Real Estate Investing Birmingham

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’s Experience

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.

Rising Prices

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?

Section 8

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.

Turnkey Providers

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, 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.

In Closing

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!

Ever wondered where to invest in Chattanooga?

Join Matthew Whitaker and Alex Smith as they dive into where to invest in Chattanooga, the Downtown edition.

Mathew: What’s up, everybody? Mathew Whitaker back here with another Where to Invest in Chattanooga episode with my man, Alex Smith.

Alex: What’s up, everybody?

Mathew: We are going to… We’ve already done a video on kind of the general areas that people invest in. Now, we want to start digging into some of the areas that we talked about that we just hit on a high level in another video.

So, we’re going to dig into downtown Chattanooga today, so super excited about that. I am going to share my screen with Alex so he knows what we’re talking about and I’m going to pull up an aerial view of downtown Chattanooga.

So, Alex, I mean the cool thing about downtown Chattanooga, you and I we were talking right before this is, it has a lot of diversity. I mean you have some really nice areas and some areas that are undergoing some gentrification.

So, I’m super excited to hop in here and take a look. I think what people know best is areas around the Tennessee Aquarium, the Museum of American Art. So let’s start there. Let’s start on right there on the river. Talk a little bit about that area for us.

Alex: Yeah, sure. So, as you mentioned, the aquarium’s there, you have a couple of museums. In terms of housing, what you’re going to get here is you’re going to get pretty much 100% condos.

These will be really nice condos. They’ll be, you know, from low thousands to, you know, high two’s, that sort of thing. A lot of young professionals will call this area home. But yeah, that’s pretty much what you’ll get.

Mathew: Yeah, this is a really cool area. One of the cool things too is the walking bridge that takes you kind of to the north shore area where there’s some really unique shops.

Think right in here like nice restaurants, everything is walkable, except I know you have to go up to the bluff right there. So some people might not call it walkable. But it’s a really neat, cool downtown area.

So, jumping from there over to UTC, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, why don’t you talk a little bit about investing around the university?

Mathew: Yeah, so around the university in Fort Wood and Martin Luther King, you’re going to get, you know, a pretty decent combination of condos/apartment/houses.

Your tenant population here is going to be mostly students who just want like a short walk or a short drive to school. You’ve also got the hospital in there. That’s a regional hospital, so they get all kinds of people from all over coming in there.

So, Martin Luther King, you’ve also got the Chattanooga Choo Choo in there. There’s a ton of good restaurants in there. So, you know, you’re going to get a lot of people visiting the city to go to either north of the city or this particular area right here.

For housing, if you don’t get…if you’re not dealing with apartments or condos, or, you know, like small student-type housing, it’s, you know, probably going to be a historic home.

Mathew: Very cool. And I can remember as a kid going to the Choo Choo. So this area right here is a regional draw for like weekend vacationers. So it’s an awesome area to invest. It’s undergoing a lot of revitalization.

All right, let’s go east and look at the zoo, Orchard Village, Orchard Knob, Highland Park area.

Alex: Yeah, so these four areas, when Mathew mentioned gentrification a second ago, this is where it’s going to be. So on one street, you might have, you know, mostly houses that have been flipped and flipped and fixed up and have young families living there.

You know, either the next street or a couple of streets over, you might have some houses that, you know, are looking for somebody to flip. Your quality of properties here is going to be across the board.

Another thing to note here is the word on the street is that the schools are not…public schools are not great in this area as a whole, this area being downtown. Another thing to note is that, you know, if you’re interested in getting into Section 8 housing, this is where you’ll find some good Section 8 type housing.

Mathew: So you’re talking super diverse. I mean all the way from professionals to Section 8.

All right, cool. So as we had west, we jump over the National Cemetery into the south side historic district.

Alex: Yeah, so just like it says most of the houses here are going to be huge, historic type homes built a long time ago. Not really a ton of rental potential out here. I cannot think of a house that we manage in this area. If we do manage one it’s probably one or two. There’s not many.

