"That my home's in Alabama, No matter where I lay my head. My home's in Alabama, Southern born and southern bred." ("My Home's in Alabama," Alabama)plant
Life in Alabama

Reach the Deep South state of "y'alls" by hopping on a well-bred system of interstates and highways leading to big cities like Birmingham and Mobile. Major highways include I-20, I-59, I-459, and I-65. There are plenty of small towns in Alabama also, meaning there are two-lane curvy roads too where the deer and the antelope play. Well the deer anyway. Geographically, it's diverse with the Cumberland Plateau, a section of the Appalachian Mountains, a Coastal Plain, and lots of water like the churning Tallapoosa, Tombigbee, Black Warrior and Chattahoochee rivers.

Get Ready for Some Real Weather

You'd have to live in a cave to not know that Alabama experiences hurricanes and tornadoes. The months most likely to have bad weather are April, May and November, so other months are better for moving. Renting apartments and houses in Alabama is easier than in some states because the many apartment management companies have units of varying ages available in all price ranges to accommodate those hoity-toity people with perfect credit and normal people who have a few credit flaws. If you have outright bad credit, it would help if you got a driver's license first from the Alabama Department of Public Safety and a hoity-toity someone to be a co-signer. Be prepared, in any case, to provide credit references, personal references, some kind of driver's license, and a completed application that tells your life story. Yes, life is complicated, but it is what it is.

The Neighborhoods

Close your eyes, tap your heels, and wish for a neighborhood. It ain't Oz, but it can be home. Driving from north to south, just stop when a front porch catches your eye.

Huntsville: Get "spacey" in this city because it's home to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Golfers love it here because it has several golfing communities like Hampton Cove on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. There are apartments of all sizes, shapes, and ages in neighborhoods that include the historic Five Points community, and lots of Home Owner Association communities with home rentals and apartments.

Birmingham: The largest city in Alabama has 25 neighborhoods. There are new, old, and new-old neighborhoods, so there's a choice of remodeled apartment buildings and houses or brand-spanking-new rentals that don't cost an arm and chicken leg. Five Points South has architectural "attitude". Cahaba and the City Center neighborhoods have plenty of new places. Downtown loft apartments and condo rentals are close to the University of Alabama-Birmingham campus.

Homewood/Vestavia Hills/Hoover: Get on U.S. 31 and cruise from one city to another in the Birmingham metro area. You'll find apartment rentals, condos for rent, and lots of subdivisions filled with rental houses and townhomes. Homewood has a trendy downtown area where you can hobnob with tennis playing locals at O'Henry's coffee shop. Keep truckin' down US 31, through Vestavia, looking for condos for rent. You'll eventually reach Hoover, which claims the Galleria, the largest area shopping mall.

Tuscaloosa/Northport: The University of Alabama rules in Tuscaloosa and Northport. These cities are tight! You can't tell one from the other. There are one bedroom apartments for rent in Tuscaloosa and plenty of everything else in neighborhoods like Indian Hills and Woodridge. In Northport, rent in neighborhoods like Northwood Forest, Northwood Lake, and Forest Glen.

Montgomery: The Capital city of Alabama has 9 District Neighborhood Associations. This is one heck of an historic city. There's easy access to two bedroom apartments in places like Forest Park and Old Cloverdale.

Mobile: You're all wet! At least in Mobile, a Gulf Coast port city and home of the New Year's Eve MoonPie drop. This is a happening kind of apartment place. If you plan on living here, consider condo rentals too. The neighborhoods are clustered around Mobile Bay and fan out from there.

Blues, BBQ, and Parks

Life is good in this state, and don't let the Yankees tell you differently. Nightlife and day-life too are filled with music. There are Blues Festivals in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Mobile. If blues make you blue, join the locals and find a Cajun or country band and get ready to swing.

Alabamians eat lots of barbeque. It's mandatory to eat at Tuscaloosa's Dreamland BBQ, serving ribs, sausage, pork, and chicken and little else. Smear BBQ sauce around your face, and practice saying, "Mighty fine!" Head to the Coast and buy a bucket of Royal Red Shrimp when seafood calls. Most of the year people are outside at places like Tannehill Park Trade Days, enjoying small town festivals, fishing for bass, and hiking in places like Oak Mountain.

AL Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states

Here’s how AL ranks on:

Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released Alabama’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"Alabama renters expressed general satisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "However, ratings varied greatly across different categories, indicating that even though renters love Alabama, some aspects can be better."

Key findings in Alabama include the following:

  • Alabama renters gave their state a C+ overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for Alabama were affordability, which received an A+, and pet-friendliness, which received an A.
  • The areas of concern to Alabama renters are public transit (C+) and jobs and career opportunities, commute time and recreational activities, which all received B- grades.
  • Millennial renters are moderately satisfied with their state, giving it an overall rating of C+, while renters who are parents are less satisfied, giving it an F.
  • Alabama did relatively poorly compared to other Southern states, including Florida (B+) and Georgia (B+), but earned higher marks than Mississippi (F) and Arkansas (F).
  • Alabama did relatively poorly compared to other states nationwide, including California (A-), Illinois (B+) and Utah (A-).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction include Colorado, Alaska, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.