The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

6 days ago

5 things to consider when upsizing your home

(Pixabay, YHN)

The past year has taught us a lot about how multi-faceted our homes can be. From housing our personal classrooms, offices, gyms, and our very own entertainment districts – there is a lot that can be happening at one time under our roof. When space starts to feel tight, the desire to upsize typically follows. Take into account these five things to ensure your next home remains a happy one.

Needs vs. wants
Start the upsizing journey by knowing the difference between needs and wants. A need is something that you really must-have, the aspects of a home that are essential to your family. Factors such as minimum bedrooms, bathrooms or square footage. Perhaps location is essential for work or school proximity. Make a list of what your next home must-have. Then consider the wants, or things that you might find beneficial. Being deliberate about your priorities will lay the foundation for your upsizing journey.

362


Take it slow

When it comes to homeownership, impulse buys are ill-advised. In Alabama’s real estate market, low inventory levels can create great urgency for buyers eager to pounce. Urgency doesn’t have to be a problem once potential buyers have taken the time to prioritize needs over wants and thoughtfully consider what the best next step in their home journey should include. As in most aspects of life, preparation is key to making the most of opportunities when they present themselves.

Size does matter, but why?
Often when the desire to upsize begins to move homeowners to consider larger options, size can be the only thing people focus on. Size does matter, but the purpose behind the upsizing matters more. Think through what exact types of spaces your current home is lacking, and more importantly, the purpose behind those spaces.  Is there a need for greater storage, more personal space, more room to gather, more room to work, more room to entertain? Start with the functional space you’re seeking, then make a list of exactly what you need more of and why.

Do the math
Larger home size typically equates to increased expenses. The most obvious is the associated mortgage payment, but homeowners should also gather information on a handful of other expenses to avoid surprises and ensure a larger home stays a happy home. Costs such as increased property tax payments, homeowners insurance, utilities, home repairs and upkeep, lawn maintenance and added costs of furnishings can all be estimated accurately and conservatively before upsizing options are considered.

Don’t neglect what you already have
Be sure to protect your current investment even when you’re focused on finding your dream home. Upsizing usually includes using the equity in the home you own now, so be sure to stay on top of routine maintenance and repairs. Keep your home in good condition to ensure top value for your sale.

Learn more about upsizing opportunities in your real estate market by contacting a REALTOR® today.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

1 week ago

5 things to consider when upsizing your home

(Pixabay, YHN)

The past year has taught us a lot about how multi-faceted our homes can be. From housing our personal classrooms, offices, gyms, and our very own entertainment districts – there is a lot that can be happening at one time under our roof. When space starts to feel tight, the desire to upsize typically follows. Take into account these five things to ensure your next home remains a happy one.

Needs vs. wants
Start the upsizing journey by knowing the difference between needs and wants. A need is something that you really must-have, the aspects of a home that are essential to your family. Factors such as minimum bedrooms, bathrooms or square footage. Perhaps location is essential for work or school proximity. Make a list of what your next home must-have. Then consider the wants, or things that you might find beneficial. Being deliberate about your priorities will lay the foundation for your upsizing journey.

362


Take it slow

When it comes to homeownership, impulse buys are ill-advised. In Alabama’s real estate market, low inventory levels can create great urgency for buyers eager to pounce. Urgency doesn’t have to be a problem once potential buyers have taken the time to prioritize needs over wants and thoughtfully consider what the best next step in their home journey should include. As in most aspects of life, preparation is key to making the most of opportunities when they present themselves.

Size does matter, but why?
Often when the desire to upsize begins to move homeowners to consider larger options, size can be the only thing people focus on. Size does matter, but the purpose behind the upsizing matters more. Think through what exact types of spaces your current home is lacking, and more importantly, the purpose behind those spaces.  Is there a need for greater storage, more personal space, more room to gather, more room to work, more room to entertain? Start with the functional space you’re seeking, then make a list of exactly what you need more of and why.

Do the math
Larger home size typically equates to increased expenses. The most obvious is the associated mortgage payment, but homeowners should also gather information on a handful of other expenses to avoid surprises and ensure a larger home stays a happy home. Costs such as increased property tax payments, homeowners insurance, utilities, home repairs and upkeep, lawn maintenance and added costs of furnishings can all be estimated accurately and conservatively before upsizing options are considered.

Don’t neglect what you already have
Be sure to protect your current investment even when you’re focused on finding your dream home. Upsizing usually includes using the equity in the home you own now, so be sure to stay on top of routine maintenance and repairs. Keep your home in good condition to ensure top value for your sale.

Learn more about upsizing opportunities in your real estate market by contacting a REALTOR® today.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

2 weeks ago

5 things to consider when upsizing your home

(Pixabay, YHN)

The past year has taught us a lot about how multi-faceted our homes can be. From housing our personal classrooms, offices, gyms, and our very own entertainment districts – there is a lot that can be happening at one time under our roof. When space starts to feel tight, the desire to upsize typically follows. Take into account these five things to ensure your next home remains a happy one.

Needs vs. wants
Start the upsizing journey by knowing the difference between needs and wants. A need is something that you really must-have, the aspects of a home that are essential to your family. Factors such as minimum bedrooms, bathrooms or square footage. Perhaps location is essential for work or school proximity. Make a list of what your next home must-have. Then consider the wants, or things that you might find beneficial. Being deliberate about your priorities will lay the foundation for your upsizing journey.

362


Take it slow

When it comes to homeownership, impulse buys are ill-advised. In Alabama’s real estate market, low inventory levels can create great urgency for buyers eager to pounce. Urgency doesn’t have to be a problem once potential buyers have taken the time to prioritize needs over wants and thoughtfully consider what the best next step in their home journey should include. As in most aspects of life, preparation is key to making the most of opportunities when they present themselves.

Size does matter, but why?
Often when the desire to upsize begins to move homeowners to consider larger options, size can be the only thing people focus on. Size does matter, but the purpose behind the upsizing matters more. Think through what exact types of spaces your current home is lacking, and more importantly, the purpose behind those spaces.  Is there a need for greater storage, more personal space, more room to gather, more room to work, more room to entertain? Start with the functional space you’re seeking, then make a list of exactly what you need more of and why.

Do the math
Larger home size typically equates to increased expenses. The most obvious is the associated mortgage payment, but homeowners should also gather information on a handful of other expenses to avoid surprises and ensure a larger home stays a happy home. Costs such as increased property tax payments, homeowners insurance, utilities, home repairs and upkeep, lawn maintenance and added costs of furnishings can all be estimated accurately and conservatively before upsizing options are considered.

Don’t neglect what you already have
Be sure to protect your current investment even when you’re focused on finding your dream home. Upsizing usually includes using the equity in the home you own now, so be sure to stay on top of routine maintenance and repairs. Keep your home in good condition to ensure top value for your sale.

Learn more about upsizing opportunities in your real estate market by contacting a REALTOR® today.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

Economic optimism on the rise as Alabama’s business community bounces back

(YHN)

Not only is light at the end of the tunnel, but the sun is shining on Alabama’s business community.

Alabama businesses are actively hiring as the unemployment rate continues to drop and economic optimism rebounds. Our state is poised for a robust recovery from the pandemic — with the best days ahead.

The state’s unemployment rate has fallen each month this year and is quickly approaching the historic lows enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic shook the nation last spring.

“Not only is the unemployment rate dropping, but businesses are actively hiring,” said Business Council of Alabama President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt.  “Alabama truly is open for business, and we have a lot of reason for optimism moving forward.”

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According to the latest data, both metropolitan and micropolitan areas have seen significant declines in joblessness in recent months. For many employers, the task now is finding qualified, willing workers for vacant positions.

Currently, there are over 66,500 job openings in Alabama, and many employers predict their workforce needs to continue to increase.

