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Posted: 7/26/2021 5:02:32 PM EDT
Planning to retire within the next 10 years, if not sooner. Oldest son and family live off Hwy 119 near Inverness, so we obviously want to be closer. Despite current housing market, we are starting to look at areas. Prefer a house with a decent yard, not what I call a "zipper" neighborhood with really close houses (neighborhood looks like a zipper in an aerial photo, hence my name for it). Not looking at $300K+ homes; I have good equity in my current home (almost paid for), but don't want a large mortgage.

Rural / suburbs are preferred over "in town" living. (Even though I would try to be as discreet as possible, I don't want to scare neighbors with "icky guns", LOL). However, I prefer not to live 40 miles out. We want to start driving up and looking at places soon. School districts are secondary, and would only be applicable for resale at this time.

So, what are the good, bad, and ugly areas to look at and / or avoid, aside from the obvious B'ham inner, Bessemer, Midfield, etc.? I've seen a decent home in Sylvan Springs, and one in Pinson. thoughts on those areas as examples?

Thanks in advance.

Link Posted: 7/26/2021 5:26:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: HeyCoach] [#1]
Pinson has some iffy areas.

I’d look around:

Trussville or Argo but not towards Centerpoint or Clay. Moody/Leeds are built up and have a lot of good areas, but are a little further from Birmingham but you’ll have quick access to 119.
Link Posted: 7/26/2021 6:13:35 PM EDT
[#2]
Look up Nottingham
Link Posted: 7/26/2021 7:00:05 PM EDT
[#3]
I'd cross Pinson off the list. I lived there for a few years. Things changed and not for the better.
Link Posted: 7/26/2021 7:10:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: mdanthony] [#4]
Leeds and Moody are meth-laden areas.  Some areas of Bessemer are ok but that's going to be the ones closer out near McCalla and 459.  

Hoover, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, and Homewood are your more affluent areas and have the best school systems in the state.  Helena is nice also but it is a traffic nightmare.  

Gardendale, Fultondale, Chelsea, Pelham, Alabaster, Trussville, Springville, and McCalla are all decent areas not too terribly far away from downtown but you'll have more rush-hour related traffic issues going south than the other directions.  

Birmingham doesn't have all the stuff you want to see and do concentrated downtown.  It's spread across the entire region of the state so you'll find stuff pretty well anywhere you land.

I'd take a look at that part of Hoover, Chelsea, and Pelham primarily since your family is in the 119/Inverness area.  That's going to be the closest.  The really nice neighborhoods in that area are Brook Highland, Greystone, Highland Lakes, Eagle Point, and Mt. Laurel / Shoal Creek.  The nice thing about those areas is that there will be homes in your price range but they will also scale up to to seven or eight figures so you should be able to find something to your liking.  The tail of that dragon is property taxes.  You'll pay to live in those areas and have those nice/new/fancy schools.  Over the mountain is where you'll get into Chelsea and homes are more affordable.
Link Posted: 7/26/2021 7:41:46 PM EDT
[#5]
I would say stay out of Jefferson county entirely even if it has a house in a city that you like. I would look at Hoover and south and east.
Link Posted: 7/26/2021 7:42:19 PM EDT
[#6]
OP here - Thanks for the quick replies.

We lived in Pelham from 1992 to 1996. Might have stayed longer, but FIL died while we lived up there, and MIL almost died about a year later. Plus our kids were young (pre-school ge), and we had no family in the area either. Living where we have for the last 25 years hasn't been terrible, but crime from Monthuggery is slowly creeping north, as well as blue locusts moving out of Monthuggery. Also, most of our family isn't close by anymore.

What about the Sylvan Springs area I mentioned? The house I found online has a lot of garage space, which would even please my wife, so I could get all of my tools and stuff in one place.

Link Posted: 7/26/2021 8:15:43 PM EDT
[#7]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RedDane:
Look up Nottingham
View Quote


Thanks for the suggestion, but a prime example of "zipper" neighborhood.
Link Posted: 7/27/2021 2:46:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: RedDane] [#8]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Glynn863:


Thanks for the suggestion, but a prime example of "zipper" neighborhood.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Glynn863:
Originally Posted By RedDane:
Look up Nottingham


Thanks for the suggestion, but a prime example of "zipper" neighborhood.


I guess that depends on what your definition of "close" happens to be.  The houses aren't close as you'd find in a mono-builder subdivision of garden homes.  Most sit on .5 to an acre of land.  You might check out toward Oneonta.. but it's likely outside of your 40 mile range.

