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Old 03-28-2011, 11:35 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,042 times
Reputation: 10
Default Moving to B'ham - Need advice: To buy a foreclosed home or not?

Hi all,
I'm moving to Birmingham soon for graduate school, and I am looking into purchasing a very cheap foreclosed home (something less than $30,000). There are TONS of these around, it seems, but I know that most of them are in unsafe areas. I am worried about a few things and thought I would ask you experts if you have any advice for me.

First and foremost, I worry about safety. I have been using a number of crime-mapping websites, but I feel like these don't give me the full story. I need help finding a home in my price range in a safe place (if this is even possible).

Second, I need to make sure that the home is at least structurally sound (solid foundation, etc.). My fiance is coming along and the idea is for him to have a house to fix up while I go to school. So, it doesn't have to be perfect, but we can't be demolishing it and building it back up from scratch.

Does anyone know of any homes in a SAFE area in my price range (below 30k) that are probably structurally sound? Or is this just not going to happen?

Thank you!
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Santa Fe, NM
874 posts, read 1,091,969 times
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That's going to be a tough call. In the sub-30K market, about the only place I would suggest (and this is a very tentative suggestion) would be South Eastlake, as far east as possible.ut even then be very careful.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:33 AM
 
5,406 posts, read 7,398,942 times
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If you are looking for a one-man-fixer-upper in a let's call it decent by lack of other terms neighborhood 30k will not cover the bill.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:25 AM
 
24,591 posts, read 25,653,468 times
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It really depends on the neighborhood of the house in question. If you can provide us with a couple of locations, we'll give you advice.

Lots of foreclosed properties are in nice areas and in nice conditions.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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Here are a few addresses that I have been looking at (the forum keeps messing up the URLs for some reason). There's also one right next to Central Park Elementary School. They don't look too terrible, and at least from the pictures, seem like they can be fixed up by one person. Of course, I'd visit and have them inspected, but if I can pull this off, I'd really like to.

I've had a lot of trouble because people kind of laugh at me like this is impossible, but these houses exist and some of them seem okay. I just need to find one that won't be broken into every night. :P

RAVINE RD, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35210

SW 10TH AVE, ALABASTER, AL 35007

MAPLE DR, MCCALLA, AL 35111

W 43RD ST, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35208
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
313 posts, read 255,814 times
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Ravine Road - Probably your best bet location wise. You're close to I459 (although maybe too close) and you have lots of options for dining and entertainment. Plus it would be your easiest commute for school (assuming you are attending UAB).

SW 10th Ave - I personally would not recommend Alabaster to anyone. I made the mistake of buying a townhouse there and regret it 100%. It would be your longest commute and you aren't close to anything exciting being as it's mostly chain stores and restaurants.

Maple Dr - This would be the most rural location if you're looking for that sort of thing. However, the area is growing a lot and many additions are being made. It would also be a long commute.

W 43rd St - Only location considered to be in a "bad" area of town. It's near a lot of lower income housing and industrial areas. I wouldn't want to live there.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Santa Fe, NM
874 posts, read 1,091,969 times
Reputation: 1049
Ravine Road is pretty much alongside 459. I think its the remnants of an old mining community.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:39 AM
 
5,406 posts, read 7,398,942 times
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Alabaster - very stale market and your commute to UAB during regular hours will be a bear.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:33 AM
 
24,591 posts, read 25,653,468 times
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Why not look for a foreclosed condo on Southside or downtown? If you're a grad student will you really have the time/energy/money to keep up or improve a house with a yard, etc?
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:50 AM
 
2 posts, read 428 times
Reputation: 10
Jinxi, I too am looking to relocate here and am in the same boat. I am wanting to renovate my own house and have been looking at "safe" parts of town. Not knowing the area [I lived in Montgomery for 10 yrs.] I have been searching many sites as well to find a place that is in a nicer neighborhood and have settled on Bessemer or Homewood areas to narrow down. Any info I can share with you I will and would appeicate the same. Happy Hunting and GOOD LUCK!
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