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Renter's Guide to Birmingham
If you're looking for a change of scenery, we know just the place.
It's Birmingham, Alabama, one of the gems of the American Southeast. Foodies will find themselves in paradise, since Birmingham is considered to be one of the best cities in the country in terms of restaurants.
But football fans will love it too. Birmingham is home to college football's Southeastern Conference headquarters, which is no coincidence given how much people love the sport here.
Of course, there's plenty more to the city than food and football. Let's take a look.
Speaking of Montgomery, the city is only 92 miles away from Birmingham. Birmingham is also 208 miles from Mobile and 191 miles from Nashville, Tennessee.
The climate in Birmingham is humid subtropical, with hot summers, mild winters, and plenty of rain. A tale of two extremes, Birmingham has, on average, 47 days below freezing and 55 days above 90ºF each year.
Severe thunderstorms are common during the spring and fall seasons. Birmingham is also part of “Tornado Alley” – the city's been hit by two category 5 tornadoes within the past 50 years. Hurricanes are a risk here too.
Birmingham, AL Demographics
- Total Population212,265
Female 100,454Male 111,811
- Median Age35.7
Cost of Living in Birmingham, AL
Good news! If you're looking for a budget friendly city, Birmingham fits the bill. Forbes rated it one of the most affordable metro areas in the country, particularly for renters.
Dinner for you and a friend at one of the local, mid-range restaurants costs around $50, while a cappuccino at a cozy little cafe will set you back roughly $4.15.
The local bus system, provided by the Birmingham-Jefferson Country Transit Authority, gives rides for $1.75 – or just $0.80 for students.
Utility bills for the average Birmingham resident are $186, including electricity, water, heating, and garbage.
Average Rent in Birmingham, AL
- Birmingham, AL Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,034 /mo
Birmingham, AL Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5002%
- > $2,0002%
Birmingham, AL Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 5% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Birmingham
What's it like living in Birmingham? Fun, that's what!
The city features one of the best restaurant scenes in the country, with dozens of great options to choose from. Birmingham's also got a good music and arts scene. Oh, and football. People here love football, whether it's the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Auburn Tigers.
And if you ever get tired of Birmingham and need to escape for a few days, its central location make it less than a day's drive from a number of the biggest and best cities in the Southeast.
Birmingham is also a city of growth. Its majority African American population shows how far the city has come since the days of the Civil Rights movement.
Despite all its pluses, it’s worth noting that Birmingham is susceptible to severe weather, like tornadoes and hurricanes. And the city also suffers from fairly high poverty and crime rates.
Things to do in Birmingham
If you're considering Birmingham as a potential place to live, you're probably wondering what there is to do there.
Well, we already mentioned sports. The Alabama Crimson Tide, one of the most successful teams in college football history, plays just an hour away, while the Auburn Tigers are just a bit further in the other direction. People in Alabama love football and talk about this huge rivalry year round.
The SEC headquarters are actually located here in the city.
Birmingham has its own sports too. The University of Alabama at Birmingham – better known as UAB – has top basketball and football programs.
The Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team is also a major draw. They play at nearby Region Field.
If watching sports isn't your thing – or you just want a change of pace – there are plenty of other outdoor options. There's Vulcan Park and Museum, along with its iconic Vulcan statue. Ruffner Mountain Park and Oak Mountain State Park make for great hiking, and you can go zip lining at Red Mountain Park, or just take a stroll at the Railroad Park.
The whole family will enjoy Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the Birmingham Zoo. Or you can check out some throwback movies at the Alabama Theatre.
Of course, everyone gets a kick out of the city's Colored Tunnels too. They're pedestrian walkways that are lined with lights in a rainbow of colors.
For the more culturally inclined, there's the Birmingham Museum of Art or the McWane Science Center. Or they can enjoy some tunes at one of the local music venues, like Iron City. There's also the Sidewalk Film Festival, a popular annual event.
And you can learn more about the city and its history at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
When you're all done, have a nice dinner at one of the city's top rated restaurants.
Working in Birmingham
Birmingham has a long history as a leader in the iron and steel industry. But since then, the city's become known for a lot more.
Birmingham's top industries today include medical services and research, manufacturing and distribution, trade and finance, and telecommunications.
Major companies that operate out of Birmingham include Books-A-Million, AT&T, and Wells Fargo.
Birmingham, AL Households
- Total Number of Households90,149
Family 47,262Non-family 42,887
Children 22,320No Children 67,829
- Average People Per Household2.26
- Median Household Income$33,770
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$772
Top Colleges in Birmingham, AL
If you're thinking about going to school in Birmingham, there are some great options.
You can find Samford College here, considered by many to be the best school in Alabama. Samford's alumni include Nobel Peace and Pulitzer Prize winners, Emmy and Grammy award winners, and more than 60 US Congressmen.
There's the University of Alabama Medical Center too, which is a world leader in medical research.
Birmingham, AL Education Statistics
- No High School3%
- Some High School39%
- Some College27%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree16%
- Graduate Degree8%
Tips for Renting in Birmingham
Accidents happen. Life doesn't always go the way we plan. That’s why, if you find yourself in the position of being evicted in Birmingham, it's important to know what to do.
First, you'll be served an eviction notice by the local sheriff. Check the notice for a court date. Sometimes they'll go ahead and set a trial beforehand. If there isn't one, you have 7 days to respond at the courthouse.
Of course, if the problem is something like unpaid rent, you can usually fix the problem within the 7 days and avoid the eviction process entirely by paying it.
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