Deciding where to plant roots was a pretty easy decision for us.
We decided about two years before Jamie’s last day in the Army that we were going to be getting out of the active duty side of the house, so we spent a few months talking constantly about where we wanted to settle down. We felt like we had the keys to chart our own course, but that also felt like a lot of pressure. Both of us hoped that wherever we moved would be a city we would stay in for the long haul to raise our kids since neither of us really wanted to continue moving around.
I had an ongoing list in my “notes” on my phone of things that we realistically wanted in the future, and all of those things led us back home to Alabama. More specifically, Madison, Alabama. It was so obvious to both of us, which was a relief.
Thankfully the Lord orchestrated everything perfectly for our move here (what a ride), and a year later here we are still just so stinkin’ happy to call this place our home.
Here are six reasons (in no particular order) that we decided to plant roots in Madison, Alabama.
The jobs are here.
It’s no wonder this area is crawling with veterans. The jobs are vast! With Research Park and Redstone Arsenal in nearby Huntsville, the job opportunities for Jamie were plentiful. We couldn’t have picked another area if we tried that had more jobs where Jamie could apply his professional experience. He actually wasn’t sure if he wanted the type of job he has now (where he is still very much involved in the Army world), but he is just so happy as a project manager where he is dealing daily with military happenings, decisions, etc. but on the civilian side. This is his comfort zone and area of expertise, which made the transition out much easier for him.
The cost of living is cheap.
Holy guacamole, the property taxes! Yeehaw! Talk about cheap. I had no idea this area was so affordable until we started looking at houses and compared them with what we were paying for property taxes in Kansas alone. Our property taxes are about five times cheaper than they were on our Kansas home. Alabama is generally a more affordable state to live in anyway, so our money stretches a bit further here, which we like!
The school system is top in the state.
A quick search for the best schools in Alabama will put Madison City Schools at or near the top of every. single. list. Every school in this district is rated an A+ school, and for good reason. There are so many things that make this district special. The houses in this district are a good percentage more expensive than surrounding areas, and it’s all because of the schools. Even though we could have purchased a nicer, bigger house elsewhere, we knew it was worth it to buy here though since our kids would soon be school-aged. We’re glad we did!
So many of our people are here.
My parents, relatives, and many of my closest friends live here. Jamie grew up 100 miles south of here, so a handful of his close friends are also within a few hour drive. Jamie’s parents currently live in Austin, but they have plans to retire here in the near future. Jamie’s grandmother and other close relatives all live within 6.5 hours of here (Atlanta and Indianapolis), so a quick interstate drive as well!
Everybody knows that I’m a very relational person with both family and friends and invest a lot into healthy relationships. Nothing makes me happier than being with our people, so having the chance to choose to be near many of the people who mean the most to us (and have my children grow up near them) was a no-brainer.
The crime is low.
We feel very safe here in Madison, and though we know things can happen anywhere, this city has very little crime.
The city and nearby towns are big enough where they offer everything we could want regarding entertainment, retail, etc. but without the fuss of a big city.
Jamie and I don’t do traffic. It makes both of us very irritable. LOL. Neither of us have lived in a big city where heavy traffic is the norm, so it makes both of us a little nutty. With this area rapidly on the rise though, we have all of the big city perks and opportunities without the big city feel.
And when it came to where specifically to buy…
I grew up in Madison, so when it came to moving back to this area, I figured that it would be worth staying open-minded and looking at other cities in the north Alabama area to consider.
We looked at Athens, Huntsville, and Hampton Cove and found some amazing homes and communities. Two things pushed us toward Madison though: every single school in the system is an A+ school, so we knew we couldn’t go wrong buying anywhere in the district.
Also, one of my best friends Amy sealed the deal for us. She told me that if my mom calls and invites us to dinner spontaneously on a Sunday night, are we more likely to join if we live five miles down the road or 25 miles down the road? The same goes with my old friends. I was much more likely to pick back up with them if we were closer proximity wise and could all be involved in the same community events. A year later, and she couldn’t have been more right. I really love the distance we live from my folks and most of our friends. Thank you Amy! This advice was such a game changer.
Do you love where you live? Tell me about why it’s so great!!
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo