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Complete Moving Guide to Birmingham, AL
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|Located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Birmingham is
an affordable Southern city known for its prevalence in the historic fight for
civil rights and its legendary influence on jazz music. It has also been named
one of the most livable cities in the country--a low cost of living combined
with high salaries and low unemployment rates make Birmingham a great place to
If you are planning or considering a move to The Magic City,
there is plenty you will need to know before you hit the road. This guide will
provide you with important information about the city and how to make your move
there a happy and successful one.
Birmingham ClimateThe city has a humid subtropical climate,
with plentiful rainfall and hot, sticky summers. Winters are mild, with
temperatures rarely falling below freezing, and highs typically in the 50s. Snow
is quite scarce in the region.
Spring and fall bring pleasantly moderate
temperatures, but volatile weather such as twisters and severe thunderstorms.
The city is located in Tornado Valley, and can also experience occasional
hurricanes due to its proximity to the Gulf Coast. Be sure to prepare
your home for tornadoes and other
severe weather after relocating to ensure your family remains safe.
Birmingham NeighborhoodsNeighborhoods in the city range from
mansion-laden upscale districts to areas that are a bit dangerous with high
crime rates. Neighborhoods such as Red Mountain, Redmont Park and Forest Park
contain multi-million-dollar homes and beautiful parks. The city's historic
Highland Park neighborhood was named one of the American Planning Association's
"10 Great Neighborhoods" in 2011.
The Southside is the city's center for
dining, nightlife, and attractions, as well as the location of the University of
Alabama at Birmingham. It is the city's melting pot, boasting the most diverse
community of residents of any neighborhood in the area.
are some districts in the city that you will want to avoid. The West End, North
Birmingham, Woodlawn and Ensley are all areas known for gang and other criminal
Registering Your CarOnce you arrive in the city, you will have 3 days to
register your vehicle in the state of Alabama. You will need your car's title,
proof of insurance in the state, and proof of identity. You will also need to
have your vehicle inspected before you can register it--they can do this for you
right at the DMV. You will also have to pay a fee of $23--however, additional
fees may apply depending on your situation.
To transfer your driver's
license, you will need your previous out of state license, another form of
approved identification, and your Social Security card. You will have to pay a
$5 transferring fee and a $23 fee for your new license. If your out of state
license is valid or has been expired less than one year, you will not have to
take a driving test.
You can find more information on these processes as
well as DMV locations near you at Alabama's DMV website.
Birmingham SchoolsIf you are relocating to the city with a
family, your children will be enrolled in the Birmingham City School system. The
district operates 67 facilities serving 30,000 students.
metropolitan area is known for having the best high schools and colleges in the
state of Alabama. Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School, located
in the suburb of Irondale, was rated as the No. 1 high school in America by
Newsweek in 2005. Notable institutions of higher learning in the city
include the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham School of Law, and
Birmingham EmploymentThe city is often referred to as the
"Pittsburgh of the South" due to its prominence in the steel industry. Steel
production and processing, while not the key component in the city's economy
that they once were, still play an essential role. Major steel manufacturers
located in the city include American Cast Iron Pipe Company and
The city is also a major finance and banking hub-- home to
Regions Financial Corporation and BBVA Compass. Nearly a dozen smaller banks are
also headquartered in the city, such as New South Federal Savings Bank and
The medical and biotechnology sectors are also experiencing growth in
the city and contributing greatly to its economy due to investments in the
University of Alabama at Birmingham and its associated hospital. UAB is the
region's largest employer, and the second largest in the state.
have decided to relocate to the city to find employment or seek a new career,
you have made a wise choice. The Birmingham metropolitan area has been
continually rated as one of the nation's best places to find work and earn a
living based on the average salaries, living expenses, and unemployment rates in
Living Costs in the CityLiving expenses in the city are low--11
percent under the national average. Housing is the most budget-friendly cost you
will incur--typical rates are a staggering 25 percent less than most American
cities. If you plan to rent, you can find a one-bedroom apartment for the
reasonable price of $646 a month, or a two-bedroom for $671 a month. If you plan
to acquire a mortgage instead, the median home price in the city is
Healthcare costs are also quite affordable, at 18 percent below
the national average. Transportation and grocery expenses are low as well--11
percent and 7 percent less than average respectively.
Birmingham Moving ResourcesThere are many moving and storage
companies located in Birmingham that are waiting to help you relocate to your
new home. Be sure to do your research and obtain estimates from several
different services before choosing one for hire. You can compare online quotes
from many different moving companies and other services to aid you in your move,
whether you are coming from the next city or overseas. Visit the following pages
here at Movers.com to get fast quotes for the following services:
Birmingham TransportationIf you are planning on residing in the
city sans vehicle, you will have to become familiar with the public
transportation system. Mass transit in the city is served by the
Birmingham-Jefferson Transit Authority. The system operates 19 buses on 38
routes. There is also paratransit services for the elderly and disabled and
"vintage trolleys"--rubber-tired buses made to resemble electric
If you will be owning a car after you relocate, the city has one of
the most extensive highway networks in the Southeast. There are four major
interstates serving the area--I-20, I-22, I-65, and I-59--as well as numerous
other roadways. Purchase a map or a GPS to help you find your way around until
you become familiar and adjusted.
Culture and Contemporary LifeThe city is home to many museums,
galleries, theatre, performance venues and exciting festivals celebrating art,
culture and its historic influence in the Civil Rights Movement.
Birmingham Museum of Art is the largest in the Southeast, and features a diverse
array of artwork representing a variety of cultures, including Native American,
Pre-Colombian, African, European and Asian. The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in
Carver Theatre features exhibits commemorating legendary jazz musicians that
hailed from the state. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a history museum
with educational exhibits highlighting major milestones and contributions
related to the fight for civil rights in the region.
Opera and dance also
have a huge presence in the city--Birmingham is home to the major ballet, opera
and symphony companies Alabama Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham
Ballet, Birmingham Concert Chorale, and Opera Birmingham.
Birmingham Relocation Tips
- Research the neighborhoods. Birmingham has some areas that are unsafe and
high in crime. Before relocating, do thorough research on any neighborhood you
are considering making your home to ensure that it is a safe and secure place
for you and your family.
- The city can fall victim to severe weather such as hurricanes
Be sure to have emergency kits prepared, a designated safe haven in your home,
and a plan of action in case of any dangerous storms.
- Make a moving checklist of everything you will need to accomplish before you
make the trek to Birmingham to stay better organized and be prepared! Things to
include are: researching movers and comparing
quotes, packing, making airline arrangements, changing your address, and
hooking up utilities.