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Posted: 5/19/2021 8:00:50 PM EDT
I recently got a dream job offer in Birmingham. We'll be moving in August.

I've never been to Alabama but from what I can tell it looks awesome. I've spent my entire life (outside of OCONUS and stateside deployments) in the Shenandoah Valley of VA. I grew up on a farm and currently own a house in the middle of nowhere. Hoping to find something similar down there. Relative privacy, maybe a couple of acres to shoot on. I'm married with two elementary school aged children. My wife is a Vet Tech, and might be looking for work once we get settled (we are still debating her staying home and homeschooling, since I'll finally make enough to afford that).

Any tips on good communities/areas within reasonable commute of Birmingham, private schools, housing market, cost of living, good deer hunting, etc?
Link Posted: 5/19/2021 9:12:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By longhunter09: My wife is a Vet Tech, and might be looking for work once we get settled
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paging @hobbit

some potential talent for your ever growing practice...
Link Posted: 5/19/2021 9:32:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/19/2021 9:34:36 PM EDT by HeyCoach]
Don’t go to East Lake, Westend, South Town projects, Bessemer, Ensley, Center Point.

Trussville, Hoover, Gardendale, Fultondale, Moody, Leeds, Vestavia, some parts of Homewood, Chelsea, Calera, Pelham, Alabaster, Oak Mountain, Mountain Brook, are good.

You’ll run into a lot of traffic along Highway 280 going in to Birmingham in the mornings and heading out of B’ham at rush hour.

Hoover has some of the best schools in the state, get zoned for Hoover High School and Bumpus for middle school.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 3:40:20 AM EDT
OP, if you’re used to a more rural area then look around Odenville and Springville in St. Clair or some areas in Blount County.

Hell of a lot less populated than the suburbs listed above.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 7:52:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/20/2021 7:53:02 AM EDT by de-day]
I too would suggest looking in Shelby, Blount or St Clair counties -- that is South, North and East of Jefferson County , where Bham is located.
There are some nice places to live -  outside of Bham.   And I think it goes without saying on this site --  don't you OR your wife go anywhere in the city unarmed
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 8:36:20 AM EDT
Where in the Birmingham area will you be working?
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 8:50:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 9:47:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 10:03:00 AM EDT
What may not be obvious is that the Birmingham Area is actually composed of about 18 different cities with their own governments, rules, police forces, school systems and economies. Don't even consider getting a place in the City Limits of Birmingham, Bessemer, Lipscomb, Brighton or Centerpoint. Best places are Mountain Brook(Very Exclusive), Vestavia Hills and Hoover. Chelsea is down 280 and traffic can be horrible. Everything else is in the middle. Traffic from other counties around can be horrible at times. UAB is the largest employer in the area. The airport is located within the city limits of Birmingham. The business climate in the city of Birmingham is horrible. The police protection in the city of Birmingham is Horrible. At one time, more businesses were leaving the City of Birmingham for other surrounding cities than being created. The City of Birmingham is a Welfare city in decay. Not so for many of the cities surrounding Birmingham. People drive into the City of Birmingham for work and then leave at the end of the day. The City of Birmingham has a 1% Occupational tax that has been ruled illegal multiple times, so if you work in the City of Birmingham, you pay the tax bet get no benefits.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 10:25:08 AM EDT
Like the poster above mentioned, St. Clair or Shelby County. Hwy 280 can be a real hassle during rush hour.

I may be incorrect, but I think Bham still has an occupational tax. I'm not sure if Jefferson county does.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 12:14:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By 85hmmwv:
Where in the Birmingham area will you be working?
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East Birmingham. Near the Airport
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 12:15:43 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Dbnd:
OP, if you’re used to a more rural area then look around Odenville and Springville in St. Clair or some areas in Blount County.

