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Old 12-04-2021, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancers View Post
Long Branch isn't Camden.
How about Asbury Park?
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Durham NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
How about Asbury Park?
As run down as Asbury Park got it was never as bad as Camden. Look at the surrounding towns. Lots of money. The Shore.
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Old 12-05-2021, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lancers View Post
Long Branch isn't Camden.
No, it isn't, but the idea is the same. It is not a new idea. I read an article maybe seven or eight years ago already about people living on a Camden street in townhouses after a developer razed the abandoned building on a block and built new housing. It was on the edges, not the heart of the city, but middle class people took a chance and were living there.
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Old 12-06-2021, 05:18 PM
 
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If what you want is cheap here are your best bets, where there are commonly properties available from the low-to-high 5-figures, starting around $25-30k:

Camden: Cramer Hill and East Camden are not great but vastly improved from past, North is somewhat better than was. The Rutgers/Hospital area has seen a lot of institutional investment, and some developers have followed in their wake. You can safely conduct a renovation in Cramer Hill and East Camden. I'm cautiously optimistic about Camden. At the very least, I think its worst days are behind it.
Lindenwold/Clementon/Pine Hill: very cheap land and single-family homes. You will likely rent/sell to Hispanic immigrants who make up much of population. An immigrant friend of mine who got tired of paying high rents just purchased a 2/3 acre lot there for $10k and is putting a used $15k modular home and garage on it, then eventually renting out the home and the garage to local contractors which there are a lot of. Pine Hill is an odd place; due to the fairly scenic and tranquil setting, it has a lot of very nice and large homes tucked away (including a retreat once owned by Al Capone), amid other homes that are extremely humble and sell for $50-80k in functional condition. The world's #1-rated golf course (Pine Valley) is also located there.
Westville and Brooklawn
Atco (somewhat similar to Pine Hill, in terms of having nicer properties amid dumpier properties)
Magnolia, parts of Blackwood (if you want to spend more and get higher-income tenants)

A guy I know did 4-5 successful flips (rowhomes) in Fairview neighborhood of Camden. He bought dumps for $20-30k, put $25-30k including all costs realtor fees etc (put same kitchen bath LVP carpets etc in all homes), and sold for $75-95k. He was in out and sold within 2-3 months and spent minimal time at the properties.

The good thing is that the 'floor' for rents in southern NJ is pretty high. The range for a 1-bedroom in nicer areas is $950-2200+ (average around $1200 or so, average range 1-br $1050-1450), but even in bad areas of Camden people are getting $750-800+, and many larger apartments there are over $1000. So you can pay a small fraction of the price while only getting 20-30% less rent. Obviously the flip side of that is lower-credit tenants with less to lose, crime, etc. Single family rental homes in Camden County and surrounding counties generally range from $1400-3000, average range $1600-2200.

Personally, if your angle is rentals rather than flips, I'd recommend targeting the Pine Hill/Atco/Lindenwold/Clementon area once prices calm down (or making lowball offers now, since things aren't moving so quickly there at the moment). Pine Hill tends to have the best single-family values with $50-60k sales not uncommon. You're going to have the opportunity to rent to working families (mainly Central American and Mexican immigrants since they are most of the newcomers looking for housing) who take decent care of the property (usually with handy people in the household; if minor repairs need to be done they won't call you) rather than people on welfare, and there's no significant crime/safety issues outside of the Coachman Manor and Arborwood complexes (which themselves aren't that bad anymore, the last homicide was a couple years ago). The schools in that area are not so good (Atco kids go to Hammonton HS which is a much better HS than Overbrook and Lindenwold, Overbrook HS is a little better than Lindenwold), but much better than Camden.

Last edited by pclem; 12-06-2021 at 05:58 PM..
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Old 12-07-2021, 04:01 PM
 
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I also forgot Mt Ephraim and Gloucester City, they have some very low-priced properties. I'd say Mt Ephraim is comparable to Magnolia or slightly lower in terms of price. Gloucester City is slightly lower than Westville.

Everything has a high asking at the moment but if you look at sales in the 2015-2019 you'll see what is typical there. Similarly, the numbers quoted above aren't easy to find right now but were prior to covid, and prices seem to have already peaked out here in most/all towns.

GC has something of a drug problem (probably pills, heroin) but not much violent crime. While it's far from my top choice personally, I wouldn't at all be concerned with living there in terms of safety.
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:26 PM
 
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For my budget I was just going off of what I saw from initial searches of run down residences in Camden. I could maybe stretch it to $100,000 for the first one.

Even people in Camden need quality housing, fixing up houses in Camden and flipping them is something that other investors are doing successfully supposedly. The low value of the property would give me a little bit of a buffer to sit on it to find a quality tenant if I have to. How long does evicting a tenant take in Camden? A family member of mine had to evict someone in Otsego County, NY and I think it only took 3 months, as soon as it went before a judge the judge gave them 30 days to vacate. Perhaps I could focus on flipping instead of renting if it’s too much of a headache. But every “bad” area in jersey it seems has sections on the edges or in pockets that are slowly but surely getting renovated and improved. I can’t think of any place where the “bad” area is getting larger but I haven’t lived in jersey for 14 years so I don’t really have first hand knowledge of it.

