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Old 12-02-2010, 05:46 PM
 
455 posts, read 966,495 times
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to concentrate more on areas down there. We really liked Laurel Springs and like the school district on paper anyway. We'll be sure to go visit the elementary school before we buy but I'm concerned about the commute. HE will be on Commerce Parkway in Duluth. I know there are a couple of ways to go and the one street is being widened but will probably take until 2012 to be completed. How long do you figure his commute would be during normal rush hour. He won't be leaving the house at 6am or anything like that. Probably has to be at work at 8 and can leave at 5 (though he NEVER does that at home so lets say 6). What kind of commute are we looking at?

We really want a golf community and the only other one we liked is ST. Ives but the homes are much much older and I feel like it's older people and the homes are more far apart. I really like being in a close knit family community with lots of kids so that's why we narrowed it to Laurel Springs. St. Marlo is ok but even further and he doesn't really like that golf course. CCS is too hoity and would be a stretch to get in there and if we could, it would probably be an older home.

So, thoughts? I can't thank you all enough for all the help you have given me the last few months. I am a nervous wreck even more now than I was then. We are leaving where we both grew up and where all of our family is to start a new adventure and though I'm nervous, I'm also excited though I have to say those tornadoes in Buford didn't help me much! I'm sure you saw us all on the national news today. Feet of snow and cars stuck on the interstate since last night and still there now but no one gets killed with snow!!!
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:23 AM
 
2,489 posts, read 4,555,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livinginbuffalo View Post
HE will be on Commerce Parkway in Duluth. I know there are a couple of ways to go and the one street is being widened but will probably take until 2012 to be completed. How long do you figure his commute would be during normal rush hour. He won't be leaving the house at 6am or anything like that. Probably has to be at work at 8 and can leave at 5 (though he NEVER does that at home so lets say 6). What kind of commute are we looking at?
A HORRIBLE commute unless you have great patience. There are only 3 ways to get over to Duluth,none of which are good. Maybe it will get better when the McGinnis Ferry widening is finished but why sign up now for a daily traffic jam on bad roads when you can live much closer to work in much more convenient communities? Abbotts Bridge Rd. is also very slow and State Bridge/Pleasant Hill will have tons of traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livinginbuffalo View Post

We really want a golf community
Check out Sugarloaf,it is the premier golf community. Do a search for "Sugarloaf Country Club Real Estate Report". There have been short sales and foreclosures under 600K recently. This is a much,much better location. First it is very close to your husband's workplace. Second it has easy access to the 85 so if you want to go somehwere during the weekend in Atlanta you can get there easily. Also it is very close to tons of shopping like Discover Mills,Mall of Georgia and all the stores by Gwinnett Place.

The key to an easy life in the suburban Atlanta metro is to live close to your workplace. There are tons of good houses in all price ranges very close to the Commerce Dr location. Before buying a house in any location,I suggest trying a trial commute at the exact rush hour times,especially Friday evening rush hour.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:35 AM
 
12,885 posts, read 20,969,336 times
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Originally Posted by capoeira View Post
...


Check out Sugarloaf,it is the premier golf community. Do a search for "Sugarloaf Country Club Real Estate Report". There have been short sales and foreclosures under 600K recently. This is a much,much better location. First it is very close to your husband's workplace. Second it has easy access to the 85 so if you want to go somehwere during the weekend in Atlanta you can get there easily. Also it is very close to tons of shopping like Discover Mills,Mall of Georgia and all the stores by Gwinnett Place.

The key to an easy life in the suburban Atlanta metro is to live close to your workplace. There are tons of good houses in all price ranges very close to the Commerce Dr location. Before buying a house in any location,I suggest trying a trial commute at the exact rush hour times,especially Friday evening rush hour.
And great schools--The Peachtree Ridge Cluster.

http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps-m...w&0~QuickLinks

Gwinnett County Public Schools Cluster Boundaries

http://www.gwinnett.k12.ga.us/gcps-m...map121109b.pdf
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:45 AM
 
455 posts, read 966,495 times
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Default I really appreciate your feedback since no one else has answered yet! But

I am concerned about the schools in Gwinnett County. I know people have said they are good and that's fine but my research and our preference indicates Sharon Elementary and Lambert High are better for our family. The Gwinnett schools are HUGE and just not what we are used to here. He will definitely be living down there for six months before we arrive and we are in no rush to buy a house so he can certainly test the commute and we'll have to see how it is.

I understand that commute issue and that is a close second behind our main concern, schools. We come from the top district in our county in NYS and we are do not want to have to rely on private schools down there. I'm sure that I will go visit a variety of elementary schools and high schools before we decide exactly where to go. I'll have to give Sugarloaf a call and find out about their initiation fees and dues. Laurel Springs is very reasonable with a $5K initiation and $350 monthly dues. We don't want to pay a fortune to belong to a golf club.

