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Old 11-12-2010, 07:12 PM
 
99 posts, read 179,436 times
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It's yet another "moving to Atlanta" thread...We are a family of 4 moving down from NYC, although I am originally from SC. Your suggestions are appreciated.

1. Budget: under $300K preferable

2. House/Condo/Townhome? House with 3+ bedrooms, preferably 4.

3. Employment Status(commute/work from home): Will be in grad school at Mercer, DH is a High School Math Teacher and will be looking for a position to start next Fall. Targeting Gwinnett county as we've heard this is the only district that is essentially expanding.

4. Children(public school vs. private): Good public schools are important. We have a 2 month old and, we have a 2 year old daughter that has Autism (she has an official PDD-NOS diagnosis through our neurologist and a State ordered evaluation from a psychologist). We were thinking of enrolling her in Oak Meadows Montessori initially, and hopefully we'll be able to mainstream her in the public school system. She gets early intervention services currently in New York, including ABA Therapy, Speech Therapy, Floor Time Instruction and OT.

Bottom line, schools are super important to us - highest priority.

5. Suburban or Urban lifestyle preference or a mix of the two: Suburban living with city access - I would say within a 30 minute drive to the city.

6. Easy access to public transit, important or not? Not important

7. Preferable demographics of desired neighborhood. Diversity is important to us.

We would be looking to close in April of next year. Is there an area that we should target specifically? I am trying to wrap my mind around how the whole "cluster" thing works as far as schools are concerned. And would I just tell a realtor "we want to be in ABC cluster with XYZ schools" and let them show us availability?
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Old 11-12-2010, 07:24 PM
 
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Other posters are more familiar with Gwinnett County and the school system but the Hamilton Mill area is often recommended. A 30 minute commute to the city might be unrealistic. If your DH is employed in Gwinnett county then would a 30 minute commute be a priority?
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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Since you have kids, make sure to research/understand schools. Have you looked at greatschools website? Renting initially would be a very good idea.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,255,582 times
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A budget of up to $300k will give you the flexibility to live in most areas of Gwinnett. Granted you might get more house for your money in certain areas than others.

The cluster system is actually simple. It is just a high school district and the lower grad schools that feed into it.

We don't alot of towns where the city limits border another towns. Most of Gwinnett County is unincorporated (no town or city). Gwinnett County provides many of the services a smaller city/town would in the northeast. So the schools are run by the county (Gwinnett County Public Schools) and the clusters are really just high school districts. Each cluster has 1 high school, 1-2 middle schools, and several elementary schools that all feed into that high school. I usually recommend anyone who is settling down here to start with with the high schools and pick the ones they like and then move on to looking at middle/elementary schools located in those high school clusters.

For the most part all of the schools here are good, but I would recommend choosing a high school with fewer apartments and more single family homes. Schools with more single-family homes have a population that doesn't move as often and are more invested at that school/area.

You won't have a problem finding a diverse community, but the most diverse communities are further west in the county and/or along the I-85 corridor.

Finding teaching positions right now will be harder than normal, because of the recession and the relatively low tax-rates we have have made class sizes go up and few teachers hired.

The problem you will have is rush hour commutes from the central or northern parts of the county with traffic to the city... You can pretty much expect over an hour. What you get for your house...you pay by spending time in the car. However, commuting to Mercer will be easier, since it is actually in the northeast part of town.

Stalk this website, Georgia Navigator :: Traffic Maps :: Maps (http://www.georgia-navigator.com/maps/atlanta - broken link) , to get a good feel for what the traffic is like at different times of the day. There is also a section on the left marked "Trip times" and it can give you point to point estimates for how long it takes to move down the freeway. The peak of the morning rush hour will probably be around 8 am, so that is a good time to check everyday for a week or two.

I will warn you that the Northside freeways (I-75, I-85, and GA 400 north of I-285) and the northern part of I-285 is the most congested part of town. Most of our suburban growth has been northward.
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,262 posts, read 2,444,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocsanders View Post
It's yet another "moving to Atlanta" thread...We are a family of 4 moving down from NYC, although I am originally from SC. Your suggestions are appreciated.

1. Budget: under $300K preferable

2. House/Condo/Townhome? House with 3+ bedrooms, preferably 4.

3. Employment Status(commute/work from home): Will be in grad school at Mercer, DH is a High School Math Teacher and will be looking for a position to start next Fall. Targeting Gwinnett county as we've heard this is the only district that is essentially expanding.