“Chamber of commerce members throughout the state have indicated immediate hiring needs as well as planned employment increases throughout the remainder of 2021,” stated Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama (CCAA) President and CEO Paige Hutto. “CCAA represents our “boots on the ground” local chambers and through them we know that their members are actively looking for qualified workers. Through our partnership with the Business Council of Alabama, we are working with state and local leaders to assist our members with the resources they need for continued growth.”

“BCA is proud to continue offering unparalleled support and resources for our member businesses as they look to put the pandemic in the rear view mirror,” added Britt. “From advocating for pro-jobs policies to delivering innovative tools, the forward-thinking team at BCA is thrilled to help foster a climate in which businesses of all sizes and sectors can thrive far into the future.”

BCA is firmly committed to continuing to offer unmatched expertise and assistance to Alabama businesses. Visit our website to learn more about what BCA can do for you.

The Business Council of Alabama is the state’s largest business association representing nearly one million working Alabamians to ensure that businesses of all sizes can grow and flourish in our state.

As workforce demands surge, ACCS delivers solutions to meet business needs

(YHN)

With the lowest unemployment in the Southeast, Alabama’s workforce demands continue to grow. Job creators all over the state are working diligently to hire and train new employees as their workforce needs surge.

What is great news for the booming Alabama economy also creates new challenges for employers seeking skilled job applicants.

The Alabama Community College System has successfully created a program to meet this challenge.

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“Across Alabama, the demand for short-term, customized, non-credit training for business and industry continues to exceed the state’s current training capacity,” said Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker. “Alabama’s community colleges across the state are at the table with business and industry leaders to identify solutions to the state’s workforce needs.”

Alabama’s community colleges have served hundreds of companies with non-credit training programs and job attainment skill delivery. But there is more work to be done when it comes to fulfilling Alabama industry’s workforce preparedness needs.

That’s why ACCS has developed Regional Rapid Training Centers (RRTCs) in strategic locations across the state.

RRTCs will focus on rapid, industry-required, non-credit training determined by the region’s workforce needs.

Expanding this needed training will also help the state more easily meet its attainment goal of adding 500,000 newly credentialed employees to the workforce by 2025.

Successfully meeting a need
To find an example of a solution-based approach, look no further than the Heavy Equipment Operator program at Jefferson State Community College.

Conversations with industry leaders identified that often new equipment operators took up to two weeks of on-the-job training to learn basic operations before being able to learn company-specific skills.  With industry leaders at the table helping to design curriculum, the Heavy Equipment Operator program was customized to ensure students completing the program would enter the job market with mastery of basic safety and operation skills in addition to 8 hours of ‘seat time’ or actual operation time with the equipment.

“The Heavy Equipment Operator program at Jefferson State is a prime example of identifying a need and working with industry to address it in a timely manner through a short-term training solution yielding qualified, certified students who are ready to work on day one,” said Baker.

Demand for more
Job-seeking Alabamians have a myriad of options when searching for a well-paying career, but industry-recognized credentials are often necessary for high-demand occupations.  Short-term, trade-specific training can open employment options for job seekers in a matter of weeks.

Rapid, customizable training can be used to up-skill Alabamians as well as re-train those who have lost their jobs.  The workforce demands of business and industry are dependent upon the future growth of training solutions that work.

Alabama’s community colleges will continue to partner with private sector employers to ensure Alabama can meet its workforce goals. Funding and support for short-term, industry-specific training is vital for the current and future growth of Alabama’s economy.

As workforce demands surge, ACCS delivers solutions to meet business needs

(YHN)

With the lowest unemployment in the Southeast, Alabama’s workforce demands continue to grow. Job creators all over the state are working diligently to hire and train new employees as their workforce needs surge.

What is great news for the booming Alabama economy also creates new challenges for employers seeking skilled job applicants.

The Alabama Community College System has successfully created a program to meet this challenge.

398

“Across Alabama, the demand for short-term, customized, non-credit training for business and industry continues to exceed the state’s current training capacity,” said Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker. “Alabama’s community colleges across the state are at the table with business and industry leaders to identify solutions to the state’s workforce needs.”

Alabama’s community colleges have served hundreds of companies with non-credit training programs and job attainment skill delivery. But there is more work to be done when it comes to fulfilling Alabama industry’s workforce preparedness needs.

That’s why ACCS has developed Regional Rapid Training Centers (RRTCs) in strategic locations across the state.

RRTCs will focus on rapid, industry-required, non-credit training determined by the region’s workforce needs.

Expanding this needed training will also help the state more easily meet its attainment goal of adding 500,000 newly credentialed employees to the workforce by 2025.

Successfully meeting a need
To find an example of a solution-based approach, look no further than the Heavy Equipment Operator program at Jefferson State Community College.

Conversations with industry leaders identified that often new equipment operators took up to two weeks of on-the-job training to learn basic operations before being able to learn company-specific skills.  With industry leaders at the table helping to design curriculum, the Heavy Equipment Operator program was customized to ensure students completing the program would enter the job market with mastery of basic safety and operation skills in addition to 8 hours of ‘seat time’ or actual operation time with the equipment.

“The Heavy Equipment Operator program at Jefferson State is a prime example of identifying a need and working with industry to address it in a timely manner through a short-term training solution yielding qualified, certified students who are ready to work on day one,” said Baker.

Demand for more
Job-seeking Alabamians have a myriad of options when searching for a well-paying career, but industry-recognized credentials are often necessary for high-demand occupations.  Short-term, trade-specific training can open employment options for job seekers in a matter of weeks.

Rapid, customizable training can be used to up-skill Alabamians as well as re-train those who have lost their jobs.  The workforce demands of business and industry are dependent upon the future growth of training solutions that work.

Alabama’s community colleges will continue to partner with private sector employers to ensure Alabama can meet its workforce goals. Funding and support for short-term, industry-specific training is vital for the current and future growth of Alabama’s economy.

As workforce demands surge, ACCS delivers solutions to meet business needs

(YHN)

With the lowest unemployment in the Southeast, Alabama’s workforce demands continue to grow. Job creators all over the state are working diligently to hire and train new employees as their workforce needs surge.

What is great news for the booming Alabama economy also creates new challenges for employers seeking skilled job applicants.

The Alabama Community College System has successfully created a program to meet this challenge.

398

“Across Alabama, the demand for short-term, customized, non-credit training for business and industry continues to exceed the state’s current training capacity,” said Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker. “Alabama’s community colleges across the state are at the table with business and industry leaders to identify solutions to the state’s workforce needs.”

Alabama’s community colleges have served hundreds of companies with non-credit training programs and job attainment skill delivery. But there is more work to be done when it comes to fulfilling Alabama industry’s workforce preparedness needs.

That’s why ACCS has developed Regional Rapid Training Centers (RRTCs) in strategic locations across the state.

RRTCs will focus on rapid, industry-required, non-credit training determined by the region’s workforce needs.

Expanding this needed training will also help the state more easily meet its attainment goal of adding 500,000 newly credentialed employees to the workforce by 2025.

Successfully meeting a need
To find an example of a solution-based approach, look no further than the Heavy Equipment Operator program at Jefferson State Community College.

Conversations with industry leaders identified that often new equipment operators took up to two weeks of on-the-job training to learn basic operations before being able to learn company-specific skills.  With industry leaders at the table helping to design curriculum, the Heavy Equipment Operator program was customized to ensure students completing the program would enter the job market with mastery of basic safety and operation skills in addition to 8 hours of ‘seat time’ or actual operation time with the equipment.

“The Heavy Equipment Operator program at Jefferson State is a prime example of identifying a need and working with industry to address it in a timely manner through a short-term training solution yielding qualified, certified students who are ready to work on day one,” said Baker.

Demand for more
Job-seeking Alabamians have a myriad of options when searching for a well-paying career, but industry-recognized credentials are often necessary for high-demand occupations.  Short-term, trade-specific training can open employment options for job seekers in a matter of weeks.

