Investors angling for a great deal by sinking cash into real estate might want to consider 43213 to be their lucky number.
That figure is the ZIP code for Whitehall, which in the past few years has become an eye-catching market not only for investors, but first-time homebuyers, too.
It is one of the fastest growth neighborhoods in the region in terms of sales prices. The community has seen a nearly 18-percent boost in property values this year, according to Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo.
In Whitehall, buyers are likely to get more bang for their bucks than they might in other suburbs. Postings for home sales in Whitehall at summer's end ranged from $34,000 to more than $500,000, but by far the majority of homes were in or near the $100,000 zone.
Michelle Hogan, an agent with Coldwell Banker King Thompson, has been selling houses in the area to investors and new homebuyers for seven years. The opportunities for both are excellent, she says.
“It's a good market and there are still good opportunities for investors, and the city does offer incentives for owner-occupied buyers, too,” Hogan says. “It's a good return because most of these homes are small, without basements, so even if work is needed you don't have to invest in a lot of material.”
The majority of homes are ranch or Cape Cod style structures of 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and many are 50 years or older. The community is also remaking itself with new business investments and new schools and parks, while creating a safer community environment. Its central location and easy access to highways and Downtown are drawing homeowner interest, too, says Hogan and Jill Rudler, with Keller Williams Excel Realty.
“A lot of homes, which are outdated, are being renovated by investors and by the people who have lived there for years and are making investments,” Rudler says. “We've seen a resurgence in the area, with many neighborhood improvements and affordable homes.”
Houses on the market are often sold within days, with sellers having several offers to consider.