Top 10 Tips for Buying a Luxury Home in Birmingham, Alabama

From a tear down build brand-new Mc-Mansion in Crestline to a golf course communitie like Liberty Park or Greystone, there’s a plethora of choices in high-end homes in BIrmingham. Consider these tips from someone in luxury home business every day in Birmingham before buying your dream home.

  1. Learn the search process.

Zillow and the other online search platforms are a good place to start, you’ll find 95% of what’s available in Birmingham and the surrounding communities. Understand that the first agent shown is the listing agents and he or she is best qualified to give you information on that home. The other agents shown are paying to have their name and contact information displayed. Do some research and find an agent that fits you and your needs, has knowledge of the market, has good financial knowledge and that you’re comfortable with. Interview several if only on the phone.

  1. Go beyond the photos.

A good photographer can make a property look better than it is and a bad photographer can destroy a property.  This is a reflection on the listing agent rather than the property

  1. Work with a local expert.

It’s critical to have a good buyer agent who is familiar with the community you want to live in. Most cities have several luxury home neighborhoods and each has a distinctive personality and presents a distinctive lifestyle.  Make sure you chose an agent that is familiar with all the neighborhoods and understands the lifestyles as well as the price differences from one neighborhood to the other.  

  1. Bank on your relationships.

I strongly recommend you go to the bank you have a relationship with first, they have your portfolio already. Then get a second opinion; ask your agent to submit your financial information to an independent mortgage originator.  You might be surprised that the guy how sees you as new business might be more aggressive in getting your business than the guy trying to keep your business and he probably has lower overhead.

  1. Document everything.

Get your financial advisors involved. There is more scrutiny today in the high-end market thus financial documentation is critical. If you’re making a lot of money you probably have a manager or an accountant that tries hard to shelter your money so it can be difficult to show the new bank you have the income.

  1. Hire smart, reliable advisers.

A good Realtor won’t know your full financial situation and thus won’t be advising you on your financial decisions but will make suggestions. Pay attention to your financial planner and Realtor that you trust and if they don’t agree on what you should be doing, arrange a meeting.

  1. Buy your home based on your needs and desires but plan for the future, whatever it might bring.

Someday you may have to send kids to college.  Some day you may have to take in your parents. Someday you may lose your source of income.  Someday you’re going to want to sell this home.

  1. Look into the future.

Understand the generation that is following you, that’s who you’re going to want to sell this home to eventually.  Also, understand the landscape around your new home.  As is today, location will be the number one consideration when it comes time to sell your new home.

Understand the financial markets, mortgage rates and terms.  Most people stay in a house for five to seven years.  Figure your timeframe into your decision.

Every year you’ll be one year older, count the stairs.

  1. Know the market, know the house.

Ask your agent:

“How many days has this home been on the market?”

“Can you show me the listing history?”

“What did the current owners pay for this house and when did they buy it?”

“What does it cost to maintain this house?”

“Can you show me the past two years’ statistics on sale of comparable homes in this neighborhood?”

“Why is the current owner selling?”

You’re looking for price per square foot history, Days on the Market History, Price Reduction history, how motivated is the buyer.  Before you sign with any agent you need to read Best of US Homes Luxury Home Report.

  1. There's room to negotiate.

Once you find the home you want and you have the facts you’ll know if there’s room to negotiate.  If you want to make an offer and your agent tries to talk you out of it, get a new agent don’t argue… get a new agent.

Invite Kerry to speak to your group about the changing Luxury Home Market in Birmingham.   205 919 6006


Kerry Grinkmeyer is a real estate agent in Birmingham, AL specializing in the marketing and sales of luxury homes. Kerry's a retired financial advisor, he sold his firm, one of the largest in the Ameriprise Financial Advisor system in 2005 to his son, daughter and nephew.   Now he's building one of the largest boutique real estate agencies that he'll eventually sell to his grandchildren.  He the author of the children’s book The Christmas Web- A Family Christmas Tradition.  Kerry competes in the Senior Olympics in to 50M, 100M and 200M dash as well as the 5k and 10k time trial cycling events.

Kerry offers you his financial background, knowledge of the community, love of business and family and energy to assist you in one of the most important financial decisions you'll make in your lifetime.

205 919 6006