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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Mobile, AL

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With a rich, diverse culture and beautiful, historic architecture, Mobile is a charming Southern city to call home. However, moving to any new city requires considerable thought, extensive research, and thorough planning before making the decision to relocate to ensure that it is the right home for you and your family.

If you are considering a move to The Port City of Alabama, this guide will provide you with information on the schools, major industries, typical living and housing costs, and leisure activities and attractions in the city. Read on to find out if Mobile is the place for you!

Mobile Climate

The city's location on the Gulf Coast gives it a mild subtropical climate, with very hot, humid summers and moderate, rainy winters. Be sure to pack your umbrella, because Mobile is the wettest city in the continental U.S.! The city averages 120 days a year of rain, accumulating to about 66-inches annually. Snow is rare, however.

Tropical storms and hurricanes sometimes hit the coastal city, so be sure to prepare your home for this type of severe weather upon relocating to prevent damage and keep your family safe.

Mobile Neighborhoods

The city has a number of historic neighborhoods, with beautifully preserved homes and architecture. These include Ashland Place, Campground, Church Street East, De Tonti Square, Leinkauf, Lower Dauphin Street, Midtown, Oakleigh Garden, Old Dauphin Way, Spring Hill, and Toulminville.

Downtown Mobile is the city's hub for shopping, dining, attractions and entertainment--there are a variety of art galleries, bars, clubs, boutiques and fine and casual dining establishments to visit in the region.

Registering Your Car

Once 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.

Mobile Schools

If you are relocating with your children, they will be enrolled in the Mobile County Public School system. The district serves the city as well as most of Mobile County, and is the largest school system in the state. It consists of about 89 facilities educating 61,000 students. All schools in the district have a required uniform policy.

Notable universities in the region include University of South Alabama, Spring Hill College, and the University of Mobile.

Mobile Employment

A prime location as the state's only seaport, a diverse workforce, and access to plentiful resources have all helped to boost the city's economy. Major businesses in the city include aerospace, steel, ship building, retail, services, construction, medicine, and manufacturing.

Major employers in the region include the Mobile County Public School system, Infirmary Health Systems, University of South Alabama, Wal-Mart, Austal USA--a major ship building facility, Providence Hospital, City of Mobile, and ST Aerospace Mobile.

Living Costs in the City

If you are planning a move to Mobile, you want to ensure that you will be able to live within your means before you make the trek. Luckily, living expenses in the city are somewhat low--seven percent below the national average. Housing is the most budget-friendly cost you will incur--typical rates are 17 percent less than most American cities. If you plan to rent, you can find a one-bedroom apartment for the reasonable price of a $ 559 month, or a two-bedroom for $576 a month. If you plan to acquire a mortgage instead, the median home price in the city is listed at $137,500.

Healthcare costs are also quite affordable, at 13 percent below the national average. Transportation expenses are low as well--seven percent less than average. However, utilities are five percent greater than the typical American city.

Mobile Moving Resources

There are many moving and storage companies located in Mobile 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:

Mobile Transportation

If you will be relocating to the city without a car, you will have to get around via bus. Public transportation in the city is served by Wave Transit System, which operates along 18 fixed routes. Fares are $1.25 for an adult. Monthly, daily and weekly passes are available as well for frequent riders. For more information on fares, bus schedules, and to view maps of available routes, visit the Wave Transit website.

If you will be owning a vehicle in your new city, the many major highway systems will make traveling simple. However, it is still a good idea to purchase a map or GPS to aid you while you are becoming familiar with your new turf's layout of roadways.

Culture and Contemporary Life

The city has a rich, multi-cultural history, influenced by French, Creole, Spanish, African, Italian, and British heritage. It is the birthplace of the Mardi Gras festival, made famous in New Orleans, and holds the country's oldest celebration--dating back to the 18th century French Colonial period. Leading up to the Mardi Gras event, the city hosts the annual Carnival celebration--a mystical circus-themed festival with history rooted in French Catholic culture to commemorate the tradition of Lent. Currently, the city's multi-week festivities have evolved into a more mainstream, multi-cultural celebration.

The city is also abundant in museums, art, theatre, and historic architecture. The Mobile Museum of Art features art exhibits spanning centuries, from a variety of cultures in assorted mediums. American art, contemporary art, glass works, and Asian and African collections can all be viewed and appreciated in the museum. Other fascinating museums include the Mobile Medical Museum, which chronicles the city's medical history; the National African American Archives and Museum, which details the history of African Americans in the region and features authentic slavery artifacts; the Mobile Carnival Museum, an institution commemorating the centuries-old tradition with artifacts and memorabilia; and a variety of antebellum house museums preserving Civil War-era history.

Mobile Relocation Tips

  • Research the neighborhoods. Mobile 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.


  • Make a moving checklist of everything you will need to accomplish before you make the trek to Mobile 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.


  • 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.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on June 6, 2013

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