Moving/Relocating To Birmingham, AL: 12 Must-Know Tips

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The City of Birmingham is the centre of Jefferson County in Alabama. Known as the “Magic City”, Birmingham quickly rose in population in the early 1900s due to a thriving iron and steel production industry and its participation in the railroad industry. Today, Birmingham is home to almost 200 thousand people, while the greater Birmingham metropolitan area has over a million people.

If you have plans of moving to Birmingham, Al, this article will guide you with tips and tidbits that will make living in Birmingham a complete joy.

Be sure to take notes about the best places to go dining, the must-see attractions, and the festivals you need to go to. This will allow you to get to know the city’s culture. While looking into the job market, thriving industries, and the cost of living in Birmingham, make sure you are ready for the relocation.

1. The Top Reasons Why People Love Living In Birmingham

Birmingham is a wonderful place to live in for people who want a great mix of modern and classic life. Birmingham enjoys the benefits of an urban and cultural centre, but still, it has its connections to nature and the great outdoors. If you plan on moving to Birmingham, you should know why many people love living there.

Low Cost Of Living

Birmingham, Alabama’s cost of living is, on average, 6% less than the national average. Though the cost of living in any area varies considerably based on several factors, such as your career, salary, area, etc.,

Major expenses like housing, rent, groceries, and utilities are significantly more affordable here.

It’s A Historic City

During the 1950s and 60s, Birmingham was central to many movements in relation to civil rights, especially during the Birmingham campaign. In 1963 the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was very vocal in bringing attention to integration efforts of African Americans in the city. Today, there are museums, community drives, and historic buildings that remind the people of this movement.

Endless Things To Do

Truly, there’s anything and everything in Birmingham. If you are a fan of learning, the city is littered with museums ranging from art and history to science and civil rights. The geography is situated so that it is close to mountain ranges, creating plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. And the people are so unique and fun-loving you’ll be cheering for your favourite sports team in no time.

2. If You Are Relocating, Be Sure You’re Making An Informed Decision On Where To Stay

Choosing where to stay is almost as important a decision as when you decide to relocate. That’s why you should do a lot of research and choose which neighbourhood or community you will end up in. Whether it be due to proximity to the city centre and amenities, security and safety, or peace and quiet. Here are some neighbourhoods you should check out if you’re still looking.

Downtown Birmingham is the first choice of people who want to be in the thick of things. Lots of restaurants and shops, the mixture of mid to high-rise buildings, is a big draw for young professionals.

Highland Park sits in a semi-hilly area that’s a fair distance from the city centre. If you want to have a little space from the business that city life brings, going to the highlands is a great choice.

Forest Park is the ideal midway neighbourhood. It has a healthy mix of restaurants, parks, shops, and reasonably priced residential areas.

Five Points South is named after a 5-way intersection and is located near the UAB campus. It is a favourite for young professionals due to how close it is to the nightlife centres as well as other shops and restaurants.

Shoal Creek is a gated community that can be found at the base of Double Oak Mountain in the Dunnavant Valley. This community is more for the upscale folks and can get pricey, but they offer great spaces and the distance from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

3. The Cost Of Living Is Very Affordable, So You Should Be Comfortable If You Budget Accordingly

In Birmingham, the average cost of living for a single person is 1,066 USD without rental costs. For a small family of four, monthly costs can go as high as 3,820 USD. This would include groceries, basic utilities, and the occasional night out.

Regarding rental, costs vary based on how close it is to the city centre or in select neighbourhoods. For a one-bedroom apartment, prices start at 800 USD and can go up to 2,000 USD. For a three-bedroom apartment, the prices will start at 1,400 USD with an upper ceiling of 4,200 USD.

bird's eye view photography of high-rise buildings and train station

Image Credit: Unsplash

4. Dive Into Birmingham’s Booming Job Market

If you are going to make a home in Birmingham, you will need to find a new job. Luckily, there are a lot of great opportunities in Birmingham, and the city has a healthier job market compared to other metro areas of the same size and population.

