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Old 01-14-2008, 03:59 PM
 
7 posts, read 39,978 times
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Hi all,
I'm highly considering moving to the Birmingham area this summer. Years ago, my mom lived there and has mentioned Homewood, Hoover, and Vestavia Hills to me several times. Are these good places to consider? Is there any real difference between them? How about as far as traffic, good schools, affordability, family life etc?
I'm asking because I grew up in the North Metro Atlanta area, and unless you really know about the different suburbs, one just seems to blend into the next if you know what I mean.
Thanks for any help you can give me!
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Homewood is pretty much heaven, but you pay for it in terms of higher cost per square foot. When we were buying a house, it was even more than Mountain Brook, which we found to be pretty astonishing.

Hoover has a lot of nice spots, but it's also going through the growing pains associated with unplanned development with lots of traffic, school systems having to constantly adjust to more students, etc.

Vestavia seems to be somewhere in the middle. Good schools. Nice part of town. Relatively few infrastructure problems. And relatively affordable.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Crestwood
136 posts, read 596,155 times
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All are very good places to consider. It really depends on what you are looking for. Are you looking for schools, nightlife, shopping, close proximity to work, etc...

All three are centrally located and you will be happy with any choice.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Well, TigerFan, I live downtown, but graduated from Vestavia Hills High School. Vestavia Hills is going to offer a beautiful suburban setting, as it covers the southern slope of Shades Mountain. Many retirees live there, and the typical home is 1960s ranch. It's quiet and bucolic, but 1980s-style homes are found along the Rocky Ridge corridor of the city. Ever visit the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina? Rocky Ridge Road is VERY much like that in feel. GREAT school system, though very conservative community. The Old South is very much honored there.

Homewood seems to be where all the young, new families go to get started. It's literally a bedroom community, and sort-of like parts of Virginia Highlands & Decatur spliced together, filtered through "Diaper Row". Another GREAT school system. Homewood is more ethnically diverse, and the new SOHO development in the "downtown" is trendy and fun. Alabama's only W hotel is there (Aloft).

Hooverland is the up-and-coming Edge City. You've seen the high school on MTV. In 1967 it comprised 400 acres, and a few hundred people. Today, it's population is over 73,000, and it's Albama's 6th largest city behind Tuscaloosa. Much of the suburban growth in Shelby & Chilton counties can be attributed to Hoover. "Hooverland" has a bit of that old Birmingham magic, in that it too has popped up overnight out of nothing. I love it, I love the Galleria, and I love Birmingham's suburbs.

While you are looking, DON'T forget to check out McCalla, Trussville, Fultondale & Garendale.

However, Birmingham itself has some amazing neighborhoods. Do you like New Orleans' Garden District, or Savannah? Look no further than Highland Park. For a Piedmont Park/Midtown Atlanta neighborhood experience, try the adjacent Forest Park. If I-75 North/Cumberland Mall, GA400 or Sandy Springs are your thing, try Meadowbrook, Brook Highlands and Inverness out U.S. Highway 280. Birmingham's West End is very much like Atlanta's West Side, and those areas south of Turner Field.

Hope this helps!
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:18 PM
 
253 posts, read 868,683 times
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What is your all's opinion about Mountain Brook vs. Homewood? As an FYI, I'm not really concerned about housing prices, just general feel, schools, the community, etc of the areas.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shino306 View Post
What is your all's opinion about Mountain Brook vs. Homewood? As an FYI, I'm not really concerned about housing prices, just general feel, schools, the community, etc of the areas.
Thanks in advance.
We had the choice of Mountain Brook vs. Homewood. We found that Homewood was actually higher on a per-square-foot basis than most of Mountain Brook (Outside of the areas where the mansions are). We also think the schools are a notch above Homewood schools, although Homewood schools are also pretty good.

That being said, Mountain Brook is a bit more cut up than Homewood, which means that some areas such as Cherokee Bend and along Overton Road are really separate from other parts of the city, whereas Homewood is a much more integrated city. Homewood has a very good shopping area, while Mountain Brook has two different areas. So for shopping, I'd call it a tie.

Overall, you really can't go wrong with either community for sheer convenience and lifestyle.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,654 posts, read 7,346,318 times
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I would say Mountain Brook if you only care about academics. We call it "The Tiny Kingdom" because it's like living in a bubble. There's nothing wrong with that, but I personally like some diversity.

The community is great and the people are nice, but don't expect to be welcomed to society or anything like that.
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Old 06-14-2009, 10:46 AM
 
1,201 posts, read 2,346,470 times
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Default the paper whites by the brook...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
We had the choice of Mountain Brook vs. Homewood. We found that Homewood was actually higher on a per-square-foot basis than most of Mountain Brook (Outside of the areas where the mansions are). We also think the schools are a notch above Homewood schools, although Homewood schools are also pretty good.

That being said, Mountain Brook is a bit more cut up than Homewood, which means that some areas such as Cherokee Bend and along Overton Road are really separate from other parts of the city, whereas Homewood is a much more integrated city. Homewood has a very good shopping area, while Mountain Brook has two different areas. So for shopping, I'd call it a tie.

Overall, you really can't go wrong with either community for sheer convenience and lifestyle.
i completely agree w/ this post. it is extremely accurate information and a fair assessment. i have lived in homewood and the highlands. i regularly shop and attend church in mountain brook, when in the city. i love the natural beauty of both areas. i guess if i had a serious choice to make---just because of the elevation, ivy, stone, and feeling of seclusion---i would choose mountain brook. i have never had the feeling that i was left out socially, and i have never noted having been so. in homewood, i lived on alford avenue. it is a wonderful area. brookwood village was almost a second home, and the convenience to downtown, to advent cathedral, and to the various mountain vistas, was wonderful. metropolitan birmingham is a hidden and underated gem.
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:29 PM
 
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My wife and I lived in Homewood off of Valley Ave., and we hated it because of the location. However, Homewood as a whole is very nice, has that small town atmosphere in some parts (Edgewood is nice), and then there are other area where they have built really expensive condos and shopping centers (SOHO), which I am not into but some people seem to like. I really like HOmewood Park, which is the center of activities for a lot of the families. All in all, if you are interested in Homewood, make sure it is not the area around Green Springs or Valley Ave (a lot of twenty-somethings, crime, drugs, etc.).
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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I disagree with some of the threads above. A 2008 study revealed that Mountain Brook was one of the ten wealthiest communities in the Nation. It is definitely MUCH nicer than Homewood. Homewood has some nasty parts, one being green springs. The school is old and in bad condition (especially the bathrooms). Mountain Brook is more expensive and has more beautiful homes. It does not have any cookie cutter homes. But, Homewood definitely has better shopping. Mountain Brooks zoning laws etc. keep trashy businesses from moving in, which is great, but it also has very few GREAT restaurants, etc. That being said, they are extremely close areas of Birmingham so I would live it Mountain Brook and go enjoy some of the restaurants in Homewood. I started out in Homewood and then moved to Mountain Brook and it was a worthwhile decision. I have made more connections here like you wouldn't believe.
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