Mathew: Very cool. And then am I right, kind of south of that, you get into some industrial, west of that, you get into some industrial as well, right?

So obviously the Tennessee River running through the city is an important part of the city’s history. People love to live where they can see the river. There’s multiple mountains around this downtown area.

But we’re super excited about Chattanooga. I was on the phone yesterday with an investor and I was telling him that Chattanooga was the place that he need to be looking for. So, any last thoughts from you, Alex, before we send our viewers on their way?

Alex: Yeah, a couple of things to plug Chattanooga a little bit. So I read an article today on that Chattanooga was tied for 6 nationwide for cities where jobs are going to be for 2019.

Another thing is that Volkswagen is building a new…a plant specifically for their electric cars that’s going to open, I believe it’s 2022. I could be wrong on that but it’s sometime in the next few years.

Mathew: Do you know where that’s going to be built?

Alex: Yeah, Volkswagen is out east.

Mathew: Okay. So right up off of 75?

Alex: Yes.

Mathew: Very cool.

Alex: Yeah, so a lot of potential for a huge influx of people moving to the city for one reason or another. So this is a perfect time to get into investing in Chattanooga.

Mathew: Awesome. Well Alex, thank you so much. This was very helpful. And if you have any questions, I know Alex will be super helpful. Why don’t you give them your number real quick, Alex.

Alex: Yeah, so my number is (423) 648-7368.

Mathew: Awesome. And we will see you all later. Thank you.

Where To Invest In Chattanooga

In this video, we explore the different areas of the city and where to invest in Chattanooga, TN based on your goals and risk tolerance.

Matthew: Hey, everybody, Matthew Whitaker here. I am with Alex Smith. Alex Smith runs our Chattanooga office for gkhouses and we are going to talk about where to invest in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and North Georgia. Say “Hi,” Alex.

Alex: What’s up, everybody?

Matthew: So, Alex was kind enough, cool enough, to put together a map of the North Georgia, Chattanooga area and what I would like to do in this video is basically walk through the map and let him tell you a little bit about each area and what houses you can find in there, what types of inventory, what people are doing there.

So, Alex, I think the best thing for us to do is just start on the south side with this big, green box here and talk about North Georgia.

North Georgia

Alex: Okay. So, obviously a little disclaimer on this map. It depends on what you’re looking for. I pretty much drew it from the perspective of just buying and holding a single family house.

So, if you’re looking for flips, I’ll talk about that a little bit but this is mostly geared towards buying, holding a single family.

So, in North Georgia, you’re gonna find a really good mix of between Class C and Class A properties. The benefit of investing out in this area is that the schools are really good out here.

Matthew: Okay. That’s really cool to know. So, you’re telling me a lot of people buy in North Georgia because the schools, the public schools are good?

Alex: Yeah. So, your options in Chattanooga are to send your kid to a not-so-good to okay public school in the city or send to a private school. If you don’t wanna do either and send them to a really good public school, North Georgia is where you want to be.

Matthew: So, the word on the street is that North Georgia has got great public schools.

Would you say, in this big box…are there are a lot of single-family rentals?

Alex: Oh, yeah. Yeah. There’s a lot of single-family rentals out here.

Matthew: And from a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of value, 10 being hey, is the best value in Chattanooga, what would you give this North Georgia area?

Alex: Probably between a 7 and 9.

Matthew: So, there’s some great deals in that area?

Alex: Yes.

East Chattanooga

Matthew: Cool. All right. Let’s move on. Let’s talk about East Chattanooga.

Alex: So, East Chattanooga…again, if you’re looking to buy and hold a single family, this is where you wanna be. The schools are okay out here but you’re gonna get a lot of bang for your buck in terms of a good value for a house that you can hold on to and on a good tenant and get some rent, good rent out for a couple of years.

Anybody who doesn’t wanna live downtown or in the North Shore, they either live in East Chattanooga, so the second green area or they live in Red Bank.

Matthew: Cool. And we’ll talk about Red Bank up here in a second. So, East Chattanooga and just a disclaimer on schools, this is what the word on the street is.

