There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Alabama:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Alabama, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Heart Of Dixie.
To do that we are going to look at places in Alabama that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Alabama at the moment? That would be Tarrant according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Alabama for 2019:
- Tarrant (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Attalla (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Glencoe (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Albertville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fultondale (Homes For Sale)
- Foley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Leeds (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rainsville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Prichard (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Tuscumbia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
For more Alabama reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Alabama
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Alabama
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Alabama
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Alabama for 2019?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Alabama. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Alabama with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for Alabama with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 574 cities and towns in Alabama, only 103 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 103 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Tarrant is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Heart Of Dixie.
Read on for more on these places.
A contest was held to name the new town in 1915. Several people suggested Tarrant in honor of Benjamin Tarrant, who had lived in this community most of his life. Other sources claim the city was named for Felix I. Tarrant, President of National Cast Iron Pipe Company, which built the first major industrial plant in the area in 1912. On August 17, 1918 Tarrant became an incorporated city. Its first mayor was George Washington Thomason. The first census was taken in 1920 and gave Tarrant City a population of 734. From its incorporation until the 1980s, the community went by Tarrant City until it was shortened to Tarrant by the 1990 U.S. Census.
The town occupies the site of an Indian village which was of considerable importance during the Creek War. It was in Attalla that David Brown, a Cherokee assisted by the Rev. D. S. Butterick, prepared the Cherokee Spelling Book.
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
Fulton was a mining town in the 1900s. Fulton was incorporated in 1947. The town’s name is derived from the combination of the names of two nearby communities, Fulton Springs and Glendale.
Foley was named for its founder, John B. Foley of Chicago. As Foley was traveling to President McKinley’s funeral in 1901, he met a railroad agent who told him of the area in South Baldwin County. Foley came down the following year, and he liked what he saw and bought up to between 40,000 acres and 50,000 acres of land. He then returned to Chicago and formed the Magnolia Land Company. As he began to sell off acreage, he realized the need for a better way for the people to come to Foley.
The War of 1812, geography, geology, and three cultures shaped the history of Leeds. Lying at the crossroads of desecrated ancient Native-American paths in the center of Alabama, Leeds drew European and African-American settlers to a land of fertile growing seasons and rich sources of coal and mineral ore. The early settlers built churches and schools with many remaining in Cedar Grove, Oak Ridge, Ohanafeefee and Mt. Pleasant. The principal survey of Leeds was entered into Jefferson County Map Book 10, page 21, in 1908. The settlement, dating to 1818 and incorporating on April 27, 1887 as “Leeds”, has existed along the banks of the Little Cahaba River; beside an historic stagecoach route; and along two large railroads for the greater part of American History.
Prichard began as a settlement in the 1830s, bordering Telegraph Road It remained largely unsettled until the Clotilde landed in Mobile Bay prior to the Civil War. Africatown evolved into a greater part of the Plateau/Magazine area which developed along Telegraph Road, and eventually, Plateau and Magazine had their territory split between Mobile and Prichard.
Tuscumbia had its beginnings when the Michael Dixon family arrived about 1816. They traded with Chief Tucumseh for the Tuscumbia Valley and built their home at the head of the big spring. From these humble dwellings quickly developed a village known as the Big Spring Community. The men of the community requested that the state legislature incorporate them as a city. The town was incorporated in 1820 as Ococoposa and is one of Alabama’s oldest towns. In 1821, its name was changed to Big Spring and on December 22, 1822, to Tuscumbia, after the Chief Rainmaker of the Chickasaws.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Alabama for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Alabama. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 574 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
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