Regardless, I wish you luck in your search.  
Link Posted: 7/27/2021 3:09:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: RedDane] [#9]
doubletap
Link Posted: 7/27/2021 4:08:19 PM EDT
[#10]
OP here - My current house sits on a 1 acre lot - 1/2 acre wide x 2 acres deep. Distance between my house and neighbors is about 30 feet on either side, but we don't disturb each other, and vehicles can be easily driven between the houses to access the back yards. A lot of the "zipper" neighborhoods are houses placed closer together and no vehicle access in between. The reason I mention that is that we are "car poor" ha ha; we have eight (8) vehicles currently, that would be pared down to five (5) by the time we move.

Possible job opportunities in the general area that I might have (at this time and near future) would be in Irondale or Anniston, so I have to account for that as well.
Link Posted: 7/27/2021 4:54:13 PM EDT
[#11]
If you shop in Irondale be very careful, it’s bad on crime and wouldn’t be my first choice.

Have you considered the Grants Mill area? It’s not far from 459 and 20, and may have the lot sizes you are aiming for.

I lived in Mtn Brook and Indian Springs for years.. with Moody being the site of my first house just out of college. All three are great communities, with different perks.
Link Posted: 7/27/2021 7:31:02 PM EDT
[#12]
Originally Posted By Glynn863:
Planning to retire within the next 10 years, if not sooner. Oldest son and family live off Hwy 119 near Inverness, so we obviously want to be closer. Despite current housing market, we are starting to look at areas. Prefer a house with a decent yard, not what I call a "zipper" neighborhood with really close houses (neighborhood looks like a zipper in an aerial photo, hence my name for it). Not looking at $300K+ homes; I have good equity in my current home (almost paid for), but don't want a large mortgage.

Rural / suburbs are preferred over "in town" living. (Even though I would try to be as discreet as possible, I don't want to scare neighbors with "icky guns", LOL). However, I prefer not to live 40 miles out. We want to start driving up and looking at places soon. School districts are secondary, and would only be applicable for resale at this time.

So, what are the good, bad, and ugly areas to look at and / or avoid, aside from the obvious B'ham inner, Bessemer, Midfield, etc.? I've seen a decent home in Sylvan Springs, and one in Pinson. thoughts on those areas as examples?

Thanks in advance.

View Quote


Kids in Inverness?

Chelsea, Sterrett, Columbiana, Alabaster, Calera, etc.

I would look south of them to have slightly less traffic. Emphasis on slightly.

Maybe to the northeast in St. Clair or Blount counties but traffic to Inverness would be insane during the week.
Link Posted: 7/28/2021 8:58:44 AM EDT
[#13]
Link Posted: 7/28/2021 9:53:23 AM EDT
[#14]
Bama shooter nails it!!
Link Posted: 7/28/2021 11:47:46 AM EDT
[#15]
I've been highly discouraging anyone that asks (except family/friends)  from moving to the North JeffCo (Morris, Kimberly, etc.) area.

We don't have the OTM/Shelby Co. traffic, and we'd like to keep it that way.

I live near MJHS, work in Homewood and drive in rush hour traffic...I'm at work in less than 35 minutes.
Link Posted: 7/28/2021 12:34:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: RedDane] [#16]
Link Posted: 7/28/2021 2:39:10 PM EDT
[#17]
Link Posted: 7/28/2021 5:41:48 PM EDT
[#18]
Link Posted: 7/28/2021 7:30:49 PM EDT
[#19]
OP here. Thanks for the additional replies.

As far as commuting goes, from my previous residence in Pelham in the 90's, I lived 17 miles from work, close to the airport. If I drove up US 31, then US 11 to go to work, at least 1 hr 15 min commute for that 17 miles. If I went I65, then I459, then I59/20 to the airport exit, 27 miles and 45 minutes commute. It was worth the extra 100 miles per week.

So I have thought of that. Hopefully I can work a 7 to 4 shift to avoid the heaviest traffic, wherever I get a job.

We may drive up this weekend and explore areas off Hwy 280, barring other things that seem to pop up.
Link Posted: 7/30/2021 6:59:06 AM EDT
[#20]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RedDane:


I guess that depends on what your definition of "close" happens to be.  The houses aren't close as you'd find in a mono-builder subdivision of garden homes.  Most sit on .5 to an acre of land.  You might check out toward Oneonta.. but it's likely outside of your 40 mile range.

Regardless, I wish you luck in your search.  
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RedDane:
Originally Posted By Glynn863:
Originally Posted By RedDane:
Look up Nottingham


Thanks for the suggestion, but a prime example of "zipper" neighborhood.


I guess that depends on what your definition of "close" happens to be.  The houses aren't close as you'd find in a mono-builder subdivision of garden homes.  Most sit on .5 to an acre of land.  You might check out toward Oneonta.. but it's likely outside of your 40 mile range.