We’re not making any claims to schools being better. We’re just saying what people are saying to us. And so you’re saying on the east side on a scale of 1 to 10, what about value?

Alex: Between an 8 and 9.

Matthew: So, this is probably the highest value area in all Chattanooga?

Alex: What I was gonna say was in North Georgia it’s not as densely populated as it is east of the city. So, if you wanna minimize days on market and get a good value, East Chattanooga is where you’ll wanna be.

Matthew: And how’s the competition in East Chattanooga? Do a lot of people know about this?

Alex: That’s a good question. In terms of if a lot of people know about it, I don’t know, but I would guess so.


Matthew: Cool. All right. There aren’t too many secrets anymore with the internet. All right. Let’s move to downtown Chattanooga. Why don’t you tell us…I would imagine there’s a lot of lofts down there?

Alex: Yes. So, downtown we manage a couple of downtown condos. So, if you’re looking to get into that space, downtown would be a good area to find that sort of property in.

Matthew: Cool. So, you’re talking about industrial-type buildings that they’ve retrofitted into condos and restaurants in the area?

Alex: Yeah. Either that or a new building specifically for condos.

Matthew: Cool. And now on a scale of 1 to 10, the value in that area in your opinion.

Alex: Not so great. Probably between a 5 and 7, if not lower.

Matthew: Okay. So, you got to look a little harder for the deals. All right. What about these two red boxes right here, North Shore and Ooltewah?

Alex: Yeah. So, before we head to those, another quick, little factoid about downtown. So, Matthew, if you’ll zoom into the map a little bit so they can see the neighborhoods.

As you move east into the city you’ll get a pretty decent mix of property types, you could find a distressed Class D, you can find a historic Class A.

If you’re into flipping, this would be a good place to find a flip. The schools in this area are not good, so keep that in mind. If you’re not really looking to do a flip and you wanna get into maybe lower income housing, this would be a good area to do that in as well, but you’ll find a lot of older houses that will probably need a lot of maintenance.

North Shore and Ooltewah

Matthew: Awesome. All right. Let’s move on to North Shore and Ooltewah. Let’s group them together because these are where the pricier homes are.

Alex: Right. Exactly. So, North Shore is like the hip area of town, a lot of Class A. You might be able to find a flip but I would imagine they’re pretty hard to find.

North Shore specifically is pretty overpriced but it’s very densely populated. So, keep those in mind if you’re looking to invest in the North Shore area.

Matthew: Awesome. And you would say the competition there is pretty stiff to find awesome deals?

Alex: Yes. That’s what I would say.

Matthew: All right. And then the last thing, this Northside you’re calling Hixson.

Alex: Yeah. So, before we get there I wanna talk about Ooltewah for a second. So, the good thing about Ooltewah is that you’re pretty close to Volkswagen and you’re pretty close to Amazon. Those are probably the two biggest employers in Chattanooga, I would say.

Matthew: And those are up 75?

Alex: Yes. You’ll also find a lot of Class A. So, not necessarily a ton of value there, but a good thing to know about Ooltewah is the proximity to Amazon and Volkswagen.

Red Bank and Hixon

Matthew: Perfect. All right. And let’s talk Red Bank and Hixson.

Alex: Yeah. So, as I mentioned a second ago, Red Bank is similar to East Chattanooga. If people wanna be close to the North Shore but don’t wanna deal with North Shore prices, Red Bank is where they go.

So, you’ll find a lot of good value there. As you get further north, or I guess northeast into Hixson…Hixson is not incorporated, so it’s not as densely populated. And yeah. It’s not gonna be as densely populated as your East Chattanooga.

Matthew: Awesome. And you think this is a place for prime value?

Alex: I would say Red Bank is. As you get further and further north, I wouldn’t say the same thing.

Matthew: It’s just harder to find deals because they are more spread out, not dense?

Alex: Yeah. There’s deals to be found, but if you wanna minimize your vacancy, Red Bank in East Chattanooga is where you’re gonna wanna be.


Matthew: Awesome. Well, we have run through all of Chattanooga. Alex, I appreciate you taking a few minutes to talk to me about this.