Hell of a lot less populated than the suburbs listed above.
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We are already scouring the housing market in those areas. It seems very affordable (comparably to most other places in the country now).
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 12:16:30 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By justsayin:

Fairly solid advice.
CCP are relativelyhassle free to obtain, make getting one a priority, unless you have one with reconciliation already.
Al is technically an OC state, but carrying in a vehicle currently requires a CCP for a loaded handgun.
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Originally Posted By justsayin:
Originally Posted By de-day:
I too would suggest looking in Shelby, Blount or St Clair counties -- that is South, North and East of Jefferson County , where Bham is located.
There are some nice places to live -  outside of Bham.   And I think it goes without saying on this site --  don't you OR your wife go anywhere in the city unarmed

Fairly solid advice.
CCP are relativelyhassle free to obtain, make getting one a priority, unless you have one with reconciliation already.
Al is technically an OC state, but carrying in a vehicle currently requires a CCP for a loaded handgun.

Good info. Wife and I both have VA CCH's, and that will be priority number 1 when we get down there.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 12:18:12 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
All of the above. Places outside of Bham metro.

You can also transfer your POST by taking a two week lateral course.

The deer are so plentiful it's a curse.
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Glad to hear that about the deer. I like to put two in the freezer every fall. We eat a lot of deer meat.

I think I will be in a position not to have to go back to LE, but it is nice to know the process is streamlined if I ever have the need.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 1:20:49 PM EDT
If you're working near the airport you'll want to be sure to carry.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 6:40:05 PM EDT
If you’ll be in that part of the area, look into the Argo area.

Only drawback that I know of is the possibility of the southbound I-59 lanes being backed up past Trussville in the mornings. I saw that daily before 8am when I was driving the opposite direction.
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 10:00:25 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2021 11:14:42 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:

We are already scouring the housing market in those areas. It seems very affordable (comparably to most other places in the country now).
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:
Originally Posted By Dbnd:
OP, if you’re used to a more rural area then look around Odenville and Springville in St. Clair or some areas in Blount County.

Hell of a lot less populated than the suburbs listed above.

We are already scouring the housing market in those areas. It seems very affordable (comparably to most other places in the country now).


Those are good areas.
Link Posted: 5/21/2021 8:32:07 AM EDT
There is NO place near the Birmingham airport that you want to live.
Link Posted: 5/21/2021 12:18:12 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By gunham:
There is NO place near the Birmingham airport that you want to live.
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Seems to be a recurring bit of advice. I don't mind a commute up to an hour. I'll have a company car. Was kind of expecting it in order to get some distance from the city and some land.
Link Posted: 5/21/2021 10:45:28 PM EDT
Look north of Birmingham like Gardendale, Warrior, Morris, or Kimberly, or South of town like Alabaster/Pelham, Calera or Helena.  I wouldn’t live next to the airport at all. Just a heads up, no matter which end of town you live on, traffic will suck. It’ll doubly suck with a remote chance of rain. Hoover and Helena have really good school, Gardendale and points north are have really nice neighborhoods that are still close to Birmingham. One good thing is that there are a lot of Arfcommers that live North and South of town to give you a better idea of where you might want to go.
No matter where you go you will find good places to shoot, eat and have fun.
Link Posted: 5/22/2021 4:32:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/22/2021 4:35:19 AM EDT by PBWalsh]
I’m an officer at Mountain Brook PD. The job here is incredibly boring because there is hardly any crime. Good for the folks livings here though.

I will say you couldn’t pay me to live in MB though. Lotta karens and petty stuff. Sure it has its perks like good schools and such, but I’ll take my home and tiny town in St. Clair and a 45 min commute over the riches of Mountain Brook any day of the week.

Take the above advice and stay out of Birmingham. Its a very liberal city with a high crime rate. I hate even going into that city.

Look at Trussville, Argo (reputation for douchy cops though), Springville, Odenville, etc. I like St. Clair county, not many karens where I live.
Link Posted: 5/22/2021 12:03:57 PM EDT
longhunter09-
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Please see your IM's.
-Hobbit
Link Posted: 5/22/2021 8:13:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By PBWalsh:
I’m an officer at Mountain Brook PD. The job here is incredibly boring because there is hardly any crime. Good for the folks livings here though.

I will say you couldn’t pay me to live in MB though. Lotta karens and petty stuff. Sure it has its perks like good schools and such, but I’ll take my home and tiny town in St. Clair and a 45 min commute over the riches of Mountain Brook any day of the week.

