Birmingham, Alabama skyline, one of the most affordable cities with tons of urban convenience -- a great place for your alabama adventure

The Cheapest Places to Live in Alabama

Find the perfect apartment at a perfect price in sweet home Alabama.

Alabama is a great state for those seeking the serenity of small-town life without the hefty price tag. If the cost of living is high on your list of considerations for relocation or settling down, you’re in luck. Alabama is home to some of the most affordable towns in the U.S., with a healthy selection of spots that offer comfort and convenience at a fraction of the cost of their neighboring counterparts.

Laid out below is a brief description of 10 of the cheapest places to live in Alabama. Find your favorite spot and settle down in the southern town of your dreams.

Alabama average rent prices

The pandemic encouraged people around the country to flee major cities in favor of more affordable rents or to be closer to their families. Forty-seven of Alabama’s 67 counties saw an increase in population in the past few years and average rent prices in Alabama are up 12.5 percent.

Despite the increase in rent prices, Alabama as a whole still remains below the national average. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,078 per month on average.

The cheapest cities in Alabama for renters

Well below the national average, some of the cheapest rents in the South can be found in Alabama. Keep reading to find out the 10 cheapest places to live in Alabama and what they have to offer.

10. Moody

Moody AL

Source: Rent./The Oaks of St. Clair
  • Population: 13,563
  • Average age: 39.8
  • Median household income: $69,846
  • Average commute time: 26.1 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,130

Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city of Birmingham, Moody offers a peaceful suburban atmosphere with urban amenities. It’s a great spot for families and individuals alike, seeking quality living without the premium price tag. The cost of housing remains remarkably low, and Moody residents enjoy the benefit of having well-rated schools and spacious parks. The town’s community events keep the spirit of camaraderie alive and thriving.
About 20 miles from Birmingham, Moody is a small city with a lot of charm. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has over 1,600 motorbikes from manufacturers worldwide, plus some great racing cars. On the weekends, head over to the Coyote Drive-In and enjoy the latest releases or classic movies.

If you’re more of an outdoors person, zip line your way to the Ridge Adventure Park with 35 miles of off-road trails. You can find a one-bedroom in Moody for $901 a month on average.

9. Mountain Brook

Mountain Brook, AL

Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Lane Park
  • Population: 22,158
  • Average age: 42.3
  • Median household income: $150,268
  • Average commute time: 17.7 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $1,645

Contrary to what the name might suggest, Mountain Brook defies expectations with its reasonable and affordable cost of living. This town stands as a contradiction to the assumption that elegance always comes with an exorbitant price. Residents here revel in tree-lined streets, a tight-knit community atmosphere and easy access to an array of shops that cater to everyday needs without demanding a high budget.
Despite its proximity to Birmingham, Mountain Brook has the feeling of a small town. You can find its charm right downtown with small boutiques, fine dining and a parade of cute porches. Pick up one of the famous limeades from Gilchrist, an after-school tradition for many kids. Jemison Park offers easy trails to stroll through in the afternoon.

If this is your cup of tea, snag a one-bedroom apartment in Mountain Brook for $873 per month on average.

8. Dothan

Dothan, AL

Source: Rent./Highland Hills Apartment Homes
  • Population: 71,175
  • Average age: 40.0
  • Median household income: $49,203
  • Average commute time: 20.1 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $936

Deep in the Wiregrass Region, Dothan sprouts as an economical choice for many. Known as the “Peanut Capital of the World,” it offers a low cost of living, complemented by its annual National Peanut Festival. The local economy is thriving thanks to its agricultural roots, and a welcoming, down-to-earth community sweetens the cost-effective country lifestyle even more.

7. Vestavia

Vestavia, AL

Source: Rent./Grand Highlands Vestavia Hills
  • Population: 38,801
  • Average age: 39.9
  • Median household income: $118,539
  • Average commute time: 20.9 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $996

Vestavia is not just about picturesque views and rolling hills; it’s a place where sensible living meets undeniable scenic beauty. The town maintains a cost of living that’s open to new residents just starting their independent lives, without compromising on the quality of its schools, public services and community life. It’s a prime example of how Alabama offers scenic locales and affordable cities without inflating the price.

