Monday, April 18, 2011

Information on Relocating to Alabama

If you are planning a move to Alabama, congratulations! There's so much to enjoy and discover in the "Heart of Dixie". From aerospace to agriculture, Longleaf pine forests to inland waterways, azaleas to Stargazer lilies, the charm of Alabama's residents and their southern hospitality is what truly makes Alabama special. Steeped in Native American, Colonial, and Civil War history, today's Alabama is the epitome of the New South.
Recreation-Regardless of which sport or outdoor activity you have in mind, it can likely be found somewhere in Alabama. The white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast have been attracting tourists for decades, while the state's extensive system of waterways is a great place for boating and fishing. Mountain biking, hiking, camping and rock climbing are quite popular in central Alabama, the Cumberland Plateau area, and the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains. With an average temperature of 64 degrees, you can explore the outdoors year round!

The Arts-Alabama has an impressive network of art museums and many of them feature folk art which is unique to the area. Throughout the state, creativity abounds through dance performances, visual art, live theatre, and music festivals. The state has been nationally recognized for its program, Poetry Out Loud in Alabama and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

Attractions-There is truly something for everyone in the state of Alabama. History buffs will delight in the amazing number of historical sites, including the Tuskegee Institute, Horseshoe Bend, and Russell Cave. Don't forget the quaint antebellum house tours in Mobile and Birmingham! There are zoos, water parks, amusement parks, beaches, golf resorts and botanical gardens. NASCAR enthusiasts will not want to miss the Talladega Superspeedway.

Economy-Since the 1960s, Alabama has made a conscious effort to make a departure from an economy dependent on agriculture. The effort has paid off and today; Alabama's economy is rooted in manufacturing, tourism, education, technology, and the military. Giants such as Mercedes-Benz, Boeing, 3M, Honeywell, and Bristol-Meyers Squibb have headquarters deep in the "Heart of Dixie".

Education-Alabama residents have worked hard to improve public education and it has been a great success. The state's SAT scores have been above the national average for the last 10 years and continue to climb. Alabama is also home to over 25 technical and community colleges, as well as an impressive number of 4-year universities, including Auburn and the 3 campuses of the University of Alabama.
Now that you have had a cook's tour of Alabama, you'll want to start a "to do" list for your relocation. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions for you to consider:

Update Your Address-The easiest way to handle this is to fill out a "Change of Address" card at your local post office. You will be able to notify the postmaster of your departure date, so your mail can be immediately forwarded to your new address. In addition, you will want to notify friends, family, neighbors, employers, children's schools, physicians, and anyone you conduct business with on a regular basis. You may provide them with your new information by email, or have personal change of address cards printed. It is especially important to provide this information to your bank, insurance company, mortgage provider, and the IRS, particularly if you are selling a home as part of your Maine relocation, you will want your year end tax information.

Register Your School Aged Children For School and Connect with Other Parents-Visit the Alabama School District Directory for information on the school system in your new area, and details on how to register school students. The website, is a great resource for comparing test scores, parent reviews, and national rankings. Volunteering at your child's school and becoming involved with the PTO is a great way to meet other families.

Register to Vote-Visit the Alabama Board of Elections for information on how and where to register to vote in your new district for local, state, and federal elections.

Drivers License and Car Registration-To get all the facts on the procedures for taking care of everything that relates to your vehicles and your new Alabama drivers license, contact the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles.
Make Important Contacts-To find a new family doctor, dentist, attorney, mechanic, babysitter, and so on, you can seek suggestions from your real estate agent, neighbors, or the local Chamber of Commerce. You may also want to double-check any recommendations by using Google and Angie's List to read reviews of local businesses and service providers.

Explore and Have Fun! -After you settle in, take time to explore your new town. Check out the local municipal website for a wealth of information, from everything to bike paths to recycling. To learn about local attractions and historic sites, visit the local tourism office or Convention and Visitors Bureau. Your new town may even have a Newcomers Club!

If you want to make new friends and get connected, consider volunteering for a cause you are passionate about. can help get you started. The local library can help you find a book club, and the parks office will likely have information on recreational sports leagues. Community colleges typically have a long list of fun enrichment classes such as Art, foreign languages, cooking, and carpentry, and are a great way to meet new people. If you have school age children, parent volunteers are usually welcome and finding a church is another excellent way to meet people and get involved.

Here's to Sweet Home Alabama, all it has to offer, and a stress free move!
Lisa Andree is a marketing professional who helps mortgage companies promote their brands and products such as Alabama mortgage rates and 5 year arm loans online.

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