How accurate is Trulia’s crime heat map in Birmingham Alabama?

3 Replies

I’ve been researching Birmingham Alabama as a potential market for out of state investments. I like that the price points and rental rates are similar to other high cashflow markets such as Ohio and Wisconsin, but without the ridiculously high taxes and declining population. I notice a lot of very inexpensive SFR’s in green areas of the crime map. One area that caught my eye was Bessemer. In the crime map it’s mostly in the green, but when I googled Bessemer I came across an article that calls it “the most dangerous city in Alabama”. So what’s what’s the real scoop on Birmingham neighborhoods? Do you trust Trulia? If not what methods do you use to determine if a property is C class and not D? I want a solid lower middle class neighborhood, not a war zone. Any advice from Birmingham investors?

I personally have been doing business there for about 14 years now.. granted there are what I call run down areas.. but not really the war zones like you would get in a bigger urban environment or other cities in the mid west north east..

that city is a known rental market and we have done quite a few there.  just my observation..

some cities are simply worse than others.. one main thing I always look at is bar's on windows and caged condenser units.. that's an indication at least of petty theft.. but stolen condenser that will cost you a few bucks when and if that happens.

@Jay Hinrichs thanks for sharing your experience. Your posts carry a lot of weight on BP. I’m guessing it’s a block by block situation not just whole zip codes that are good or bad. I’ve been using google street view and some of the streets look run down, and others actually look nice. All in the same price point and in the green on the crime map. I’ll keep researching the job market, population projections, and rental demand for the area. I flew out to Milwaukee last year and it was ok, but that nagging voice keeps telling me not to only chase cashflow and invest in areas that have a brighter economic future, lower taxes that attract businesses, and landlord friendly tenant laws. I’m not looking for appreciation, but I do need to know there will be a solid demand for my product even after I’m gone.

B ham is  a nice place... for me I like the topography .. however almost all bigger cities these days have major renovation projects going on..  I like Milwaukee as we are from there.. water front is cool.

I would talk with Brie my partner in Turnkey-reviews before I bought there though she has uber experience in that market.

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