Rapid, customizable training can be used to up-skill Alabamians as well as re-train those who have lost their jobs.  The workforce demands of business and industry are dependent upon the future growth of training solutions that work.

Alabama’s community colleges will continue to partner with private sector employers to ensure Alabama can meet its workforce goals. Funding and support for short-term, industry-specific training is vital for the current and future growth of Alabama’s economy.

2 months ago

Alabama poised to be the big winner in The World Games 2022

(The World Games 2022/Contributed, YHN)

In less than 16 months, the world will descend on Alabama.

Over the course of 11 days, more than 600 medals will be awarded to competing athletes from over 100 countries around the world. The Games represent the highest level of competition in softball, bowling, gymnastics, martial arts, roller sports, water skiing, archery, climbing and many more sports, including the games’ first-ever para-sport: wheelchair rugby.

But the biggest winner of all will be the Yellowhammer State.

With thousands of athletes, fans and media pouring into the Birmingham region, The World Games project to generate a $256 million economic impact for Alabama.

People from across the country and around the world will fly, drive, stay and spend in our state to benefit of our economy.

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In the past, the event has been hosted by Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Finland, Poland, Netherlands and other far away places around the globe, and now it’s Alabama’s time to show off our beautiful home.

The international event will unite global fans with the Birmingham community in 25+ unique venues around the greater metropolitan area.  Event locations announced to date include Birmingham Crossplex, Boutwell Auditorium, Legion Field and the new Protective Stadium.

The City of Birmingham won its bid to host The Games in 2015, beating out cities in Russia and Peru. This edition marks a return of The Games to the United States for the first time since the inaugural event in Santa Clara, California in 1981.

World Games was established by the International World Games Association, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

The World Games 2022 will be a transformational opportunity for Alabama, generating global media exposure, welcoming athletes and fans from around the world, and serving as a catalyst to position Birmingham as a host for future events.

Custom sponsorship packages are available

To learn more about The World Games 2022 visit TWG2022.com or find us on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

2 months ago

The World Games is an even bigger deal than you think

(Pixabay, YHN)

They call it The World Games for a reason.

With more than 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries competing in nearly three dozen sports, The World Games is an international athletic and entertainment spectacle.

And it is all happening right here in Alabama from July 7 through 17 during the Summer of 2022.

The Yellowhammer State will take center stage for the internationally televised event which has in the past been hosted by Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Finland, Poland, Netherlands and other far away places around the globe.

Over the course of 11 days, more than 600 medals will be awarded to competing athletes. The Games represent the highest level of competition in softball, bowling, gymnastics, martial arts, roller sports, water skiing, archery, climbing and many more sports, including the games’ first-ever para-sport: wheelchair rugby.

The biggest winner of all? Alabama.

With thousands of athletes, fans and media descending on the state, The World Games project to generate a $256 million economic impact for Alabama.

139

The international event will unite global fans with the Birmingham community in 25+ unique venues around the greater metropolitan area.  Event locations announced to date include Birmingham Crossplex, Boutwell Auditorium, Legion Field and the new Protective Stadium.

The City of Birmingham won its bid to host The Games in 2015, beating out cities in Russia and Peru. This edition marks a return of The Games to the United States for the first time since the inaugural event in Santa Clara, California in 1981.

The World Games 2022 will be a transformational opportunity for Alabama, generating global media exposure, welcoming athletes and fans from around the world, and serving as a catalyst to position Birmingham as a host for future events.

Custom sponsorship packages are available.

To learn more about The World Games 2022 visit TWG2022.com or find us on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

Alabama’s Spring Break destinations

Alabama Realtors Spring Break

Weary students and their equally winter-worn parents look forward to March and a little break from early classes, homework, projects, and deadlines. The pandemic has added stresses like virtual learning, quarantines, and limited extracurricular activities. With restrictions and safety recommendations limiting long-distance trips, Alabama has perfect Sweet Home getaways for spring break 2021. From the mountains to the Gulf of Mexico, here’s a roadmap (and a few tips for sneaking in some fun ways to learn something new) for the perfect spring break journey within a few hours’ drive.

1144

The Beaches

Spring break and beaches are a perfect combination. If you’re looking for a lot of sand and some warm rays, Alabama beaches outshine their rivals. From Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island, there’s a perfect spot on the sand for your chair and cooler.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are the spring break meccas for beachgoers and offer all the high-rise condos, beach bars, and amusements you could want. Make a point to visit the fully restored Lodge at Gulf State Park. It’s worth checking out how architects worked their magic to build an environmentally friendly resort that conserves the natural beauty of the beach.

Tip: Open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center offers visitors a glimpse at how the park is preserving the environment and natural resources and what simple steps they can take to do the same when they return home.

Fort Morgan is a family-friendly beach community with a good mix of beach cottages and condos located on the Gulf or Mobile Bay. Once sparsely populated and miles from restaurants, Fort Morgan now has ample beachside and bayside dining. Dog-friendly beaches allow the family’s best friend to enjoy spring break, too.

Tip: Visit historic Fort Morgan located at the end of Alabama Highway 180. (You can’t miss it!) Built between 1819 and 1833, the fort played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864 and was used through the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. As a day trip, consider taking the Mobile Bay Ferry from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island. The island is home to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and its public aquarium.

Point Clear

On the eastern shore of Mobile Bay – about 45 minutes north of the Gulf beaches – sits what many call the jewel of Alabama’s resorts. The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, built in 1847, has been named on many national lists of best resorts with its tradition of southern hospitality that entices guests to return. Swimming (there’s even a beach), fishing, biking, fine and casual dining, kids’ activities, an award-winning spa, tennis, and golf are all part of the Grand experience. Shopping and lunch in the quaint nearby city of Fairhope is a fun excursion.

Tip: Visit the historic cemetery on the Grand Hotel property where both Union and Confederate soldiers are at rest. If you like unusual places, take a short drive to the Hermit House in Montrose, just outside of Fairhope. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the one-room, dome-shaped hut was built in 1928 by Henry Stuart, an Englishman, whose habits led to his title the Hermit of Montrose. The hut is located in the parking lot of an office complex at 22787 U.S. Highway 98 on property owned by Ashurst Niemeyer Real Estate.

City Lights

If the spring temps at the beach are not your style, Birmingham offers a great spring break alternative with fun attractions for kids young and old. Tripping.com lists the Magic city among its 8 Best Spring Break Destinations in Alabama. You’ll definitely find something to fit everyone’s idea of spring break fun at top-ranked hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

As you would expect in a big city, experiences are larger than life. Kids of all ages enjoy the McWane Science CenterBirmingham Zoo, TopgolfBarber Vintage Motorsports Museum, and Autobahn Indoor Speedway. After a busy day of spring breaking, the Magic City will tempt you with internationally recognized restaurants, fun pizza joints, and brewpubs. Treat yourself to a stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in nearby Mountain Brook for an out-of-the-ordinary experience. The hotel features an eclectic décor, an art gallery, a cooking school, and a spa.

Tip: Work in a little spring break history lesson by visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail – that features a rendition of a segregated city from the 1950s, a replica of a Freedom Riders bus, and the actual door from the jail cell that held Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mountain Views

Alabama’s mountains are known for attracting “leaf peepers” in search of autumn color, but spring is the best time for cool-weather hikes to explore the peaks. From Monte Sano Mountain near Huntsville to Cheaha Mountain in east Alabama, you can climb every mountain your energy level will allow. Cheaha is the state’s highest point at 2,407 feet above sea level and is part of the Talladega National Forest. Cheaha State Park accommodations include a lodge, cabins, chalets, and campgrounds.

Mentone is a popular spot for outdoor mountain fun. Located in Alabama’s northeast corner, this resort town is on the rim of Lookout Mountain. Visitors enjoy 104-foot DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park where there is camping, biking, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and rappelling.

