatee/Sarasota, and 20+% in Polk/Pinellas. There's a totally trashed quad in Lake Wales for $29,900 + Rehab. Sounds like something that would be right up your alley, both price and return. 

When you invest on the stock market you don t visit the company you re investing in so I would think investing in the real estate market should be a similar approach; i m not going to visit the area nor the condo or house etc to make my investment, i m gonna rely on numbers, tax, rental income in a close area, highest purchase price in the past, age of construction, local average income, family/single % population ratio, potential for value increase, and usually not listen to real estate agents who have nothing else as a academic background but a real estate agent license etc....

I don t invest in real estate to live in it but to get a return.

I invest in NW Florida, Pensacola, Milton/Pace, Gulf Breeze/Navarre area. There is a strong military economy as well as tourism. My properties are mainly 3-4 bedrooms and 1.5-2 bathroom brick homes that rent for $825-$925.

In this market you can buy distressed and fix for a total investment of $45k-$60k in middle class areas. Its more of a linear market and not high rates of appreciation, but good for cash flow. You may want to google search or zillow search some areas, some are better than others, and some areas you may want to stay away from, as with any market.