There are literally hundreds of areas that I would buy in and around Birmingham.
I like to tell people; I will buy in what I call "retail" neighborhoods.
That is where the majority of homes sold are to the retail buyer. Not a rental area, in other words.
So many people get hung up on the "hot" areas and think that is the best place to flip. It can be, but many times I've found it to get too competitive, and it is actually harder!
The other factor that will determine the area is what funds you have available to you.
You may know an incredible area near you where the homes will sell for $300,000 when renovated, but you are only approved for $150,000. That's not gonna work.
I tell new investors I think it is wise to stay at the lower end of the housing market, especially for your first few flips. That price point will vary depending on where you live.
In my area, I love the homes selling between $125,000 and $225,000. So many more people can qualify to buy in this range as opposed to having a $400,000 house to sell. Not that I won't do a higher-priced home, I'm personally more comfortable in the lower range.
Another important factor is the distance to your flip.
You may find a great neighborhood on the other side of town, but if you are in a larger city, the other side of town can be an hour or more away! You will be spending a lot of time at your flip, especially in the beginning.
I don't like wasting hours out of my day driving, and I think you will come to the same conclusion.
The last thing I want to mention is to be aware of your surroundings.
You may have found a great neighborhood, but there can be bad apples in a good area. Look for factors that you can't correct.
Some examples are busy streets, bad intersections, steep lots either above or below grade, a commercial property next door, high power lines. You could have neighbors that may have a run-down property.
It doesn't matter how nice you make yours, the first thing a potential buyer is going to see is the neighbor's house, and then many won't even consider yours!