Off the beaten path near the northwest Alabama town of Phil Campbell is Dismals Canyon. Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975, the canyon has a 1.5-mile hiking trail at its floor where you discover grottos, caverns, and waterfalls. After dark, a guided flashlight tour of the canyon reveals bioluminescent creatures called dismalites that light up the canyon walls. The Dismals Canyon also contains one of the oldest primeval forests east of the Mississippi River.

Tip: If you’re driving between Birmingham and the north Alabama mountains on a pretty day, take a side trip through Blount County to see three of Alabama’s 11 remaining covered bridges. Old Easley, Horton Mill, and Swann covered bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Yes, you can drive across the bridges, but very slowly. 

Whatever route you take, Alabama’s spring break destinations are sure to lead you to discover there truly is no place like Sweet Home Alabama. Enjoy the journey.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

2 months ago

The World Games is an even bigger deal than you think

(Pixabay, YHN)

They call it The World Games for a reason.

With more than 3,600 athletes from over 100 countries competing in nearly three dozen sports, The World Games is an international athletic and entertainment spectacle.

And it is all happening right here in Alabama from July 7 through 17 during the Summer of 2022.

The Yellowhammer State will take center stage for the internationally televised event which has in the past been hosted by Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Finland, Poland, Netherlands and other far away places around the globe.

Over the course of 11 days, more than 600 medals will be awarded to competing athletes. The Games represent the highest level of competition in softball, bowling, gymnastics, martial arts, roller sports, water skiing, archery, climbing and many more sports, including the games’ first-ever para-sport: wheelchair rugby.

The biggest winner of all? Alabama.

With thousands of athletes, fans and media descending on the state, The World Games project to generate a $256 million economic impact for Alabama.

139

The international event will unite global fans with the Birmingham community in 25+ unique venues around the greater metropolitan area. Event locations announced to date include Birmingham Crossplex, Boutwell Auditorium, Legion Field and the new Protective Stadium.

The City of Birmingham won its bid to host The Games in 2015, beating out cities in Russia and Peru. This edition marks a return of The Games to the United States for the first time since the inaugural event in Santa Clara, California in 1981.

The World Games 2022 will be a transformational opportunity for Alabama, generating global media exposure, welcoming athletes and fans from around the world, and serving as a catalyst to position Birmingham as a host for future events.

Custom sponsorship packages are available.

To learn more about The World Games 2022 visit TWG2022.com or find us on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

2 months ago

Alabama’s Spring Break destinations

Alabama Realtors Spring Break

Weary students and their equally winter-worn parents look forward to March and a little break from early classes, homework, projects and deadlines. The pandemic has added stresses like virtual learning, quarantines and limited extracurricular activities. With restrictions and safety recommendations limiting long-distance trips, Alabama has perfect Sweet Home getaways for spring break 2021. From the mountains to the Gulf of Mexico, here’s a roadmap (and a few tips for sneaking in some fun ways to learn something new) for the perfect spring break journey within a few hours’ drive.

1143

The Beaches

Spring break and beaches are a perfect combination. If you’re looking for a lot of sand and some warm rays, Alabama beaches outshine their rivals. From Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island, there’s a perfect spot on the sand for your chair and cooler.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are the spring break meccas for beachgoers and offer all the high-rise condos, beach bars, and amusements you could want. Make a point to visit the fully restored Lodge at Gulf State Park. It’s worth checking out how architects worked their magic to build an environmentally friendly resort that conserves the natural beauty of the beach.

Tip: Open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center offers visitors a glimpse at how the park is preserving the environment and natural resources and what simple steps they can take to do the same when they return home.

Fort Morgan is a family-friendly beach community with a good mix of beach cottages and condos located on the Gulf or Mobile Bay. Once sparsely populated and miles from restaurants, Fort Morgan now has ample beachside and bayside dining. Dog-friendly beaches allow the family’s best friend to enjoy spring break, too.

Tip: Visit historic Fort Morgan located at the end of Alabama Highway 180. (You can’t miss it!) Built between 1819 and 1833, the fort played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864 and was used through the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. As a day trip, consider taking the Mobile Bay Ferry from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island. The island is home to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and its public aquarium.

Point Clear

On the eastern shore of Mobile Bay – about 45 minutes north of the Gulf beaches – sits what many call the jewel of Alabama’s resorts. The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, built in 1847, has been named on many national lists of best resorts with its tradition of southern hospitality that entices guests to return. Swimming (there’s even a beach), fishing, biking, fine and casual dining, kids’ activities, an award-winning spa, tennis and golf are all part of the Grand experience. Shopping and lunch in the quaint nearby city of Fairhope is a fun excursion.

Tip: Visit the historic cemetery on the Grand Hotel property where both Union and Confederate soldiers are at rest. If you like unusual places, take a short drive to the Hermit House in Montrose, just outside of Fairhope. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the one-room, dome-shaped hut was built in 1928 by Henry Stuart, an Englishman, whose habits led to his title the Hermit of Montrose. The hut is located in the parking lot of an office complex at 22787 U.S. Highway 98 on property owned by Ashurst Niemeyer Real Estate.

City Lights

If the spring temps at the beach are not your style, Birmingham offers a great spring break alternative with fun attractions for kids young and old. Tripping.com lists the Magic city among its 8 Best Spring Break Destinations in Alabama. You’ll definitely find something to fit everyone’s idea of spring break fun at top-ranked hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

As you would expect in a big city, experiences are larger than life. Kids of all ages enjoy the McWane Science CenterBirmingham Zoo, TopgolfBarber Vintage Motorsports Museum and Autobahn Indoor Speedway. After a busy day of spring breaking, the Magic City will tempt you with internationally recognized restaurants, fun pizza joints, and brewpubs. Treat yourself to a stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in nearby Mountain Brook for an out-of-the-ordinary experience. The hotel features an eclectic décor, an art gallery, a cooking school, and a spa.

Tip: Work in a little spring break history lesson by visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail – that features a rendition of a segregated city from the 1950s, a replica of a Freedom Riders bus, and the actual door from the jail cell that held Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mountain Views

Alabama’s mountains are known for attracting “leaf peepers” in search of autumn color, but spring is the best time for cool-weather hikes to explore the peaks. From Monte Sano Mountain near Huntsville to Cheaha Mountain in east Alabama, you can climb every mountain your energy level will allow. Cheaha is the state’s highest point at 2,407 feet above sea level and is part of the Talladega National Forest. Cheaha State Park accommodations include a lodge, cabins, chalets, and campgrounds.

Mentone is a popular spot for outdoor mountain fun. Located in Alabama’s northeast corner, this resort town is on the rim of Lookout Mountain. Visitors enjoy 104-foot DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park where there is camping, biking, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and rappelling.

Off the beaten path near the northwest Alabama town of Phil Campbell is Dismals Canyon. Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975, the canyon has a 1.5-mile hiking trail at its floor where you discover grottos, caverns, and waterfalls. After dark, a guided flashlight tour of the canyon reveals bioluminescent creatures called dismalites that light up the canyon walls. The Dismals Canyon also contains one of the oldest primeval forests east of the Mississippi River.

Tip: If you’re driving between Birmingham and the north Alabama mountains on a pretty day, take a side trip through Blount County to see three of Alabama’s 11 remaining covered bridges. Old Easley, Horton Mill, and Swann covered bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Yes, you can drive across the bridges, but very slowly. 

Whatever route you take, Alabama’s spring break destinations are sure to lead you to discover there truly is no place like Sweet Home Alabama. Enjoy the journey.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

2 months ago

Alabama poised to be the big winner in The World Games 2022

(The World Games 2022/Contributed, YHN)

In less than 16 months, the world will descend on Alabama.

