Wanting to invest in Birmingham

26 Replies

I have found a few properties in Birmingham and need to network with someone with boots on the ground since I live in Orlando. Any help would be appreciated. I am specifically looking at properties to BRRRR.

Originally posted by @Jimmy Epolito :

I have found a few properties in Birmingham and need to network with someone with boots on the ground since I live in Orlando. Any help would be appreciated. I am specifically looking at properties to BRRRR.

Hey Jimmy,

I am in Birmingham. Feel free to reach out. I'll be glad to point you in the right direction.

 

@Jimmy Epolito

What are the address or street and zip. You don’t want any thing to do with birmingham schools. Buy homes with decent schools. Jefferson county schools on the most part decent to good. You can’t go wrong with a school strategy. People move to put their kids into better schools and leave areas that have bad schools. Good luck JP

@Jimmy Epolito have you considered buying tax properties in Alabama? You can buy nice properties for pennies on the dollar and you have the right to immediate possession; however, you would not be able to finance them without clearing title. 

Originally posted by @Jimmy Epolito :

I have found a few properties in Birmingham and need to network with someone with boots on the ground since I live in Orlando. Any help would be appreciated. I am specifically looking at properties to BRRRR.

Jimmy I figured I'd drop you a link to The Ultimate Guide to Grading Birmingham Alabama Neighborhoods. to help you out with your B-Ham investing. Also have similar guides for Cleveland, Ohio and Kansas City, Missouri if you end up looking into other markets.

In addition there are tons of other turnkey markets out there. Many of these markets are very well represented by sellers & turnkey operators here on BiggerPockets. In no particular order I have listed some of the most popular markets for out of state investors

  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Youngstown, Ohio
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Jackson, Mississippi

Each of these markets is popular with turnkey investors because of the low barrier to entry, high rental demand & high rent to price ratio. I recommend setting up keyword alerts for each area as they are discussed in the forums daily with advertisements posted in the BiggerPockets marketplace hourly.

One thing to note when looking at the individual markets, you can make or lose money in any market. Don't think that one particular out of state market will shoot you to success or abject failure. It's not really that complicated to buy out of state. It only becomes complicated when investors try to over complicate or over think everything. Whenever you are buying a property out of state you should do a few things to ensure it's as smooth as possible.

  • Don't buy in the roughest neighborhood in the urban core. Pick a solid B-Class suburban area. Perhaps a nice 1950's built bungalow.
  • Always hire a 3rd party property inspector to give you an unbiased feel for the home. The reports are 40-90 pages long and go through the entire house in great detail.
  • Get an appraisal. If your using financing the bank requires this. This is good. The bank isn't going to let you blow their money. They have more skin in the game then you do.
  • Make sure you get clear title. If using a lender this is a non issue. They will make you do this. It's those maniacs that buy homes cash via quit claim deed off of craigslist that really get screwed.
  • Make sure your property manager is a licensed real estate brokerage.
  • Google Clayton Morris and/or Morris Invest for a cautionary tale of what not to do when buying turnkey real estate
  • Understand you can not eliminate all risk, only mitigate it. If you are risk averse, real estate, (especially out of state) is not for you.
Originally posted by @James Wise :
Originally posted by @Jimmy Epolito:

I have found a few properties in Birmingham and need to network with someone with boots on the ground since I live in Orlando. Any help would be appreciated. I am specifically looking at properties to BRRRR.

Jimmy I figured I'd drop you a link to The Ultimate Guide to Grading Birmingham Alabama Neighborhoods. to help you out with your B-Ham investing. Also have similar guides for Cleveland, Ohio and Kansas City, Missouri if you end up looking into other markets.

In addition there are tons of other turnkey markets out there. Many of these markets are very well represented by sellers & turnkey operators here on BiggerPockets. In no particular order I have listed some of the most popular markets for out of state investors

  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Youngstown, Ohio
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Jackson, Mississippi

Each of these markets is popular with turnkey investors because of the low barrier to entry, high rental demand & high rent to price ratio. I recommend setting up keyword alerts for each area as they are discussed in the forums daily with advertisements posted in the BiggerPockets marketplace hourly.

One thing to note when looking at the individual markets, you can make or lose money in any market. Don't think that one particular out of state market will shoot you to success or abject failure. It's not really that complicated to buy out of state. It only becomes complicated when investors try to over complicate or over think everything. Whenever you are buying a property out of state you should do a few things to ensure it's as smooth as possible.

  • Don't buy in the roughest neighborhood in the urban core. Pick a solid B-Class suburban area. Perhaps a nice 1950's built bungalow.
  • Always hire a 3rd party property inspector to give you an unbiased feel for the home. The reports are 40-90 pages long and go through the entire house in great detail.
  • Get an appraisal. If your using financing the bank requires this. This is good. The bank isn't going to let you blow their money. They have more skin in the game then you do.
  • Make sure you get clear title. If using a lender this is a non issue. They will make you do this. It's those maniacs that buy homes cash via quit claim deed off of craigslist that really get screwed.
  • Make sure your property manager is a licensed real estate brokerage.
  • Google Clayton Morris and/or Morris Invest for a cautionary tale of what not to do when buying turnkey real estate
  • Understand you can not eliminate all risk, only mitigate it. If you are risk averse, real estate, (especially out of state) is not for you.