If you wanna find out more, you can reach out to us. Alex is obviously available. We’d love to talk to you about meeting your investing needs in Chattanooga. So, thank you very much, everybody.

Alex: Thanks, everybody.

Where To Invest In Birmingham

Where To Invest In Birmingham: Adamsville, Forestdale, and Graysville

What’s up, everybody? This is Matthew Whitaker back and I am doing a kind of overview of Birmingham investing.

Today I’m going to dig into Adamsville, Forestdale, and Graysville area. So this is a very popular area for investing. What I’m going to do now is a jump over to the map and I’m just going to walk you through, dig in deep on these areas.

So you have the whole city of Birmingham right here. If you go northwest up the new I-22, so I-22 connects Birmingham with Memphis, you run into the City of Forestdale, which is right here.

Then Adamsville is after that and Graysville is after that. Let me see if I can’t zoom in on that. There you go. So, again, brand-new interstate cut through here. This is the area that I’m talking about, Forestdale, Adamsville, Graysville.

Now if you’ve seen my other video on the Center Point Parkway area, then you will notice that this is going to be very similar. So houses were built around the same time, in the late ’50s, ’60s. So they are great, super-efficient houses. You’re going to find C+ neighborhoods to B- neighborhoods, so there are some really good areas, particularly for the rental investor.

Value For Your Investment

The difference between the Center Point Parkway area and this area is the just concentration of homes. So there are a lot fewer homes to the northwest of Birmingham than there is to the northeast of Birmingham.

So these houses here are a huge, huge, huge return for value. In other words, the money you put into these homes, the rents are very high relative to that. I don’t want to get into quoting too many numbers.

Obviously, I want the videos to last a little bit a while. If you want some current figures, please call us. But this is a highway that runs northwest. It actually used to be the one that connected to Memphis. This right here is the interstate.

The town of Forestdale, Adamsville, once you get into Adamsville they have a bunch of retail along this, and Graysville all go to county schools which is different. They go to Minor High School. And so, again, very good areas for investing.

If you have any specific questions, give us a ring. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Where To Invest In Birmingham Alabama – A General Overview

What’s up, everybody? Mathew Whitaker here. I am going to knock out a quick video that’s just a general overview of the Birmingham investing market.

I’m literally going to jump over onto a map and just kind of give you a general overview of areas, and I think this will be super helpful for all of you, especially new investors out there that are considering investing in Birmingham.

So pulled up the map of Birmingham here, I’m going to zoom in.

Know The Geography

One of the biggest things about Birmingham that you need to know is just the geography. As you can see, this is actually the city of Birmingham. Obviously, these are the suburbs of Birmingham in and around here.

This is what everyone calls Red Mountain. Now, if you’re from out west, and I’m recording this from out west right now, you will call this a hill but this Red Mountain kind of divides the original suburbs from Birmingham.

Class A Properties

So, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook are all class A properties. And, you know, you’re going to have a hard time finding properties in there to rent and make them cash flow. But what you will do is find a ton of fix and flips in there.

Class A and B Properties

Heading further south down I-65 you get into Hoover. Hoover is everything from A properties down to B plus. Excellent area, you can find some areas of Hoover where you can rent the house and make it make sense, but a great area for investors.

Down here in the very far south as you go down 65, you have Helena, Pelham, Alabaster. These areas are kind of solid B area neighborhoods where you can find both fix and flip and great rental houses.

Going down Highway 280 right here, if people in Birmingham complain about traffic, this is ‘exhibit A’ of what they complain about.

Down Highway 280 you will find Mountain Brook, which I talked about earlier. You’ll get into kind of the Inverness-Meadowbrook area and that bleeds into Chelsea.

This area was built very recently, so it’s harder to find a good deal, like a fix and flip deal, but they are out there. So there’s probably B to A properties down to 280. But you’re gonna have a hard time finding, they’re not, you know, in droves.

