Rental properties in Springfield area (JAX)

26 Replies

I have been told that the Springfield area of Jacksonville is up and coming  and a good place for rental properties. I am seeking any feedback on this. Thank you. 

Thank you Lillie. I am familiar with the Riverside area and that was where I was going to concentrate my energy, however, I was getting feedback that Springfield was a good area as well. 

Travelle,

from my experience, people have been talking up Springfield for years, but I don't see much to show for it.

Personally, I am much more optimistic about Riverside than Springfield. People actually WANT to live in Riverside, while the only people in my network that buy in Springfield are investors. Certainly, if you get in on the bottom of an upswing in Springfield, you could enjoy some nice appreciation on top of good cashflow, but the area seems much riskier than some nearby alternatives.

Luke and Mark, 

Thank you for the input. I lived in Riverside during my internship and thus I'm more prone to that area because I know it. Apparently I should stick with that strategy. 

Hey @Travelle Mason

Springfield and most of downtown Jacksonville has been "about to explode" every few years. Unfortunately there's always some reason why it hasn't exploded. There was an article in the Jacksonville Business Journal a while back when Shad Khan had announced his commitment to redoing the shipyards talking about the entire plan to revitalize the downtown area. Apparently every decade there has been a push to revitalize downtown and each time it's met in failure with millions of dollars wasted. 

That being said, while i am extremely skeptical about the long-term appreciation in Springfield if you are investing strictly for cash flow it can be a very lucrative move. There will definitely be some short-term appreciation as well which can play out nicely for a 2-3 year hold. 

Riverside is a much more desirable area of town and there is a lot to do there that attracts people. Because of its desirability however prices are pretty high relative to other areas of town. This has caused many investors to invest "in the path of growth" by placing their money in Murray Hill which is adjacent to Riverside and Avondale. In my opinion Murray Hill is becoming too competitive as well although you can still find deals there. 

Depending on your goals it may make sense to look at other areas as well. 

Feel free to PM me if you need any additional help I'm happy to connect. 

Travelle,

Springfield is a solid area of town for investing and the seeds of growth can be seen driving up Main Street (new coffee shop, new restaurants, etc.). Others have pointed out that it is an area of town that seems to always be on the cusp of revitalization but seems to always be cut down by something. Personally, I feel the area is rooted deep enough now to sustain the current growth based on what I have read and seen over the past few years. Even the areas north of Springfield like Brentwood are seeing signs of growth as well. 

Riverside is one of the most desirable areas of town but with that desirability comes higher prices and typically lower returns. @Joseph Hamaoui mentioned Murray Hill which I think is a great call. This area still has deals as well but they are becoming a little harder to find. 

In the end, it all depends on your goals and return parameters. 

Ive been debating about Springfield for a few months now.  Its a historic area with nice older homes that beg to be rehabbed that have great potential  to be equivalent to riverside. I agree with @Corey Clarkston new coffee shops and upscale restaurants will definitely help with growth. 

This is the problem with Springfield, the neighborhoods and zip codes around it are the poorest in Jacksonville. Its not like you can be in Murray Hill and benefit from Riverside or Avondale. Springfield has some suspect and sketch neighborhoods next to it. So as Springfield comes back, its really hard to see the surrounding neighborhoods growing like others do in town. Dollar for Dollar, I'd rather be in Murray Hill, Riverside or Avondale. 

@Corey Clarkston brings up another good point about the Springfield debate. You do see some signs of growth there but like @Jack Bobeck is saying there isn't an adjacent neighborhood to sustain the growth. You have to really be ready to place the bet that Springfield will continue it's current growth and sustain it long-term in order to really reap the benefits. 

I don't think it's an absurd bet.  If you do invest in Springfield as a long-term play you won't suffer in that you will make substantial returns even with evictions and vacancies just because the cost of entry is so small compared to the rent. If you hold the property long enough you can make back your initial investment in a few years and then it doesn't matter if the property appreciates or not because you'll at least break even. If the area does take off then you really make some money. 

Investing in Springfield would pay off but it has to be the right property and the buyer would need to be willing to hold for at least a year. A prime example is a debilitated duplex that I showed to a new investor a few years ago. It was a FSBO for 30k. They passed on the property. Two years later it was on the market as a fully renovated single family home for $270,000. Believe it or not it was under contract at that price! At the time that I viewed it, it was outside of the historic area, but over the following 24 months the revitalization had trickled down enough for the lucky investor to make a pretty penny.

