A friend of mine asked me why she should invest in Ann Arbor real estate. I told her to go to Zingermans on a Sunday morning after a home game. You’ve got die-hard fans from around the country in line with college students, local artsy types, college professors, residents from the rural areas around town, and anyone else who loves great food. In short…everyone wants to live in Ann Arbor.
For someone interested in buying distressed houses, that can be a positive and a negative. On the plus side, when you have a house you buy, you have a great property you can rent at a good price or sell for terrific ROI. On the other hand, there aren’t as many houses on the market.
So I told her that you have to know how to search, you have to know the best way to find leads, and you have to know your way around town. You have to know the market. And, you probably have to get a corned beef sandwich at Zingermans, but that goes without saying.
Understanding the Ann Arbor Real Estate Market
Ann Arbor is known as a college town. But, it is also obviously much more than that. It’s the economic engine of the region, with an industrial base that ebbs and flows and booming tech and medical industries. You have every economic group in town, from very well-off to struggling.
The prestige and power of the university makes the town a bit of a real estate anomaly. There is a constant “bubble” of sorts, with students coming in every year and looking for housing. Over the last 10-15 years, the student base has greatly diversified with an enormous amount of students coming in from wealthy families overseas.
This has led to an explosion of luxury high-rises that have transformed the downtown area—and the student housing market. You routinely see student apartments going for as much as $2000 a month.
But that’s not for everyone, of course. Most students (or their parents) aren’t going to be financially capable of paying $2,000 every month. That means there is always going to be a need for more affordable units, even though they will still be at pretty high prices. That’s just the way the market works. If you can buy a house and make it nice, there will be a group of college students going in together on a healthy rent—especially if the property is near a pizza place.
The Paradox of a Good Ann ArborMarket
Of course, a rising housing market means fewer distressed homes for sale. In fact, foreclosures were at their pre-recession level, which is a huge difference from the rest of the state. That’s a direct result of a growing economy.
That’s the paradox. When there is a good market, there are fewer chances to get in.
But we know that a lack of foreclosures doesn’t mean that there are no distressed homes or homeowners looking to sell. In fact, a rising economy slowly drives up all taxes and costs-of-living. A changing economy means people moving in, but it also means jobs lost in other sectors, which leads to motivated sellers. You just have to know the right way to find them.
The Best Tool for Real Estate Investment in Ann Arbor
So how do you find these houses? You could, I suppose, hang out at Zingermans all day and hope to overhear some scuttlebutt. But, that’s not going to get you anywhere. It’s just a delicious waste of time.
Or, as I told my friend, you could do what I did. I became an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. You know us—the ones with the nationally-trusted “We Buy Ugly Houses®” ads you’ve been seeing in Ann Arbor for years. And if you’ve seen them on TV or around town, so have people looking to sell.
So, in this changing economy, people who need to sell, contact a HomeVestors® franchisee like me. And, then I am connected to qualified leads with an already-established sense of trust. So, when I talk to them, we’re not starting from the ground floor.
That’s what I told my friend. In a tight market, you need every advantage you can get. HomeVestors® includes access to best-in-class resources, including learning from people who have been successful in this industry. That way, you have much better odds of finding the right house that you can turn around for a great ROI or hang onto as a rental property for year after year of eager college students.
Contact HomeVestors® today to get that edge. When it works out, you can thank me with a sandwich.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.