At 26, he bought his first home—now he helps others build wealth through real estate

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Lawrence Barron II in front of the Fairfield home he bought at age 26. (Matthew Niblett / Bham Now)

In honor of Black History Month, we’ve got a great story. Lawrence Barron II bought his first home in Fairfield at age 26. That experience led him to become a Realtor himself, and now he’s dedicated to increasing home ownership within the African American community and beyond. 

Meet Lawrence Barron II

Lawrence Barron II has been selling real estate since 2017. Born and raised in Fairfield, he graduated from The University of Alabama in 2005.

At that time, when his friends were buying cars, going on trips and living in apartments, he thought that was what he wanted, too. 

But his mom had another idea, and asked “Why don’t you think about purchasing your own home?”

Although he was making good money, he didn’t think he could afford a home. For the next two years, though, he lived with his parents and saved what he needed.

In 2008 at age 26—during the housing market crash—he bought his first home: a foreclosure that cost less than $90K.

Suddenly, he was the youngest homeowner on his street, and may or may not have hosted a few parties… 

Homeowner to educator, educator to Realtor, Realtor to investor

Soon his friends and family were asking how he was able to buy a home. 

Just by answering their questions, he was educating them on the process, which led him to get into the real estate industry himself.

In 2017, he got his license and began selling real estate, mostly in Birmingham, Fairfield, McCalla, Pleasant Grove, Hoover, and other surrounding areas. In 2021, he was one of the top 10 agents in the McCalla brokerage. 

“Being honored in that way means a lot. It recognizes my hard work. It gives me a sense of pride that I’m doing things right in the community. And it lets my family and my clients know that they’ve worked with a top agent during their journey of home ownership.”

Lawrence Barron II

In 2020, he and his dad partnered on his first “fix and flip.” Now, the pair are already working on their third in Fairfield.  

And that foreclosure he bought at age 26? He’s now turned it into his first investment property, which he and his wife, Erica Barron, rent out for cash flow.

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“Owning a home is a keystone of wealth…both financial affluence and emotional security.” —Suze Orman

Lawrence Barron II
Helping others buy a home. (Lawrence Barron II)

What inspired this story was a quote from Barron in RealtySouth’s Black History Month post last year. 

“RealtySouth is an industry leader serving our communities with a commitment to customer service, integrity and excellence. As a realtor, I seek to educate, inspire and raise awareness of how home ownership plays a vital role in wealth creation. Owning a home is a keystone of wealth…both financial affluence and emotional security. I will continue to be an advocate for democracy in housing, while being a servant to our community.”

Lawrence Barron II 

I was particularly interested in seeing what he had to say about the role of home ownership in wealth creation. When we talked, he shared five key points:

  1. You can take advantage of your home’s increasing appreciation and also earn cash flow from real estate.
  2. Real estate provides financial security. 
  3. You can leverage your home’s equity to make home improvements, invest in education, invest in real estate, or utilize it as an emergency fund.
  4. Real estate has a great deal of tax benefits.
  5. Most importantly, you can pass a home along as a legacy to your children or grandchildren.

The National Association of Real Estate Brokers provides valuable resources, education + advocacy

RealtySouth
Working to make real estate accessible to all. (Matthew Niblett / Bham Now)

Two of Barron’s goals are to encourage, promote and educate people about solutions for achieving homeownership and to provide affordable housing to his community. 

To this end, he is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, or NAREB for short. This is a real estate trade organization with a mission of promoting democracy in housing, founded in 1947 by 12 African Americans during a time when equal housing was not yet a reality. 

They provide resources for clients (African American and others) such as the following: 

  • First-time home buyer resources
  • Down payment assistance programs
  • Mortgage counseling
  • Understanding credit
  • Understanding the impact of student loan debt

Translating deeper commitments into day-to-day actions

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Working every day to help others buy their own homes. (Matthew Niblett / Bham Now)

These steps help Barron serve his clients in ways that advance his overall goals: 

  1. Educating them about the market and the home buying process, including mortgage pre-approval, down payment and closing costs, during a buyer’s consultation.
  2. Coaching buyers to submit their best offer given current market conditions
  3. Referring buyers to the best mortgage lenders, home inspectors and closing attorneys that fit their needs.

Interested in a career in real estate? See what it takes to become a Realtor with RealtySouth today.

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Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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