6. Alabaster

Alabaster, AL

Source: Rent./Wellington Manor
  • Population: 33,676
  • Average age: 37.0
  • Median household income: $83,181
  • Average commute time: 31.3 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $960

Alabaster shines as a great spot for those seeking economic stability alongside consistent population growth. Alabaster is an attractive spot for families, with affordable housing and a commitment to community development at the forefront. The city parks and rec facilities provide leisure without a hefty fee, ensuring that living in Alabaster is as pleasant as it is pocket-friendly.

5. Northport

Northport, AL

Source: Rent./Forest Trail
  • Population: 31,009
  • Average age: 33.3
  • Median household income: $69,921
  • Average commute time: 22.3 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $914

Overlooking the Black Warrior River, Northport is a picturesque place to lay down roots that remains surprisingly affordable. The town is full of charm, with antique shops and local restaurants that reflect a strong community spirit without demanding a premium on price. Its proximity to Tuscaloosa provides the perks of a larger city while maintaining a cost-conscious living space.

4. Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa, Alabama, one of the state's most affordable cities, has the big city amenities you wouldn't expect from most affordable places.

  • Population: 100,618
  • Average age: 29.5
  • Median household income: $44,880
  • Average commute time: 24.7 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $850

Home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is more than just a cool college town, it’s an affordable place for families and students alike. The influx of students keeps the town lively and the local economy buzzing. Living costs here are manageable with affordable places to live in, and the town provides ample opportunity for recreation that won’t break the bank.

3. Muscle Shoals

Muscle Shoals, AL

Source: Rent./Arbor Village
  • Population: 16,618
  • Average age: 36.4
  • Median household income: $61,772
  • Average commute time: 24.4 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $650

In the northwest corner of the state, Muscle Shoals is a place known for its history and beloved for its affordability. The town’s legendary recording studios have drawn artists from across the nation, yet the overall cost of living remains harmoniously low. Residents enjoy modest housing costs and the benefit of being located in a region rich in natural beauty and historic landmarks.

2. Montgomery

Montgomery, Alabama, the state capital, where home prices and rental housing are priced low enough to enjoy the attractions and shopping in the city instead of spending all your income on rent

  • Population: 198,665
  • Average age: 36.0
  • Median household income: $49,989
  • Average commute time: 19.9 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $775

Montgomery, the state capital, offers a surprisingly low cost of living. With a mix of historic sites, great schools and growing local businesses and communities, Montgomery is a place where economic practicality meets historic reverence. The housing market is open to more tax brackets than larger metro areas, providing options for every budget and income. Beyond that, the city’s commitment to revitalization means improved amenities without the added cost.

1. Fairfield

Fairfield, AL

Source: Rent./Chateau Glen Oaks
  • Population: 9,832
  • Average age: 32.4 minutes
  • Median household income: $43,914
  • Average commute time: 24.1 minutes
  • One-bedroom average rent: $741

Once a booming industrial town, Fairfield has transformed into an enclave for those looking for affordable places to maximize their dollar. This small city is redefining itself, offering affordable housing and a supportive community atmosphere. Its compact size means everything is within reach and the cost of necessities remains low, making it a wise choice for those on a budget.

The most expensive places to live in Alabama

Have a spot in mind, but aren’t exactly sure if it fits your budget? Check out the 10 most expensive places to live in Alabama.

Settle down in an affordable Alabama town

Alabama’s charm isn’t just in its warm weather or the sweetness of Southern hospitality; it’s also in the many towns that offer an affordable lifestyle. From secluded suburban enclaves to bustling college towns, the cheapest places to live in Alabama provide a blend of economic practicality and enjoyable living.

These towns demonstrate that it’s possible to have a fulfilling life without the exorbitant cost — Alabama might just be the most affordable place where your budget can breathe easy and your dreams can take root without financial strain, it’s also the place where the perfect apartment is waiting for you.

RankCity1BR Average RentYoY Change
1Pell City, AL$1,362 43.95%
2Madison, AL$1,325 10.84%
3Homewood, AL$1,301 8.15%
4Birmingham, AL$1,226 23.43%
5Hoover, AL$1,152 10.42%
6Gulf Shores, AL$1,119 6.00%
7Phenix City, AL$1,101 36.62%
8Smiths Station, AL$1,099 28.66%
9Calera, AL$1,092 17.07%
10Daphne, AL$9946.85%

Methodology

Rent prices are based on a one-year rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory as of August 2023. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.

We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

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