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Old 11-29-2010, 07:13 AM
 
470 posts, read 998,520 times
Reputation: 91

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I am looking for some as advice as my wife and I are grappling with a decision and we keep going back and forth.

We are currently renting in the Smyrna williams park area. We love the neighborhood, the feel of old mixed in with new. The nieghbors are all fantastic and we live in a home that is pretty big which gives us alot of space. We have a 3 and 1/2 yr old along with an 8 week old. There are also a ton of kids around.

We are trying to decide if we should stay and buy a home here or move to decatur. Cobb county is about to build an elementary school that the williams park neighborhood will feed into. However it will have around 900 kids and there is no guarantee that it will be good. Teasley and king springs are suppossedly pretty good but there are 6 to 700 hundred kids there. Most of my neighbors send their kids to private school. We really dont want to do that but it seems like there is not many options to get a reall good world class education without sending your kids to private school in this area. We also wanted some disposal income so we could take more trips and have our kids experience more. with sending them to private school that really sucks our income dry. So basically we are counting on the new public school or teasley to be great. We love the area, people and the homes there - You can get alot for your money but it seems like the school are not the best.

Decatur feels like smyrna albeit a little more packed in - specifically the oakhurst area. Great community however you dont get much for your money in a home. We need 4 bedrooms - So my wife is afraid of living in a small little box (our budget is 430k and we would really like to spend just 380K), There are kids everywhere and it seems like the schools are good. the oakhurst elementary has good test scores and there are only about 400 kids so less than smyrna. But do you really get a world class education there? Are they that much better than teasley or king springs? Would we have to go private down there as well? But we definetly like the neighborhood feel but are really worried we would be stuck in a small box.

Anyways, those are my thoughts - I would appreciate advice on what to do. We are really grappling with it. My wife really loves the homes in smyrna and is very happy right now - I dont want to ruin that but at the same time I need good schools for my 2 girls. Any advice? (sorry for the long post)
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
20,903 posts, read 32,910,098 times
Reputation: 12561
Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeas View Post
My wife really loves the homes in smyrna and is very happy right now - I dont want to ruin that but at the same time I need good schools for my 2 girls. (sorry for the long post)
Couldn't help but zero in on this statement..."when Mama's happy, everybody's happy," as they say.
Yes, Decatur is a great place to live, and yes, the schools are very well regarded. It's one reason you seldom hear complaints about the high property taxes in the city (Decatur has the highest millage rate in the metro, and has for years). Parents rather feel like for the taxes they pay that they are getting a private school education for their kids.
However, you are absolutely right about getting a lot more bang for your buck in Smyrna housewise. It's a very nice (and up-and coming) community with a great location within the metro. Although I'm no expert on Smyrna area schools, I find it hard to believe that there isn't something there that will meet your needs. And as they also say, "If a clock ain't broke, don't fix it."
Just for the sake of comparison, I thought I'd post a listing in each area that has a price point in your range.

Decatur, GA Home for Sale :: 108 Spring Street 30030 :: Ponce Realty

Smyrna, GA Home for Sale :: 3483 Danvers Walk SE 30080 :: Ponce Realty
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:47 AM
 
470 posts, read 998,520 times
Reputation: 91
yes, private schools! but we didnt want to do that if it could not be helped! I feel like if I can get her down there she would turn around.

Exactly what I want - a public school that acts like a private school!

given this historic real estate market, I can finally afford the decatur area along with the low mortgage rates. I feel if I dont take advantage of it now (or next 4 months) - I will never be able to afford intown living.

And I hear you - she tells me each night how great it is up there. But I feel when we have to do a private school it will be a different story.