There are a few investors dedicated to Springfield because they have an understanding of the market in that area. It’s not for everyone but I wouldn’t count it out. You cannot buy that low and see the same return in Avondale, Riverside, or Murray Hill. 

@Tiffany Hardy Real Estate is a cycle, I purchased properties in Murray Hill for 30k during 2012, and now they are valued at 150k. So its all depending on where you buy in the cycle and your time horizon. You can get that return if you are willing to wait for the market to come around. I myself, am selling here in this market, I am waiting to buy again, not right IMO, as prices are too high in NE FL. 

It's been a long while since I've passed through the J'ville area, but I am looking to invest in that region.  Had also looked at Springfield properties a few months ago, but for some reason, decided against pulling the trigger. @Jack Bobeck , since you're already in that area and electing to sell, where else there might one consider looking? 

This post has been removed.

Hello, I am looking to invest in the Jacksonville area as well. I am willing to spend more to be in Riverside and Murray Hill versus SpringHill areas. I’m looking for both SFH and Duplex-Quads. If you’re an agent familiar with these areas and have properties available please PM me. All the best!

The problem in Murray Hill is crime is on the rise very rapidly. I have multiple houses on very solid streets in Murray Hill and the tenants are thinking about moving out because of burglaries and assaults. Riverside and Avondale have always been very solid investments in Jacksonville but Murray Hill was always just kind of on the edge of being cool and hip but I think unfortunately crime his creeped in too far and is overtaking Murray Hill past the point of return. I think you can compare Murray Hill to Springfield... Murray Hill kind of took off where Springfield never did... Even the nice places to eat and the clubs and the breweries are closing down in Murray Hill because of the crime.. 2 to 3 times a week you can read on the news of various problems happening in Murray Hill... I think it's a good place to invest but not a great place.

@James Sharpe I think the real estate market is really hot right now. I would look at foreclosures or work with wholesalers where you can get a better deal than retail. If the numbers work, go for it. I just sold property in Murray Hill that I purchased for $38 per sq ft for $76 per sq ft. I'm not a buyer of 80-100k bungalows in MH right now, as they were on sale a few years back for under $20 per sq ft. Work with wholesalers to find a good deal, but don't think a 20k house is a good deal right now, make sure the neighborhood is solid and hold onto your cash, you will get another chance in Real Estate, its always a cycle and we're nearing the top of this one. 

@Mark Fries I've owned 10 MH properties, still own 4 and I dont think MH is as bad as other parts of Jax. The history about the neighborhood is that the residents were mostly blue collar, many used to work at the SCL shops before CSX shut it down and its a simple area. Many nice people still love their yards and their neighborhoods. Then many of us went in and bought homes and turned them into Section 8 housing. I had Section 8 tenants too, I am guilty of it, but none anymore. I've had wooden doors kicked in, places robbed, but it comes back to the tenants. The best ones I have had in MH, cared for the property as if it was their own. They are hard to find, but when you find them, they will love the property and improve the neighborhood. I've owned on both sides of MH, East and West of Edgewood, houses a bit nicer west of edgewood, but some great people on both sides. 

Originally posted by @Mark Fries :
The problem in Murray Hill is crime is on the rise very rapidly. I have multiple houses on very solid streets in Murray Hill and the tenants are thinking about moving out because of burglaries and assaults. Riverside and Avondale have always been very solid investments in Jacksonville but Murray Hill was always just kind of on the edge of being cool and hip but I think unfortunately crime his creeped in too far and is overtaking Murray Hill past the point of return. I think you can compare Murray Hill to Springfield... Murray Hill kind of took off where Springfield never did... Even the nice places to eat and the clubs and the breweries are closing down in Murray Hill because of the crime.. 2 to 3 times a week you can read on the news of various problems happening in Murray Hill...

I think it's a good place to invest but not a great place.

I am confused and flabbergasted. I haven't seen or heard about any crime increase at all. I feel like you're talking about a different Murray Hill somewhere far away. Although Murray Hill in Manhattan is doing pretty well too.