4. Children(public school vs. private): Good public schools are important. We have a 2 month old and, we have a 2 year old daughter that has Autism (she has an official PDD-NOS diagnosis through our neurologist and a State ordered evaluation from a psychologist). We were thinking of enrolling her in Oak Meadows Montessori initially, and hopefully we'll be able to mainstream her in the public school system. She gets early intervention services currently in New York, including ABA Therapy, Speech Therapy, Floor Time Instruction and OT.

Bottom line, schools are super important to us - highest priority.

5. Suburban or Urban lifestyle preference or a mix of the two: Suburban living with city access - I would say within a 30 minute drive to the city.

6. Easy access to public transit, important or not? Not important

7. Preferable demographics of desired neighborhood. Diversity is important to us.

We would be looking to close in April of next year. Is there an area that we should target specifically? I am trying to wrap my mind around how the whole "cluster" thing works as far as schools are concerned. And would I just tell a realtor "we want to be in ABC cluster with XYZ schools" and let them show us availability?
I would reccomend the Norcross High or Parkview High areas, if you are intent on Gwinnett County, with a 30 minute commute. Those are both great clusters, as well as providing easy access to the city. Welcome to Gwinnettia!
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:57 AM
 
99 posts, read 179,436 times
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Any thoughts on Grayson or Brookwood clusters/areas?
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,255,582 times
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Yes, a bad day day at Parkview is always better than a good day at Brookwood!

j/k

An old saying we use to say back and forth.

They are both really good schools. Grayson is newer. They are similar in that there is corridor of almost entirely single family home zoning from Dekalb Co towards Lawrenceville. That zoning has led to that strip (Parkview-Brookwood-Grayson) generally being considered really good schools on the central/eastern part of the county.

With Grayson you will become very dependent on US78 and/or Ronald Reagan pkwy to I-85 South. With Brookwood... Ronald Reagan, Five Forks, or US78. It is worth doing a test commute. Grayson, of course, will be further away from town than Brookwood.
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,262 posts, read 2,444,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocsanders View Post
Any thoughts on Grayson or Brookwood clusters/areas?
Grayson and Brookwood are both top notch high school clusters. The area around Brookwood is older and more established. The Grayson area is much newer, and you usually can get a bigger newer house for your money there. I actually live in the Brookwood cluster at Five Forks and Ronald Reagan and love the area. My neighborhood is adjacent to a great neighborhood park with the library being almost directly across the street. It's a safe, quiet, relatively affluent area. I'm not sure what time you would want to commute to downtown, but it's not a fun time if you have to do it in rush hour. You would be looking at an about an hour.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: ATL-SAV
96 posts, read 146,438 times
Reputation: 63
I am also from NYC, and have one kid.
I live in the Suwanee area (morningview) , my son goes to North Gwinnett High and it is a great cluster.
My budget was set right below 300k, and I actually love the life in Gwinnett.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:43 PM
 
12,906 posts, read 20,974,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericsonga View Post
I would reccomend the Norcross High or Parkview High areas, if you are intent on Gwinnett County, with a 30 minute commute. Those are both great clusters, as well as providing easy access to the city. Welcome to Gwinnettia!

Hello ocsanders!

I think ericsonga has given you good, concrete advice (cwkimbro as well).

Here's what I recommend:

1. Considering your criteria (proximity to Mercer, under 300K, good school district, Gwinnett County Schools for employment, etc.) I suggest you first look in the Parkview and Norcross clusters. The Parkview cluster will give you more options than Norcross, even though Norcross is very good.

2. If that doesn't work, I would look at the next clusters out--this would be the Duluth cluster and the Brookwood cluster.

3. Then, you could still go further (if needed) and look in the Grayson and Peachtree Ridge clusters.

4. Here are two very helpful links/maps. Study them and learn them--it will give you an excellent perspective on things:

http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps-m...map121109b.pdf

Gwinnett County Public Schools Cluster Boundaries


5. All in all, I think the Parkview cluster/area will you suit you the best. This area is known together as Parkview/Mountain Park/South Lilburn/North Stone Mountain.


I hope this helps. Good Luck!
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