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Atlanta: talk me into it or talk me out of it


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#1 chickenpotpie

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 08:21 PM

Considering a move to that area, specifically north near Alpharetta.  Want to hear the good and the bad.  TIA!

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#2 Spicoli

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 06:21 PM

Where do you live now and how old are you/family situation?

I'm a CA transplant.  Moved here in 2000 and had just turned 27.  I'm answering about Alpharetta and the surrounding area...

Traffic.  Commute dependent but ranges from very bad to your utter worst nightmare.

Nightlife.  If you are single and young not the best place to be.  Live ITP (see traffic).  If you are settled and have family, non factor.

Cost.  You get a lot of house for the money depending on where you are currently.  Expect to pay around 1% per 100k in property taxes.  Not bad compared to other places.

Golf. Public golf generally is weak to sucks. Private golf is king and pretty affordable but club dependent.

Climate.  Mild winter generally speaking.  Hot humid summer for about 2 to 3 months.  Spring and fall are excellent.  It rains alot compared to the west.

Actitivites.  Mountains, hiking, mountain biking, boating and fishing, etc. are great.  The beach is 5hrs away.

Politics. Red state, so depends on your point of view.

General sensibilities.  Atlanta is south of the north, but north of the south.  You do not feel like your are in the south until you get out of the metro area.  Pretty diverse here.  Most people are transplants from somewhere else.

Sports.  College is king, pros draw almost as many visiting team fans.

Altanta.  I do not view it really as a destination city.  I spend most of my time in the northern suburbs (See traffic and nightlife comment)

General Community.  Great place to raise a family.  Good schools.

Hope I helped.



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#3 rsj1360

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 06:51 PM

Personally I couldn't handle the heat. bad enough in the Boston area.

Plus it is The South, so ....

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#4 Matt J

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:37 PM

Grew up there but haven't lived there in nearly 20 years.  Insist on one helluva raise!

The ATL can be wonderful but it takes a lot of scratch.

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#5 spazo

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:03 PM

Need more details on your personal situation. Stuff you care about varies wildly depending on age, family, interests, background info, and financial situation. Atlanta is an amazing city for certain people and a hell hole for others. Without knowing more, it's hard to give you any info.


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#6 dennis4190

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:37 PM

I’ve never lived in that area but travel through there a lot and the traffic alone would keep me from moving there.

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#7 Deepfork

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:55 PM

View Postrsj1360, on 06 October 2017 - 06:51 PM, said:

Personally I couldn't handle the heat. bad enough in the Boston area.

Plus it is The South, so ....
Please stay your a.. up north with your attitude.

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#8 hebron1427

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 12:38 AM

I lived in ATL from early childhood until young adulthood. I went to school there, was young there, had a family there...moved away for a job but only a few years ago, so I can probably give some perspective.

I don't know where you're coming from but my view of Atlanta has always been that it's a big city just like most other big cities. It's got all the problems of big cities but has its own unique character that you get to know. IME, I've grown to love the character of most of the cities I've spent measurable amounts of time in (Boston, NY, Chicago, SF) (the one exception is that I don't much care for San Diego or LA. Southern CAlifornia is its own brand of awful).

I assume you wouldn't even be asking this question if you didn't want to live in / close to a city, but understand that Atlanta is no more "the South" than Miami is. Most of the people there are from somewhere else, so you can generally find someone who has a background or interests similar to you. Alpharetta is very suburban. If you want a family, that's a good place to have one. Property values are higher there than most Atlanta suburbs because the schools are good and there is good money in that area already. There are some tremendous golf clubs up there (Atlanta Athletic Club, Cherokee, White Columns, Rivermont, just to name a few of the very many) and you're not a far drive at all from some really great public tracks. The north Georgia mountains make for some incredible terrain for golf courses as well.

Alpharetta is not Atlanta, and if you want to have the higher-speed experience of Atlanta, it's doable, but understand you'll have a commute to / from work if you don't live nearby. That doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't do it, but you should know what you're getting into. With no traffic (middle of the night on a wednesday) it's a 25-minute drive from Alpharetta to the middle of Atlanta.

Atlanta's food cannot be bested. It has everything you want and more.

The people are great (much better than california). They are kind, generally mind their own business, and are willing to go out on a limb for people they don't know. of course, this is a vast generalization, but i was never part of a community where I didn't know pretty much everyone who lived around me on the street. I can't say that about my time in CA (4 years here and I still don't know the names of my neighbors on either side).

cost of living is dirt cheap compared to other places...not just california, but LOTS of other places. buying real estate as a fresh-out-of-college person is totall doable there. Alpharetta might price you out, but there are tons of options that might not be the top neighborhood in the city but are still very acceptable.

as someone else mentioned, politically it's a red state, but most of the city of Atlanta is very blue, so you can easily find a political climate that matches your taste.

The weather--yeah, it's hot in the summer, but one thing about it is that EVERYWHERE has bomb A/C. In California (and in Boston when I lived there), people convince themselves that it's not needed because it's used so "infrequently." I've never been more uncomfortable than in Boston in the summer, and almost up there with a Santa Ana wind in Southern California, only because my window-unit A/Cs don't stand up to the heat. In Atlanta, that NEVER happened. Winter is mild--I had a standing round to play golf with my dad on New Year's Eve every year. Usually it wasn't below 50. There's a tornado every once in awhile but it usually doesn't do much damage. hurricanes are weak by the time they get there and usually just knock out power for a day or two. as far as natural disasters, Atlanta is pretty nice--no blizzards, no earthquakes, no devastating tornados...it's usually pretty chill.

