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How To Flip Houses In Alabama: Step By Step (2023)

When it comes to creating wealth, the possibilities are endless. Many financial advisors will likely encourage you to invest in stocks, own businesses, buy bonds, or even invest in unconventional assets like gold and silver. Although these strategies might offer inflation-beating returns over the long term, they are not the best place to put your money. So, where is the best place to park your cash? Real estate investment.

The Alabama real estate market offers an array of opportunities for aspiring investors to capitalize on. Where to start? One of the most exciting investment strategies in Alabama is fix-and-flip investing.

According to ATTOM Data Solutions' Q3 2022 U.S. Home Flipping Report, house flippers across the nation are still making tons of money flipping houses - despite the challenging macro-environment. Alabama is no different.

According to Zillow, the average home in Alabama has increased a whopping 36% over the past 5-year period. Given the strength of the market and its desirability both amongst residents and visitors, the average home for sale is $210,558 as of April 2023 - a 6.6% increase from 2022.

Want to get in on the action? Keep reading to learn more about flipping houses in Alabama.


What Is Flipping Houses?

Flipping houses is an investment strategy involving the acquisition of properties at a value below market rate, enhancing them through strategic renovations, and subsequently placing them back on the market for a profit. When executed with a keen eye for detail and strategic planning, house flipping can prove to be a highly lucrative venture.

The realm of house flipping is not limited to single-family homes. Investors can expand their portfolio by exploring the potential of multi-family apartments, duplexes, triplexes, or even short-term rentals. The United States real estate landscape, including markets like Alabama, is replete with opportunities for astute investors to acquire, transform, and profit from this profitable strategy.


Alabama House Flipping Statistics

An investor's success is often dependent on the quality and reliability of their data. Accordingly, let's delve into some of the dependable and recent statistics and information related to house flipping in Alabama:

  • Average Home Value: $210,558 
  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: ↑ 6.6%
  • Median Days On Market: 46
  • Active Listings: 19,029
  • Months Of Inventory: 3
  • Median Sale Price: $274,000
  • Foreclosure Rate: One in every 7,233 homes
  • Total Monthly Foreclosure Filings: 315
  • Population: 5,074,296
  • Median Household Income: $54,943
  • Unemployment Rate: 2.2%

*All Alabama housing market statistics are as of April 2023.

Alabama House Flipping Statistics

As a novice or seasoned house flipper, it's essential to equip yourself with thorough market data, monitor economic trends, and understand the median home price within your chosen market. This knowledge can steer your investment strategies, assisting you in recognizing promising opportunities and potential pitfalls in the Alabama housing market. For your research, consider the following resources:

  • Zillow’s Alabama Market Overview: Zillow delivers the current median home value in Alabama, incorporating a historical overview of the state's home value index. This resource offers vital insights into Alabama's market trends.
  • Alabama Housing Market Data:'s housing market pages provide real estate investors with properties listed in Alabama by county, city, and ZIP code.
  • Redfin’s Alabama Housing Market Overview: Redfin lists essential monthly metrics on the Alabama housing market, reporting on home price changes, housing supply, demand, and other crucial metrics for spotting potential house-flipping opportunities.
  • ATTOM’s Alabama Real Estate & Property Data: ATTOM presents up-to-date Alabama property data and offers curated, engaging real estate reports for each state in the US.
  • SoFi’s State Foreclosure Data: SoFi's exhaustive guide delivers an overview of foreclosure rates across all 50 states, including Alabama. This information is highly valuable for house flippers, offering insights into potential opportunities in the distressed property market.
  • U.S. Census Bureau’s Alabama Data: Here, you can discover vital demographic and economic statistics about the state of Alabama. Real estate investors can gain an understanding of the state's population distribution, income levels, housing situation, and more, which can help shape investment decisions and strategies.
  • Bureau Of Labor Statistics’ Alabama Economic Data: The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a comprehensive perspective of Alabama's employment scenario, covering data on unemployment rates and sector-wise job distribution. House flippers in Alabama would find this data particularly useful as it offers insights into the state's job market—a critical factor influencing the health of the real estate market.