Thank you again and keep the advice coming. My husband did speak to someone that lives out near Laurel Springs and works in the Commerce office and she said it wasn't that bad with the route she takes 20-25 mins and we could handle that!
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:53 AM
 
455 posts, read 966,495 times
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Default And I just compared the schools in Sugarloaf vs. Laurel Springs and Laurel Springs is

much better when looking solely at greatschools.org:

M.H. Mason Elementary 8
Hull Middle 9
Peachtree Ridge 9

vs

Sharon 10
Riverwatch 10
Lambert (not rated but assume from feeders it's good)

That really worries me which is why we have been sticking to Forsyth County and Fulton instead of Gwinnett.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,405 posts, read 4,229,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livinginbuffalo View Post
Thank you again and keep the advice coming. My husband did speak to someone that lives out near Laurel Springs and works in the Commerce office and she said it wasn't that bad with the route she takes 20-25 mins and we could handle that!
I would anticipate more like 45 minutes. Also, you really can't make a generalization about "the schools in Gwinnett County" as it is a huge county of 700,000 people and has schools that are in very different areas.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:46 PM
 
455 posts, read 966,495 times
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Default I know what you're saying about the generalization with the schools

but even the ones I am looking at that would be close to his office like the Peachtree Ridge cluster and N. Gwinnett cluster don't score as well as the Lambert, Northview or Johns Creek clusters and I also looked at SAT scores as that was really the best way I could even compare GA schools vs. NYS schools since the standardized test scores in each state can't be compared since the tests are not the same. Thanks again.

We did used to commute 45 mins to work each way around here too but I made him move closer to his work (and my family) once our first child was born. If his job is less stressful like we think it will be and he actually can get home by 6:30 at night, I think 45 mins would be ok with us. Right now, he's home at 11pm or later at least twice a week because of his workload.

Like I said, he will be living down there for six months before we get there. HE will be living across the street from his work in corporate housing but will have to go do the commute in the mornings from a variety of neighborhoods to see what he would be dealing with. WE just don't have traffic like that up here! (Just cars stuck on the interstate for 24 hours from snow like this past week- if you didn't see us on the national news!
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,405 posts, read 4,229,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livinginbuffalo View Post
but even the ones I am looking at that would be close to his office like the Peachtree Ridge cluster and N. Gwinnett cluster don't score as well as the Lambert, Northview or Johns Creek clusters and I also looked at SAT scores as that was really the best way I could even compare GA schools vs. NYS schools since the standardized test scores in each state can't be compared since the tests are not the same. Thanks again.
For what it's worth, Newsweek actually ranks North Gwinnett the highest out of that list.

America's Best High Schools: The List - Newsweek
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Snellville, GA
468 posts, read 1,184,044 times
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The first thing I noticed is that you're looking for elementary schools now, and checking SAT scores. While that will give you an idea of the school systems, by the time your elementary child hits high school - well, that's a few years down the road! Anything's liable to change - from your living situation to the school systems themselves.

Gwinnett County is the largest (and best) system in the state. Duluth (for work) is about in the middle of the county, so northern Gwinnett schools (for living) won't be that bad of a commute.

Your best bet is to hook up with a good real estate agent, get in a rental, and decide where you want to plant your roots down here!
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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Default Wait and see!

Hello LivinginBuffalo,

I am from the WNY area too (Niagara Falls). I have been down in ATL for six years now. I would recommend renting for at least one year before narrowing your search. I regret settling in my current location. You have to live here to understand traffic patterns and various community attributes. In Buffalo you are used to not driving far to get to certain spots or attractions. I hate driving 30+ minutes in heavy traffic just to go to my favorites stores and/or restaurants. Atlanta is very spread out and you want to live around amenities that are important to your family.

I loved my current area on paper but once I purchased my home and lived there I was not satisfied. I wish I would have settled in another location.

As for schools... I teach here in Atlanta. Schools change quickly down in Atlanta due to neighborhoods changing. My school was once a great place with nice families. Now a lot of "hood" folk have moved in the area and the good families moved out. I can say that Gwinnett is one area experiencing this issue. Some families have moved to Hall and Forsyth counties. Alot of burbs have experienced major demographic changes in the short time that I have lived here. I would hate for you to buy a nice home and lose property value in a few years because the neighborhood went down. In Atlanta it is good to stay in neighborhoods that continue to keep value like Alpharetta and Duluth or better find up and coming locations that are projected to increase in value.

Please don't make your decision lightly or blindly!!!! If I could do it again I would rent for at least one year and educate myself on the best neighborhoods. The only way to learn to Atlanta is to live here.
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