There was a huge outward migration from nyc from the virus and with the new private business vax mandate and the general rise in remote work that is probably here to stay I don’t see the trend reversing any time soon. It’s caused rents in jersey to rise and forced renters and buyers to look in areas they might not have considered before. I believe these current market forces are the perfect recipe for rapid improvement in previously “undesirable” areas, I just need to figure out where those potential areas are and I’m not afraid of doing the leg work to find them. I’m not scared of dangerous areas either, the block I moved to in Bedstuy had shootings every year when I fist moved here 9 years ago and now we have luxury buildings on every block, coffee shops that sell $5 oat milk lattes and even a few brave young professionals who purchased buildings and are raising their children here.

Conversely I could open a bicycle shop or buy an existing one somewhere in NJ, anyone want to go in with me or know of a shop owner looking to sell or step back, lol? Managing bicycle shops is what I did for a living. It was something I loved with all my heart because it really made me feel like a part of a community. The last two years in the city have gotten very lonely due to the 75% reduction in yuppies that were the lifeblood of Manhattan and north Brooklyn’s local economy. I can definitely see myself coming back when the city comes back to life but right now it’s very empty. I can drive up and down the avenues in Manhattan at 7:30pm and they are empty. It’s very, very sad.

Last edited by geoluv; 12-07-2021 at 09:37 PM..
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Old 12-07-2021, 09:28 PM
 
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Thank you pclem that is *exactly* the type of information I was looking for
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Old 12-08-2021, 01:24 PM
 
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Trenton is a good area and not with high property prices. Nice to live with families.
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Old 12-09-2021, 10:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoluv View Post
Even people in Camden need quality housing, fixing up houses in Camden and flipping them is something that other investors are doing successfully supposedly. The low value of the property would give me a little bit of a buffer to sit on it to find a quality tenant if I have to. How long does evicting a tenant take in Camden? A family member of mine had to evict someone in Otsego County, NY and I think it only took 3 months, as soon as it went before a judge the judge gave them 30 days to vacate. Perhaps I could focus on flipping instead of renting if it’s too much of a headache. But every “bad” area in jersey it seems has sections on the edges or in pockets that are slowly but surely getting renovated and improved. I can’t think of any place where the “bad” area is getting larger but I haven’t lived in jersey for 14 years so I don’t really have first hand knowledge of it.
It can take at least 6 months to evict in NJ, which is among the worst in nation. More than that with covid moratorium, which lasted over a year I believe. Thankfully at the building I manage we didn't miss any months because everyone worked from home. I'd be very careful about where you buy rentals with that in mind and take tenant-screening seriously. Also, the market is starting to falter and it seems the bubble has already started to deflate. It's not an ideal time to enter the market but you could definitely still be successful if you find the right deal. The best cash-purchase scenario for flipping might be an estate property in a non-bad location that is badly in need of updates and the kids just want to get rid of it. My uncle and his siblings recently sold a 3-br bequeathed house in Blackwood for $60k (in 2019; small rancher) that could probably bring in $1400-1500+ month slightly updated. After property taxes maintenance etc it might net $500-600/mo not counting principal paydown. So if you find a few of those deals it could work out nicely esp once mortgage is paid.

I'd say there are two basic trends to be aware of in South Jersey:

1) The existing population from the late 1960s to the mid to late 2000s tended to move outward, to larger lots and larger properties in Cherry Hill Mt Laurel Marlton Medford Voorhees Berlin Deptford etc. Since then there has been a pronounced shift inward, towards Haddonfield Haddon Heights Collingswood and surrounding towns. People want the downtown feel and walkability. A lot of money that would end up in those sprawl towns is moving back towards the center. However, Camden is a wild card there and it's unclear whether middle-class people will ever move back (Camden used to be thriving city with large middle class). Could happen in Camden also (meaning to all of Camden, e.g. to South and Parkside; it already somewhat happened in Cramer Hill and East) which would be great, but I personally wouldn't put my money on it right now. The solution there relies too much on politicians who I don't have much/any faith in.
2) The most obvious group of newcomers to the region are Hispanics, followed by Southeast Asians and Africans/Caribbean people. As a rule, the first generation is either ending up in Cramer Hill/East Camden (large mix, mainly Central Americans and Dominicans), or to a much greater extent, in the more rural areas Lindenwold and South/West of there. Mostly Central Americans (Hondurans and Salvadorans mainly) but some Mexicans. There is a very large Mexican population in Vineland and Millville. The second generation (or the first generation that has been here for 20+ years) is more spread out as one would expect, and moving into somewhat nicer areas. Pennsauken, Somerdale, Magnolia now have significant populations. If I was getting into the low-cost rental market I would probably target the Lindenwold/Clementon/Pine Hill area, since I speak Spanish and see that in general they tend to work hard, pay their rent, and take good care of the properties. However, for the second generation this often isn't the case and they become 'Americanized' and learn how to game the system (and become legally able to do so), so word of caution there.

Last edited by pclem; 12-09-2021 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 12-10-2021, 05:32 AM
 
Location: Durham NC
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Well said pclem. You might not get any rent money these days.
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