Regardless, I wish you luck in your search.  

I have a separate thread about it, but I just took a job in metro B-ham and bought a place outside Oneanta. I check the commute during rush hour periodically and it looks to stay right around 45-55 minutes. I think the fact that most of the commute being on state routes (75/79) helps the commute. I'll let you know how it works out when I move down in a couple weeks.
Link Posted: 8/6/2021 3:20:29 PM EDT
[#21]
My vote goes to Blount County- Warrior/ Hayden area. Firearm friendly, conservative, quiet and friendly place and around 20 minutes from Cullman and Birmingham (I recommend shopping in Cullman for the lower tax rate).

Been there a little over 2 years and have been very happy so far.
Link Posted: 8/6/2021 3:29:33 PM EDT
[#22]
I'd go NW of B'ham metro. I lived in the Remlap, Oneonta, Springville area. It is close enough for convenience but quiet (or it used to be).
Link Posted: 8/6/2021 4:01:23 PM EDT
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LAJ1980:
I'd go NW of B'ham metro. I lived in the Remlap, Oneonta, Springville area. It is close enough for convenience but quiet (or it used to be).
View Quote

We looked everywhere within an hour of B'ham and ended up choosing that area. My wife is down there now checking it out and fell in love with the area.
Link Posted: 8/6/2021 4:14:57 PM EDT
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By longhunter09:

We looked everywhere within an hour of B'ham and ended up choosing that area. My wife is down there now checking it out and fell in love with the area.
View Quote


Blount or St. Clair County?

Make sure you check out the range in Talladega and the CMP store there. It's a great area really, I enjoyed my time up there.
Link Posted: 8/6/2021 4:50:24 PM EDT
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LAJ1980:


Blount or St. Clair County?

Make sure you check out the range in Talladega and the CMP store there. It's a great area really, I enjoyed my time up there.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LAJ1980:
Originally Posted By longhunter09:

We looked everywhere within an hour of B'ham and ended up choosing that area. My wife is down there now checking it out and fell in love with the area.


Blount or St. Clair County?

Make sure you check out the range in Talladega and the CMP store there. It's a great area really, I enjoyed my time up there.

Blount. Just outside Oneanta.

Thanks for the tip. Will do!
Link Posted: 8/6/2021 4:53:10 PM EDT
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By longhunter09:

Blount. Just outside Oneanta.

Thanks for the tip. Will do!
View Quote



Good deal! Check out the covered bridges in the area for good/short day hikes. Enjoy the state!
Link Posted: 11/12/2021 4:06:47 PM EDT
[#27]
OP here.

Update - I got an open-ended job offer in the Irondale area. No timetable yet; it depends more on me moving up there. So now we can start looking more seriously.

We looked at some houses yesterday (windshield tour). Chelsea, Leeds, Moody, Argo / Margaret, and Trussville. Made a list after looking online to help with the trip, but also wanted to check out neighborhoods. Case in point - a house in Leeds, and a house in Moody, looked good online, but when driving to them, the surrounding neighborhoods were dumps and sort of sketchy.

Son and his family may eventually move to Trussville or nearby, so that factors in as well. However, Trussville didn't have much to offer for this trip.

We might look at between Pell City and Leeds / Moody. Reasonable access to I-20 would be good.
Link Posted: 12/14/2021 10:32:26 AM EDT
[#28]
Another update.

We just made an offer on a house in Vestavia Hills, in a quiet neighborhood just a stone's throw from Mountain Brook. It has easy access to I459, but is not on a busy road. The house was built in the late 1970's and needs interior updates, but is solid and well laid-out, with little wasted space. The lot is just under a 1/2 acre. Just going through the negotiation process right now.
Link Posted: 12/15/2021 5:49:07 PM EDT
[#29]
Link Posted: 12/16/2021 6:44:55 PM EDT
[#30]
Several of us are within spittin distance. We’ll try to have a breakfast/lunch meet up soon.
Link Posted: 12/17/2021 12:54:37 AM EDT
[#31]
OP here  - Well, our offer wasn't accepted. Found out after 9 PM tonight.

This house ended up being an estate sale by the heirs, and had a large reverse mortgage assessed / attached, so they were looking for fast cash money to pay that off, and didn't want to wait 30-45 days to close, because it was about to go into foreclosure. They were also very intimidated by a VA appraisal and a home inspection. Aside from kitchen updates, the only needed repairs I noted were some boards on a back deck that were rotten, but easily replaceable. I suspect they ended up going with one of those house flipper companies that send out postcards and advertise on TV constantly, no repairs, no closing costs, no commissions, etc. Their loss, because those companies typically offer 30-40% less than asking price. We offered 6% less than their asking price, subject to change based on inspection results. It was reasonable, given the house location and comparable house sales in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Our realtor wasn't happy, not because he didn't get a sale, but more sore that he brought a pre-qualified buyer to them and their realtor, and they jerked him and us around by not answering texts / calls / messages in a timely fashion, and wasting about a week of our time.

