What makes Huntsville, Alabama, a good place to live? 

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Many positive reviews have come out recently from the northern parts of Alabama about a small metro area with a booming economy and fast-growing job market. 

For many people in the U.S., Huntsville in Alabama isn’t the most likely getaway destination or a place to move. However, living in Huntsville, AL is one of the best places anyone looking for a fresh start can get a nice job or raise a family. 

Whether you are considering Huntsville as your next home in Alabama or not, Rocket City has many exciting factors, making it a top pick for people moving up north in AL. 

So, what makes it a good place to live? 

Quick Overview 

  • 8% lower cost of living than the national average 
  • The average sold value for homes sits at $290,000 
  • Promising job market with predicted annual growth of 4.2% 
  • It’s the largest city in all of Alabama 
  • There’s a strong history and tie to the U.S. space program within the city 

A Welcoming Community 

In Huntsville, there’s a strong sense of community among the locals and residents. The combination of a technologically-driven industry and a robust love for festivals creates a unique blend of cultural diversity.  

Residents of Huntsville are famous for their eventful calendar year packed with celebrations like the Panoply Arts Event, Christmas Parade, and Huntsville Blooms.  

Many Huntsville, AL, moving companies would suggest relocating earlier in the year so as not to miss much of the festival celebrations. The best time to enjoy the outdoors in this city is during spring. You would discover signature events like historic district tours by this time. 

Cost of Living 

With a population of about 235,000 people and a growing economy, the cost of living is quite affordable. Life in Huntsville, AL, is susceptible to an 8% lower living cost than the U.S. average.  

Residents in the city pay 25% less for housing, 6% lower healthcare bills, and approximately 2% reduced pricing on groceries and utilities than the average American. Tax rates within the city are pretty moderate and allow room for enough to fend for yourself—sales tax is at 9%. 

On average, with an annual individual household income of $71,057, you are more likely to live comfortably with all bills cleared.  

Cost of Living Category Average Price 
Energy Bill (monthly) $173.46 
Phone Bill (monthly) $186.61 
Gas (per gallon) $3.10 
Loaf of Bread $3.81 
Milk (per gallon) $2.38 
Eggs (12) $2.21 
Doctor’s Visit $117.54 
Dentist Visit $101.41 
Optometrist Visit $110.72 

The Housing Market 

There are pros and cons of living in Huntsville, AL, and a significant benefit for its residents is the affordable housing market. As of January 2024, the housing market favored the buyers, meaning there was more supply than demand for homes. 

The median sold price for homes in the city is $290,000 and about $170 per square foot. Meanwhile, the average rent paid for a 944-square-foot apartment costs $1,212. 

Around the city, the most common types of homes you will find are bungalows, patio-style, and ranch homes. However, you will find other options depending on your taste and specifications. 

Job Market 

Moving to Huntsville, AL, you’ll discover a city with a unique blueprint for success and an open labor market. This city is home to several large corporations like NASA and Boeing, and tech-leading industry companies like Facebook and Google have operations in the area. 

Aside from available jobs with big companies and tech brands, the private sector also has thriving opportunities for engineers, math and science gurus, and the teaching community.  

Unemployment within the city is at 2.4%, which is well lower than the national average of 3.7%. With a bit of effort and a good background history, you are over 95% likely to win a job in Huntsville.  

  • Median Household Income: $71,057 
  • Employment Growth Rate: 4.2% 
  • Unemployment rate: 2.4% 
  • Poverty Rate: 11% 

Investment in Education 

Schooling in Huntsville is also affordable and held to high standards across Alabama. There are about 80+ schools in the city, with a sufficient number of public and private schools. 

Huntsville’s high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools cater to over 24,000 students and offer a diverse culture for kids to feel comfortable and learn. There’s a student-to-teacher ratio of 16:1, which meets the right standards for learning. 

For higher institutions in the city, you will find two prominent ones offering a wide range of undergraduate programs: Alabama A&M University and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH), which is famous for its research in defense technology and space exploration. 

An Aerospace Community 

If you’re a space travel enthusiast, you will have to love it in Huntsville. Being a Huntsville, AL, resident means you are closer to the aerospace community than ever.  

Since the race to Space travel began and the inception of the Marshall Space Flight Center on the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal grounds in Huntsville, residents in the area have been privileged to have jobs working in the industry.  

Also, the city has plenty of space travel history that offers residents a sense of pride. For instance, the Saturn V rocket responsible for guiding the Apollo mission to the moon started here in Huntsville. 

You can take a trip to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Tranquility Base, Huntsville, and experience one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. It features many interactive exhibits, artifacts, and scientific instruments of rockets and space exploration.  

Plenty of Attractions 

Living in Huntsville, AL, as an outdoor enthusiast, you aren’t left behind! 

Whether you’re looking for a picturesque environment, a place to have fun, or simply a place to relax, there’s a corner perfect for you. 

Let’s look at a few top spots that can truly make Huntsville a good place for you: 

  • Huntsville Botanical Garden: home to stunning waterfalls, a Japanese reflecting pool, the unique butterfly house 
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center: check out the life-size replica space station, the Saturn V rocket, and G-Force simulator 
  • Alabama Constitution Village: visit the past during the Constitutional Convention of 1819 that brought Alabama into the union and view reconstructed buildings from the 1800s. 
  • Stovehouse: the perfect getaway for a mix of food and drinks, with a nice blend of live music and other entertainment. 
  • Big Spring International Park: This picturesque park offers a charming red friendship bridge, green scenery, and beautiful Japanese cherry trees. 

Best Neighborhoods to Call Home in Huntsville 

Already attracted to the many goodies Huntsville has to offer? As much as the low cost of living, above-average income, booming economy, and nice community spirit are all great, you still need the best neighborhoods to rest your head within the city. 

As a family-friendly town, the crime rate is reasonably low to moderate; however, it’s best to pick some of the safest areas. Here’s a short compilation of the top three neighborhoods to stay in: 

  • Hampton Cove 
  • Madison 
  • Five Points 

Summary 

Every city has a unique sparkle that can make it suitable for different types of people—some might fancy the laid-back lifestyle while others could be the hip and more vibrant ambiance.  

Luckily, living in Huntsville, AL offers you the opportunity to have both options in your community. A heads-up tip for anyone looking to relocate to this city would be to do it now while housing and living costs still sway below the national average.  

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