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5 Tested Strategies to Find Houston Investment Properties

Getting started in real estate investing is exciting, but you want to make sure you do it right. Fortunately, Houston, TX is a growing area with a strong job market and many attractive neighborhoods. Discover more about the real estate market and how to find investment properties.
Getting started in real estate investing is exciting, but you want to make sure you do it right. Fortunately, Houston, TX is a growing area with a strong job market and many attractive neighborhoods. Discover more about the real estate market and how to find investment properties.

Are you interested in getting started in real estate investing, but you aren’t sure if Houston is the right place? As a beautiful city and a great place to live and raise a family, Houston is an excellent place to look for investment properties.

With a strong population and a powerful job market powered by oil, gas, manufacturing, and healthcare, Houston is a desirable place to live. Houston is affordable as well, with housing costs below the national average.

All this means it will be easier to find buyers or renters in Houston than in many other areas!

Current Market Conditions

The median home value in Houston is currently $206,300, which is below the national average. This represents a 6.3% growth over the same time last year. As a result, this is a good time to get involved in real estate investing in the area and watch your purchase appreciate.

The diversified economy means that there aren’t any significant downturns expected, and the area has more than fully recovered from the economic downturn of a decade ago. It has also fully recovered from Hurricane Harvey, and there’s strong interest in properties that weren’t damaged in the floods.

However, damaged homes are selling quickly and inexpensively to investors, and if you plan to renovate and flip a home, this could be a great option as well.

Because of Hurricane Harvey, a lot of Houstonians were forced into the rental market. This gives investors a great chance to rent homes at excellent prices, as well as an opportunity to sell to those reentering homeownership a couple of years post-Harvey.

5 Best Neighborhoods For Investors

If you’re interested in investing in Houston, where should you look? With a metro area of almost 6.5 million people, you have a lot of options. Here are five of the best neighborhoods.

Timbergrove/Lazybrook. This area has seen a 2% appreciation in the last year but a 78% appreciation in the last decade. It’s a great place to invest and either rent or flip a property. Most homes for sale are one-story ranch style homes, so you’ll want to focus on families in this area.

Oak Forest (West and East). Oak Forest West has seen a 10% one-year appreciation and a 72% ten-year appreciation. Oak Forest East is similar, with 5% in one year and 98% in ten years. Located just outside the Loop, this area is very popular and conveniently close to schools and entertainment.

Garden Oaks. With a 3% appreciation in a single year and 65% in ten years, this growing area is another one to keep an eye on. There are about 1400 homes, a mix of cottages, bungalows, ranch, and traditional homes. It’s private and quiet but commutes are a breeze as well.

West University/Southside. If you’re looking to invest in luxury, this is your neighborhood. With a 12% appreciation in one year and 58% in ten years, this area is hot. It’s the 5th most expensive area in Houston and has luxurious family homes with three or more bedrooms.

Willow Meadows. Homes in this neighborhood have appreciated 4% in the last year and 58% in ten years. This deed-restricted community off Loop 610 offers easy access to major roads and boasts a civic club that handles the maintenance, beautification, and security of the neighborhood.

Where to Find Local Investment Property Listings

Where do you go to find investment properties in Houston? A lot of times you can find what you need on common portals. Other times you may want a specialist. Here are five strategies to work with.

Zillow and Other Portals

You can go to Zillow and look for “investment rental,” in Houston, for instance, to find out what’s available. You can also simply search homes for sale in the neighborhood you plan to invest in. Other real estate portals include Homes.com, Trulia, Redfin, and even Craigslist.

Look for “For Sale By Owner” Signs

If you’re in the Houston area, drive around your target neighborhood and look for signs that indicate an owner is selling. Generally, if a seller is not using an agent they may be in a hurry to sell or you may be able to get a better-than-usual deal on the home.

Look for Rental Issues

See if you can find “for rent” listings that have been active for several weeks. Those landlords may be having a hard time and be ready to get out of the business. You can also check eviction records at the courthouse and reach out to those landlords as well. Be sure you carefully vet these properties to ensure you aren’t buying into a bad situation.

Talk to Bankers

Networking is always a big win, so don’t be shy about letting people know you’re looking for investment options in Houston. See if you can talk to bankers, in particular — they may know about foreclosures or be willing to sell you a defaulted mortgage you can use to negotiate with the owner.

Find a Real Estate Professional

This tip actually goes along with each of the previous ones, but it can also stand alone. A local buyer’s agent with experience in real estate investing can clue you in on great properties and help you get the deal you need to be successful.

Find a Great Real Estate Agent

As you go through the property buying process, you need to have a full-service professional in your corner who understands the market and can help you negotiate the best deal. As an investor, you want to maximize your profits, and that means having a skilled pro help you determine and get the right price.

When you work with a Clever Partner Agent, you gain an additional benefit — you may be able to get a cash rebate of up to 1% of the purchase price. Use this toward repairs, a down payment, or simply to put in your pocket. It’s up to you!

Real estate investing is an exciting way to diversify your portfolio and bring in additional income. Be sure you don’t go it alone — work with a professional today!

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Thomas O'Shaughnessy

Tommy O'Shaughnessy is the Head of Research at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top local agents to save on commission. Tommy's team of data scientists create surveys, gather data, and analyze trends in housing, real estate, and personal finance. He directs public relations efforts, acting as a "data communicator" between his team and the press. Clever studies have been featured in Politico, the LA Times, CNBC, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and other publications.

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