2014 Family Halloween Events in Birmingham

From haunted hayrides, corn mazes, walking trails, to scream parks, there is no shortage of haunted attractions in Alabama around Halloween! Even though Halloween is supposed to be scary, some events may not be suitable for younger children. If you and your family are moving to Birmingham this October, be sure to check out these family Halloween events.

1. Smith Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch: Although it is called “the SCARIEST Corn Maze in Alabama”, this attraction is suitable for all ages as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Get chased by Goblins and Ghouls and then catch your breath by roaming the pumpkin patch. This year also features a walk-through haunted house. Open every weekend through Halloween, Smith Farms Corn Maze is open from 7:00-11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

2. CornDodgers Farm Haunted Trail: This family fun farm welcomes all ages. Prepare to get lost in the haunted maze, take pictures with the pumpkins, try the corn cannon, and check out the barn. The Haunted Trail Maze will be open October 18, 24, 25, 31, and November 1 starting at 8:00 p.m.

3. Springville Pumpkin Patch: This family pumpkin patch has a bouncy house! Your children can bounce around, get their face painted, catch a hayride, play games, and so much more. Plan on spending the day at the Springville Pumpkin Patch.

4. Atrox Factory: known as “The Southeast Largest Haunted Attraction”, this 50,000 square foot indoor madhouse is only recommended for children aged 12 years and up. This is the perfect place to take your young teens for the ultimate Halloween that will leave them begging to go back next year. Tickets are $18 during the week and $23 Friday and Saturday, and will be open from October 3 – November 1st this year.

5. Oktoberfest Trussville: will take place on October 11, 2014 and is the annual authentic German festival. With no admission charge, food, drinks, music, and a pumpkin patch; guests can enjoy this German fest from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. located at Holy Infant of Praque. Eat breakfast and lunch while partaking in festivities, and take dinner home.

2014 Kid-friendly Halloween events in Birmingham

From haunted hayrides, corn mazes, walking trails, to scream parks, there is no shortage of haunted attractions in Alabama around Halloween! Even though Halloween is supposed to be scary, some events may not be suitable for younger children. If you and your family are moving to Birmingham this October, be sure to check out these kid-friendly events.

  1. Smith Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch: Although it is called “the SCARIEST Corn Maze in Alabama”, this attraction is suitable for all ages as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Get chased by Goblins and Ghouls and then catch your breath by roaming the pumpkin patch. This year also features a walk-through haunted house. Open every weekend through Halloween, Smith Farms Corn Maze is open from 7:00-11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  2. CornDodgers Farm Haunted Trail: This family fun farm welcomes all ages. Prepare to get lost in the haunted maze, take pictures with the pumpkins, try the corn cannon, and check out the barn. The Haunted Trail Maze will be open October 18, 24, 25, 31, and November 1 starting at 8:00 p.m.
  3. Springville Pumpkin Patch: This family pumpkin patch has a bouncy house! Your children can bounce around, get their face painted, catch a hayride, play games, and so much more. Plan on spending the day at the Springville Pumpkin Patch.
  4. Atrox Factory: known as “The Southeast Largest Haunted Attraction”, this 50,000 square foot indoor madhouse is only recommended for children aged 12 years and up. This is the perfect place to take your young teens for the ultimate Halloween that will leave them begging to go back next year. Tickets are $18 during the week and $23 Friday and Saturday, and will be open from October 3 – November 1st this year.
  5. Oktoberfest Trussville: will take place on October 11, 2014 and is the annual authentic German festival. With no admission charge, food, drinks, music, and a pumpkin patch; guests can enjoy this German fest from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. located at Holy Infant of Praque. Eat breakfast and lunch while partaking in festivities, and take dinner home.

Need more? Check out more kid-friendly Halloween events in Birmingham, and let All My Sons Moving Company assist you and your family in all of your moving needs this fall.

43rd Annual Shrimp Fest

The 43rd Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama is THIS WEEKEND!

Featuring dozens of events and hundreds of vendors, the 43rd Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores is prepared to face amazing weather and a HUGE crowd this weekend.

According to the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber of Commerce, the yearly festival attracts 250,000 visitors each year. With no ticket sales, festival vendors serve on a first-come-first-serve basis and expect to sell out fast.

