Local I-Team: Investors Buying Up Properties Means More Renters In Local Neighborhoods

Local News

How well do know your neighbors? You might be surprised to learn how many on your street are renting.

The hot Memphis housing market is one reason. Investors are scooping up houses and average home buyers often don’t have a chance. Local I-Team Senior Investigator Jeni Diprizio digs into what it means for you.

Last year, 40% of all homes sold in Shelby County were paid for in cash. The majority of those cash purchases were made by investors. It’s one of the factors changing the real estate market in our area.

You see the signs, but who’s buying the homes? It’s likely an investor. The draw? The high percentage of renters in our area and affordable homes.

“In 2017, billions of dollars exited California and came to the southeast to towns like Memphis where you have more affordable real estate,” said James Wachob from Memphis Investment Properties.

Wachob markets homes to investors across the country and the globe. And he isn’t alone. What’s known as “turn key” companies have sprung up all over Memphis. They buy and rehab properties, find tenants, and then manage the properties for the investors. Those investors buying rental property could be changing your neighborhood.

“You don’t ever get to know your neighbor,” said homeowner Mike Ball. Ball has lived in his Cordova neighborhood for almost a decade. 32 of 78 homes on his street are now owned by investors.

Danita Hill recently bought a home in Raleigh on Addington. Records show 43 out of the 52 homes on her street are rentals. It was a big surprise. “I didn’t know,” said Hill.

To find out how many investment properties are in your neighborhood, go the Shelby County Assessors page HERE and type in your street. If you see a lot of names that don’t sound like a person or end with LLC, that’s an investor.

Another way to tell, is if the owner’s address doesn’t match the property’s address. Realtors like Jim Reedy from Memphis Investment Properties say the heavy investing, along with a shortage of homes available on the market, are pushing up prices and making it harder for the average house hunter.

“It’s a little tough for home buyers to buy if they are not ready to go and not ready to pull the trigger quick,” said Reedy.

Reedy says the silver lining in all of this, is that the Memphis real estate market is now stronger than it was a decade ago.

“It was the big investors, the institutional investors, the investor we represent from mainly California, that stepped in and brought the market back,” said Reedy.

This weekend two busloads of investors are being brought in from around the country to look at Memphis homes for sale. Friday night, Memphis Investment Properties took them to BBQ fest to get a sense of the city. The investors will spend Saturday driving around neighborhoods, looking at properties.

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