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Old 03-09-2009, 09:55 AM
 
16 posts, read 45,775 times
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my husband and i will be moving to birmingham this spring. we live in Dallas proper because we dont care for houses in the burbs that all look alike.

i have an interest in the southside area but those i've spoken to (all who live in indian springs, pelham and vestavia - all say that we are nuts for thinking about southside.

i would appreciate any input regarding crime stats or anything else you might want to tell someone thinking about southside. thanks!
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:52 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 42,478,728 times
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Originally Posted by vinbigD View Post
my husband and i will be moving to birmingham this spring. we live in Dallas proper because we dont care for houses in the burbs that all look alike.

i have an interest in the southside area but those i've spoken to (all who live in indian springs, pelham and vestavia - all say that we are nuts for thinking about southside.

i would appreciate any input regarding crime stats or anything else you might want to tell someone thinking about southside. thanks!
We lived in the Forest Park/Avondale sections of Southside for 13 years and never had the first problem. It is an incredibly convenient area with a great deal of personality and diversity.

We moved to Mountain Brook two years ago, chiefly because of the costs of sending three kids to private schools (The public schools are terrible inside the city limits, and that's one thing we wouldn't tolerate), but we'll move right back to Southside when the last child is clutching his diploma. The neighborhood where we lived was chock-full of people walking their dogs after dark, hanging out outside, and generally enjoying a pretty convivial lifestyle, thanks.

As far as your friends are concerned, welcome to the suburban mentality. Sure, overall crime is pretty high in Birmingham. But if you look at a crime map, you'll see that the pockets of crime are confined to North Birmingham, Woodlawn and the western parts of town where drug dealers are shooting one another up. However, what they don't realize is that, for ordinary folks like you and me, the Galleria parking deck is one of the most dangerous places in town. Just ask a Hoover cop.

All that being said, common sense should prevail. You won't need bars on the windows and you won't have to lay down covering fire as your husband makes the dash from your car to the front door.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I live in Southside now, a few blocks from Five Points. I feel no fear whatsoever walking around my neighborhood after dark. Apparently the young single women who jog in my neighborhood and the young mommies pushing strollers down my street don't either.

What you will see in my area is a mix of students, young professionals and old people who have lived here forever. The area is more liberal than other parts of the metropolitan area. You have a mix of old houses, apartment buildings and condo conversions, with some newer apartments here and there. You will find plenty of old homes with character, but you will not find many McMansions in the area.

You will also see a mix of races. Southside is not a "black" area, but you might have black neighbors. If you are afraid of black people, you might be uncomfortable here. Usually when I hear suburbanites express fear of Birmingham, it's really fear of being around blacks.

Of course "Southside" includes more than just the Five Points neighborhood. Several years ago I lived over in the Highland Avenue area, east of the Red Mountain Expressway. That area caters even more toward young professionals. It's also a bit more expensive than over here on the west side. Further east you get into the areas that cpg mentioned. All throughout the Southside area you will find older homes with much more character than the McMansions they build out in the burbs.

If I had kids, I would move. Not because I would fear for their safety, but because I would want to get them out of Birmingham schools. Birmingham has a few bright spots in its department of education, but for the most part the schools suck. But if you don't have kids, that's not a worry, although the bad schools undoubtedly affect the home values.

My suggestion is to come to Birmingham and look around for yourself. There are a TON of houses for sale here right now. It seems every day I see another sign pop up in front of one of the old houses around here. Some of them are going for a song, too. Get here, fill up the tank and just drive around in the area for a while. You can get a really good sense of what the place is like just by looking.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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sounds like my kind of area...just by the two responses received. my husband is an educator (college level) and i will be working out towards 119. OUr daughter is grown and living in Nashville (another reason I am happy about the relocation). We prefer a solid mix of people, a lively neighborhood and interesting people to live among. Thank you so much for your input. We are scheduled to visit in a couple of weeks and we are anxious to find just the right spot.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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The one thing I will add about Avondale is that it really depends on what part you are in. I am a social worker who has many clients in Avondale, and the areas I am familiar with are rampant with drug use/sales, prostitution, and gang activity. Forest Park side of Avondale is more safe, but I's say 3rd-5th Ave., from 38th st. S.-45th st. S. is pretty bad. I am not being judgmental, but this is shat I know and have observed through first-hand experience. Personally, I have never felt unsafe in any neighborhood I have been in, but I am a big guy who knows Birmingham like the back of my hand. I just would not be so quick to recommend certain areas based on safety concerns.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pvjd View Post
The one thing I will add about Avondale is that it really depends on what part you are in. I am a social worker who has many clients in Avondale, and the areas I am familiar with are rampant with drug use/sales, prostitution, and gang activity. Forest Park side of Avondale is more safe, but I's say 3rd-5th Ave., from 38th st. S.-45th st. S. is pretty bad. I am not being judgmental, but this is shat I know and have observed through first-hand experience. Personally, I have never felt unsafe in any neighborhood I have been in, but I am a big guy who knows Birmingham like the back of my hand. I just would not be so quick to recommend certain areas based on safety concerns.
True...but south of 5th Avenue, the character of the neighborhood changes radically. And I lived there for 13 years.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:44 AM
 
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I don't think Avondale is really considered Southside. It's Avondale. It's too far east to be considered Southside.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:49 AM
 
28,906 posts, read 42,478,728 times
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Originally Posted by 3am green coffee View Post
I don't think Avondale is really considered Southside. It's Avondale. It's too far east to be considered Southside.
Well, depends on how broad your definition is. Lots of people just see Southside as the entire northern slope of Red Mountain from Crestwood to Greensprings. For the purposes of the OP, I think it's a convenient hook.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:20 AM
 
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Well I don't know if Hoover (we are in south Hoover, very close to Pelham) is considered southside, but they have great schools. My daugher is currently in a Hoover City School (Middle) and we are extremely happy with the school, not to mention that they have great ratings on the school ratings sites. I know this for a fact because we are moving to Georgia where it is very hard to find good schools and I compared to ratings here. I moved here last summer from Illinois not knowing what to expect and would love to stay permanently. Best of luck with your search!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jcMoving View Post
Well I don't know if Hoover (we are in south Hoover, very close to Pelham) is considered southside, but they have great schools. My daugher is currently in a Hoover City School (Middle) and we are extremely happy with the school, not to mention that they have great ratings on the school ratings sites. I know this for a fact because we are moving to Georgia where it is very hard to find good schools and I compared to ratings here. I moved here last summer from Illinois not knowing what to expect and would love to stay permanently. Best of luck with your search!
It's not really. That's South of Town, as opposed to Southside. However, I'm sorry that you're moving, and glad you had a great experience living here.
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