Relocating to FL, Not set on where...

41 Replies

Hey all! 

I am looking to relocate to FL with my family and struggling to choose a destination. I have a steady residual income and there is nothing keeping us in Central Ohio. I currently have a commercial property and three residential, so I have some experience. From our travels, I am fond of the Pensacola/Destin area, as well as Jacksonville/St. Augustine, and Orlando/New Smyrna Beach. I would also consider Sarasota/Tampa/St. Petersburg. 

I'm looking to invest in a diversified portfolio that would include single family homes to flip, lease option and hold, smaller multi-family to hold and possibly select units to airbnb. 

I'd appreciate feedback from anyone and particularly someone who has experience in more than one of these areas. 

Specifically, I'd like to know:

1. How is the support system (REIA or similar)?

2. Is any one of these markets particularly under valued and/or have a high growth prospect? 

3. 

Whoops. . . 

#3. Are any of the areas highly transitional? 

During our recent travels, I noticed that Jacksonville seems to have some areas of town that are on the cusp of transition. While the Gulf areas are to be more rural, yet have opportunity in the rental market to military families. While I wasn't in love with the West Coast Ocean, I did think Sarasota was really quaint. It seems both Orlando and Tampa areas would have similar opportunities to Jacksonville. 

From talks with a lot of local business owners in each area, it does them like there's a lot of support for entrepreneurs.  In Columbus, we have a ton of resources like the Small Business Development Center, lots of co-working spaces, a monthly new venture pitch / networking called "wakeup startup", Columbus Young Professionals (CYP), a number of networking groups, etc. Any thoughts on this? 

There are probably questions I'm not answering, so fire away. Love your input and guidance. Thanks in advance!!! 

@Douglas Mack, Hello, I would suggest that you check the long term Weather map of Florida for the path of the hurricanes that come through here. We just had the one this year took out the Coast from Port Canaveral to Jacksonville. Lots of places under water for a week. I invested in Tampa 30 years ago for this reason. 

I like SW Florida though that is not on your list. The Collier/Lee counties area is about 2 hours south of Tampa. One notable fact about our market is that over half of our RE sales are cash buyers. This helps insulate us from severe market downturns because cash buyers generally won't be forced to sell if some event affects our nation. Ft Myers/Cape Coral have consistently rated very high for top increases in rents. I have put most of my money into Cape Coral and the results have been great. If you do choose to look in the Tampa area contact my friend @Jeff Copeland

John Thedford, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK3098153)
239-200-5600

I am a investor/wholesaler in Orlando and I am finding lots of good off-market deals all over central FL. There are several REIA's, but the one I like the best if GOREIA.com.

Every area has under valued properties because of the situation with the sellers. Orlando is seeing lots of growth and there are many new apartment projects going up. I even have one development project I'm working on. 

Jacksonville is very transitional because it is a Navy town. I lived there for 8 years while in the Navy. 

I just started a local BP meetings and they are at least 30 people to each of the two meetings we have had so far. 

@ Douglas Mack

Are you looking for an area to invest in or live in or both?

If you're looking to move - spend a month living in wherever you choose between July and August.

There have been many people who move to FL from the north because they remember how great the weather was when they were on vacation in January. But after 1-2 years of 97% humidity in the summer they can't take it and usually move back.

Knew I left out something. . . I am,  in fact, looking for an area to invest AND reside. For example, I'd like to love in St Augustine and invest in Jax, live in New Smyrna and invest in Orlando, live in Niceville/Destin and invest nearer to Fort Walton, live in Sarasota or St Pete and invest in Tampa. You get the picture. . . 

I was reading tonight about a couple places I have not considered before and don't know much about. Those were Pembroke Pines, Delray Beach and Port St. Lucie. 

In Columbus, my niche has been long-term rentals in good school systems. We take a full-service approach (lawn care, snow removal, furnace filters, etc.) and charge a premium for rent. I am now looking at investing in an area just outside of downtown that is highly transitional with an anticipated market swing in the next 10 years. Now that I don't find this as scary, I wouldn't mind similar opportunities in a FL market. 

Definitely should invest in Jacksonville, FL. I left Jacksonville in 2013 and went back last week. I've talk to Investors in that area, Southside of Jacksonville is a plus. Definitely a city to look at. Jax will be a hot spot soon. A lot of residential development projects going on over there. 

Douglas, 

We're based in Sarasota, and personally do not invest here. Excellent school system, restaurants, culture, but the city has priced the working class out of the rents. 

I like the location as a "base", as you can get to Tampa/St. Pete in 45-60 minutes, Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers in 45-60 minutes, Orlando in 2 hours, Miami in 4.

Hi Douglas,

I am an agent in Tampa and my brokerage specializes in Wholesale investment properties all throughout the Greater Tampa Bay area. We are having a lot of success here with flips and rentals and so are our investors. Now, there are a lot of areas in Florida that are great in investing, but there is a lot of potential in this area as well. 