Over the course of 11 days, more than 600 medals will be awarded to competing athletes from over 100 countries around the world. The Games represent the highest level of competition in softball, bowling, gymnastics, martial arts, roller sports, water skiing, archery, climbing and many more sports, including the games’ first-ever para-sport: wheelchair rugby.

But the biggest winner of all will be the Yellowhammer State.

With thousands of athletes, fans and media pouring into the Birmingham region, The World Games projects to generate a $256 million economic impact for Alabama.

People from across the country and around the world will fly, drive, stay and spend in our state to the benefit of our economy.

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In the past, the event has been hosted by Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Finland, Poland, Netherlands and other far away places around the globe, and now it’s Alabama’s time to show off our beautiful home.

The international event will unite global fans with the Birmingham community in 25+ unique venues around the greater metropolitan area. Event locations announced to date include Birmingham Crossplex, Boutwell Auditorium, Legion Field and the new Protective Stadium.

The City of Birmingham won its bid to host The Games in 2015, beating out cities in Russia and Peru. This edition marks a return of The Games to the United States for the first time since the inaugural event in Santa Clara, California in 1981.

World Games was established by the International World Games Association, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

The World Games 2022 will be a transformational opportunity for Alabama, generating global media exposure, welcoming athletes and fans from around the world, and serving as a catalyst to position Birmingham as a host for future events.

Custom sponsorship packages are available

To learn more about The World Games 2022 visit TWG2022.com or find us on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

2 months ago

Alabama’s Spring Break destinations

Alabama Realtors Spring Break

Weary students and their equally winter-worn parents look forward to March and a little break from early classes, homework, projects and deadlines. The pandemic has added stresses like virtual learning, quarantines and limited extracurricular activities. With restrictions and safety recommendations limiting long-distance trips, Alabama has perfect Sweet Home getaways for spring break 2021. From the mountains to the Gulf of Mexico, here’s a roadmap (and a few tips for sneaking in some fun ways to learn something new) for the perfect spring break journey within a few hours’ drive.

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The Beaches

Spring break and beaches are a perfect combination. If you’re looking for a lot of sand and some warm rays, Alabama beaches outshine their rivals. From Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to Fort Morgan and Dauphin Island, there’s a perfect spot on the sand for your chair and cooler.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are the spring break meccas for beachgoers and offer all the high-rise condos, beach bars, and amusements you could want. Make a point to visit the fully restored Lodge at Gulf State Park. It’s worth checking out how architects worked their magic to build an environmentally friendly resort that conserves the natural beauty of the beach.

Tip: Open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, the Gulf State Park Interpretive Center offers visitors a glimpse at how the park is preserving the environment and natural resources and what simple steps they can take to do the same when they return home.

Fort Morgan is a family-friendly beach community with a good mix of beach cottages and condos located on the Gulf or Mobile Bay. Once sparsely populated and miles from restaurants, Fort Morgan now has ample beachside and bayside dining. Dog-friendly beaches allow the family’s best friend to enjoy spring break, too.

Tip: Visit historic Fort Morgan located at the end of Alabama Highway 180. (You can’t miss it!) Built between 1819 and 1833, the fort played a significant role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864 and was used through the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II. As a day trip, consider taking the Mobile Bay Ferry from Fort Morgan to Dauphin Island. The island is home to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and its public aquarium.

Point Clear

On the eastern shore of Mobile Bay – about 45 minutes north of the Gulf beaches – sits what many call the jewel of Alabama’s resorts. The Grand Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, built in 1847, has been named on many national lists of best resorts with its tradition of southern hospitality that entices guests to return. Swimming (there’s even a beach), fishing, biking, fine and casual dining, kids’ activities, an award-winning spa, tennis, and golf are all part of the Grand experience. Shopping and lunch in the quaint nearby city of Fairhope is a fun excursion.

Tip: Visit the historic cemetery on the Grand Hotel property where both Union and Confederate soldiers are at rest. If you like unusual places, take a short drive to the Hermit House in Montrose, just outside of Fairhope. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the one-room, dome-shaped hut was built in 1928 by Henry Stuart, an Englishman, whose habits led to his title the Hermit of Montrose. The hut is located in the parking lot of an office complex at 22787 U.S. Highway 98 on property owned by Ashurst Niemeyer Real Estate.

City Lights

If the spring temps at the beach are not your style, Birmingham offers a great spring break alternative with fun attractions for kids young and old. Tripping.com lists the Magic city among its 8 Best Spring Break Destinations in Alabama. You’ll definitely find something to fit everyone’s idea of spring break fun at top-ranked hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

As you would expect in a big city, experiences are larger than life. Kids of all ages enjoy the McWane Science CenterBirmingham Zoo, TopgolfBarber Vintage Motorsports Museum and Autobahn Indoor Speedway. After a busy day of spring breaking, the Magic City will tempt you with internationally recognized restaurants, fun pizza joints, and brewpubs. Treat yourself to a stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in nearby Mountain Brook for an out-of-the-ordinary experience. The hotel features an eclectic décor, an art gallery, a cooking school and a spa.

Tip: Work in a little spring break history lesson by visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute – part of the U.S. Civil Rights Trail – that features a rendition of a segregated city from the 1950s, a replica of a Freedom Riders bus, and the actual door from the jail cell that held Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mountain Views

Alabama’s mountains are known for attracting “leaf peepers” in search of autumn color, but spring is the best time for cool-weather hikes to explore the peaks. From Monte Sano Mountain near Huntsville to Cheaha Mountain in east Alabama, you can climb every mountain your energy level will allow. Cheaha is the state’s highest point at 2,407 feet above sea level and is part of the Talladega National Forest. Cheaha State Park accommodations include a lodge, cabins, chalets, and campgrounds.

Mentone is a popular spot for outdoor mountain fun. Located in Alabama’s northeast corner, this resort town is on the rim of Lookout Mountain. Visitors enjoy 104-foot DeSoto Falls in DeSoto State Park where there is camping, biking, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and rappelling.

Off the beaten path near the northwest Alabama town of Phil Campbell is Dismals Canyon. Designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975, the canyon has a 1.5-mile hiking trail at its floor where you discover grottos, caverns, and waterfalls. After dark, a guided flashlight tour of the canyon reveals bioluminescent creatures called dismalites that light up the canyon walls. The Dismals Canyon also contains one of the oldest primeval forests east of the Mississippi River.

Tip: If you’re driving between Birmingham and the north Alabama mountains on a pretty day, take a side trip through Blount County to see three of Alabama’s 11 remaining covered bridges. Old Easley, Horton Mill, and Swann covered bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Yes, you can drive across the bridges, but very slowly. 

Whatever route you take, Alabama’s spring break destinations are sure to lead you to discover there truly is no place like Sweet Home Alabama. Enjoy the journey.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

Alabama’s strength in the real estate market continues to make national headlines

(Pixabay, Wikicommons, Equal Justice Initiative/Facebook, Julia Sayers Gokhale/YHN)

2020 was a record-breaking year for the U.S. housing market, and Alabama was no exception. Investment in the state generated a lot of attention from publications around the globe as a variety of Alabama destinations appear at the top of the list for booming markets.

Here are a few examples of Alabama destinations identified by industry leaders as ones to watch:

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Lake Guntersville

As the pandemic has shifted interest to more rural, scenic driven destinations, places like Marshall County, Alabama, have surfaced to the top of real estate searches. According to Market Watch, Marshall County led the country in the percentage of increased searches for micropolitan communities. The area surrounding Lake Guntersville saw an increase of 2817% on the Redfin.com website in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Montgomery

Appearing in two notable publications, Alabama’s capital city has been recognized for its affordability, promising job market and appeal to travelers. Forbes Advisor looked at 100 metro areas with a population of at least 100,000 to identify the top 10 most affordable cities for homebuyers. Appearing at No. 8, Montgomery offers the lowest median annual real estate taxes and is poised for growth based on continued investment from the aerospace and automotive employers. In addition, the continued expansion of Montgomery’s social justice attractions has drawn attention from Bloomberg who has listed it as one of the best places to travel in 2021.