I really appreciate your help and advice though - I am absolutely torn on what to do!
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:50 AM
 
470 posts, read 998,520 times
Reputation: 91
Oh and I toured that spring st home - didnt really like it. My wife wants a great room where the family room is open to the kitchen. One of the reasons she is really happy now in the home in smyrna. This spring st home didnt have that open however it was unbelievably updated!
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:29 AM
 
470 posts, read 998,520 times
Reputation: 91
Any other advice?
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:06 AM
 
12,912 posts, read 20,985,787 times
Reputation: 4076
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
Couldn't help but zero in on this statement..."when Mama's happy, everybody's happy," as they say.
Yes, Decatur is a great place to live, and yes, the schools are very well regarded. It's one reason you seldom hear complaints about the high property taxes in the city (Decatur has the highest millage rate in the metro, and has for years). Parents rather feel like for the taxes they pay that they are getting a private school education for their kids.
However, you are absolutely right about getting a lot more bang for your buck in Smyrna housewise. It's a very nice (and up-and coming) community with a great location within the metro. Although I'm no expert on Smyrna area schools, I find it hard to believe that there isn't something there that will meet your needs. And as they also say, "If a clock ain't broke, don't fix it."
Just for the sake of comparison, I thought I'd post a listing in each area that has a price point in your range.

Decatur, GA Home for Sale :: 108 Spring Street 30030 :: Ponce Realty

Smyrna, GA Home for Sale :: 3483 Danvers Walk SE 30080 :: Ponce Realty

I think Lovin has broke it down well for you.

My take: Oakhurst/City of Decatur is very nice--but it seems that the only reason you are even considering leaving Smyrna is due to your "supposed" perception of the schools. It seems that you really need to take a closer look at the schools (a tour!) because some of the information you've written on here has been inaccurate (ie. population count).

I understand you may have a concern about middle schools--but remember, you oldest daughter is still 8 years away from that age. With the continued and increasing upper-middle/middle class interest in Smyrna /Mableton/Vinings elementary schools, I foresee the middle schools falling in line as well (especially within 8 years).
Keeping this in mind--I do think Griffin Middle will improve before Campbell Middle--so King Springs and Nickajack might be better for the long-term (since all of Kings Springs and a lot of Nickajack feeds into Griffin. Teasley feeds solely into Campbell--and I do feel as well that King Springs/Nickajack are more organically/authentically community and neighborhood oriented. Teasley is more like a "Vinings" holding ground before going on to private school).

Take a look at the maps/feeder patterns:


Attendance Zone Maps

CCSD School Feeder Patterns


I hope this helps a little. Good Luck!
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:09 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,351 times
Reputation: 10
Come on down for a tour of homes. Thursday night the shops are open and offering discounts and treats
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Old 12-01-2010, 08:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,352 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeas View Post
Cobb county is about to build an elementary school that the williams park neighborhood will feed into. However it will have around 900 kids and there is no guarantee that it will be good.
I've heard rumors about a new elementary school in Smyrna, but nothing concrete... this is interesting. Where did you hear this?
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Smyrna, GA (via CLT from CAK)
10 posts, read 17,660 times
Reputation: 12
I have two less kids then you so my $0.2 isn't worth too much...but we recently moved to Smyrna from CLT and really enjoy it! You should be able to get a ton of hosue in that price range. Our budget was $300k and we feel we did well and glad we didn't do anything off 400.

One thing to think about is where you work - make sure you can spend time with your kids or are you going to be sitting in traffic all evening...
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:43 PM
 
470 posts, read 998,520 times
Reputation: 91
I know - that is the reason we moved here because we were in roswell and had a commute to downtown which was an hour. Here in smyrna is a half hour. I know I can get a home in smyrna with alot of square footage but really I would have to go private - nothing to knock about the public system here but I have heard bad things about campbell and griffin - People have been hoping for 7 years now that they would get better but they still havent. So I have to figure worst case so I need to build it in my budget. Doing so brings decatur around the same amount of money with about the same commute. but I cant find a big enough house down there - my wife is really sick about actually...

I went to a school board presentation at the smyrna community center and they had a school board member talking about it, it is already in the splost (actually for 2 years), they are looking at sites right now and will start building in the spring.
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