As you move up, you get into kind of areas of Leeds and Moody. These are B area neighborhoods, a lot of fix and flip, a lot of rentals. Trussville’s a great area, very highly populated area. This area you can find everything from B to A class, fix and flip stuff, rental stuff.

Class C to B

One of the hottest rental markets in our city is in this corridor right here. We call it the Center Point Parkway area, 75 as it comes off, runs Center Point, Pinson, Grayson Valley, Clay. This is where you’re going to find C plus to B properties.

And probably, I would venture to say especially 10 years ago was your biggest bang for your buck. Now it’s not a super secret anymore. So, you know, but you could still find great deals. A lot of those houses were built in the ’50s and ’60s, it’s still a great area to invest.

Fultondale and Tarrant are your C to maybe B minus areas. These are obviously big rental markets. Gardendale is your solid B. Gardendale and Trussville are very similar. The demographics are very similar, they both have their own city school system.

Great area to invest in Gardendale, Mount Olive, Graysville, Adamsville, and [inaudible 00:04:08], this corridor is very similar to this corridor. Houses were built to kind of in the ’50s and ’60s. Rents are very similar there and what you will find is that while the houses are the same, there’s just less of them. So great deals there, but once you get past this junction right here it is just straight farmland. So, Graysville is kind of the last stop on the train track, so to speak.

Heading down into Pleasant Grove, Hueytown, excellent areas for investing, a lot of great rental houses. There are some fix and flip opportunities there. You’re looking at solid B neighborhoods.

Now as you get into the city, the low kind of C class neighborhoods run from the northeast in Birmingham. So they kind of start right around here and then they run kind of southwest, down through Midfield, Fairfield. So this is kind of your C class neighborhoods, tons of rental. It’s where most investors kind of cut their teeth in Birmingham.

So that’s a quick overview. I hope it was super helpful. If you have any questions, please call us. Our telephone number is 205-940-6363 extension 3.

If you want to dig into some of these areas, I’m also going to be shooting some videos on the individual areas. But if you have some specific questions, call us up, we’d love to help.

I’m Mathew Whitaker with gkhouses.

For a comprehensive list of investor videos, check our Owner FAQ page and choose the ‘Investor Tips’ tag.

In today’s video, we are going to learn where to invest in Birmingham.

Hey everybody, this is Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses with another episode of Where to Invest in Birmingham, Alabama. We’ve already touched on the entirety of Birmingham, but today I wanna zoom in on three specific areas: Center Point, Roebuck, and Huffman, which are very popular investment destinations.

Where is Centerpoint?

Here is my map of Birmingham. Center Point, Roebuck, and Huffman are up and down Highway 75, which is on the northeast side of Birmingham.

And you’ll see Highway 75 right here, that is also called Center Point Parkway. So I’m gonna zoom in on that. Went in a little too far.

All right, so let’s take a look right in here. This right here is kind of the area of Roebuck. Roebuck bleeds into what I consider kind of Huffman and Center Point.


So as you come along Interstate 59, there is a lot of commercial development right here and as you push forward up through here, all of this is residential and it kind of bleeds into the Clay-Chalkville area.

What you will see is this is a heavy, heavy, heavy rental area. There’s definitely some fix and flip going on, but predominantly over the last 10 years, this has been the most popular place in Birmingham to invest just because of the age of the home.

The homes are built in the late ’50s, ’60s. As you start here, like most cities, they grew out, most of the houses in here are built in the ’50s and it bleeds up here through the ’60s, and some of Clay and Chalkville is probably built in the ’70s.

So an excellent area for investing.

What kind of house can you expect?

The reason I like houses built here is they have more modern systems like heating and air conditioning. They have efficient floor plans with closets.

There are a lot of houses, particularly once you get up the parkway, some that have more bathrooms.

So generally you’re talking about one-bathroom homes here, ironically, a lot of one and a half bathroom homes here.

And you get up into here, more modern day two-bathrooms up near as you kind of from Center Point into Clay.

Rental Rates

Rental rates are pretty interesting here. They’ve gone up, continued to go up over the last 10 years.

This area felt the recession back in ’08, ’09, 2010. A lot of investors came in here and bought homes.

