I have an associate that buys and rehabs properties in that zip code exclusively. He has accumulated 5 properties in about the past two years. He lives in one of them in order to keep a close eye on his investments. You just about have to do that right now to keep the house and everything in it from getting up and walking away.
He just bought 2 of those properties in the past two weeks. One at the recent foreclosure auction that was held over a two week period in Atlanta and one directly from a foreclosure agent that had it listed. The one he bought at auction has 3 levels finished and had quite a bit of updating done by the previous owner. It had a 2nd building with additional kitchen, bath, bedroom and living area that all need updating. He paid $42,500 and when he gets it fixed up can probably rent it as two seperate units or sell it for considerably more.
The other he bought was an amaxing deal. It was listed at about $25,000.00 as a 3br/1ba single family unit. He talked the bank down to $22,500 and closed on it about 12 days ago. It turns out that it is a DUPLEX with TWO 3BR/1BA units. That's $11,250 per side. What a lucky find. He already has a tenant in one side at $500/month with no repairs needed.
Last part of the story. He bought his third property early this year for $35,000...put $40,000 into updating....nice updates like completely restoring original hardwood floors, knocking out concrete walls in the home to open up the floorplan, adding cherry cabinets, granite counters, lots of slate and tile in bathrooms, updated fixtures, deck out back. He was actually plannig on moving to that property from the one he lived in next door. Instead someone walked in off the street and offered him whatever the appraised value was and could close in 30 days. He sold it the same week he bought the other 2. Sales/appraisal price was about $160,000. That netted him about $85,000 in just over 6 months. That's over 100% profit. That is one way to get it done in that zip code right now. The key is you have to be down there in the mix to get it done this way. He is also very savvy about aquiring his upgrade materials cheaply through builder's selling out their product inventory, craigslist, store closeouts...etc. He also has a contractor that can do just about anything for about 30% less than the average contractor. This enables him to add considerably more value for much less cost. That is turn makes his properties really stand out in a market area that is still pretty shot out as far as quality...easy decision for a Buyer to pick his over other choices.
That area is poised to come back. The city/county has injected a lot of money recently in completely overhauling an area park and they just finished resurfacing a lot of roads in the area. It is a slower than expected recovery due to the current economy but things are headed in the right direction. I see positive signs of change every time I visit my friend.
If you still want to invest in the area you really need to do your homework or work with someone there that works that zip on a daily basis because, like most of these areas, values and desirability vary on a street to street and property to property level.
If you would like more information give me a call or drop me an email.