Oh well, back to the search.
Link Posted: 12/27/2021 11:38:01 PM EDT
[#32]
I’m in the Gardendale/mount Olive area.  15 minutes from downtown, less traffic than Shelby County.
Link Posted: 1/31/2022 11:43:07 AM EDT
[#33]
OP here - Still looking. Real estate market up there is crazy. We've set up viewings on a few houses, only to have them cancelled because the houses were already under contract. Hope that still applies when we get ready to sell our current house.

Otherwise, I have tried to nail down specific areas. My son told us this past weekend that they were staying put for a few years; Trussville was off the table for now. So, simply put, we are looking south and east of B'ham proper, probably Shelby County or St. Clair County. Generally outside the I-459 loop, but not exclusively. Lots of homes for sale in Pinson, Bessemer, Oak Grove, McCalla, Roebuck, but some of these areas look to be in flux / transition. Even a few Hoover areas are starting to look sketchy. Hopefully our successful selection will be in an area that will remain stable for a long time.
Link Posted: 1/31/2022 1:04:29 PM EDT
[#34]
Link Posted: 2/1/2022 10:47:57 PM EDT
[#35]
McCalla outside the 459 loop is not too bad. There's even a small community called greenwood inside the City limits of Bessemer that I would live in.
Link Posted: 7/19/2022 2:04:11 PM EDT
[#36]
OP here - an update.

Well, the last few months have been a roller coaster of sorts. In early February, my wife quit her job as Director at her work, mainly due to drama (all female office), and some other things that I'll not pile on about here. BTW, I supported her resignation. So, with the resulting loss in income, we put our home search on hold until we could adjust / figure things out. But in the meantime, I kept working on my open-ended job offer, to see if I could capitalize on that. Happily, I met with the owners, talked on the phone, emails, etc., and I have been approved to start whenever I can get up there, at a higher salary than my current job, plus a few other perks as well.

So the house search is on again. My son would like us reasonably close to him, so my wife can babysit our grandson as needed. No argument there. We have determined that a crescent-shaped territory, roughly bordered by I-65 on the west, I-459 on the north, I-20 on the east, and Shelby County 11 on the south, is our preference, that will keep us convenient to my work and my son. The market is still volatile, but I have noticed home prices seem to be somewhat decreasing in a lot of areas. Interest rates don't bother me at the moment, as long as they don't get above 10%.

Anyway, here we go.

Link Posted: 7/21/2022 1:40:51 AM EDT
[#37]
We moved from Atlanta to Blount County 8 years ago and have never regretted it. I work downtown well not since Covid and traffic is nothing compared to that of Atlanta. I would avoid Jefferson County personally.
Link Posted: 7/21/2022 10:00:34 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By frayedknot:


Kids in Inverness?

Chelsea, Sterrett, Columbiana, Alabaster, Calera, etc.

I would look south of them to have slightly less traffic. Emphasis on slightly.

Maybe to the northeast in St. Clair or Blount counties but traffic to Inverness would be insane during the week.
View Quote


This
Link Posted: 7/29/2022 4:34:42 PM EDT
[#39]
UPDATE:

OP here.

Finally got a contract on a house. Hwy 119 area, Shelby County, between 280 and I-65. Only a few minutes from my son and DIL, so super convenient for babysitting grandson. Not too terrible for work commute to Irondale. Several map routes average about 30-35 minutes apiece. Once we move up there, I'll leave home early and experiment to get the best route figured out.

Link Posted: 7/29/2022 5:19:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: justsayin] [#40]
Link Posted: 7/29/2022 11:37:38 PM EDT
[#41]
Link Posted: 8/2/2022 9:11:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: Glynn863] [#42]
Okay, we're now going through all the loan paperwork, inspections, etc.; fortunately the sellers already had an inspection done by a licensed team, which identified a few issues, that were corrected before the house was listed. I was given a copy of that inspection report and subsequent repairs.

However, I will need a septic system inspection. I was given the name of four (4) companies, and I am curious if anyone here has feedback / experience on any of these:

Reliable Septic Services (Mount Olive)
Meeks Environmental (Bessemer)
Superior Plumbing (Alabaster)
Pickle Septic Tank and Plumbing (Empire)

Thanks very much.
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