We searched for apartments in Birmingham—here’s what we found

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Birmingham Apartments
Time to turn the key and enter into the best downtown Birmingham apartments. Photo via Jacob Blakenship for Bham Now

Finding the place you’re going to call home can be an overwhelming journey of comparing prices, amenities, location and more. To see what it’s like out there, we decided to look for one bedroom/one bath (1Br/1Ba) apartments in Birmingham. Keep reading to see what we found, including our top downtown and surrounding area picks. We’ve also got a checklist of musts, maybes and can-live-withouts that you can adapt for your own search.

Planning out expectations

Birmingham apartments
There’s a lot to consider when searching for Birmingham apartments. Photo via Jacob Blakenship for Bham Now

For me, a single person living alone in her twenties, a 1Br/1Ba apartment is the perfect, practical fit. I wanted a private bedroom and bathroom, a spacious living area for when friends visited and a standard sized kitchen. I settled on looking for this downtown layout to fulfill my hope of having a cozy city space while also keeping costs lower.

  • The Apartment: I was looking for a one bedroom one bath apartment located in downtown Birmingham with an in-unit washer/dryer, dishwasher, hardwood floors and pet-friendly policies. Bonus if utilities were included.
  • Nice-to-haves: Balcony, natural light, pool, a bathtub, walk-in closet and free parking.
  • Timeline: I looked at apartments that were available to rent immediately.

To begin, I called around a dozen apartments in the downtown area. I quickly found that nearly all of them had no availability for months. While I was able to find a few with the layout I wanted, costs were high. This led me to extend my purview to the area right outside of downtown as well.

1. Cortland Vesta

Birmingham apartments
Wood floors + a balcony in one of these gorgeous Birmingham apartments. Photo via Cortland Vesta
  • Monthly Rent: $1,582
  • Neighborhood: Five Points South
  • Specifications: 1 bed, 1 bath, 704 Sq. Ft. Unit H511, A6
  • Availability: Currently available

Why it’s on the list: While this apartment was near the top of my budget, it hit almost all of my must-haves, along with a couple of my nice-to-haves

Must-haves: pet-friendly, in-unit washer/dryer, hardwood floors, dishwasher

Nice-to-haves: walk-in closet, balcony, bathtub

This complex also offered other great amenities, like granite countertops, ceiling fans and stainless steel appliances. The complex itself really impressed me, with a pool, courtyard, fitness center and free Wifi.

2. Park Place

park place
A nice outside view of one of our Birmingham apartments. Photo via Park Place Apartments
  • Monthly Rent: $986
  • Neighborhood: 24th St N Downtown Birmingham
  • Specifications: 1 bed, 1 bath, 767 Sq.Ft. Wisteria Layout, Unit 14-2525
  • Availability: Available Nov. 5

Why it’s on the list: This apartment fell below the $1,000 threshold which was a huge plus. It also hit my must-haves.

Must-haves: pet-friendly, in-unit washer/dryer, dishwasher, hardwood floors

Nice-to-haves: balcony with a patio, bathtub

While the interior of this complex looked more dated without stainless steel appliances, painted cabinets or granite countertops, its low price and mid-downtown location drew me to it.

3. The Park at Forestdale

Birmigham Apartments
A spacious living room was a big perk of this Birmingham apartment. Photo via The Park at Forestdale
  • Monthly Rent: $690
  • Neighborhood: Smithfield Estates
  • Specifications: 1 bed, 1 bath, 877 Sq.Ft Unit 1133F
  • Availability: Currently available

Why it’s on the list: This apartment was a little outside of downtown, but with a price below $700, I was able to overlook that.

Must-haves: dishwasher, pet-friendly

Nice-to-haves: pool, walk-in closet, water included

4. Thomas Jefferson Tower

TJ Tower
Exterior of the beautiful, historical Thomas Jefferson Tower. Photo via Jacob Blakenship for Bham Now
  • Monthly Rent: $1,550
  • Neighborhood: 2nd Ave Downtown Birmingham
  • Specifications: 1 bed, 1 bath, 765 Sq.Ft. The Charles, Unit 2004
  • Availability: Currently available

Why it’s on the list: Location and historical features.

Must-haves: in-unit washer/dryer, pet-friendly, dishwasher

Nice-to-haves: free parking

This apartment included some unique features, like an in-building food market, fitness center, upcoming theater and game room installation. I also loved that the restaurant Roots and Revelry is in the building since it is a favorite of mine.

5. Places at Red Rocks

Birmingham Apartments
A cute fireplace is found in this living area at on of our Birmingham apartments . Photo via Places at Red Rocks
  • Monthly Rent: $895
  • Neighborhood: Five Points South
  • Specifications: 1 bed, 1 bath, 750 Sq.Ft. Unit 1532-D
  • Availability: Currently available

Why it’s on the list: Within walking distance of UAB and Vulcan, this apartment secured its spot with a low price and prime location.

Must-haves: dishwasher, hardwood floors, pet-friendly

Nice-to-haves: water included, balcony with patio, a lot of natural light, bathtub

A few things that weren’t on my list but I liked about this place were the in-unit fire place, stainless steel appliances, dog park and on-site koi pond.

6. The Hill at Eastbury

Birmingham apartments
The beautiful kitchen at the Hill at Eastbury. Photo via the Hill at Eastbury
  • Monthly Rent: $1,820
  • Neighborhood: Homewood
  • Specifications: 1 bed, 1 bath, 720 Sq.Ft. Overton Layout
  • Availability: Available early December

Why it’s on the list: This beautiful property may have been outside the heart of downtown, but it hit all but one of my must-haves and several of my nice-to-haves. The modern design, nice pool, free-parking and walk-in closet put it on the list.

Must-haves: dishwasher, hardwood floors, pet-friendly

Nice-to-haves: free parking, walk-in closet, pool, balcony with patio

7. Mountainside

Mountainside
A pool with a view. Photo via Mountainside Apartments
  • Monthly Rent: $770
  • Neighborhood: Five Points South
  • Specifications: 1 bed, 1 bath, 750 Sq.Ft. Unit 903
  • Availability: Available Dec. 1

Why it’s on the list: Met all of my nice-to-haves, is low cost and boasted an incredible mountain view of downtown.

Must-haves: dishwasher, pet-friendly

Nice-to-haves: pool, balcony with patio, bathtub, walk-in closet, free parking, natural light

How does our city’s average rent compare?

Calera
$1,178
Vestavia Hills
$1,163
Birmingham
$1,158
Tuscaloosa
$1,142
Hoover
$1,101
Homewood
$1,038
Moody
$994
Alabaster
$922
Based off an average apartment size of 978 sq. ft. Data via rentcafe.com
Which apartment was your favorite?






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My pick

Although all of my choices had their perks, the price, amenities and location of the Places at Red Rocks helped it secure first place. Looking at the average rent for our city and what I was able to spend, a price of $895 a month with water included was the best deal I found while also hitting most of my amenity preferences.

  • Advice: Be prepared to reevaluate what you think you have to have while still making sure to find a place you’ll love.

What kind of rental properties have you found when looking for Birmingham apartments? Let us know about your apartment searching by tagging us @bhamnow!

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Miranda Shaffer
Articles: 45