According to USNews, unemployment in Birmingham is only 5.7%, significantly lower than the national average of 8.7%. If you are looking for a job, want to venture into a new field, or trying to find a promotion, today is a great time to take the leap.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the largest employer in the region, both the school and its affiliated hospital. You are sure to find great opportunities in education and healthcare services.

This is followed by Regions Financial Corp., AT&T, and Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, providing excellent opportunities in finance and manufacturing.

The Steel industry is also showing great promise for job opportunities. In 2019 the United States Steel Corp. announced an investment plan of 215 million dollars for an advanced electric arc furnace.

5. Better Appreciate The Community Around You By Learning Birmingham’s Place In The Civil Rights Movement

The State of Alabama has a very significant place in the fight for Civil Rights in the US, and Birmingham has its fair share of stories to tell. That’s why many places and events keep the memories alive, making sure to educate the newer generations about the values they fought for.

You should check out and visit these places and learn about the sit-ins, marches, and several confrontations that took place and the people who organised them.

Kelly Ingram Park is a public park where you can relax but also think about how the surrounding area was a popular gathering place for activist groups.

16th Street Baptist Church was the target of a bombing in the 60s. It was rebuilt and later became a central piece of the Birmingham Civil Rights District.

Birmingham, Civil Rights Institute, is an interpretive museum with exhibits and learning materials about the Civil Rights Movement in the 50s and 60s.

6. Help Yourself To Double Servings Of The Best The Barbecue Belt Has To Offer

When you are in the south, there are certain food that you will find everywhere. This would include:

Barbecue and Ribs, Oysters and Seafood, Fried Chicken, and an assortment of sweets and pies.

In Alabama, a white sauce containing mayonnaise, pepper and vinegar is a staple, especially when served with smoked barbecue chicken.

Birmingham might be an inland city, but it is still close enough to the gulf coast to have a readily available supply of fresh oysters in most restaurants.

Fried chicken is one type of food that is good wherever you try it. So, the next best thing is to try how restaurants have experimented on this old classic. In Birmingham, local favourites include chicken tender sandwiches, wings with a dozen different dips, and chicken and waffles.

Ribs are an extension of barbecue but somehow have made a separate cult following of its own. So, whether you’re partial to short, flanken-style, or baby back ribs, the choices in Birmingham are equally endless.

In Alabama, the signature pie is said to be sweet potato pie, so add that first on your list, but a few good contenders are coconut, key lime, and chocolate.

red structure

Image Credit: Unsplash

7. Be Part Of The Sports Craze; Pick A Team And Cheer Them On A Weekend Game

Although it does not have a major league sports team to root for, the sports scene in Birmingham is far from quiet. The minor league baseball team of Birmingham Barons has quite the following, and their games at the Regions Park draw in a fair crowd.

If you’re more of a basketball fan, the Bartow Arena is home to the University of Alabama At Birmingham basketball teams.

To learn more about the history of sports and the teams that used to play here, you can also visit the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, which has thousands of sports memorabilia and artefacts.

8. Get To Know The City And Learn New Things Along The Way By Visiting These Museums

Birmingham has the solution if you’re a fan of learning, curious about how things work, or just seeing yourself having a lot of free afternoons. The city is home to many museums that tackle so many different things, from vintage motorcycles, race cars, and contemporary art to a historic pig iron-producing blast furnace. Go ahead and make a list and visit these places.

  • Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
  • Birmingham Museum of Art
  • McWane Science Center
  • Vulcan Park and Museum
  • Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

9. Enjoy Birmingham’s Geography At the Appalachian Foothills And Relax At These Outdoor Parks

Birmingham’s geography is excellent if you enjoy spending time outdoors. Flanked by parallel mountain ridges, the city sits in the Jones Valley and is close to several mountain ranges, creeks and rivers, and of course, recreational parks and trekking courses.

If activities like this sound fun, lace up your hiking shoes and set out to these destinations.

