10 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Huntsville, AL

February 21st, 2023

10 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Huntsville, AL

Living in Huntsville

Are you considering a move to Huntsville, Alabama? Make sure you know these 10 things about living in Huntsville!

Huntsville, Alabama, is a city in Madison County, Limestone County, and Morgan County. It is located in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama and is considered to be the most populous city in the state, with a total population of about 216,963 residents. The city of Huntsville, Alabama, is the 2022-2023 best place to live in the United States!

Here in Huntsville, the cost of living is 1 percent higher than the state average but 11 percent lower than the national average! Huntsville became so popular over the past few years because it became one of the most desirable cities in the country due to the perfect combination of affordable living, quality of life, education, entertainment, and community!

Used to be known as the quiet farming town, Huntsville gained national recognition during the Space Race of the 1960s and ever since then has consistently been one of the fastest-growing metro areas in Alabama!

If you are looking for one of the best places to live in Alabama, then Huntsville may be the perfect place for you to live or even take a trip to! You or your family will enjoy living in this incredible upcoming city where there is so much to do!

Huntsville night time view

Here are the 10 things that you need to know about life in Huntsville!

Cost of Living

Huntsville, Alabama's cost of living is 9 percent lower than the national average. Additionally, the housing expenses are 26 percent lower than the national average, the utility prices are 2 percent lower than the national average, and transportation like bus fares and gas prices are 8 percent lower than the national average! If you are looking for a place to get the best bank for your buck, then this city may be for you!

On the other hand, the grocery prices here are also 2 percent lower than the national average, and healthcare is 6 percent lower than the national average. These numbers prove that this metro city is very affordable compared to other cities of its size!

Finding a place that is affordable is one of the most important things to know. Huntsville is known as one of the most affordable places to live in the Unitied States, so you will not have to worry much! With the booming economy and many job opportunities, you will be able to live comfortably in this fantastic city! Check out some of these expenses broken down below!

Cost of Living Category Prices
Median Home Price $296,404
Median Rent $905.45/month
Doctor's Visit $110.83
Gas $4.02/gallon
Gallon of Milk $2.17

Source: Payscale

Housing Market

The housing market in Huntsville is somewhat competitive. Homes here receive about 2 offers on average and sell in around 32 days. The average home price is about $310,000 and is down 0.9 percent since the last year. Home appreciation in the last 10 years has been 49.8 percent and is up in Huntsville by 17.8 percent. 

The growth of the housing market is expected to expand in the next year. Since this place is named the number one metro area to live in, Huntsville was recognized as the third most affordable price to live. The homes here sell just as quickly as they are built, and they are also purchased at a lower price point than in many other parts of the United States.

If you are looking for an affordable place to move to where you can find your perfect home at a reasonable cost, then this city may be perfect for you! Moving to different place vary in price, but Huntsville can offer you reasonable costs!


Huntsville has a temperate climate. The summers here are characterized by warm and humid weather with persistent thunderstorms, while the winters are usually relatively cool but vary considerably from one year to the next. Over the course of the year, the temperatures typically vary from 33 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and are really below 19 degrees Fahrenheit or above 96 degrees Fahrenheit. The best times of the year when you will always enjoy warm-weather activities are from early May to late June and from early August to early October.

If you want to live somewhere that you can enjoy every season but not somewhere that it gets extremely hot or excessively cold, then this may be the place for you! Due to the location of the state, the south usually experiences more warm weather than cold, but also you need to be aware of the severe weather that this state/city experiences since the Gulf locates in it.


Huntsville has 83 schools: 56 public schools and 27 private schools. Huntsville City Schools are above average; the public school district is located in the city and has a total of 23,514 students ranging from PK to 12th grade with a student-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. The school system spends about $11,585 per student, which is slightly lower than the national average.

The student body of these schools is very diverse. Finding a school in which you and your children will feel welcomed and safe is very important, and here in Huntsville, the school systems are made for your kids to feel safe and succeed! Due to the location of this city, there are many other schools that are surrounding that are also great since Alabama is known for its amazing educational systems. 


The typical commute time in Huntsville gets longer each year. The one-way commute takes about 19 minutes which is shorter than the national average. About 87 percent of the population drive their own car, about 7 percent carpool with others, about 3 percent work from home, and the last percent of people take mass transit or walk.

The Orbit Public Transit System runs Monday through Friday from 6 am to 9 pm and Saturdays from 7 am to 7 pm on 9 different routes that cover over 175 miles of Huntsville streets every hour. Since this is a fast-growing metro area, there will be higher amounts of traffic, so deciding whether you want to drive your own car, walk to work, or take public transit, you will be able to do whichever one you are more comfortable with.

