If you have ever thought about real estate investing in Birmingham, AL, this is the video for you!
Spencer: Hey, everybody. Spencer Sutton here, and I’ve got a good friend of mine and a special guest here for this video. And I was just talking to Bryan Miles, is his name and we are going to discuss Birmingham Real Estate Investing.
Now, Bryan has been investing in Birmingham for a lot of years, probably the mid-’90s?
Bryan: Started in ’99 part-time.
Spencer: Okay. Started in ’99 part-time.
When it comes to Birmingham Real Estate Investing he was working for a competitor of ours trying to buy houses.
We were trying to buy some of the same houses and eventually, we formed a friendship. Bryan came and worked with us and started buying houses for us.
And then he went out and he was still buying houses for himself on the side. I mean, he was building a rental portfolio.
All that to say when the market crashed up at 2008, Bryan stuck with it. He helped start gkhouses with Matthew Whitaker.
He was on the front lines doing a lot of property management, and he continued to invest in the market.
Bryan has done everything:
- Buying old rental houses
- Wholesaled a lot of houses
- Bought and fixed and flipped houses
- Rehab, put tenants in them and then sold them to investors. So he’s been turn-keying some property.
He’s done a little bit everything. Here we are, 2019, February, the end of February, beginning of March.
I just wanted to touch base with Bryan and maybe ask him a few questions about the Birmingham market specifically, Birmingham Real Estate Investing because he gets a lot of calls.
I mean, a lot of people look to him for advice in the market (Real Estate Investing in Birmingham). If an out of state investor finds Bryan’s phone number, which I’m happy to give it to them, they’ll call him and try to mine for information.
But I thought this video might be helpful for anyone who’s looking or has thought about investing in the Birmingham market.
And, the Birmingham Real Estate Investing market has changed in the past 15 years back from when I was wholesaling properties.
I stopped wholesaling properties in 2008 when you couldn’t anymore, and from that point forward there’s just been a lot of national attention to Birmingham, a lot of out of state investors.
Birmingham Real Estate Investing Update
And so, Bryan, why don’t you just kinda give me an update a little bit just about the market in general in Birmingham, from an investment standpoint.
Mainly I’m talking about low to moderate income, stuff that we see a lot of out of state investors interested in.
What’s kinda going on nowadays?
Bryan: Well, it’s high, that’s for sure. We’ve certainly had a number of institutional buyers in the Birmingham area. We have a relatively large turnkey provider in Birmingham.
There has been a spin-off of that turnkey provider, and there’s another group that is starting to do it now.
So we’re seeing a number of turnkey properties.
We are seeing the prices of these houses have gone up considerably.
Spencer: Over the course of what period of time?
Bryan: Oh, well, goodness. You know, we started buying again in 2014 and we had some institutional buyers then that were paying numbers we couldn’t believe they were paying.
However, they turned out they have since sold and they made a smart move. Even though we thought they were spending a lot of money, they were able to sell and they made money.
So we’re still seeing it go up. We’re still seeing the Birmingham Real Estate Investing market go up. There’s a lot of wholesalers, there’s just a lot of people that do what I do.
Spencer: Right. Which is trying to find dirt, cheap properties. This is really interesting. We started seeing 2013, 2014, these institutional investors coming in, probably a little bit before that, spent like funds with a lot of money buying houses.
And so, I primarily saw them buying houses in Center Point. Is that…?
Bryan: A lot. Yes, you are correct. The Center Point, the Roebuck, Huffman area, that 35215 ZIP code, we have since seen.
Spencer: And the prices went up.
Bryan: Oh, tremendously.
Spencer: So that now what I’m seeing, and, Bryan, you probably are too, I’m seeing out of state investors paying upwards of $100,000 for a turnkey property in those areas.
Whereas before, we wouldn’t pay $30,000 or $40,000 for…I mean, $40,000 for a good Center Point home back in the day, that was just good.
Bryan: We just recently bought one and we paid 45 prior to the rehab. So we just did roughly about a $26,000, $27,000 rehab job to it, and it’ll sell for $100,000, is what it will sell for.
Spencer: Yeah. On the retail market to the investor?
Bryan: Oh, no. On a turnkey house. Tenant went in, she has Section 8 at 1,022 a month.
Spencer: Wow. So Section 8 has changed as well. Section 8 prices have gone up from…back in Center Point, back in, you know, 10, 15 years ago, you were getting probably an average of $700 to $750 a month.
Bryan: Three-bedroom voucher.
Spencer: Three-bedroom voucher. And now the three-bedroom voucher is what?