Taxes are cheap, both on the income and property tax level. Becaue cost of living is lower, usually salaries are a bit lower too, but i see that changing of late in most industries.

But, as someone mentioned above, it's going to be what matters to you as to whether you like what the city has going on.


As for the person from Boston who said "you know, it's The South..." I'll tell you i've been in a place where people were more racist than Boston. Growing up in Atlanta, I never heard anyone openly talk about people of color as n-words...until I was in Boston. And, btw, that's been confirmed to me by like 7 other people. so...yeah....get off your high horse.

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#9 chickenpotpie

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 12:12 PM

Great stuff, thanks for the insight!

I do have a wife and kids to consider, so was curious about the schools and area.  Sounds like the northern area could work out pretty well.  Don't think we'd want to live in the city, unless we had no kids.
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#10 highergr0und

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:02 PM

The absolute biggest thing is the traffic.  I had a company relocate there, specifically to Alpharetta then to Sandy Springs after a bit.  The people with families that moved further out to get the same level of house they were used to in their old state all became extremely miserable as many added 2+ hours to their days just because of the travel times.  It led many to quit and several started working extreme flex times like 6-2 just to try and make it better.

Those with the money to live close to the office were pretty happy.  Good restaurants, schools, and while the traffic is really busy, it's better than for most.  I will echo the sentiment that Alpharetta basically shuts down at 8pm each night.  Sandy Springs is more active and has better restaurants.


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#11 dukeman

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:00 PM

1. Live as close to work as you can afford. Seriously.

2. Don't complain about the traffic problem if you didn't grow up here. You are the traffic problem.

3. If you're from a northern state, don't complain because we don't do things the way they do things back home. If things were so great back home, there wouldn't be a traffic problem here.

Edited by dukeman, 11 October 2017 - 03:07 PM.


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#12 RookieBlue7

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:34 PM

If you want anywhere ITP, expect to spend $250k+ on housing. Unless crime rates don't matter, then you can go a little South price wise. I live 45 minutes north OTP. My house would be $300k plus itp in a decent neighborhood. I paid a little over $100k for it on nearly 3 acres.

The commute isn't terrible, the secret is to either get out of the city by 3 or wait till 6:00 and then leave. There's multiple ways out of the city, Waze is your friend.

If you want to live inside the perimeter and enjoy nightlife, hope you make some coin. Because you'll need it.

Golf isn't bad if you're willing to go a little away from the city. The closer you get, the more you need to join a club to play decent courses.

I've lived here all my life. I'd recommend going north if you're willing to commute a little.

Oh, and if you're from up north, it gets hot and humid here from March till October. Winters are usually mild except the occasional ice storm which shuts everyone down. We had half an inch of ice last year. Folks slid out all over the place and I made it to work in a 2 wheel drive Scion XB commuter car every day.

Last thing, if you do commute. Buy a cheap beater commuter vehicle. It's going to get beat up, dents and dings. People suffer from CDFS (can't drive for $#i+).

Edited by RookieBlue7, 11 October 2017 - 07:54 PM.


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#13 chickenpotpie

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 09:26 PM

View PostRookieBlue7, on 11 October 2017 - 07:34 PM, said:

If you want anywhere ITP, expect to spend $250k+ on housing. Unless crime rates don't matter, then you can go a little South price wise. I live 45 minutes north OTP. My house would be $300k plus itp in a decent neighborhood. I paid a little over $100k for it on nearly 3 acres.

The commute isn't terrible, the secret is to either get out of the city by 3 or wait till 6:00 and then leave. There's multiple ways out of the city, Waze is your friend.

If you want to live inside the perimeter and enjoy nightlife, hope you make some coin. Because you'll need it.

Golf isn't bad if you're willing to go a little away from the city. The closer you get, the more you need to join a club to play decent courses.

I've lived here all my life. I'd recommend going north if you're willing to commute a little.

Oh, and if you're from up north, it gets hot and humid here from March till October. Winters are usually mild except the occasional ice storm which shuts everyone down. We had half an inch of ice last year. Folks slid out all over the place and I made it to work in a 2 wheel drive Scion XB commuter car every day.

Last thing, if you do commute. Buy a cheap beater commuter vehicle. It's going to get beat up, dents and dings. People suffer from CDFS (can't drive for $#i+).

What's considered ITP?  Where's the boundary?
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#14 ws6

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:10 AM

I-285.

I lived in Atlanta in the 90s.  Traffic is brutal, but it is a great place to live.

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#15 OrangeCrush

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:34 AM

View Postrsj1360, on 06 October 2017 - 06:51 PM, said:

Personally I couldn't handle the heat. bad enough in the Boston area.

Plus it is The South, so ....

The NW area of ATL is VERY close in feel to the North Shore of MA.  I have friends/Family in Marietta and I LOVE it down there!  About 20 years ago I was trying to get on the Cobb County Sheriff Dept when I got out of college.  There are so many N.E. transplants down there that you don't feel you are far from home.

Like others have said,  traffic into ATL is BRUTAL !!!   I go from Middleton to Framingham every day and there is a reason hand grenades are illegal or I would be tossing them along 128 Lexington/Waltham stretch!

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#16 R.Tobes

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:10 PM

I spent half of my life north of ATL in the Lawrenceville area, and then moved to south of ATL in the Newnan area. Personally I love it south of ATL 100% better than north of it. Lots of golf options, both public and private, bars are fun as there are many different types. Traffic is a non issue here, and it is only a 30 minute drive to get into the city.
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