Hint: There are zero clubs or breweries in Murray Hill so not sure how any could be closing down. In fact there is one brewery planning to open this year and they are doing a MAJOR rehab on the first block of Edgewood Ave. Clubs? I guess there are two music venues but I'm not sure anyone would confuse them as clubs and in any case neither is closing. My only thought is that you are referring to Fat Kat Nightclub? That place closed down over 4 years ago so maybe you are posting 4.5 years too late? The problem with that theory though is that the club was closed down by the city because of the crime it was causing...not because of crime increasing in the neighborhood lol. Many view that as the turning point for MH, when it finally got over the hump if you will.  

And which are the "nice places to eat" that are closing? At least some of those actually exist but I'm not aware of any that are closing. La Cena and B Street Eats opened in the last 1-2 years. Magnolia's did close...for a few days as it changed ownership and rebranded. El Jefe is nearing completion of an over $1 Million renovation and plans to open soon. Moon River, Maple Street and Community Loaves could be nice I suppose. Are any of them closing? Do you have some insider info? I think you are batting 0 for 3.  

Originally posted by @Travelle Mason :

Luke and Mark, 

Thank you for the input. I lived in Riverside during my internship and thus I'm more prone to that area because I know it. Apparently I should stick with that strategy. 

 If you can find investment properties that suit your criteria in Riverside then absolutely it should be your top choice. Riverside is excellent but just very difficult to find any "good" deals. 

Re: Springfield, I do think we have reached the tipping point and Historic Springfield is going to be noticeably improved every year for the foreseeable future. The folks who said Springfield has been "on the cusp" for over a decade are absolutely correct. However, I think the past 6 months have indicated that they are reaching a critical mass that is driving enough baby steps of progress on the commercial side. And I say this as an investor who has not believed in Springfield for the past decade. So while I could be wrong in my prediction now, I have not been bullish on the neighborhood until about a year ago. That said, the problem is that prices for this area (mostly just the historic district) are already very inflated as investors have been pouring in for many years in anticipation of what we are seeing now. While I think they many of them entered too soon and for too much money, it's now pretty hard to find anything that's a slam dunk. I waited for years til I felt Springfield was on the cusp and the risk would be relatively low, and when I started making offers 12-18 months ago I think the window was rapidly closing on the good deals and sadly I missed out entirely. 

I was merely only trying to point out the fact that crime is on the rise in Murray Hill. According to the JSO website, In the past 30 days there have been 97 reports of vandalism, theft or assault in the Murray Hill area. This is up 29% compared to last year around the same time. I own and rent out multiple houses in the Murray Hill area and the tenants have been there for years and they have recently reported they are thinking about moving out because they are worried they are going to be vandalized or have a problem. It sounds like you either live in Murray Hill or have an extreme affection for the area on a personal level. I try not to mix my personal feelings with my rental business. My business view point was that it's a good area to invest but not a great area. That's the only point I was trying to get across with my post.
Originally posted by @Mark Fries :
I was merely only trying to point out the fact that crime is on the rise in Murray Hill. According to the JSO website, In the past 30 days there have been 97 reports of vandalism, theft or assault in the Murray Hill area. This is up 29% compared to last year around the same time.

I own and rent out multiple houses in the Murray Hill area and the tenants have been there for years and they have recently reported they are thinking about moving out because they are worried they are going to be vandalized or have a problem.

It sounds like you either live in Murray Hill or have an extreme affection for the area on a personal level. I try not to mix my personal feelings with my rental business.

My business view point was that it's a good area to invest but not a great area. That's the only point I was trying to get across with my post.

 Lol I don't live in Murray Hill and it's certainly not my favorite area. Our Jax properties span six different neighborhoods and yes, I would say I like them all as they were each strategically chosen, MH included. I chose to speak up cause I simply didn't agree with your assessment and particularly the way you tried to make your point. So it wasn't a misunderstanding then? You just completely made up a story about breweries and clubs closing and thought no one would notice? That's kinda sad. 

Quick...without researching first...what are the "very solid streets" of MH where your properties are? Not that I suspect you'd be audacious enough to lie about owning rentals in the area, but your post and lack of knowledge at least invites the question. 

BTW, you did recommend Riverside as an area to invest, didn't you? (Which I agree with). Have you crime mapped that one on JSO's site? Take a look and see how it compares to MH. You might be surprised...

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here