Take the above advice and stay out of Birmingham. Its a very liberal city with a high crime rate. I hate even going into that city.

Look at Trussville, Argo (reputation for douchy cops though), Springville, Odenville, etc. I like St. Clair county, not many karens where I live.
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Thank you for the info. It is incredibly helpful to start narrowing down my search. We wanted to rent for a year until we get established,, but are now thinking about buying after seeing how cheap houses are in comparison to VA, and to take advantage of current interest rates. St. Clair County is moving to the top of our list. There is a chance I might be working at a sub-office in Huntsville, but it still looks likely it'll be Birmingham. I'll find out for sure in the next couple weeks and start the house-hunting in earnest.

Our VA house is going on the market next week. Gonna be hard to give up these views. So glad I'm moving to another state that has been blessed with natural beauty.

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 5/22/2021 8:14:01 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Hobbit:
longhunter09-
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Please see your IM's.
-Hobbit
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Thank you, sir. Replied!
Link Posted: 5/23/2021 9:06:38 AM EDT
Longhunter, IM me please. Thanks.
Link Posted: 5/23/2021 5:49:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/24/2021 10:04:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:

Seems to be a recurring bit of advice. I don't mind a commute up to an hour. I'll have a company car. Was kind of expecting it in order to get some distance from the city and some land.
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:
Originally Posted By gunham:
There is NO place near the Birmingham airport that you want to live.

Seems to be a recurring bit of advice. I don't mind a commute up to an hour. I'll have a company car. Was kind of expecting it in order to get some distance from the city and some land.


Willing to drive an hour? What about a 1/2 acre with hundreds of acres of trees behind it that are owned by someone else? On a ridge so it’s mountain-ish views. Well maybe if you’re from FL. Sounds like a deal, right?

My house is for sale but it’s on the wrong end of 280 for the airport. 45-60 min commute on a good day. 4 hours on a bad one. But fantastic schools. We have that going on at least.

Blount and St. Clair counties are probably your best bet.
Link Posted: 5/25/2021 10:28:38 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Blount County is what you seek if you want to replace that view.
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Blount also gets you closer to Huntsville if  a transfer to there is a possibility in the future.

Cullman Co has a really nice lake (Smith Lake). and would fit in less than an hour commute.
Link Posted: 5/26/2021 4:16:40 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By frayedknot:


Willing to drive an hour? What about a 1/2 acre with hundreds of acres of trees behind it that are owned by someone else? On a ridge so it’s mountain-ish views. Well maybe if you’re from FL. Sounds like a deal, right?

My house is for sale but it’s on the wrong end of 280 for the airport. 45-60 min commute on a good day. 4 hours on a bad one. But fantastic schools. We have that going on at least.

Blount and St. Clair counties are probably your best bet.
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Originally Posted By frayedknot:
Originally Posted By longhunter09:
Originally Posted By gunham:
There is NO place near the Birmingham airport that you want to live.

Seems to be a recurring bit of advice. I don't mind a commute up to an hour. I'll have a company car. Was kind of expecting it in order to get some distance from the city and some land.


Willing to drive an hour? What about a 1/2 acre with hundreds of acres of trees behind it that are owned by someone else? On a ridge so it’s mountain-ish views. Well maybe if you’re from FL. Sounds like a deal, right?

My house is for sale but it’s on the wrong end of 280 for the airport. 45-60 min commute on a good day. 4 hours on a bad one. But fantastic schools. We have that going on at least.

Blount and St. Clair counties are probably your best bet.

I may actually hit you up once I know for sure if I'll be in B-ham or Huntsville. Most important question: What are my odds of getting permission to hunt the hundreds of acres behind the house? Lol
Link Posted: 7/14/2021 6:52:57 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Blount County is what you seek if you want to replace that view.
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As always, your advice paid off. We just had our offer accepted on a house on 7 acres in the mountains outside of Oneanta. It'll be about a 50 minute drive to work, but the area seems to make it more than worth it.