Bryan: We’re seeing, and over in the western part of town we just rented up six houses over there as little as 850, as much as 950, three-bedroom voucher.
Spencer: Wow. And that’s the western part of town, Ensley area.
Bryan: Ensley, Green Acres, Midfield.
Spencer: Okay. And then what about the Center Point, Roebuck, Huffman area?
Bryan: I would still tell you that with Section 8 if it’s a three-bedroom voucher, you can pull 950 over there.
I probably would not take less than 950, and that’s in the Huffman, Roebuck, Center Point area. East Lake, we just rented one in East Lake, 920 a month, three-bedroom voucher.
Spencer: So I will say this, this is what I know about Bryan’s properties, and you can look at some of his houses on investbirmingham.com, the rehab is phenomenal.
It’s not a rental grade just throw it in there remodel. It is a very, very well done new appliances, new flooring, fresh paint everywhere, very good looking houses.
I mean, I looked at him and I thought, “If those were in Crestline, those would be, you know, $200,000 houses or whatever.”
But so, if you think you can come in and just kind of throw something together and get 950 a month, that’s not going to happen, because the demand is there for your properties based on how nice they are and how good they are.
Bryan: Yes. And not only that. You’re a turnkey provider and a lot of the other investors are doing very good jobs with these houses.
So yeah, I mean, you know, there’s a limited number of Section 8 vouchers, if that’s what you’re looking forward. So, you’re doing everything you can to go after that particular tenant.
Spencer: So tell me, why don’t you maybe give us a little bit of a tip?
When I talk to real estate investors out of state (Birmingham Real Estate Investing ), you know, most of them do ask about Center Point and I tell them if they can find a deal, you know, you can buy a house there, obviously.
Are there any other areas of Birmingham that are less…like that just don’t get as much publicity or people don’t know about, that are just as good or maybe even kind of coming up?
What areas, like one or two areas, would you say if you had the money right now you’d be buying in this area?
Up And Coming Areas
Bryan: Well, my first area would be East Lake. We are now actually recounting houses in East Lake that I don’t know five years ago or so if we could have.
We’re seeing such a change in East Lake. This little house that we just did on the south side of East Lake, it is probably on the retail market an $80,000, $85,000 house.
One right around the corner just sold for 160,000 low. And so we love East Lake. We love it. Again, it’s still that part of town that, you know, you can have a good block and then the next block can be rough.
However, I think we’re going to just…I don’t see this changing. I love it.
Spencer: You’re talking about the improvement.
Bryan: Oh, the improvements shape. I think it’s going to become much more of a retailable area.
From a rental standpoint, you know, I like Section 8. I like the idea of Section 8. I think we could probably potentially pull some of those rents that we get from Section 8 from private pay tenants.
It may not be here yet, I do think it’s coming.
Spencer: It’s coming. It’s coming.
Bryan: Yeah, it’s coming.
Do Your Homework
Spencer: And just a word to what Bryan said here, it can change from block to block you has to know where you’re buying houses.
Whether you can see it coming or not, I mean, if you’re an out of state investor, you most definitely need to come to the city Birmingham.
You should know exactly what you’re buying, the neighborhood, the block, or you need to have somebody very knowledgeable on the ground who can tell you those things because you can get burned real fast.
Bryan: Absolutely. I would tell any investor (Real Estate Investing In Birmingham ), “Come to the city. Just come spend a day, drive the city. You can do it in four or five hours, and do that. See what you’re buying before you buy.”
Spencer: Okay. So, East Lake, give me one more. Give me one more market.
Bryan: Well, I will always love the western part of town. You know, is there, you know, our Towns or Pleasant Groves, I mean, those are great areas.
I am still a huge fan of certain areas of Ensley, one is called the Green Acres area, I love it.
We just retailed a house in Green Acres, little three-bedroom, one and a half bath.
Spencer: Sold in the retail market for how much?
Bryan: $74,900 is what it sold for. Single guy that bought it, and it was his first house. So I’m a huge fan of that area. I love it.
And I just think we’re seeing it with…we’ve got some great investors in here that are buying and they’re changing these neighborhoods. It’s unbelievable what’s taking place there.
Spencer: Well, that’s all good information from Bryan. I mean, this guy is on the ground. He’s seeing it firsthand.
If you’re an out of state investor and you ever wanted to potentially buy a turnkey property, I would say Bryan would provide you with a very, very solid house.
I know his work; you can come and see it. There are other good turnkey providers like you mentioned.
We manage houses for different turnkey companies in the city.
Anyway, so thanks for taking your time with us about the Real Estate Investing In Birmingham.
And he wasn’t as nervous as he thought he was going to be!