How To Flip Houses In Alabama (7 Steps)

If the prospect of house flipping in Alabama feels intimidating, rest assured that you're not alone. It's a process that may seem daunting at first glance, with various steps and decisions along the way. However, Real Estate Skills has crafted a step-by-step guide designed to alleviate your concerns and equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate the real estate market with confidence:

  1. Find A House Flipping Mentor
  2. Research The Alabama Housing Market
  3. Find & Analyze Distressed Properties In Alabama
  4. Raise Capital To Fund The Deal
  5. Close On The House
  6. Renovate The Property
  7. Resell The House

How To Flip Houses in Alabama in 7 Steps

1. Find A House Flipping Mentor

In the competitive real estate market of Alabama, finding profitable fix & flip investment opportunities can be challenging without the guidance of a mentor. Having a mentor is crucial for identifying lucrative properties and navigating complex transactions. These individuals have “been around the block” and can help you avoid costly mistakes and roadblocks.

To find the right mentor, explore various resources such as online investment clubs, social media forums, networking events, and professional referrals. Though it may require an investment of time and money, securing a mentor will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run.

If you are interested in accelerating your real estate education, why not take advantage of Real Estate Skills' comprehensive training and mentorship program? We offer expert guidance to help you navigate the Alabama housing market and beyond. Our mentors are experienced professionals who can provide invaluable insights to help you succeed in your real estate investment journey. 

Ready to start investing in the Alabama Real Estate Market? Join Alex Martinez at his FREE training to learn how to get started with house flipping and wholesaling!

2. Research The Alabama Housing Market

Before you start, you’ll need to conduct thorough research on the state's real estate housing market and home prices. Understanding the current trends, median home prices, and demand for properties can help you make informed decisions and maximize your return on investment.

Thankfully, there are various resources available online to help you get familiar with the Alabama real estate market. Some of these resources include:

  • The Alabama Association of Realtors: This website provides information about local real estate market conditions, upcoming events, and real estate news in Alabama. You can also find a directory of real estate agents and brokers in the state.
  • The Alabama Real Estate Commission: This site offers information about licensing requirements for real estate agents and brokers in Alabama, as well as information about real estate laws, educational opportunities, and regulations.
  • The CulverHouse College of Business Alabama Center for Real Estate: This website provides data and analysis on the Alabama real estate market, including reports on residential and commercial sales, housing affordability, and trends.

By utilizing these resources, you can gain a deeper understanding of the Alabama real estate market and make informed decisions as a fix and flip investor. However, browsing websites, taking courses, listening to podcasts, and learning Alabama laws will only help you scratch the surface.

In order to truly gain a deeper knowledge of the Alabama market, you should network with local real estate professionals, attend industry events, and conduct your own research by visiting properties and exploring neighborhoods.

3. Find And Analyze Distressed Properties In Alabama

To be successful, it's important to know how to identify and analyze distressed properties. This process involves understanding how to assess the after-repair value (ARV) of a property, estimating the rehab costs, and calculating the maximum allowable offer (MAO).

Assessing the ARV

The ARV is the value you believe your investment can fetch when relisted back on the market after you’ve completed your repairs. It is a crucial factor in determining the potential profitability of your investment.

To calculate the ARV in Alabama, you should consult with local real estate professionals, such as real estate agents, general contractors, and lawyers. They’ll be able to confidently tell you what similar houses go for in nearby neighborhoods.

Additionally, online resources like the Zillow Home Values Index and the Redfin Alabama Housing Market Overview can provide valuable insight into property values and market trends in different regions of the state.

Read Also: Red Flags Before Hiring a Contractor

Estimating Rehab Costs

Properly estimating rehab costs is essential to ensuring a successful flip. You should carefully assess which renovations will add the most value to the property and accurately estimate the cost of those renovations.

Websites like HomeAdvisor and Angi’s have construction calculators and numerous articles, insights, and guides that can be helpful resources for finding local contractors and getting a sense of their pricing.

Calculating The MAO

The maximum allowable offer (MAO) is a formula used to determine the maximum amount you should pay for a distressed property in order to make a profit. The MAO formula is:

ARV - Desired Profit - Renovation Cost = Maximum Allowable Offer (MAO).

mao formula for Alabama house flipping

This formula ensures the investor makes a steady income in all market conditions, irrespective of the many moving variables associated with the flipping business.

One such variation of the MAO that is commonly used is the 70% Rule.

What Is The 70% Rule In House Flipping?

