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It’s a lively and vibrant city with great amenities, good schools and a great selection of shops, places to eat and bars. Birmingham, Alabama, lives up to its nickname ‘The Magic City’, a reference to its rich cultural heritage and industrial past.

We took a look at 10 of the best places to live near Birmingham, and in doing so considered factors such as employment opportunities, household income, property prices and population density. Let’s get down to business.


1: Mountain Brook


The very attractive suburb of Mountain Brook always ranks high in terms of places to live around Birmingham, and it’s no surprise. If you’re looking for cheap property this is not the place for you; Mountain Brook is one of the more affluent of the suburbs, with picturesque green areas and some very beautiful homes. There are good employment prospects, the schools are highly rated, and it has great amenities, so should be on your shortlist.


2: Vestavia Hills


With some very pretty streets, excellent choice of property and fine amenities, Vestavia Hills provides a very pleasant place to live within easy commuting distance. Homes here are sensibly priced – although above average for the region – and respected schools are a bonus. A pleasant and welcoming suburb, it scores highly all-round.


3: Lake View


Not to be confused with the downtown district that shares the name, Lake View is actually located in Tuscaloosa county. It’s another attractive suburb of Birmingham, but one that requires a lengthier commute than the two mentioned above. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant neighborhood of fewer than 3,000 people – so if you’re looking for a quiet and friendly location to live, this could be the one. House prices are very reasonable here given the amenities, good schools and local employment prospects. It makes a sensible choice for a family looking to move into a good area without too much expense.


4: Helena


The suburb of Helena is a somewhat bigger suburb than, for instance, Lake View, but ranks high in surveys of great places to raise a family in the Birmingham area. It’s a pleasant place with plenty of affordable housing options – the average cost of a house here is around $186,000, which is considerably lower than Mountain Brook. Schools rank very high in Helena, but be aware there is quite a commute to the city if you happen to work in Birmingham. Helena’s population recently grew very fast, and the one lane roads can be a headache around rush hour.


5: Trussville


A town of more than 20,000 – but one that retains a small town feel – Trussville is popular with families thanks to its good schools, decent amenities and reasonably affordable housing. This is a pleasant suburb with some very nice properties – be aware some are very expensive – and a pleasant and welcoming feel. There is employment in the area, and if you happen to commute to Birmingham, it’s a quicker than average journey to and from Trussville.


6: Chelsea


A smaller suburb of Birmingham with a population of around 12,000 people, Chelsea is also a fair commute from the city center, but local employment is available. There are some premium priced properties in Chelsea – the average house costs around $220,000 – but there are also some affordable family homes that are very nice, and in pleasant locations. Compared to some on this list the amenities available in Chelsea are not the best, but schools are good and it’s popular with families.


7: Hoover


With a backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains, Hoover can be a spectacular place to live, and is the largest of the suburbs of Birmingham. A population of around 85,000 makes this a city in its own right, and its close proximity to Birmingham itself means a commute there is just a short journey. However, many people living in Hoover also work there, as there are many jobs available in the commercial and industrial sectors. Thanks to its convenience, excellent amenities and great schools, the average house price is considerably more than many on this list at approximately $280,000, but there are some fine family homes that are much less than that. A great place to live.


8: Homewood


Located on the other side of Red Mountain to Birmingham, Homewood is the perfect place to live if you work in the city as a commute to and from Birmingham is as quick as it gets. The downside of this is a high average property price of almost $320,000 – Homewood is not a cheap place to buy – although the excellent amenities and highly rated schools and colleges will appeal. Also appealing are the pleasant green areas that abound in what is a very friendly place So, if you want to look here, keep an eye on the properties for sale bulletins. Affordable family homes do come up for sale once in a while.


9: Clay


This small suburb ranks very highly for affordable family housing – the average price is around $150,000 making it one of the least expensive of all of the suburbs of Birmingham. It’s a pleasant place with many very nice properties. With a population of under 10,000 people Clay is very much a small town, and yet it has very decent education facilities, good amenities and is a friendly place to be. The commute to Birmingham may put off those who work in the city, as it is one of the longer ones on this list.


10: Springville


One of the smaller of the suburbs on this list – the population of Springville is less than 5,000 – the town suffers in terms of amenities, yet there is still plenty here that appeals. Property prices are very reasonable, and there are some excellent houses available in prime locations. Schools are ranked highly, but there is a long commute from Springville to Birmingham. It’s a great place to bring up a family, and should be considered.

That’s our list of the top 10 places to live around Birmingham. We hope we have helped you draw up a shortlist of where to look for the best property at the right price, and easy access to the city of Birmingham.