Tuscaloosa

Leading the national trend in real estate is the continued growth of vacation rental property investments. According to the real estate education publication Fortune Builders, Tuscaloosa is No. 2 in the country on the list of places to buy a vacation rental property. Citing the year-over-year growth in tourism both inside and outside of football season, this Alabama city bodes well for investors looking for potential profits in rental investments.

Gulf Shores / Orange Beach


No stranger to second home real estate investors, the beautiful beaches of Alabama’s gulf coast have been an attractive destination for years.  In spite of the changes 2020 brought to the investment landscape, this area proves to be dependable for travel-hungry tourists. Air DNA tracks the performance data of over 10 million AirB&B and VRBO vacation rentals and published a list of the best places to buy short-term rental property in the U.S. When it comes to areas with over 1,000 active short-term rentals, Gulf Shores / Orange Beach scored number eight for its annual revenue potential and annual revenue growth.

Dauphin Island

As reported by CNBC, the vacation rental management website Vacasa has rolled out its annual report highlighting the best U.S. destinations to invest in a vacation rental property. The study analyzed home sales and rental data in vacation areas around the country. For the second year in a row, the “sunset capital of Alabama” has made the list.

Birmingham

The Magic City appeared on several real estate investment lists in 2020.  In its analysis of America’s hottest real estate zip codes, Forbes lists Birmingham first on the list. The analysis uses data from Zillow.com to determine America’s fastest-growing zip codes by home sale price appreciation. Property Wire lists Birmingham as one of five on its 2020 best areas to invest and the international publication Global Investments lists it as the next U.S. property investment hotspot. Additionally, Travel and Leisure magazine includes Birmingham as of the best places to travel in 2021.

Huntsville

Alabama’s Rocket City made the list of emerging real estate markets of 2020 according to Mashvisor, an analytics service company focused on providing investors with property information. Huntsville is noted as one of the markets leading the economic recovery in the nation.

Auburn


Housing Wire, a digital publication focussed on mortgage and housing markets placed Auburn on the 2020 best locations for investment property. The only Alabama city to make the rankings, Auburn was listed in second place for the highest population growth and first place for employment growth.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

Alabama’s strength in the real estate market continues to make national headlines

(Pixabay, Wikicommons, Equal Justice Initiative/Facebook, Julia Sayers Gokhale/YHN)

2020 was a record-breaking year for the U.S. housing market, and Alabama was no exception. Investment in the state generated a lot of attention from publications around the globe as a variety of Alabama destinations appear at the top of the list for booming markets.

Here are a few examples of Alabama destinations identified by industry leaders as ones to watch:

759

Lake Guntersville

As the pandemic has shifted interest to more rural, scenic driven destinations, places like Marshall County, Alabama, have surfaced to the top of real estate searches. According to Market Watch, Marshall County led the country in the percentage of increased searches for micropolitan communities. The area surrounding Lake Guntersville saw an increase of 2817% on the Redfin.com website in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Montgomery

Appearing in two notable publications, Alabama’s capital city has been recognized for its affordability, promising job market and appeal to travelers. Forbes Advisor looked at 100 metro areas with a population of at least 100,000 to identify the top 10 most affordable cities for homebuyers. Appearing at No. 8, Montgomery offers the lowest median annual real estate taxes and is poised for growth based on continued investment from the aerospace and automotive employers. In addition, the continued expansion of Montgomery’s social justice attractions has drawn attention from Bloomberg who has listed it as one of the best places to travel in 2021.

Tuscaloosa

Leading the national trend in real estate is the continued growth of vacation rental property investments. According to the real estate education publication Fortune Builders, Tuscaloosa is No. 2 in the country on the list of places to buy a vacation rental property. Citing the year-over-year growth in tourism both inside and outside of football season, this Alabama city bodes well for investors looking for potential profits in rental investments.

Gulf Shores / Orange Beach


No stranger to second home real estate investors, the beautiful beaches of Alabama’s gulf coast have been an attractive destination for years.  In spite of the changes 2020 brought to the investment landscape, this area proves to be dependable for travel-hungry tourists. Air DNA tracks the performance data of over 10 million AirB&B and VRBO vacation rentals and published a list of the best places to buy short-term rental property in the U.S. When it comes to areas with over 1,000 active short-term rentals, Gulf Shores / Orange Beach scored number eight for its annual revenue potential and annual revenue growth.

Dauphin Island

As reported by CNBC, the vacation rental management website Vacasa has rolled out its annual report highlighting the best U.S. destinations to invest in a vacation rental property. The study analyzed home sales and rental data in vacation areas around the country. For the second year in a row, the “sunset capital of Alabama” has made the list.

Birmingham

The Magic City appeared on several real estate investment lists in 2020.  In its analysis of America’s hottest real estate zip codes, Forbes lists Birmingham first on the list. The analysis uses data from Zillow.com to determine America’s fastest-growing zip codes by home sale price appreciation. Property Wire lists Birmingham as one of five on its 2020 best areas to invest and the international publication Global Investments lists it as the next U.S. property investment hotspot. Additionally, Travel and Leisure magazine includes Birmingham as of the best places to travel in 2021.

Huntsville

Alabama’s Rocket City made the list of emerging real estate markets of 2020 according to Mashvisor, an analytics service company focused on providing investors with property information. Huntsville is noted as one of the markets leading the economic recovery in the nation.

Auburn


Housing Wire, a digital publication focussed on mortgage and housing markets placed Auburn on the 2020 best locations for investment property. The only Alabama city to make the rankings, Auburn was listed in second place for the highest population growth and first place for employment growth.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

Alabama’s strength in the real estate market continues to make national headlines

(Pixabay, Wikicommons, Equal Justice Initiative/Facebook, Julia Sayers Gokhale/YHN)

2020 was a record-breaking year for the U.S. housing market, and Alabama was no exception. Investment in the state generated a lot of attention from publications around the globe as a variety of Alabama destinations appear at the top of the list for booming markets.

Here are a few examples of Alabama destinations identified by industry leaders as ones to watch:

759

Lake Guntersville

As the pandemic has shifted interest to more rural, scenic driven destinations, places like Marshall County, Alabama, have surfaced to the top of real estate searches. According to Market Watch, Marshall County led the country in the percentage of increased searches for micropolitan communities. The area surrounding Lake Guntersville saw an increase of 2817% on the Redfin.com website in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Montgomery

Appearing in two notable publications, Alabama’s capital city has been recognized for its affordability, promising job market and appeal to travelers. Forbes Advisor looked at 100 metro areas with a population of at least 100,000 to identify the top 10 most affordable cities for homebuyers. Appearing at No. 8, Montgomery offers the lowest median annual real estate taxes and is poised for growth based on continued investment from the aerospace and automotive employers. In addition, the continued expansion of Montgomery’s social justice attractions has drawn attention from Bloomberg who has listed it as one of the best places to travel in 2021.

Tuscaloosa

Leading the national trend in real estate is the continued growth of vacation rental property investments. According to the real estate education publication Fortune Builders, Tuscaloosa is No. 2 in the country on the list of places to buy a vacation rental property. Citing the year-over-year growth in tourism both inside and outside of football season, this Alabama city bodes well for investors looking for potential profits in rental investments.

Gulf Shores / Orange Beach


No stranger to second home real estate investors, the beautiful beaches of Alabama’s gulf coast have been an attractive destination for years.  In spite of the changes 2020 brought to the investment landscape, this area proves to be dependable for travel-hungry tourists. Air DNA tracks the performance data of over 10 million AirB&B and VRBO vacation rentals and published a list of the best places to buy short-term rental property in the U.S. When it comes to areas with over 1,000 active short-term rentals, Gulf Shores / Orange Beach scored number eight for its annual revenue potential and annual revenue growth.