Starting on Thursday, the festival will last through Saturday, October 11, and will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Over the years the festival has seen change. Locals would argue that it is not entirely a “Shrimp Fest”, as it used to be all about seafood…and more importantly, SHRIMP. Today, the festival aims to appeal to everyone, not just shellfish lovers. 42 food vendors serve up shrimp in more ways than the average person could try in one weekend, but there are also vendors who serve meats or shell-less fish.

With 120 arts and crafts tents, 15 artists’ displays, over 100 retail vendors, and more food than you can imagine…Shrimp Fest is a blast for the entire family!

Shrimp Fest Idol will return this year for high schoolers to participate in…mimicking the infamous television show American Idol. The winner receives $1,000 and another $1,000 is awarded to their school.

This year, the organizers of Shrimp Fest have brought in younger and more popular country artists in order to engage a younger crowd and increase the festival’s attendance.

Each year, Shrimp Fest raises funds for education. The Shrimp Fest 10k/5k run attracts roughly 700 runners annually. Perhaps the best part is that participants do not necessarily have to run; last year, many people in wheelchairs or pushing strollers also participated in order to support the education cause.

If you have recently chose to move to Birmingham and are not sure what the popular activities in the area are, check out Shrimp Fest before it ends tomorrow! If you just so happened to miss the event, be sure to go next year!

An Alabama School is Searched the Most by Home Buyers

It’s no secret that when people begin looking for real estate, they research a few common factors such as zip code, nearby amenities, demographics, and school zone. While all of these factors are important, some weigh very strongly in the resale value of your home. Namely, the school district. Millennials, the generation born between 1980 and 2000, are said to be urban dwellers, but there is one thing that can pull them back to the suburbs: schools.

One school in Alabama is searched more often than most, with data from the National Association of Realtors sharing that the St. James Catholic School in Gadsden, Alabama is the number 2 school that is searched on the entire site. St. James Catholic School was started in 1912 and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

If you are moving to Birmingham or a suburb of the city, then you are likely looking in the St. James district as well. Gadsden is located about 56 miles (90 km) northeast of Birmingham, Alabama. It certainly makes an impact on the price these homes sell for, too. Other schools on the list include elementary and secondary schools from Minnesota, Texas, New York, Florida, California and Kentucky.

Residential Sales Improve in Birmingham

Curious about the state of the real estate market in Birmingham, Alabama? Housing sales for the month of July saw improvement from June and a significant jump from July 2013, according to data obtained from the Alabama Center for Real Estate. The market is showing great news for both sellers and buyers, and the median sales price for the region held strong at $174,000, which is a small drop (2 percent) from June 2014 and a slightly larger dip (5 percent) from July 2013. On the flip side, average sales prices hit $220,976, a 0.3 percent increase over June’s price. Demand is definitely fueling the excitement for the local industry, and the number of available units has dropped 1.8 percent from June and 7 percent from July 2013, so the need for new construction is imperative to keep the market moving in the Birmingham area.
Birmingham’s lowest July numbers date back to 2010, when 735 homes were sold. That figure is a 79 percent difference from 2014. The 1,320 units sold in July were 3 percent higher than June’s numbers and 11.2 percent higher than July 2013. This pace also broke the five-year average of 986 (33 percent) from 2009 until 2013. Thinking of moving to Birmingham? We recommend a few tips:
-Have your mortgage pre-approval ready. If you find a home you love, you need to act fast
-Be prepared to be frustrated. In a competitive market, you’ll likely encounter cash buyers who will likely get the deal over you.
-Enlist an expert. Hiring a realtor might cost money, but they know the market better than you do. Trust the experts.
-Trust your gut, too. If something seems off or seems too good to be true, take a step back. Don’t let the pressure to buy get you stuck with a home that is filled with problems.

Millennials Buying Homes in Birmingham

Recently, there has been plenty of debate on millennials and their real estate habits, which mostly tend to lean towards renting in urban areas. According to a new study by Builder magazine, Birmingham ranks as #2 in the nation for home buyers in the 18-34 age range. The magazine states that the growth for 2012-2013 for new buyers moving to Birmingham and the surrounding metro grew 23.9 percent, putting Birmingham just behind Honolulu.
Millennials are already a major contributor to the Birmingham economy and their presence is becoming more prized as Baby Boomer workers retire. Many of the technology start-ups, the advanced manufacturing and the emerging industries that recruiters prize are targeting millennials for their workforce. In recent years, it seems Birmingham has tried to become a southern metro city with plenty to offer young professionals, competing with the likes of Atlanta and Baton Rouge.
millennials are coming to Birmingham and finding a revitalized downtown, great venues for dining and entertainment and groups like Young Professionals of Birmingham that are creating an attractive energy. It is only natural that they are looking to put down roots and buy homes in the area as well.

