If, like me, you live in Queens, you might have a bit of a chip on your shoulder. When people think of New York, they think of Manhattan. They might think of the hipster havens and other up-and-coming neighborhoods in Brooklyn. They think of the Yankees. The Yankees! They almost never think of Queens, or the Mets.
But, that’s not really fair. Queens is huge— we are the embodiment of the American ideal. It would be the fourth most populous city in the country if it was independent. Nearly half the population is foreign-born. We’re literally the heart of the country. And, if you want to invest in real estate, there are a lot of great places to do it.
Queens isn’t always pretty, and some neighborhoods are rougher than others, but even those have a ton of potential. You might describe them as the worst neighborhoods in Queens, but I see them as opportunities for people who want to buy houses, use them as investment properties as people move in, and sell when the time is right.
These might not be considered “up-and-coming neighborhoods in Queens,” but they have potential. What’s more, there are people who want to live there right now. I see the worst neighborhoods in Queens as places that are ready to grow.
So yeah, we might have a chip on our shoulder. But, we can use that to build something. We can find the right neighborhoods and rebuild them. Your investment houses in Queens aren’t just a good plan for your financial future—they’re an investment in Queens itself.
It Can Be a Good Idea To Invest in the Worst Queens Neighborhoods
A buy-and-hold strategy is when you buy a property, fix it up, and use it as a rental property for a few years until the market is right to sell. This gives you a fairly steady source of passive income as well as the flexibility to sell when the time is right. This is a potentially successful way to go in an area such as Queens.
There are some really flourishing neighborhoods, such as Astoria or Flushing, where houses are already pretty pricey. There are also struggling neighborhoods where you could get property inexpensively, but you won’t really make a lot turning it around right away.
The thing about those neighborhoods is that they have a lot of renters. Over half of homes are rentals, which is well above the U.S. and even New York average. Despite this, there is a fairly tight shortage in the rental market. The vacancy rate in Queens is half the national average. This shows that people want to rent in Queens. That’s true of current residents. And, it is true of people moving into neighborhoods with potential.
They will rent here until the neighborhood is established and then, eventually, many will be ready to buy. You have a property for today’s needs and tomorrow’s demands.
But, where should you buy it?
The 5 “Worst Neighborhoods” In Queens
One thing you should be aware of is that Queens is statistically far safer than most of the Bronx and a lot of Brooklyn. Impoverished areas aren’t always dangerous; it’s incorrect to think so. These neighborhoods have wonderful people, vibrant cultures, and untapped potential. They are places that a lot of people love, and will love, to call home.
Jamaica is a huge retail and commercial area, with large pockets of residential zones. As the economy in Queens turns, these commercial areas have the potential to turn into trendy offices, interesting stores, and more. Jamaica has a great location, and its proximity to highways and parks makes it ideal for working families.
Willets Point is right up against Citi Field, in the part of the borough that juts into the bay. It’s pretty run-down, and in contrast with the newness of the ballpark. But there are always rumors of huge investment and reconstruction happening around here, and even without that, there is vibrancy and life in the area. Nearness to LaGuardia is also a pretty big plus.
Once trendy, now largely forgotten, and rebuilding after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the Rockaways is a proud, strong neighborhood ready to grow again. Affordable housing stock is great for families who want to go somewhere nice but aren’t ready to buy. Once the Rockaways becomes a destination again, your investment property could potentially really pay off.
Tucked away in the southwest corner of the borough, Ozone Park was known in the 90s for being a rough sort of place. As of now, though, the crime rate is lower than the rest of the city. It’s just that perception hasn’t quite caught up with reality. There are nice tree-lined streets and the area can be very attractive to many communities looking to live in a diverse and safe area. This is a place where an investment property could pay big dividends.
This is a long-term play, here. Rosedale is one of the more economically-depressed areas of the borough and has a pretty troubled history. But the nearness to JFK, an enormous park, and location as an entry point to Long Island make it home to a lot of people who are looking to rent, and possibly to buy down the road.
How to Get Great Investment Housing Leads in Queens
It’s always sort of fun to talk to people about finding leads in Queens. They ask if it’s hard when I stick to just one borough—like there would be a shortage. It’s Queens! There’s over two million people here. The real trouble is not getting overwhelmed with bad leads and wasting time.
I’ve found that it’s much easier to be more efficient and effective at getting leads as an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee. You know us—the “We Buy Ugly Houses” people. What’s more important is that people in Queens know and trust us, too. They know that HomeVestors® has a reputation as being a fast and fair way to get cash and get out of an “ugly” situation.
I love Queens. I love helping people find a home to rent. I love knowing that if I buy an investment house, I have a chance to make money and do good work. If you want one of the easiest ways to get leads for investment houses in Queens, or anywhere else, request information about becoming a franchisee today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.