And rental rates, you’re talking about typically a two-bedroom, which you can find in here, probably rents in the $650 to $750 range.

As you get up here, if you can find a two-bedroom, you know, you’re talking about another 100, 150 bucks.

Three bedrooms, one bathroom in here are now starting to rent in the $800 to $900 range. As you get up into here, you’re talking about more like $1,000 $1,100. I’ve even seen some as high as $1,300, $1,400.


The city of Center Point has started to create a few challenges for investors. They’re cracking down on renovations, wanting to make sure people get building permits.

So I think it’s important to abide by their codes, make sure that you talk to the city of Center Point if you’re going to invest there. There are some fix and flips that go on in here.

I think that the majority of them I would say sell now between the 120s and maybe as much as $200,000, $220,000. Again, just a great house built in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s.

And the other thing I would say is that we started using the air conditioning back in the ’60s and ’70s, so you’re talking about the efficient floor plans which help out.

So I hope that was helpful. If you have any other questions we’d love to talk to you. Our Birmingham office is 205-940-6363 extension 3.

And we would love to talk to you about your investment plans and see if that’s something we can help out with. I am Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

Tenant Is Threatening To Sue

Have you ever found out that your tenant is threatening to sue you?

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here, back with another question owners ask.

Today’s question is, “My tenant is threatening to sue me, what should I do?”

So, this happens quite often actually. If you’re a tenant watching this please don’t get any ideas, but tenants often threaten to sue.

I mean, everybody’s got their attorney. We also get the Fox On Your Side but the first thing is this typically doesn’t happen, so just chill out.

Stay Calm

That’s obviously a threat, the tenant is obviously mad. The first thing I would say is just chill out, don’t complicate the matters by you also raising your blood pressure.

Maintain Perspective

The second thing I would say is to understand if they do sue you that it’s not the end of the world.

So, we have been a part of a lot of lawsuits where we disagree with tenants, and again it is not the end of the world.

A small claims court, if you’re not a company you can actually represent yourself in a small claims court. If you are a company you’re gonna have to hire a lawyer.

Find A Solution

The goal, though, is what I would say is number three is to be very objective and try to fix the problem prior to actually getting sued.

I mean, the last thing both parties want to do is get into a “he said, she said” in the middle of a courtroom. That’s just no fun for anybody.

And, that is what I would say to do is try to forget the fact that they’re threatening to sue, just kind of push that aside.

Focus on what is the problem and see if you can’t come to a resolution even if you’re gonna have to give a little bit above what you thought is fair, just to get it to go away.

The last thing you want is to end up in court. So that’s it.

That’s questions owners ask. Hope this was helpful. I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

What Types Of Houses Should I Invest In?

A lot of new investors call our office and ask ‘What Types Of Houses Should I Invest In?’

Hey everybody.

Matthew Whitaker back with another version of “Questions Owners Ask.”

Today’s question is, “What are the types of houses should I invest in?”

So, today I’m really going cover…this is a huge question but I’m gonna cover dates.

I’m going to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of kind of time period built houses.

The Year Built

The first thing I’m gonna talk about is houses that were built from the ’20s to the ’40s.

So, a lot of times you find these houses in lower-income neighborhoods.

These are houses that were built in flat areas. As weird as that is they were built there because they didn’t have modern machinery.

They usually, especially in the south, have high ceiling lines and high rooflines. This was because there was no air conditioner at the time.

Antiquated Systems

So, the problem you have with these is just antiquated systems.

They might have been retrofitted with things like heating and air conditioning. Maybe some modern plumbing, modern electrical, but sometimes they haven’t been.

And there is a problem even with things like heating and air conditioning.

If you have high ceilings, then you have the issues of trying to heat and cool a bigger space.

So, typically your repair and maintenance numbers on these homes will be higher. And so you need to have that expectation.

These homes that were typically smaller in terms of square footage. So, that may make up for some of the extra additional costs of repairs and maintenance.

50’s And 60’s Houses

The next houses I want to get into are kind of the ’50s and ’60s that was kind of the next new wave of houses.

