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6 overlooked real estate markets for investors

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

Let’s face it – investing in primary markets takes a wealth of capital and competition usually makes for less than desirable returns. Sure, New York and San Francisco sound exciting in theory, but real estate investing isn’t about exciting. It’s about making high returns and building a secure future for you and your family. There are plenty of opportunities where you can do just that – only maybe not where you first expected to.

El Paso, TX

Aerial image of El Paso, TX Real Estate

By all economic measures, things have been looking up in recent years for El Paso, the border town that sits right at the crux of Las Cruces, Ciudad Juárez, and Chihuahua City.

Population growth is robust. The Mexican peso has also gained strength, helping the borderland economy hit $13 billion in commercial activity. And home values are up 11% over the length of 2019.

Half military town, half college town, the city boasts more than 1,000 restaurants and bars along with 35 museums. In the hot neighborhood of Castner Heights, buyers can get three-bedroom homes, for $175,000 and rehabs for much less.

Cape Coral, FL

Image of Cape Coral, FL

Set on the Gulf of Mexico in the Southwestern part of Florida, Cape Coral has 400 miles of canals where homeowners would love to tie up a boat behind their own home and even catch fish from their own dock. Those beautiful inland waterways were overtaken with toxic foul-smelling, blue-green algae blooms after Hurricane Irma which hurt the real estate market for the past couple years. A perfect opportunity for investors, now that the Army Corps of Engineers has been testing water filtration systems to collect and remove those sorts of deadly algae blooms.

Investors can get into the area for under $300k right as buyer interest is picking up again.

Augusta, GA

Augusta, GA boat dock

Augusta has a lot more going for it than a prestigious golf tournament. Founded in 1736, on the beautiful banks of the Savannah River, Augusta is only two hours from Atlanta and two hours from the coast.

The military town has recently brought in medical and manufacturing jobs and opened a U.S. Army Cyber School!. This means the town’s unemployment rate dropped substantially, from 5.8% (a couple of points higher than the national average) in 2016 to 3.3% at the end of 2019.

Augusta even offers more than 700 restaurants, 14 museums, and a wide range of homes that are much cheaper than the price of other Georgia metropolitan areas. Buyers will pay up to $250,000 for 4 bedroom homes that are close to the golf course.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

The Steel City might have to change its name since its revitalizing as a tech hot spot and medical hub. It also regularly shows up on national lists of best cultural and dining destinations. For a city of 300,000, Pittsburgh has 1,800-plus restaurants and 129 museums, more than any of the other cities on this list.

On the flip side, there remains a decline in population. Since 2010, the city has lost 1.4% of its population. But fewer people means more housing options and better deals. Buyers love that The Steel City is relatively safe, culturally diverse, and an affordable place to live." There are plenty of homes needing to be rehabbed, as well as foreclosures that investors can jump on for an absolute steal.

Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge is plagued by a high crime rate downtown – that’s why people are moving to the suburbs. But the overall metro area has still grown 3.6%!

Even minutes from the city, remodeled homes are selling for $275k.

These areas are full of historic buildings and beautiful oak trees, as well as lots of parks and waterways.

Columbia, SC

South Carolina’s state capital might not get the attention that Charleston gets, but it still has a lot to offer, perhaps the best being affordable housing. About $100,000 less than Charleston, actually. That means real estate investors can find rehabs for dirt cheap!

Columbia is home to BlueCross BlueShield, the University of South Carolina, and a large military base (and you know how we feel about military rentals).With nearly 750 restaurants and 32 museums, the town attracts young professionals and families with its highly rated public schools, multiple parks and nature preserves, and its own fun winery.

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