When calculated correctly, the 70% Rule ensures the investor makes at least a 30% profit on the flip. Here is the updated formula:

(ARV x 70%) - Renovation Cost = Maximum Allowable Offer (MAO)

By consistently searching for distressed properties in attractive neighborhoods throughout Alabama and carefully analyzing the numbers using the ARV, rehab cost, and MAO methods and formulas, you can increase your chances of success as a fix-and-flip investor. Some areas you might want to consider include Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile. Each of these cities has seen steady growth in recent years.

4. Raise Capital To Fund The Deal

Now, let's talk about raising capital for your Alabama fix and flip project.

Here are three financing options you could employ on your next investment: hard money, bank financing, and private money or joint venture (JV) partnerships.

Hard Money

Hard money loans are typically offered by non-bank lenders and are ideal if you're in a hurry to close. These lenders underwrite transactions very quickly and generally offer more leverage than other sources. However, hard money loans do not come without some risk. These loans typically carry very high-interest rates.

Bank Financing

If you're not in a hurry, bank financing is a good option. Though the process can sometimes be a bit tedious, you’ll get much more favorable lending terms than you would otherwise with a hard money lender. However, keep in mind, banks are not in the business of risking their capital and making bets.

Though they can offer construction loans utilizing projections, they will probably avoid making aggressive fix and flip loans.

Private Money/JV Partnerships

A private investment or an equity infusion from a joint venture (JV) partnership is a flexible way to raise capital without raising debt. These sources are usually easier to fund than hard money or bank loans because they're conducted as an unofficial I-O-U and they are structured as equity rather than debt.

Although, because they are structured as equity and your partners share in the project’s risk, you’ll also need to share the profits. Consider reaching out to family members, friends, or mentors to help fund your fix-and-flip project.

5. Close On The House

Finalizing a real estate transaction in Alabama has similarities with other states, but it's crucial for investors to understand that Alabama operates as an "attorney" state, meaning a qualified attorney must be involved in the closing process.  The closing process can be summarized in these steps:

  • Negotiations: The first stage of real estate transactions is negotiation. Once the buyer and seller agree on terms, they are documented in a purchase agreement. The purchase agreement outlines all the specifics of the upcoming transaction, from the purchase price to the closing date.
  • Title Search: In Alabama, title insurance is common practice, with a title company typically conducting a title search to avoid any potential ownership discrepancies in the future.
  • Inspection: Investors have the option to inspect the property for any major issues. Any discovered issues may be addressed, with both parties reaching a consensus on the appropriate course of action.
  • Final Walkthrough: The final walkthrough takes place just prior to the closing and verifies that the property's condition aligns with the condition stated in the purchase agreement.
  • Closing: The closing process involves the transfer of both ownership and funds, usually facilitated by an escrow agent or attorney, depending on the specifics of the transaction.
  • Recording: The change of ownership is then recorded in the local Recorder’s Office, marking the formal completion of the transaction.

6. Renovate The Property

As you proceed with the renovation phase, your primary aim is to maximize potential returns while mitigating risk factors. Achieving this balance involves in-depth research to determine which types of renovations will yield the fastest and highest return on your investment.

Using your resources for specific projects with proven high return-on-Investment (ROI) can propel the success of your house-flipping venture. Remember, not every upgrade has the same ROI, so discerning the ones with the most substantial impact in your specific market is key at this stage.

7. Resell The House

Once you’ve completed your renovation, it’s time to resell the house.

The most successful fix and flip investors typically renovate and sell houses to owner-occupied homeowners, however, there are plenty of investors who prefer to sell to other rental property owners.

The key to determining the right exit strategy for you is to assess your home buyer’s motivation. If you sell to a homeowner, your goal should be to ensure the buyer’s appraisal comes in high so they can get access to bank financing. If you are selling to an investor, your goal will be to ensure the house can fetch a high monthly rent. These two data points will largely impact how, and to whom, you plan on selling your property.


How To Find Houses To Flip In Alabama

There are a number of ways to find houses to flip in the state of Alabama, but it demands a deep understanding of the real estate market and access to prime property listings. One of the most valuable resources at a real estate investor's disposal is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Typically, access to the MLS is reserved for licensed real estate agents, but there are ways around this.

Take advantage of our comprehensive video on "How to Get MLS Access Without a License." This walkthrough will provide you with insider tips and strategies to navigate the MLS system effectively and secure the best deals!