In about 6 weeks I'll be an Alabama resident. I can't wait!
Link Posted: 7/14/2021 9:46:29 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:

a house on 7 acres in the mountains outside of Oneanta. !
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sounds like a good choice, welcome to our state
Link Posted: 7/14/2021 9:51:20 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:

As always, your advice paid off. We just had our offer accepted on a house on 7 acres in the mountains outside of Oneanta. It'll be about a 50 minute drive to work, but the area seems to make it more than worth it.

In about 6 weeks I'll be an Alabama resident. I can't wait!
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:
Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Blount County is what you seek if you want to replace that view.

As always, your advice paid off. We just had our offer accepted on a house on 7 acres in the mountains outside of Oneanta. It'll be about a 50 minute drive to work, but the area seems to make it more than worth it.

In about 6 weeks I'll be an Alabama resident. I can't wait!


Congratulations! Oneonta is beautiful.  Welcome to the state.
Link Posted: 7/15/2021 7:26:08 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By billbotts:


sounds like a good choice, welcome to our state
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Originally Posted By billbotts:
Originally Posted By longhunter09:

a house on 7 acres in the mountains outside of Oneanta. !


sounds like a good choice, welcome to our state

Thank you!
Link Posted: 7/15/2021 7:27:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By RedDane:


Congratulations! Oneonta is beautiful.  Welcome to the state.
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Originally Posted By RedDane:
Originally Posted By longhunter09:
Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Blount County is what you seek if you want to replace that view.

As always, your advice paid off. We just had our offer accepted on a house on 7 acres in the mountains outside of Oneanta. It'll be about a 50 minute drive to work, but the area seems to make it more than worth it.

In about 6 weeks I'll be an Alabama resident. I can't wait!


Congratulations! Oneonta is beautiful.  Welcome to the state.

Thank you!
Link Posted: 7/15/2021 7:50:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/16/2021 7:03:26 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:


I have family up that way. Bugout location #2.

Congrats! Hit me up when you get settled.


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Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Originally Posted By longhunter09:

As always, your advice paid off. We just had our offer accepted on a house on 7 acres in the mountains outside of Oneanta. It'll be about a 50 minute drive to work, but the area seems to make it more than worth it.

In about 6 weeks I'll be an Alabama resident. I can't wait!


I have family up that way. Bugout location #2.

Congrats! Hit me up when you get settled.



Thank you sir. I owe you a beer when I get down there.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 5:47:31 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:

East Birmingham. Near the Airport
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Originally Posted By longhunter09:
Originally Posted By 85hmmwv:
Where in the Birmingham area will you be working?

East Birmingham. Near the Airport


If east, look around for places in St Clair Co (where i live) or Shelby Co bordering St Clair.

You also mentioned possibly homeschooling your kids.  That requires a "cover church" in Alabama. A good one we used was Crossroads in Moody. Most of our children's homeschooling was under their cover. They coordinated a lot of socializing events and even shared classes. Moody/Leeds is just east of the eastern areas of Birmingham.

St Clair also has two large reservoir lakes on it's eastern boundary. Logan Martin lake and Henry Neely lake, if you are into that sort of thing.


Link Posted: 7/22/2021 5:49:42 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By reddog_3d:
If you're working near the airport you'll want to be sure to carry.
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Yes.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 5:56:05 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Blount County is what you seek if you want to replace that view.
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I suggested St Clair for proximity,  but you ain't wrong.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:00:28 AM EDT
Read the thread sequentially. Good on Oneonta. There is some pretty land up around there. Have several friends who live up that way.
Link Posted: 7/22/2021 6:39:07 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Flysc:
Read the thread sequentially. Good on Oneonta. There is some pretty land up around there. Have several friends who live up that way.
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Thanks for the advice, especially about homeschooling. That may be an option for us in the future. We got my daughter enrolled in a private Baptist Abeka school a couple miles from the house we bought. My daughter went to a private Baptist Abeka school in Virginia, so I think it will be good for her to have some consistency with the move/life changes.

The distance to Birmingham from Oneanta is rough. I've played around with mapping it during rush hour, and 50 minutes seems to be the norm. But most of the route is state roads, so I won't be on the highway until the last little bit. Not overly thrilled about the commute, but I know the privacy/scenery will make up for it. I've lived in the mountains in the middle of nowhere my whole life, and am glad to have found the same thing down there.
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