Dauphin Island

As reported by CNBC, the vacation rental management website Vacasa has rolled out its annual report highlighting the best U.S. destinations to invest in a vacation rental property. The study analyzed home sales and rental data in vacation areas around the country. For the second year in a row, the “sunset capital of Alabama” has made the list.

Birmingham

The Magic City appeared on several real estate investment lists in 2020.  In its analysis of America’s hottest real estate zip codes, Forbes lists Birmingham first on the list. The analysis uses data from Zillow.com to determine America’s fastest-growing zip codes by home sale price appreciation. Property Wire lists Birmingham as one of five on its 2020 best areas to invest and the international publication Global Investments lists it as the next U.S. property investment hotspot. Additionally, Travel and Leisure magazine includes Birmingham as of the best places to travel in 2021.

Huntsville

Alabama’s Rocket City made the list of emerging real estate markets of 2020 according to Mashvisor, an analytics service company focused on providing investors with property information. Huntsville is noted as one of the markets leading the economic recovery in the nation.

Auburn


Housing Wire, a digital publication focussed on mortgage and housing markets placed Auburn on the 2020 best locations for investment property. The only Alabama city to make the rankings, Auburn was listed in second place for the highest population growth and first place for employment growth.

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

One less worry for Alabama job creators

(Pixabay, YHN)

The Business Council of Alabama applauds the members of the Alabama Legislature for providing much needed limited liability protections for business and other entities against COVID-related lawsuits. The recently passed law, a priority for the Business Council, provides ‘safe harbor’ for those who followed state health orders and governmental health guidelines. Entities covered under this legislation include businesses, nonprofits, LLCs, health care providers, educational entities, churches, governmental entities and cultural institutions operating in Alabama, as well as individuals associated with these groups.

“BCA is thrilled that this important piece of legislation has passed,” said Katie Boyd Britt, president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. “Businesses throughout Alabama are continuing to do all they can to keep their employees and customers safe while also allowing hardworking Alabamians the opportunity to provide for their families. This legislation provides the necessary protections for businesses large and small as they continue to revive jobs and restore production throughout our state.”

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SB 30 provides civil immunity for covered entities operating in Alabama from certain claims and damages claimed by individuals who allege they contracted or were exposed to COVID-19 as long as those entities make an effort to adequately follow government issued guidelines related to operating in the COVID-19 environment.

Exceptions to this immunity would exist if the covered entity acted with wanton, reckless, willful, or intentional misconduct. Such misconduct must be proven under a “clear and convincing” evidentiary standard. These protections would apply to businesses, non-profits, LLCs, health care providers, cooperative corporations, educational entities, churches, governmental entities, and cultural institutions operating in the state.

Similar legislation has been adopted in the past year by more than 25 states, including Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Legislation to provide such coverage has been greatly needed as Alabama continues its economic recovery. Throughout the country, over 2,000 lawsuits relating to COVID have been filed in federal and state courts against businesses by employees, customers, and clients.

Legislative leadership, Governor Kay Ivey, and the business and medical communities strongly supported the new law. The bill was sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) and carried in the House by Representative David Faulkner (R-Homewood).

This legislation will be retroactive and apply to causes of action filed on or after March 13, 2020, which is the date when the Governor declared a public health emergency.

Earlier in 2020, BCA and other partners in the business community worked alongside Governor Ivey in securing liability protection for businesses and the healthcare community by means of an executive order, making Alabama one of the first states in the nation to secure such a win for business.

The Business Council of Alabama is Alabama’s foremost voice for business. The BCA is a non-partisan, statewide business association representing the interests and concerns of nearly 1 million working Alabamians through its member companies and its partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama. The BCA is Alabama’s exclusive affiliate to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

5 reasons to buy instead of rent in 2021

(Pixabay, YHN)

Whether it’s newlyweds trading apartments for their first home or veteran renters taking advantage of historically low interest rates, 2021 offers a home buying climate that may never be seen again.

Even though you likely know the strong arguments in favor of homeownership: investing for the future; building equity; tax benefits; cost stability; and that intangible pride of owning a home that is uniquely yours, it’s normal to have reservations.

For most Americans, purchasing a home is their largest financial transaction, so here is a 2021 look at the five best reasons to buy instead of rent.

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1. Pride of Ownership

Image

According to experts at personal finance website TheBalance.com, pride of ownership likely is the number one reason for buying a home.  Owning allows more freedom to create living spaces tailored to personal tastes which renting often prohibits. With families spending more time at home, the pandemic created a desire for homes tailored to meet specific needs like a home office or gym. Families see owning a home as an opportunity for long-term stability allowing them to develop roots in a neighborhood and community. While renters can be uprooted by property owners who choose not to renew leases, homeowners have time to get to know their neighbors, develop lifelong friendships, and invest in schools and organizations that make up the fabric of our society.

2. Equity and Appreciation

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A home may be a buyer’s largest single purchase, but it’s most often also the wisest investment. While home values may move up and down, over time, homes tend to appreciate in value overall. Investing in stocks and bonds can be complicated, but home investment is easy to understand. Let’s say you have $25,000 to invest. You can buy stocks that hopefully will gain value. Sell that stock in a few years for $27,500 and you’ve gained $2,500 on which you will owe taxes. Invest the same $25,000 as a down payment on a $250,000 home that later sells for $275,000 and you gain $25,000 and will be exempt from taxes.

As a home appreciates in value so does the homeowner’s equity — the difference between the value of the home and the amount owed on a mortgage. Equity can be used to purchase another home, finance home improvements, or as part of a retirement plan. Since homes tend to increase in value over time, many homeowners view equity as a hedge against inflation. That may be especially important in 2021.  Kiplinger, a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, predicts inflations will rise by two percent as – hopefully – the pandemic eases.

3. Tax Benefits

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Every April 15th, homeowners enjoy tax deductions unavailable to renters. Mortgage interest, property taxes, and insurance amount to substantial deductions for homeowners. Renters paying $1,500 per month to a landlord get no tax benefits. Homeowners paying a $1,500 mortgage each month could save several hundred dollars per month through tax deductions making it actually cheaper to own than to rent.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, more and more workers are creating office spaces in their homes. Tax deductions may be available if you use a portion of your home exclusively for work. Check with your tax professional for advice.

Set to expire at the end of 2021 is a residential energy-efficient property credit for home improvements such as installing solar panels or wind turbines.

4. Price Stability

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Especially for families on a budget, the stability of housing cost makes owning more attractive than renting. As demand for housing and market prices rise, landlords can increase rent and eventually make a rental home or apartment unaffordable. With a fixed-rate mortgage, however, homeowners have peace of mind in knowing the largest portion of their housing cost will not change unless they alter the terms of their mortgage.

5. Low Mortgage Rates

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The cost of borrowing money to buy a home has never been as low as 2020’s rates. The year ended with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate of 2.67 percent. Rates are not expected to significantly rise in 2021, according to the federal mortgage company Freddie Mac. Bankrate.com predicts rates may go slightly lower in early 2021.

“Our founding fathers linked the notion of property ownership to security, a stake in the ground, and general happiness,” says FreddieMac.   “The same applies today as homeownership remains the cornerstone of the American Dream – providing families with a sense of emotional and financial stability and, historically, boosting household wealth through equity and appreciation over time.”

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

5 reasons to buy instead of rent in 2021

(Pixabay, YHN)

Whether it’s newlyweds trading apartments for their first home or veteran renters taking advantage of historically low interest rates, 2021 offers a home buying climate that may never be seen again.

Even though you likely know the strong arguments in favor of homeownership: investing for the future; building equity; tax benefits; cost stability; and that intangible pride of owning a home that is uniquely yours, it’s normal to have reservations.

