So, you're looking to buy a house in Alabama. Well, luckily for you we've compiled a little guide to the housing market of The Yellowhammer State (that's one of their nicknames, by the way). We'll cover some of the factors that just might help you make your decision. Plus, we'll include a bit of fun stuff, too. Let's get started.
The first question on a lot of people's minds when moving to a new state is "Where will I shell out the most green?" Thanks to our friends at homesnacks.net, we've compiled a list of the places with the biggest and smallest money-factors in Alabama, as of the beginning of 2018.
Most expensive cities:
Least expensive cities:
So now you've got a good starting point for narrowing down your search, if affordability matters to you (as it should).
Of course, if a place has a groovy housing market, that'll serve as extra inspiration to move there. So what's the market like in Alabama, as of late? We'll dive right in and find out.
According to housingpredictor.com, Birmingham is THE hottest place to buy a home in Alabama. It's the most populated city and has lots of job opportunities in fields like construction, banking and publishing. There's also a happenin' downtown area. The housing market in Birmingham is said to be "low-risk and stable," so that's definitely good. Most properties here apparently sell for $80,000 - $100,000. Plus, the area's been nicknamed "The Magic City", so it's gotta be a big deal.
The state's also got a fair bit of new construction underway, as shown on zillow.com. You'll find the most in central Alabama, in/around Birmingham (see, they told you the place was hot). There's also a good bit in the southwest area of the state, in/around Mobile, and in the southeast, in/around Dothan. Up north a bit, there's development underway in/around Huntsville, and further east you'll find some in/around Auburn. So, the state has quite a few shiny new homes to offer.
So now we know where to find a place to live, but how much will it actually cost, and what are home values like in the state lately? Let's check all that out next.
For starters, zillow.com says that home values in Alabama currently average about $126,000. Homes are listed on the market for an average of $203,900, and sales close for around $144,400. The price per square foot averages $101. And as far as home appreciation is concerned, home values have increased 5.3% over the past year, and are projected to rise another 1.3% by the end of 2018.
That's all well and good, but how about people who are seeking apartments/condos? Well, rentcafe.com says that you can find a place for an average of $917/month in Birmingham, or for $771/month in Mobile. You'll pay a bit more in Mountain Brook, where places average $1,135/month. Rent is a bit cheaper in Madison, with places up for around $828/month. You can save quite a bit, though, if you move to Oxford - where you'll only pay about $540/month.
Don't worry, townhouse lovers, we didn't forget about you. As seen on zillow.com, the range of rent for a townhouse in Alabama starts on the low end for about $400/month for a two-bedroom, and hits the high end at about $3,600/month for a five-bedroom.
Before you buy a house in a new state, it's important to know of any mandatory insurance policies specific to the area. Those who are Alabama-bound haven't escaped this, unfortunately, because this place just LOVES hurricanes. In fact, Alabama is one of 19 states that require a hurricane deductible as a part of their homeowner’s insurance policy.
But what does that mean, exactly? Well, basically you'll have to pay your insurance company a certain amount of money before they'll cover any damage to your home dealt out by an angry windstorm. Deductible costs are typically about 1%-5% of the insurance value of the home, but it really depends on where you live, too. Houselogic.com says that those living in a low-risk area in a smaller/cheaper house might pay $300 towards their deductible, while those living in high-risk areas in a fancy mansion might pay $30,000.
If you want to avoid this specific kind of insurance policy (not to mention hurricanes in general, which just aren't fun to deal with at ALL), you might consider moving to a state away from the coast - one that's comfortably sandwiched between other states more likely to get hit by those nasty storms.
Another thing folks typically like to know about before setting their sights on a new state and hitting the "all systems go" button is the school system. So what are schools like in Alabama, you ask? Well, we're about to find out.
Here are some 2018 WalletHub stats about how Alabama schools ranked in the country:
Alabama's schools ranked third-lowest in terms of dropout rates for the country. The top-rated schools in the state are Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School in Montgomery, and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Alright, we've covered the important stuff, now it's time to get to more of the fun stuff. Why would people want to move to Alabama, in the first place? Well, don't take our word for it - let's hear a few pros and cons straight from the mouths of REAL Alabamians.
PROs (as voted by real-life Alabamians):
CONs (also from the mouths of real Alabamians):
Cool, so now we know a bit about WHY people move here - but we still need to find out WHAT people here do. Let's check out a few insider's secrets to having some fun in this place, from museums to sporting events and more.
Here are just a few of the state's coolest attractions:
Alright folks, that's our little guide to all things house-buying in Alabama, brought to you with a bit of fun insider's info for an added treat. While there's always WAY more to learn about a state than we could possibly cover (umm, we've got other things to do), we're hoping we've at least helped to answer some of your questions.
So, if it seems like Alabama could be the next place you hang your hat, we urge you to check it out for yourself.