I am interested in duplexes in the Hampton Roads area. I regularly see listings for duplexes in South Norfolk that look attractive on a price-to-rent basis, although maybe a little rough in terms of condition and area.
I would love to get some insight from locals about this area. I know about flood insurance, but what else should I watch out for?
Also, what's your take on prospects for improvement? Some of these duplexes are pretty close to relatively nice new construction. Maybe that signals a turn, or maybe it's just the usual block-by-block thing that all cities have going on.
S. Norfolk is street by street. Go sit on the porch of a property you are considering between 5pm-8pm. On some streets you sill see drug deals going on in front of you and prostitutes walking by. Others you won’t. I both own and property manage rentals in S. Norfolk and feel it mostly gets a bad rap from people outside the neighborhood. It’s one of those neighborhoods where kids who grew up to return to in adulthood. Personally I avoid buying century old property for investments. Be careful about assuming a newer house is not bound by the historic code requirements. These requirements are based on geography, and not building age. I found this out the hard way when flipping a 1960s house that was “in the historic zone.”
I also personally like South norfolk, I have done 1 BRRRR and 1 flip there, both successful. I agree with @Patti Robertson about the front porch technique, I also drive around noon to see how many people are outside.
Would have to agree with Patti and Sean, South Norfolk has some beautiful properties and pockets of nice areas filled with good people, unfortunately it also has the opposite. If your looking in that area I would also suggest as they have that you observe the property during the morning afternoon and evening during the week and weekends.
My two first criterias before I even think about buying (for rentals or rehabs) are the same: check flood zone on FEMA (search for FEMA flood zone map by address) and also the crime (I use Trulia who is color coded... I stay in the two first lighter colors); otherwise if I own the contract I wholesale it!
For crime mapping in norfolk I use https://www.crimemapping.com/m...
The city feeds them the data and will list reported crimes by address and incident type, gives you a better gauge on what’s going on. From the general area down to the property specific info over your determined length of time.
The issue with following the crime stats is that the majority of crimes done by drug dealers and gangs almost never end in arrest and this don't get reported in the stats. Each of our cities in Hampton Roads has a Facebook group for the called Police Scanner with the city name (different variations), where people log scanner activity. This is where you will hear about where shootings are happening. That's what I'm most interested in avoiding. Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the population at large, VB police just moved to a scanner feed that the public can't access. Ultimately this is good, because if we can access it the criminals can too. Our gang and drug violence is off the chain in all of our cities (with the possible exception of Chesapeake). Just look at the Virginia Beach incident two weekends ago that made national news.