There are a couple amazing REIA's here, mainly TBREIA and Tampa REIA. A lot of people at the meetings, really useful information, great feedback and very fun, so definitely research those!

This link should also help you. It's from Inman and lists the Top 10 and Bottom 10 cities in the country for Real Estate Investing. Orlando is ranked #1 and Tampa is ranked #2.

http://www.inman.com/2016/10/04/where-real-estate-...

Hope this all helps!

Zach Welner, Real Estate Agent in FL (#SL3365303)
973-951-9163
Originally posted by @Benjamin Pekarek :

Douglas, 

We're based in Sarasota, and personally do not invest here. Excellent school system, restaurants, culture, but the city has priced the working class out of the rents. 

I like the location as a "base", as you can get to Tampa/St. Pete in 45-60 minutes, Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers in 45-60 minutes, Orlando in 2 hours, Miami in 4.

 Do you invest in those other areas, Benjamin?

I really like that area. However, as silly as this sounds as it relates to choosing a place to live and invest, I do not like how calm the waters are there. When we hung out at the beach in St. Pete, my 14 y/o son and I were both really disappointed with the waves. 

Again, I partially feel that is a silly reason to not live somewhere. At the same time, if it's the sunshine and water (and let's be honest--taxes) that is pulling me out of Ohio... we should probably look forward to our day at the beach. 

Probably setting myself up to get barraged with that statement... but that's okay :)

I am originally from New Jersey so I totally understand your wave intensity preference! Quite a big difference between 7 foot waves and 6 inch waves! But even so, when you get used to that, it is very relaxing in the Tampa Bay/Clearwater area! Well worth it for me

Zach Welner, Real Estate Agent in FL (#SL3365303)
973-951-9163

Great article, Zach! Thanks!! We just left Orlando last night. I'm pretty certain that we want to live costal, but that doesn't mean we couldn't live from Port Orange to Melbourne. My longest drive to a property currently is about 40 minutes. I don't love it... but it's rare. Imagine an hour-ish wouldn't make much of a difference. Thoughts? 

When I moved down here, I had to live coastal. I love the water too much, even in Florida where you could live in Orlando and be a 60 minute drive to the water. I am very pleased with the Clearwater area, so much to do, great beaches, people, great place for my job. I'm sure you will be happy with whatever place you decide to move, though if you do not mind driving, it's good to find a place that is surrounded by multiple good investment locations. Tampa, Jax, Orlando, Sarasota are all great places. My work radius is roughly 2 hour drive surrounding Tampa and that has worked great so far. I'm new to the business but having lots of success. Since I can only speak about the Tampa area, it may seem a bit biased but you wouldn't have to drive much if you chose this area, even if you decided to limit your properties to one or two counties. Still lots of properties around here and a very hopping market for rentals and people looking to buy (Tampa is a multiple university city so lots of rental potential, the AFB brings in lots of families looking to rent or buy. So lots of potential here)

Zach Welner, Real Estate Agent in FL (#SL3365303)
973-951-9163

This post has been removed.

Originally posted by John D Reis:

Just like Zach i live costal but on the east coast of FL. There are some great deal in Port st Lucie, Jensen beach, Hobe sound , and Melbourne. Rentals are very popluar during the in season down here and foreclosures and pre forclosures are plentiful 

 John,

I do plan to toy in the AirBnB market a bit. However, I'm also interested in flips and long-term rentals. How is that market in the areas you mention? Where do people work when living in one of those coastal areas? Would it be reasonable to drive to Orlando or Miami to scope out, oversee work, manage and maintain properties? 

Thanks for the feedback to you and everyone else thus far. It has been really helpful and I'm hopeful we can gain even more traction on this thread.

Doug

Originally posted by @Douglas Mack :

Hey all! 

I am looking to relocate to FL with my family and struggling to choose a destination. I have a steady residual income and there is nothing keeping us in Central Ohio. I currently have a commercial property and three residential, so I have some experience. From our travels, I am fond of the Pensacola/Destin area, as well as Jacksonville/St. Augustine, and Orlando/New Smyrna Beach. I would also consider Sarasota/Tampa/St. Petersburg. 

I'm looking to invest in a diversified portfolio that would include single family homes to flip, lease option and hold, smaller multi-family to hold and possibly select units to airbnb. 

I'd appreciate feedback from anyone and particularly someone who has experience in more than one of these areas. 

Specifically, I'd like to know:

1. How is the support system (REIA or similar)?

2. Is any one of these markets particularly under valued and/or have a high growth prospect? 

3. 

 you are a few years ahead of my dreams. I'm building up my passive income in an effort to do something very similar. I go to southwest florida every year from Columbus and I would definitely recommend it. If you are looking for younger areas I'd stay in St Pete. What kind of commercial property do you have here in Columbus Ohio? Would love to chat sometime. 

Robert Ellis, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2014002724)
(614) 943-9520

This post has been removed.

@Douglas Mack

Welcome to Florida and good luck with your moving and decision making process!

