Moved here for business reasons and to try some change...but unkowingly, right into the teeth of the financial crisis and a serious recession...so, perspective is a bit biased.
If my wife and I were not still under water on our home, we'd aggressively seek another southeastern city or metropolitan are. Once our home equity situation sufficiently improves, we'll move.
It has pleasant spring, fall, and winter weather, relatively low cost of living, low taxes, and affordable housing, but Mobile has scant few other quality-of-life factors to keep one here or attract one to move here. The affordability factors are offset by very stagnant real estate values, high property insurance costs, significant poverty, and a muted economy. Prospects for tax base expansion are fair-to-low. Citywide, population is declining.
There are some economic bright spots on the horizon, aircraft assembly in particular, but meaningful trickle-down effects are years away. The newly-elected mayor, a successful business owner, may be a positive catalyst.
An overall poorly-educated population, a narrow and weak economic base, and low public and private investment in infrastructure and industry have become chronic. But for the maritime industry, the central business district is depressed and replete with aged and decaying real estate and the poverty and crime that goes with it. A major capital infusion and physical facelift, and a vast expansion of educated and skilled residents would be seeds for and ultimate improvement.
Over more than 40 years, we've lived in and traveled to a number of metropolitan areas. Mobile is years and maybe decades way from competing with many vibrant southeastern cities and towns of similar size and population.
Todd | Mobile, AL