"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apartment List has released Alabama's results from the first annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. The survey, which drew on responses from over 18,000 renters, provides new insights into what states and cities must do to meet the needs of the 105 million American renters nationwide.
"Alabama's rankings are unusual in that renters give the state high marks on several categories but an F for the economy," says Andrew Tam, Vice President of Data Science at Apartment List. "The US renter population is at its highest level in 20 years, and while Alabama renters appear happy overall, our data does show that the strength of the local economy is one of renter's top 3 priorities. It's something that could limit Alabama's appeal to renters."
Key findings in Alabama include the following:
A detailed report explaining the survey's methodology, analysis, and findings is available upon request. To obtain a copy, please email Andrew Tam, Apartment List's Vice President of Data Science, at email@example.com.