Red Mountain Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It is home to its namesake, the Red Mountain ridge.

Oak Mountain State Park is a recreational area that you can find roughly 20 miles south of central Birmingham. There you can find the Alabama Wildlife Center and many outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and even golf!

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is a 1,000-acre preserve with a visitor centre to view some of Alabama’s native wildlife and 14 miles of hiking trails.

Moss Rock Preserve is a nature preserve that is 349 acres. It is smaller than Ruffner Mountain but still very much worth the visit if you like to spend time in nature.

10. If You’re Having A Lazy Afternoon, Check out These Spots That Both Locals And Tourists Love

Birmingham also has many choices on off days when you just want to chill and have a good time with friends and family, maybe have a picnic, or catch a show.

The Birmingham Zoo spans 122 acres and is home to over 200 animal species. If you want a more personal encounter, there are sections where you can feed the animals and watch a sea lion show.

Pepper Place Saturday Market is a way for you to get fresh produce from locally sourced family-owned farms.

Birmingham Children’s Theatre is the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex resident and performs shows for young audiences. Catch a show sometime and support a new generation of artists.

Barber Motorsports Park is perfect for those who want more action. Spanning 880 acres, the racing facility hosts numerous motorsport races.

11. Make A Must-Do Checklist Before Moving To Birmingham

Making a must-do checklist will be your secret weapon in making a move super efficient. You can plan, organise, track, and update your progress easily.

To start off, you can use this list as a guide:

  • Documents
  • Packing and Necessary Materials
  • Things to donate/sell
  • Important contacts
  • Travel precautions
  • Cash On Hand

It is also wise to add a timeline for every item where you can track your progress.

12. Engage A Professional Moving Company For A Smooth Relocation Process

Lastly, to fully enjoy your moving experience, engage with a trusted and professional moving company like Sanelo. With years of experience in coordinating and operating both local and international relocation, you won’t worry about anything at all.

You’d also be happy to know that if you engage with Sanelo, you won’t have to deal with carrying heavy luggage. You’ll stay stress-free during travel knowing your belongings are protected by Sanelo’s shipment protection.

Conclusion On Moving To Birmingham

Suppose you are looking for a city to maximise your cash, be close to cultural attractions, and lead a simple life with low costs and cheap housing. In that case, relocating to Birmingham is the move for you.

In addition, Birmingham has so many attractions that will make your life so interesting. There are a number of museums to choose from, festivals and celebrations to join, ball games to cheer, and all the barbecues you will ever want.

If you need more time to decide or want to check out other cities in the great southern state of Alabama, read about Montgomery and Huntsville.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving/Relocating To Birmingham

What Is The Average Cost Of Housing In Birmingham?

According to, based on more than a thousand homes listed for sale, the median listing price is 180,000 USD. This is comparatively lower than the median price of homes in the US in 2022 at 428,700 USD. On average, the cost of housing in Birmingham is 28.5% lower than in the rest of the United States.

Is Birmingham A Cheap Place To Live In?

Yes. In Birmingham, the overall cost of living is 7.4% lower when compared to the national average. This can also be seen in the price of goods which is 4.5% lower.

What Is The Weather Like In Birmingham?

Summer is usually between April and September, with temperatures averaging around 86 degrees. While the city doesn’t experience extreme heat like other places in Alabama, it occasionally reaches triple digits. During winter, temperatures average around 52 degrees.

On average, Birmingham gets 2.6 inches of rain per month, making it the third wettest place in the United States. The heaviest rainfall occurs between January and February, when Birmingham averages nearly 5 inches of rain per month.

How Far Ahead Should I Contact Sanelo Before The Move Date?

Ideally, you should engage with Sanelo two or three months before moving. This way, we will have more time to schedule your slot and prepare the essential items and equipment necessary for the shipment of your belongings. However, we understand that not all situations can be ideal. So, it is best to contact and speak with a Sanelo representative so we can provide you with a more tailored service.


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