Also, you could perform direct seller marketing tactics like sending postcards, making cold calls, and going door-to-door to see if people would be receptive to fielding offers. Many investors also work alongside banks and auction sites to find upcoming foreclosures coming on the market.

Read Also: Real Estate Marketing (The Ultimate Guide)


Do I Need A License To Flip Houses In Alabama?

No, you don’t need a license to flip houses in Alabama. However, it might be a good idea to get one anyway.

Why? Because as an agent, you’ll get access to a number of useful resources and courses as well as save money on your listings. Instead of paying a third-party realtor to list your flips, why not list them yourself? As an agent, you’ll be able to do just that.

Do you need a license to flip houses in Alabama?

Thinking about investing in real estate? Join Alex Martinez at his FREE training to learn how to get started with house flipping and wholesaling!


How To Flip A House In Alabama With No Money?

No money for a downpayment to flip a house? No problem! Check out these strategies to help you springboard your flipping business with no money down:

  • Private Lenders: Private money lenders will sometimes fund 80% - 100% of the deal plus construction costs! Wealthy mentors with a deep understanding of the Alabama market could be a good option here.
  • Hard Money Lenders: Hard money lenders are similar to private money lenders with one distinct caveat: they are slightly more expensive. Interest rates are usually at least 10%. You’ll also need to pay origination and processing fees.
  • Wholesaling: Though not technically a flip, wholesaling real estate in Alabama is a great strategy for investors with no money. Instead of buying a property, wholesaling involves a contract between the owner of a home and the investor. Find a property, put it under contract, and then assign the contract over to a new buyer for a fee.
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding entails pooling money together with peers and other investors. This is a great option if you want to be the operator, but don’t have the money to invest.


What Are The Best Cities To Flip Houses In Alabama?

Best Cities to Flip Houses in AlabamaThe Alabama housing market presents a wealth of opportunities for investors interested in flipping houses. While various cities offer unique potential for investments, specific markets stand out for their unique blend of affordable housing, robust growth, and promising returns.

To capitalize on these opportunities, it's essential to understand the local market dynamics, economic indicators, and demographic trends that contribute to the profitability of a flip. After an in-depth analysis of current market conditions, here are the top three cities in Alabama that offer the most promising prospects for house flippers in 2023:

  • Birmingham: Birmingham, AL's housing market may be attractive for house flipping and real estate investing due to a few key factors. The median sale price is relatively low, at $205,000, which is 50% lower than the national average. This lower entry point, coupled with a competitive market where homes typically receive two offers and sell in around 38 days, presents potential opportunities for real estate investors. Furthermore, the average homes sell for about 2% below the list price, providing a potential margin for profit.
  • Huntsville: Huntsville, AL offers an appealing market for investors as well. With a median home price of $332,000, which is 19% lower than the national average, it offers competitive pricing. Like Birmingham, Huntsville's market is somewhat competitive, with homes receiving two offers on average and selling in around 38 days. The average homes in Huntsville sell for about 1% below the listing price. Additionally, Huntsville has seen positive 2.1% year-on-year price growth, which suggests potential for capital appreciation.
  • Mobile: The median sale price in Mobile, AL is 53% lower than the national average, at $190,000 providing an affordable entry point for investors. The market in Mobile is also somewhat competitive with homes selling in around 25 days, and for about 3% below the listing price on average. However, Mobile has seen a decrease in home prices compared to the previous year, which might indicate a potential for buying at a lower price and selling for a profit if the market conditions improve.

Remember, each city's real estate market can differ significantly, so local market research, a solid understanding of demographic trends, and consultation with local real estate professionals are essential to making informed investment decisions.


Final Thoughts On Flipping Homes In Alabama

Indeed, house flipping in Alabama presents a promising opportunity, but it's important to remember that successful investing requires comprehensive understanding and the right skill set.

At Real Estate Skills, we're committed to providing you with the tools and training necessary to navigate the world of real estate investment. Whether you're a seasoned investor or a novice eager to learn, our comprehensive training programs can help streamline your path to success in the exciting world of house flipping.

We invite you to join our training at Real Estate Skills to equip yourself with the knowledge, insights, and strategies proven to generate substantial returns in the house-flipping industry. Don't miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on Alabama's vibrant real estate market. Sign up for our training today, and start your journey to financial freedom through successful real estate investment!

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