Thank you so much for the info/advice James! I am starting to learnt he lay of the land and plan to make a trip to Birmingham to get a better grasp once I have some extra time on my hands. I have made multiple offers on homes with BRRRR potential but keep getting beat out by cash buyers. I know it is a number game and I have been learning quite a bit during the analysis portion of the process. I have been checking school zones, crime rates, and comps. I have an agent that has been finding good properties and I find his ARV interpretation to be in inline most times but my own due diligence has proven otherwise on some properties.

Originally posted by @Whitney Hutten :

Nice work @Jimmy Epolito!  Keep posting your progress and your next step intentions :)

Thank you Whitney. I will gladly post my journey. I am early in but very optimistic. I bought my first property in Columbus Ga in Dec 19 and it has been performing very well so far. Due to the low taxes and growing economy I started looking at Birmingham and I have also looked in Montgomery. I connected with an investor friendly agent here on BP for Birmingham and found a not so investor friendly agent on Trulia in Montgomery (super low prop taxes), and I am still looking in Columbus with a broker. My agent in BH has given me a really good education on the importance of studying the demographics. Prevented me from making a not so wise purchase through a Wholesaler which was in a crime ridden area. I am not super familiar with BH. My experience of working with the Montgomery agent taught me the importance of learning how to comp a property myself. He was finding many BRRRR type properties but his numbers never seemed to line up. The agent was often off by a long way in either direction. Hard worker but just not a lot of knowledge about BRRRR. Since I am a newbie I rely heavily on guidance but found that I was correcting the ARV calculations to prevent a bad deal. My broker in Columbus is extremely knowledgeable and an investor as well. As far as my next intentions I would say this: I plan to keep making offers on the right properties and I am shifting focus from Montgomery and staying in BH and Columbus. Unless I find an expert in Montgomery I will wait until I am more seasoned. I want to go under contract on 2 in BH hopefully this month and no later than the end of March and I plan to pick up 1 in Columbus as well if feasible. My biggest struggle is strategy as there are so many. I plan to stay the course and see this through. BH seems like a great city but I need to improve my patience and know that the right properties will arrive eventually.

 

@Jimmy Epolito Sorry to hear about your not so great agent in Montgomery. I am an investor here and love it for all great the cash flow is. You should reach out to @Michael Atkins he is a great investor friendly agent here in Montgomery.

Originally posted by @Joseph Back :

@Jimmy Epolito Sorry to hear about your not so great agent in Montgomery. I am an investor here and love it for all great the cash flow is. You should reach out to @Michael Atkins he is a great investor friendly agent here in Montgomery.

Thank you for the referral! I will reach out to him. How is Montgomery for utilizing the BRRRR strategy?

 

@Jimmy Epolito It is great in ways and sucks in others. Finding properties that work for the BRRR isn't too hard, a lot of B-class 3bd/2ba brick ranches you can pick up for $50k-$65k that rent for $800-$900 and appraise for $75k-$85k. The problem is the local banks here are not very aggressive and have terrible terms, probably because of the high rate of foreclosures in the city. Best I have found so far is Troy Bank & Trust, but their terms are still much worse than what is typical in other markets.

Hi  @Jimmy Epolito 

If you're looking to source properties in the Birmingham areas on your own, we can certainly be a source for knowledge since we've been doing it for over 10 years. In fact, we teamed up with @ Jim Wise to help him create The Ultimate Guide to Grading Birmingham Alabama Neighborhoods. Feel free to DM and we can get in touch. We know it can be difficult to compete with the local cash purchases, which is why we source properties within our full service model.

Originally posted by @Adam Hobson :

@Jimmy Epolito I’m a full time wholesaler in Birmingham. I would be happy to give you the rundown on the area and put you on my list so you can start getting properties emailed to you. Shoot me a message and let’s talk. Thanks.

Adam, we have properties in the Shelby County area and are looking for more. Can you add me to the list as well?

Thank you

 

Sorry for the delayed response @Jimmy Epolito - happy to chat. Not on location in Birmingham, but am invested there, and have a very good friend & colleague who is my eyes and ears.

Also commercially bank there and have a good managing agent if you need one. Feel free to send me a DM/PM.

How are you finding your deals in the Birmingham area lately?

Driving for dollars/direct mail, MLS, or word of mouth?

Anyone have luck in the area using apps such as deal machine or lead Sherpa?

Have used an agent/on market properties in the past.

Would love some feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Obviously, the guide by @James Wise is great. I use @Mark Byers for management and @Rob Drum for a realtor. The guide has it all, but in a nutshell, the affordable areas with decent schools I have focused on are Hoover (on the higher end), Trussville, Helena and Moody. Of course, check out the actual schools for your property, because some times there are negative outliers. There are other ways to go about things and make money in Birmingham, but I like areas where appreciatation potential is better due to schools, even if my rent to value isn't as great.

Originally posted by @Meredith Carter :

How are you finding your deals in the Birmingham area lately?

Driving for dollars/direct mail, MLS, or word of mouth?

Anyone have luck in the area using apps such as deal machine or lead Sherpa?

Have used an agent/on market properties in the past.

Would love some feedback.

Thanks in advance!

 Driving for dollars and then cold calling the owners has worked well. Bandit signs work well in the C/D areas.