For most Americans, purchasing a home is their largest financial transaction, so here is a 2021 look at the five best reasons to buy instead of rent.

797

1. Pride of Ownership

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According to experts at personal finance website TheBalance.com, pride of ownership likely is the number one reason for buying a home.  Owning allows more freedom to create living spaces tailored to personal tastes which renting often prohibits. With families spending more time at home, the pandemic created a desire for homes tailored to meet specific needs like a home office or gym. Families see owning a home as an opportunity for long-term stability allowing them to develop roots in a neighborhood and community. While renters can be uprooted by property owners who choose not to renew leases, homeowners have time to get to know their neighbors, develop lifelong friendships, and invest in schools and organizations that make up the fabric of our society.

2. Equity and Appreciation

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A home may be a buyer’s largest single purchase, but it’s most often also the wisest investment. While home values may move up and down, over time, homes tend to appreciate in value overall. Investing in stocks and bonds can be complicated, but home investment is easy to understand. Let’s say you have $25,000 to invest. You can buy stocks that hopefully will gain value. Sell that stock in a few years for $27,500 and you’ve gained $2,500 on which you will owe taxes. Invest the same $25,000 as a down payment on a $250,000 home that later sells for $275,000 and you gain $25,000 and will be exempt from taxes.

As a home appreciates in value so does the homeowner’s equity — the difference between the value of the home and the amount owed on a mortgage. Equity can be used to purchase another home, finance home improvements, or as part of a retirement plan. Since homes tend to increase in value over time, many homeowners view equity as a hedge against inflation. That may be especially important in 2021.  Kiplinger, a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, predicts inflations will rise by two percent as – hopefully – the pandemic eases.

3. Tax Benefits

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Every April 15th, homeowners enjoy tax deductions unavailable to renters. Mortgage interest, property taxes, and insurance amount to substantial deductions for homeowners. Renters paying $1,500 per month to a landlord get no tax benefits. Homeowners paying a $1,500 mortgage each month could save several hundred dollars per month through tax deductions making it actually cheaper to own than to rent.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, more and more workers are creating office spaces in their homes. Tax deductions may be available if you use a portion of your home exclusively for work. Check with your tax professional for advice.

Set to expire at the end of 2021 is a residential energy-efficient property credit for home improvements such as installing solar panels or wind turbines.

4. Price Stability

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Especially for families on a budget, the stability of housing cost makes owning more attractive than renting. As demand for housing and market prices rise, landlords can increase rent and eventually make a rental home or apartment unaffordable. With a fixed-rate mortgage, however, homeowners have peace of mind in knowing the largest portion of their housing cost will not change unless they alter the terms of their mortgage.

5. Low Mortgage Rates

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The cost of borrowing money to buy a home has never been as low as 2020’s rates. The year ended with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate of 2.67 percent. Rates are not expected to significantly rise in 2021, according to the federal mortgage company Freddie Mac. Bankrate.com predicts rates may go slightly lower in early 2021.

“Our founding fathers linked the notion of property ownership to security, a stake in the ground, and general happiness,” says FreddieMac.   “The same applies today as homeownership remains the cornerstone of the American Dream – providing families with a sense of emotional and financial stability and, historically, boosting household wealth through equity and appreciation over time.”

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

3 months ago

Congratulations to Auburn alumnus U.S. Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin

Auburn is proud to celebrate the recent confirmation of Auburn alumnus Gen. Lloyd Austin as our nation’s secretary of defense.

We applaud your incredible achievement and thank you for your continued service to protect our country.

See the full story here.

1

5 reasons to buy instead of rent in 2021

(Pixabay, YHN)

Whether it’s newlyweds trading apartments for their first home or veteran renters taking advantage of historically low interest rates, 2021 offers a home buying climate that may never be seen again.

Even though you likely know the strong arguments in favor of homeownership: investing for the future; building equity; tax benefits; cost stability; and that intangible pride of owning a home that is uniquely yours, it’s normal to have reservations.

For most Americans, purchasing a home is their largest financial transaction, so here is a 2021 look at the five best reasons to buy instead of rent.

797

1. Pride of Ownership

Image

According to experts at personal finance website TheBalance.com, pride of ownership likely is the number one reason for buying a home.  Owning allows more freedom to create living spaces tailored to personal tastes which renting often prohibits. With families spending more time at home, the pandemic created a desire for homes tailored to meet specific needs like a home office or gym. Families see owning a home as an opportunity for long-term stability allowing them to develop roots in a neighborhood and community. While renters can be uprooted by property owners who choose not to renew leases, homeowners have time to get to know their neighbors, develop lifelong friendships, and invest in schools and organizations that make up the fabric of our society.

2. Equity and Appreciation

Image

A home may be a buyer’s largest single purchase, but it’s most often also the wisest investment. While home values may move up and down, over time, homes tend to appreciate in value overall. Investing in stocks and bonds can be complicated, but home investment is easy to understand. Let’s say you have $25,000 to invest. You can buy stocks that hopefully will gain value. Sell that stock in a few years for $27,500 and you’ve gained $2,500 on which you will owe taxes. Invest the same $25,000 as a down payment on a $250,000 home that later sells for $275,000 and you gain $25,000 and will be exempt from taxes.

As a home appreciates in value so does the homeowner’s equity — the difference between the value of the home and the amount owed on a mortgage. Equity can be used to purchase another home, finance home improvements, or as part of a retirement plan. Since homes tend to increase in value over time, many homeowners view equity as a hedge against inflation. That may be especially important in 2021.  Kiplinger, a publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, predicts inflations will rise by two percent as – hopefully – the pandemic eases.

3. Tax Benefits

Image

Every April 15th, homeowners enjoy tax deductions unavailable to renters. Mortgage interest, property taxes, and insurance amount to substantial deductions for homeowners. Renters paying $1,500 per month to a landlord get no tax benefits. Homeowners paying a $1,500 mortgage each month could save several hundred dollars per month through tax deductions making it actually cheaper to own than to rent.

Since the pandemic began in 2020, more and more workers are creating office spaces in their homes. Tax deductions may be available if you use a portion of your home exclusively for work. Check with your tax professional for advice.

Set to expire at the end of 2021 is a residential energy-efficient property credit for home improvements such as installing solar panels or wind turbines.

4. Price Stability

Image

Especially for families on a budget, the stability of housing cost makes owning more attractive than renting. As demand for housing and market prices rise, landlords can increase rent and eventually make a rental home or apartment unaffordable. With a fixed-rate mortgage, however, homeowners have peace of mind in knowing the largest portion of their housing cost will not change unless they alter the terms of their mortgage.

5. Low Mortgage Rates

Image

The cost of borrowing money to buy a home has never been as low as 2020’s rates. The year ended with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate of 2.67 percent. Rates are not expected to significantly rise in 2021, according to the federal mortgage company Freddie Mac. Bankrate.com predicts rates may go slightly lower in early 2021.

“Our founding fathers linked the notion of property ownership to security, a stake in the ground, and general happiness,” says FreddieMac.   “The same applies today as homeownership remains the cornerstone of the American Dream – providing families with a sense of emotional and financial stability and, historically, boosting household wealth through equity and appreciation over time.”

Alabama REALTORS® is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals and the official advocate of Alabama’s multifaceted real estate industry. Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date on real estate news in Alabama.

3 months ago

Congratulations to Auburn alumnus U.S. Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin

Auburn is proud to celebrate the recent confirmation of Auburn alumnus Gen. Lloyd Austin as our nation’s secretary of defense.

We applaud your incredible achievement and thank you for your continued service to protect our country.

See the full story here.

1
4 months ago

Congratulations to Auburn alumnus U.S. Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin

Auburn is proud to celebrate the recent confirmation of Auburn alumnus Gen. Lloyd Austin as our nation’s secretary of defense.

We applaud your incredible achievement and thank you for your continued service to protect our country.

See the full story here.

1