I can't speak to the other cities around the state, but I do like your "live in St. Augustine, invest in Jacksonville" idea. I've toyed with it myself, but eventually decided I didn't want to be that far from my rentals for now.

What @Djemky Annelus says is true - Jacksonville has a lot of development projects going on, especially in the Southside area adjacent to UNF - many changes in a short amount of time.

When I moved to Jacksonville to attend UNF in 2004 that area was a pine tree farm - very stark contrast between now and then. Now the town center is the most popular shopping area in town, and student housing/rentals have grown exponentially.

On the other hand I completely agree with @Eric Delcol - the summer humidity can be overwhelming. I call it "summer hibernation" because no one wants to go outside unless they're going to be in the water. 

This post has been removed.

@Douglas Mack there are tons of REI clubs and associations in FL, pretty much one for every region.

You may find this podcast helpful if you are trying to get a guage for different FL markets: Invest Florida Show

It covers real estate investor advice for a variety of asset types for markets all over the state. 

Good luck!

If it's waves you want you need to be on the east coast. I'm in treasure coast area (Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart). Sourthern commutes are not bad until you hit west palm beach. Northern commutes are smooth sailing. Turnpike is a direct flight to Orlando. The biggest job producer in this area is likely the Nuclear Power Plant, not much else. But I like how far my dollar goes for real estate here. I'm renting my first property out now and plan to acquire a few more in the immediate area before I expand.

-Brent

I realized I did not give everyone a proper thank you for the input. Thank you, everyone!!!

What, if anything has changed for you each of you since this post originated 8 months ago? 

For us, we are currently traveling the state in our RV. We started in Niceville (just North of Destin), went down to Sarasota to see it and the Tampa area. We then crossed the state to Ft. Laurderdale for a week, up to Melbourne for a week, then backtracked to Jupiter for a few days and then heading up to St. Augustine for a few days. It's been a fun six weeks. We get to head back to Ohio for about a week and then will choose where we will take up permanent residency here in FL and move down before school starts.

I had zero interest in even going to the West coast but kept an open mind as my fiance had a real interest in that area. Sarasota is very much like Columbus, OH, making the transition seem easier. There were great homes in the Palm Harbor area with an excellent high school. In the end, I like that area overall as it relates to things to do... Broadway shows, baseball, football, hockey, beaches, etc. Any thoughts on these types of activities in Jupiter or Melbourne area?

We foud the Ft. Lauderdale area too busy. We weren't super keen on the houses in Boca, albeit, that has the best-rated school that is not a "choice" school. And Boca still seems really fast-paced, hustle and bustle, "corporatey", kind of area. We did really like Parkland as well. It's a bit of a trek to the beach though.

We fell in love with Jupiter in a matter of hours. 

We also love the Melbourne area as well, focusing specifically on Satellite Beach and Viera (for the schools). It has a chill vibe, incredibly friendly people and plenty to do, with exception to any major sports. It seems if we would have to head elsewhere for a Broadway show or pro game of sorts.

Would love any local insights to these areas, thoughts on traveling to and from them, investment opportunities, etc. 

Hope everyone had a great 4th!

Originally posted by @Douglas Mack :

I realized I did not give everyone a proper thank you for the input. Thank you, everyone!!!

What, if anything has changed for you each of you since this post originated 8 months ago? 

For us, we are currently traveling the state in our RV. We started in Niceville (just North of Destin), went down to Sarasota to see it and the Tampa area. We then crossed the state to Ft. Laurderdale for a week, up to Melbourne for a week, then backtracked to Jupiter for a few days and then heading up to St. Augustine for a few days. It's been a fun six weeks. We get to head back to Ohio for about a week and then will choose where we will take up permanent residency here in FL and move down before school starts.

I had zero interest in even going to the West coast but kept an open mind as my fiance had a real interest in that area. Sarasota is very much like Columbus, OH, making the transition seem easier. There were great homes in the Palm Harbor area with an excellent high school. In the end, I like that area overall as it relates to things to do... Broadway shows, baseball, football, hockey, beaches, etc. Any thoughts on these types of activities in Jupiter or Melbourne area?

We foud the Ft. Lauderdale area too busy. We weren't super keen on the houses in Boca, albeit, that has the best-rated school that is not a "choice" school. And Boca still seems really fast-paced, hustle and bustle, "corporatey", kind of area. We did really like Parkland as well. It's a bit of a trek to the beach though.

We fell in love with Jupiter in a matter of hours. 

We also love the Melbourne area as well, focusing specifically on Satellite Beach and Viera (for the schools). It has a chill vibe, incredibly friendly people and plenty to do, with exception to any major sports. It seems if we would have to head elsewhere for a Broadway show or pro game of sorts.

Would love any local insights to these areas, thoughts on traveling to and from them, investment opportunities, etc. 

Hope everyone had a great 4th!

 Douglas, we've been to sarasota like 10 times. love that area. great 2nd home to columbus. Are you going to continue to invest in columbus or looking more towards florida?

Robert Ellis, Real Estate Agent in OH (#2014002724)
(614) 943-9520

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