Local’s Honest Guide to Moving to Mobile, Alabama

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What is Mobile, Alabama Like?

Mobile is a waterfront city that you might call the little brother of New Orleans. This article covers everything you need to know if you’re thinking about moving to Mobile.

Located at the bottom of Sweet Home Alabama, Mobile is a hotbed of Southern hospitality. Often people considering relocating wonder about safety, hot summers, and hurricanes, but these issues are manageable.

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Should I Move to Mobile?

Of course, only you can answer whether moving to Mobile is a good decision for you. But we can give some tips and insider advice on what kinds of people will find a good home in Mobile.

1. People Looking to Stretch Their Dollar

With a low cost of living and very reasonable property taxes, Mobile is great place to get a lot of bang for your buck.

For example, you can buy a 4-bedroom house with an acre of land for $500,000. Property taxes on a $300,000 home should be around $1250 per year. Gas is also very cheap.

2. Sports Lovers

While there’s no local sports team, New Orleans is a 2 hour drive. So you can make a day trip of going to a Saints or Pelicans game.

In general, locals love sports. Anybody interested in sports knows that University of Alabama football is one of the strongest programs in the nation. Both the University of Alabama and Auburn University are about 3.5 hours away from Mobile.

The youth sports programs are strong. Plus, any sports fans moving to Mobile will find plenty of other sports fans ready to chat about last night’s game.

3. People Who Value Faith

If one of your concerns before moving to Mobile is the ability to find a good church to attend, you will have plenty of options in Mobile. The most common denomination is Baptist, but there are plenty other Protestant and Catholic denominations and churches.

4. Beach Lovers

Many Americans don’t think “beaches” when they think about the Deep South. But Mobile is a great place to enjoy the salt life. There are 32 miles of white sand beaches just a short drive from downtown.

Further away, there are plenty more beach getaway options. Don’t forget we have bluewater fishing, waterparks, historical forts, zoos, and boardwalks.

5. Green Thumbs

Mobile has a 10-month growing season, so anyone interested in houseplants, gardening, or permaculture will have lots of opportunity to express their love of growing things.

Cost of Living

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average person residing in Baldwin County would require an estimated annual income of $35,859 to meet their fundamental living costs.

In order to provide you with a clearer understanding of the typical expenses one might encounter in Baldwin County throughout a year, we have categorized the major essential expenditures as follows:

Median Home Cost$269,400$165,200$291,700

If you’re thinking about relocating to Mobile, note that the safest neighborhoods can have a somewhat higher cost of living.

Local Insider Tips and Facts

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  1. Dauphin Island and Orange Beach are great places to escape for a beach getaway with powdery sand and calm water.
  2. It’s pronounced “Mo-beel”, not “Mo-bile” or “Mo-bull”.
  3. Mardi Gras actually started here, so don’t miss the parades and moon pies!
  4. The rain is intense, and we get almost as much precipitation as Seattle. Always keep an umbrella in your car.
  5. While the cost of living is cheap, the local sales tax is 10%.
  6. The pollen can be pretty extreme here, so prepare accordingly.
  7. Beignets (“Ben-yay”) are a kind of fried dough fritter. Mo’ Bay Beignet is one of the best places to try this local favorite.
  8. Concert lovers can go to New Orleans, but Pensacola is a one-hour drive and also attracts good acts.
  9. A backyard pool can be an amazing feature to beat the long summer heat if you can afford it. Get in touch to find a home with a pool!

Population and Demographics

Mobile, Alabama, is a vibrant city with a diverse population and rich demographics. As of September 2021, Mobile had a population of approximately 189,572 residents. The city is about 52% African American and 41% Caucasian.

Mobile is also home to a significant military presence due to the nearby military bases. The city’s demographics continue to evolve, adding to its cultural tapestry and making it an interesting place to live and explore.

Is Mobile a Safe Place to Live?

Safety is a big concern for people considering a move to Mobile, Alabama. It was recently ranked as the second most dangerous city in the US, after Saint Louis. There’s a 1 in 7 chance of being a victim of a violent or property crime each year.

That said, there are definitely some areas that are more dangerous than others. You can manage this issue by taking precautions like avoiding public transport at night. Here’s a list of the most dangerous neighborhoods.

  • Prichard
  • Arlington
  • Toulminville
  • Neely
  • Happy Hill
  • Plateau
  • Crichton
  • 8 Mile
  • Maryvale
  • ‘The Bottoms’ (Fisher)
  • Maysville
  • Campground Historic District
  • Trinity Garden

Here’s a list of the safest neighborhoods in Mobile.

  • West Mobile
  • Springhill (College Park)
  • Midtown
  • Downtown
  • Saralan

Weather and Hurricanes

One of the most common questions I get asked is about hurricanes. Mobile is located right in Hurricane Alley along the Gulf Coast, so the concern makes sense. But for most locals, it’s not something that weighs on our minds too much.

Many Mobile residents stick it out through smaller hurricanes and actually evacuate pretty rarely. You just hunker down for a while with your family in a bathroom or small interior room.

Hurricane Katrina accounted for only about 25 deaths in Alabama, despite being one of the most devastating hurricanes in recent decades. Generally speaking, hurricanes aren’t killers because our warning systems are advanced.

Property damage is a more likely issue, but again it’s important not to let your imagination run wild when considering a move to Mobile. The number of historic homes in the area is a testament to how hurricanes and tornadoes aren’t that big of a deal.

Moving to Mobile FAQs

“The culture is awesome in Mobile. The weather is great almost all year round. Summer gets humid as hell but whatever. Take a vacation somewhere more mild or go to the pool or beach or go float the river. Or just stay in the AC. Who cares. The food is awesome, the city has really blossomed with activities. There are way more festivals, free outdoor concerts, cool bars with live music. Mardi Gras is the best time of the year. South Alabama has a stadium on campus now so the games are more fun than ever. A really happy city to live in. Yeah it has rough areas but it’s nowhere near as bad as a major city. You have close access to New Orleans if you want big city vibes. You’re gonna see way more culture there than you will in the Midwest (besides in big cities like Chicago). Eat some crawfish and oysters for me. It’s a great place to live, I miss it a lot.” – OP


“I lived in Mobile as a child and returned when I turned 30. I have lived in multiple states and now reside in Portland. Mobile Bay area is my favorite place I have ever lived and would move back in a heartbeat if I could. I agree with those saying the weather is great 11 months out of the year. The humidity feels terrible when you first get there, but after you acclimate, it is wonderful almost always. The people are two-fold for me. People in general are wonderful. Some of the best I have ever met. Customer service there is atrocious, though! It is like they are purposefully rude as a general rule of thumb. The best thing about Mobile to me is how active of a city it is. I have not found another city that replicates this other than maybe New Orleans. There is always something going on. People of all ages and backgrounds go out and enjoy life. It is so easy to meet new people. It is not uncommon to see a 21 year old chatting with a 65 year old that they just met at Mardi Gras and actually enjoying themselves. South Alabama is absolutely beautiful and full of history. You are an EASY day trip from Pensacola, Gulf Shores, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Birmingham. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.” – OP

The simple answer is because the cost of living and average wage is also low. People who work remotely will be able to really capitalize on the inexpensive housing. Your dream of having a pool and huge backyard may be closer than you thought!

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Ready to take the next step?

Whatever step you’re in on you’re real estate journey, it’s good to get in touch with a professional realtor to help answer any questions you may have or guide you to the best deals in town. I would be glad to represent you in your transaction and help walk you through the process of buying or selling a home in Alabama. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any inquiries today.