Job Market

Aerospace and defense are among the most significant job sectors in Huntsville. Still, there are also many private sector opportunities for residents working in science, technology, engineering, and math at many other companies. Education is critical for Huntsville's economy because these schools provide many employees. 

In general, this area has experienced rapid job growth due to Alabama having a solid job market with 2.7 percent of unemployment, which is well below the national average. Huntsville, on its own, has 2.1 percent unemployment, so if you want to live somewhere where you will find a great career and experience a lot of various opportunities, then it will be perfect here!

Business buildings in Huntsville, AL

Local Favorite Restaurants

Huntsville, AL is known for food that comes from farmers around the city who provide fresh, locally raised, and grown ingredients to create chef-inspired burgers, salads, and sides such as sweet potatoes, apple buttle, pickled jalapeños and so much more! You can not miss out on the favorite southern food that this city has to offer! Check out some of the fan-favorite places to dine at below!

  • 1892 East Restaurant and Tavern: this is an upscale locavore eatery for global menus which provides a comfortable bar and grill that focuses on locally sourced global recipes with many vegetarian options
  • Commerce Kitchen: This southern restaurant gives you a sophisticated and contemporary outlook while featuring down-home southern fare and cocktails to enjoy with friends and family!

Fresh wings at local restaurant


The social scene offers a variety of excitement with the convenience of a close-knit community. You may want to choose where you can lounge with friends while enjoying high-quality beverages and cuisine or live music and entertainment. Here in Huntsville, you can experience it all in close proximity to your home! Here are some places where you can enjoy the nightlife!

  • Stovehouse: An old stove company building that was transformed into somewhere you can enjoy lunch or dinner, take the family for games on the lawn, or even enjoy live shows on Thursdays till Sunday!
  • MidCity: You can enjoy dining, entertainment, and recreational options. This area is a balanced mix of plazas, walkable streets, a 40-acre public park, an outdoor amphitheater, multi-purpose lawns, and outdoor climbing areas.


Within this city, Huntsville has more than 65 parks featuring over 3,000 acres. These parks range from anywhere with small green space to a large multi-use area that provides a full range of activities and equipment. Most, not all, parks provide recreational fields to use, playgrounds for kids, pavilions to hide out under, and so much more. A few of these parks include Bell Mountain Park, Archer Park, and Beirne Avenue Park. Check out the Huntsville Parks and Recreation website for more!

Birdeye view of park in Huntsville

Crime Rate

With a crime rate of 49 per one thousand residents, Huntsville has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to other places of all sizes. A person's chances of becoming a victim of either a violent or property crime here are one in 20. However, comparing this city's large metro area to other places of its size and population, Huntsville is considered to be safer since it has a lower crime rate than the other metro areas.

Finding a place where you can feel safe is one of the most critical factors in deciding where to live. Here in Huntsville, you will feel safe due to the close-knit community, but you also have to remember that it is a big metro area with higher crime rates than other areas.

Moving to Huntsville, AL Pros and Cons


  • Low cost of living
  • Plenty of jobs
  • Low housing cost
  • Tasty southern food
  • Quiet like neighborhoods
  • Close to larger cities


  • Severe weather
  • Traffic due to airport and location
  • High sales tax
  • Higher crime rate
  • Fewer education options
  • Infrastructure issues

Moving to Huntsville - The Bottom Line

Huntsville, Alabama, is one of the best places to live in the Unitied States! If you choose to make a move to this city, you will enjoy a low cost of living, higher quality of life, amazing education systems, great entertainment, and more! This small farm town has turned into a fast-growing metro area with all you can think of while still being that small-knit community. If you are looking for a place where you can have it all and be near everything but still live in a peaceful area, then this place may be perfect for you!

Whether you are looking for somewhere to move to or even to visit, Huntsville has a lot to offer its residents. Weighing out of all your options is essential when deciding where to live, and good thing Huntsville has a lot to offer! On the downside, you do have to consider the pros and cons of this place since everyone has different things that they are looking for. In all, Huntsville is an excellent place if you are looking for somewhere with a great job market and affordable living! You can not miss out on the southern food, the recreational venues, the booming economy, and the affordable living that this city has to offer you!

If you or anyone you know is interested in searching for homes for sale in Huntsville, please get in touch with us here so we can connect you with one of our Realty Specialists to help make this transition for you go smoothly, No matter the location, price, or preferences, we are here to help you through every step of the home-buying process to make sure we can find the perfect home that meets all of your needs and lifestyle perfectly. Contact us here today for any questions or help!

Check out our other local area guides: moving to Alabama, best places to live in Alabama, and best neighborhoods in Huntsville.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.