Swingt, Home Buyer in Miami-dade County, FL

Is Lehigh Acres a good investment?

Asked by Swingt, Miami-dade County, FL Mon Nov 15, 2010

The houses are crazy cheap there, I can buy a 5 year old house that cost 200K new for about 40k now.

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9
Swingt,

Careful buying a home for $40K in good ol' LA. They are likely unlivable or have chinese drywall in them. Here is a blog in did on how to ensure you get 50% ROI year over year some of the investments where in LA..

http://2000shortsales.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-get-50-ret…

I would be happy to help you and your investing.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Lehigh Acres has attracted much attention over the past few years as the poster child for the housing bust. The NY Times article posted below by Maggie provides a detailed overview of some of the challenges facing this community. You may also want to read an article from the St. Petersburg Times titled: Lehigh Acres Florida's lesson in unregulated growth which provides a great historical look at this community:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/growth/article1025808.ece
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
Swingt,
The prices are low, that's true, but it pays to do some research before you commit any money to a property.

According to the New York Times article referenced below, Lehigh Acres is an extreme example of the real estate "boom and bust." The article is from last year, but the story explains what happened there, and why it happened.

Since many people living in Lehigh Acres are without jobs, it may be a difficult place to find a renter for any property you might buy. Here's the article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/us/08lehigh.html

Warm regards,
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
Watson Realty Corp.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
hi Swingt, you should check on chinese drywall in Lehigh Acres

For in depth info on the chinese drywall problems which are big in Florida see my blog; here is the link.

http://www.trulia.com/blog/monirmamoun/2010/10/chinese_drywa…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 5, 2011
Lehigh Acres is a very unique place and the purchase of investment property should include some specific information from those knowledgeable with the different areas of Lehigh. We have provided maintenance and repair services to property management companies on rental properties in Lehigh Acres for several years. Lehigh is a huge area that is very different from one area to another. Some areas are primarily duplexes while others can be very remote and more than 30 minutes away from shopping areas. Rental income will vary widely throughout the different areas but that is usually addressed in the purchase price. There does not seem to be a shortage of potential tenants but in my experience the rate of evictions and major rehabs between tenants is much higher in Lehigh than in other areas of southwest Florida. In most cases the rehab costs exceed the damage deposit but usually not significantly.
Chinese drywall is definitely an issue but there are enough properties that you can avoid that issue if you choose. We are seeing more and more chinese drywall properties being rehabbed and put back on the market. With so many other properties available I would not consider chinese drywall properties as an option at this point. Almost certainly you will be looking at some intial costs to get the property rental market ready as most have been stripped of A/C equipment, Water systems and in some cases the electrical wiring has been stripped from the property. In addition most will have been broken into multiple times requiring additional repairs.

If you are considering the purchase of investment property anywhere in southwest Florida I would recommend establishing a relationship with a contractor or repair/maintenance company who can provide you with specific information concerning the areas of Lehigh and their unique challenges. We assist investment property owners who live outside of Florida in maintaining and monitoring their properties. Our knowledge of the area combined with our ability to take care of maintenance and repair has proven valuable to out of state owners. Information is key and the more you have the better decision you can make regarding the purchase of investment property. David Hillyer, dave@1callps.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 1, 2011
There are mnay good investments in Lehigh Acres, many that are selling for that cheap will need work but if you have the right team for the work it can be done reasonable. I just sold one to a client a little west of Lehigh Acres for $37,000 and he has renovated it for $15,000 ( and did it nicely, granite counterops, etc) and now he could sell the house for about 80,000 if he wanted to.
The right investment may take a bit of time to find but they are definatly out there and worth it.

Also, some that cheap that seem Too Good to be True turn into bidding wars and end up selling much over the listed price so be ready to go above.

I would be glad to give you more real estate information about the Lehigh Acres area!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 12, 2011
There are several things to beware of as mentioned in earlier posts. Chinese drywall not withstanding, in Lehigh because of the fact that there are many vacant homes in sparse developments, vandalism can be an issue. We've found this on many "unbelievable" deals that we have visited, homes entirely gutted, including..but not limited to..all systems. The best deals in my opinion can be found in established developments, where central water/sewer are part of the equation and the homes have been well maintained. I have my eye on several pool homes in the Country Club Estates area, which are all listed in the 90K range. Homes in this area rent for between $800-1000/month making your annual ROI very attractive. If you'd like a free PDF file on how to invest in Lehigh property visit: http://www.floridahomesinvestors.info
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Duplexes are selling for $23 to $29 a sq ft. You cannot build for that price so if buying cash you will get a very good cap rate
http://www.lehighacresfl.net/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 17, 2010
Great answers below. Just because something has an incredible price does not mean it is a great investment. However.....that being said......you cannot build them anywhere close to where you can buy them. That should tell you something right there.


jessemcgreevy@gmail.com
239-898-5329
http://www.Bonita-Estero-RealEstate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 16, 2010
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