Home Sales up 4 Percent in Birmingham

Moving to Birmingham? You might want to act quick as home sales are picking up in the area and leaving little inventory left for prospective buyers. The Birmingham Association of Realtors released its June home sales report this month, including figures for the first six months of the year which state that home sales are up 4 percent for the first half of this year compared to the same months in 2013.
Home sales for the month of June totaled 1,272, which we previously shared as a 14 percent jump from June 2013. However, both the average home sales price of $220,469 and the median home price of $177,500 were 4 percent and 7 percent lower, respectively, than in June 2013. The housing inventory of 7,586 in June 2014 was 5 percent lower than the 7,964 homes on the market a year ago.
So what does this mean for people interested in moving to Birmingham? The average sales price will likely pick back up, and foreclosures were factored into sales and likely skewed the average price for homes that are updated and ready to move into.

Sellers are Raising Prices in Birmingham

Interested in selling your Birmingham home? If the answer is yes, you will be happy to know that home prices are rising for homes listed for sale, and Birmingham is one of the nation’s top ten markets for price increases. Birmingham was No. 9 on that list with a 13.6 percent increase in the seller’s asking price on homes in the metro, but with just a 0.4 percent increase in the year-over-year change in wages per worker. Riverside-San Bernadino, Calif. and Atlanta were the top two on the list.

Birmingham has seen lack of inventory as a strong catalyst for rising prices, but as of last month, the amount of available inventory is growing, so it will be interesting to see what kind of effect that has on listing prices.

Birmingham did not fall into Trulia’s top 25 metros for the highest rent increases, but experts in the multifamily sector in Birmingham are expecting rents to continue inching up, even as new complexes come online downtown. However, it did say that it was cheaper to own a home in Birmingham than it is to rent one. Moving to Birmingham soon? Be prepared for a tight market where you’ll likely be one of my many bidding on the same home!

Home Sales Jump 14% in Birmingham

Looking to buy a home in Birmingham? House sales are growing in popularity in the area, and the Alabama Center for Real Estate has found that residential sales have risen 14 percent in June in comparison to June 2013. Birmingham totaled 1,282 single home sales last month, compared to 1,128 during the same time in 2013, which was also a 3.7 percent jump from May and 17 percent higher than the five year average between 2009 to 2013. As sales continue to grow, the existing inventory in the area is becoming increasingly competitive and higher in list price for interested buyers.

The average price is up in the Birmingham metro by 6 percent over May. The median sales price for June was $177,832, up 2.4 percent from May and down 6.4 percent from June of last year. So far in 2014, the median sales price is $161,589. There is good news though if you are thinking about moving to Birmingham: Inventory jumped 1.2 percent to 7,555 units in June, freeing up a few properties for prospective movers. The average days on the market for Birmingham units was 83 in June.

Birmingham Home Sales up 7% in April

There’s some great news for the residential real estate market in Birmingham. According to the Greater Alabama MLS, Birmingham home sales totaled 1,134 units in April, an improvement in sales growth of 6.6 percent from last April. Maintaining sales above the thousand unit per month threshold is a symbolic benchmark that Birmingham sales routinely eclipsed prior to the recession and its return on a consistent basis will signal that the market continues to gradually recover. A few points on the local market:
April inventory in the Birmingham metro area increased 5.4 percent from the prior month.

The Birmingham area housing inventory in April was 7,513 units, a decrease of 3.5 percent from April 2013 and 41.7 percent from the month of April peak in 2007 (12,895 units).

Existing single family home sales accounted for 86 percent (same as April’13) of total sales while 11 percent (same as April’13) were new home sales and 3 percent (same as April’13) were condo buyers.

April residential sales increased 12.3 percent from the prior month.

The median sales price in April was $160,000, a slip decrease of 1.2 percent from last April ($161,950).

The inventory in the Birmingham metro area increased 5.4 percent from March 2014, so the timing is great if you are thinking of moving to Birmingham and want to have a larger variety of available homes to consider buying. Best of luck on your move to Birmingham!