Columbus County Investing

2 Replies

I have been searching for my first rental property for around two months now. I have been looking in Columbus County specifically in Whiteville, NC. Every house I go to seems to have major structural issues or they are in terrible locations. I have been trying to find something in the 50k-75k range. Do you think I am just being overly cautious trying not to get burned on my first deal or do I need to up my price in order to get a better quality house. I am just worried that if I go much higher there will be no positive cash flow left. Any information about the area would be greatly appreciated.

Columbus county (CC) has, effectively, 0 growth and 0 new residential development. Why would anyone (other than me;) build in Columbus county? 

The interesting thing, at least to me, is that new housing (what little there is of it) is almost all modular construction. There are some owner-occupied (meaning quantity 1) spec houses built, but the numbers are small. 

The only areas of potential development if you believe in conventional thinking are the CC side of the Leland boom (greater Wilmington) and Tabor City (greater Myrtle Beach). 

I have 86 acres in Hallsboro that I hope at some point to develop. The build plan I have will be "true" starter homes that will be priced about like modular. New construction means... no foundation problems, no structural issues, no functional obsolescence. I think there is a market for new, starter homes there. And I know why no one has done it. Very risky. 

From a rental perspective, I couldn't endorse CC in general because I had better opportunities in other NC cities like Greenville. I think the play is for entry level new construction, but it is inherently high risk. Numbers wise, I'd need a $75/sq.ft. builder on an improved (all site work, including septic and water taps provided) and permitted lot I would provide and my target would be $120/sq.ft. retail. Tall order. Very tall order. 

I've instigated over $900K in investment/economic development in CC to date. I could see that number increasing significantly but only time will tell. 

Hope that helps. 

I'm late to the game, haven't checked my notifications for a while.

Agree with Chris Martin on this one.  Whiteville doesn't have the growth or the structure to support a decent rental market.  I see houses is Whiteville posted on the Wilmington craigslist from time to time, usually overpriced and in a poor rental area.  I would head towards Leland for a better rental market that is supported by people commuting to Wilmington. 

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