One of the cool things about the ’50s and ’60s is that you get more modern systems. Also, there seems to be an appreciation for really efficient houses.

You get houses that have nicer size closets, better sized bedrooms, and the ceilings aren’t as high.

And you still have modern amenities, you started to get some central heating and air and this era.

These houses – I always joke – are built like tanks and you find a lot of brick ranchers.

But that’s an era I really love. And, and as cities grew out, particularly in the south, you start to see more of those kinds of houses in the suburbs.

Houses Built After The ’80s

The last one I wanna talk about is more modern houses built after the ’80s.

There seemed to be kind of a lull from the ’50s and ’60s up through into the ’80s and ’90s. Even up until the day you get into really modern homes.

And one of the things that I believe is that these are probably in nicer areas.

So, sometimes they’re harder for you to cash flow these houses that were built during these.

These are really in the suburbs. So, depending on the area, and depending on where you buy, you need to just make sure these homes cash flow.

And then, of course, new houses.

One of the great things I think about new houses is your repair and maintenance numbers are very low. Low for about the first 10 years whereas if you renovate a house, the first two years are kind of the honeymoon.

The first 10 years of owning a new house are the honeymoon. One of the things I found after owning a house for 10 years has been brand new that’s when the heating and air conditioning, some of the systems start to break down.

But it’s great for the first 10 years and as long as you plan on kind of, the fixing those capitalizable expenses at the end, then you should be fine. So, that’s it.

Those are “Questions Owners Ask.” I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.

flip houses in Birmingham AL

We meet a lot of investors who want to flip houses in Birmingham, AL.

In this video, Matthew Whitaker will walk through the best places to flip houses in Birmingham, AL.

What’s up everybody, Matthew Whitaker here, another “Questions Owners Ask.” Today’s question is “Where should I look if I want to flip houses in Birmingham AL?”

Well, that’s kind of a loaded question but I’m gonna give you two or three areas that I think are kind of depending on your budget and depending on your risk tolerance where I would look at investing.

Over The Mountain

The first place is what I call “Over the Mountains,” This kind of the Hoover, Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook area.

These are the more expensive homes in Birmingham and they are south of Birmingham, so there’s like a mountain that’s just south of Birmingham.

If you’re from Colorado or somewhere that actually has mountains this is what we call it. And south of the mountain is what we call Over the Mountain. That’s where the big more expensive homes are.


The second place I would focus on to flip houses in Birmingham AL is the northeastern side of town. That’s the Center Point, Roebuck, Huffman area.

These are where you can get really good deals and there’s still a lot of retail buyers. So you can buy a house, it’s a lot more reasonably priced and you can get a house there.


The third place I would look to flip houses in Birmingham AL is probably a little bit less known area. It is Adamsville and Forestdale. I think that there are some really good deals here.

There’s not as much density of houses there but you still have a ton of retail buyers and ton of people that are looking for houses. So this is a good place to fix and flip a house.

That’s it. Matthew Whitaker, “Questions Owners Ask.” I hope this is helpful. I’m with gkhouses.

What’s up, everybody? Matthew Whitaker here.It’s late at night, and I just wanted to shoot a quick video. This video is called “Why I Would Not Quit My Day Job.”

Oh, let me get it straight. Oops. Sorry about that.

And one of the things I think a lot of real estate investors do incorrectly is they don’t have, like, a day job that allows them to invest and grow their rental house business. Also a lot of people wanna jump into, like, full-time real estate investing. And you can certainly do that, but you need to create a day job that creates income that allows you to do all your investing. That way you’re not having to eat out of your business.

Where I see a lot of people get in trouble is when they’re having to eat out of the cash flows of the business.

The business, something goes a little bit wrong, and then all of a sudden they kind of get off track.

So, what I would say is, don’t quit your day job. So, you know, work during the day, invest on the nights and weekends, or have something that’s creating income as a day job that allows you to invest without having to eat out of your rental properties particularly when you’re getting started.

That’s it. Thanks. Matthew Whitaker here.