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Old 07-11-2007, 12:26 PM
2 posts, read 6,473 times
Reputation: 10



I am originally from Minneapolis (as is my husband) but we have lived in Southern California for the past 5 years. We are expecting twins and simply can't afford to live here anymore. My husband's company has offered him a great position in Georgia. Financially, it would be incredibly beneficial for us. We could probably sell our house here for $600-650K (which is only 1500 square feet!). And since we bought 5 years ago, that means we would have at least half of that for a down payment on a house GA. Plus, his salary would be even better than the salary he currently has. These are all huge positives since we will soon have 3 kids under the age of 5 - expensive!! My concerns are:

1. Schooling - We won't be able to afford private schooling and being from Minnesota, our standards for education is pretty high. We also need access to good daycare until our children reach school age. Are there any schools in GA that would compare to MN or even Southern California schools?

2. Religion - My husband and I are not religious - at all. We will never be attending a church. Is living in the bible belt out for us?

3. Tolerance - especially in regards to race. I believe a may have an outdated view of the deep south on this topic but I still hear about racial issues such as separate proms for whites and blacks. I am white but I don't want my children to grow up in a intolerant atmosphere. This would also apply to homophobia, etc. Is this image the deep south has of intolerance completely outdated?

4. Jobs - I am a marketing professional. My expertise pretty much translates to any industry so I have more job options than my husband, plus, even if we stay in California I would need a new job (my office is closing.) However,
my career is just as important as his so I need access to good jobs.

My husband really wants to move to GA for this job and is looking at areas such as Alpharetta and Marietta. Based on what I have written, would these areas be a good fit? If not, is there any area (within 60 or so miles of Atlanta) that would be a good fit?

Thank you

Last edited by jxu66; 07-11-2007 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:44 PM
11 posts, read 33,169 times
Reputation: 11
My husband and I recently moved to Alpharetta, and we love it. Granted we have only been here 3 weeks, but we have friends (who helped us decide on this area) that have lived here for 15 years and say they would never move. (and they have lived all over)

First, just in the limited time I have been here, I have loved it. It is a very diverse area, and it appears to be well blended. I've lived all of my life in Tennessee, and while I come from a sizeable town, (approx 150,000) it pales in comparison to the size of Atlanta, but our town still has alot of racial divides to overcome. I don't see that here at all. Again, I will remind you that I have a very limited perspective because we are new to the area, but I think first impressions are pretty important.

Religion- Yes, it's the bible belt, and church is big down in the South, but whether you attend or not does not brand you with a negative stigma. Again, I think those things tend to be more issues in smaller towns.

School- My husband and I will be starting our own family in the next couple of years, and this was the biggest factor in choosing where to live. My husband is a product of K-12 private Catholic school. I am a product of public school and teach in the public school system. At this point we are pretty certain our children will attend public school. Fulton County school systems have a well known and high performing school system. (I can't speak from a personal point since this will be my first year teaching in teh system) Of course, as with any city, there will be areas/schools who do not perform as well, there will be parents disappointed with their child's education, but overall if you do the research there really are some very good public school here.

I hope this helps some. I know I found people on this website to be very helpful. Let me know if there are anymore questions that you have that I may be able to help you with. Good luck!!

P.S. It's much warmer down here
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:59 PM
75 posts, read 208,282 times
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Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
P.S. It's much warmer down here
Haha, unfortunately too warm for me, its one of the reasons I am leaving! I have always found I can dress for the cold in the 2 or 3 cold winter months in the northeast, but there is no way to dress for the miserable, oppressive heat and humidity of an Atlanta summer. Its truly awful, and this coming from someone who used to live in Houston!
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:25 PM
401 posts, read 1,547,299 times
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Smile We live in Decatur and it sounds like it fits your bill.

I have three kids in Decatur and we have been happy with it as a community. The schools are some of the highest achieving in GA, even though they are diverse racially and socioeconomically (that is changing, unfortunately, as parts of Decatur that were traditionally working class have gentrified). You can check out the schools on greatschools.net. Elementary is Clairemont, Oakhurst, Winnona Park and Glennwood Academy. Middle is Renfroe. High school is Decatur High. About 25-30% of 2nd through 12th grade kids are gifted identified, so we have a bunch of braniacs here.

The elementary schools (K-3) are expeditionary learning schools (google ELOB). From fourth grade and up, the schools are in various stages of transitioning to International Baccalaureate schools. By the time your kids get there they will be fully transitioned. Re Decatur, it is very important to be in the city limits b/c they have their own school system separate from the county. DeKalb county has some terrific schools, but it is spotty.

Very tolerant, very diverse community. We have conservative Christians, liberal Christians, atheists, Unitarians, Buddhists... gays, straights, old, young, Black, White... living together and respecting and appreciating eachother. I can't say that there are never disagreements or debates, but everyone here is very tolerant.

There are a lot of young kids and family friendly activities. In June, one of the most popular ones is the Decatur Beach Party where they shut down "Main Street" (actually East Ponce de Leon Ave.) and fill a block of the street with sand and have a beach band. The kids all bring shovels and pails and build sandcastles or dump water on eachother. It's a blast.

Anyhow... don't know if Decatur works for you as far as commuting. It's great if you are downtown, not so good if you are trying to get to Alpharetta or sth. It really sounds like you would be a good fit there though.

Good luck!
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:30 PM
401 posts, read 1,547,299 times
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Default One more thing

For $600,000 - $650,000 you can get a very nice house in Decatur. You could easily get 3000 sq. feet totally updated or even new in most areas. Prices are high here by GA standards but are a super deal by CA standards.
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:45 PM
16 posts, read 79,766 times
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I'm Trying To Move To Atlanta From Ohio , I Will Be Transferring Jobs I Make 30,000 Pr Year , Will Someone Please Give Me Some Ideas On Good Apartments That Are In Good Neiborhoods And On The Marta Bus System. Thanks
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:48 PM
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 20,593,561 times
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Dunwoody is a nice and tolerant place with great schools. As far as going to church, yes, church attendance is mandatory in Georgia. If you fail to show up, the Church Police will come looking for you and you had better have a good reason for not coming! Actually nobody gives a **** if you go to church or not. This is NOT the Bible Belt. They might SAY it is but this place has more strip clubs, porn joints and sex shops than Chicago!
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:57 PM
481 posts, read 2,548,684 times
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For the most part, the schools in Georgia do not compare. However, north metro Atlanta suburbs are the exception - some of these schools are among the best in the country. East Cobb, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, and Milton are the places with the best schools. These are also very nice, low crime suburban areas with high average family income (Roswell $100k, Alpharetta $110k, Milton $100k, Johns Creek $120k, East Cobb $140k) and good places to raise a family. So the areas your husband is looking at are indeed a good fit. Also, because of a lot of complicated Georgia-stuff that I'm not going to bother explaining, note that the "Alpharetta" often refers to the combined area of Milton, Johns Creek, and Alpharetta and "Marietta" often refers to Marietta, East Cobb, Sandy Plains, and West Cobb.

If you are looking at Alpharetta any area is fine. If you are looking at Marietta, make sure you're looking at East Cobb. Sandy Plains and West Cobb are nice areas too but not quite as nice as the ones I've been talking about. The actual city of Marietta is for the most part undesirable, other than a few really nice neighborhoods.

Atlanta is not the Deep South nor the Bible Belt. You'll probably never run into someone with a southern accent and if you send your kids to public school in East Cobb, Alpharetta, or Johns Creek I can practically guarantee you they will be atheist by the time they graduate from high school, especially if they are 5 right now. No one cares at all whether or not you go to church. Or the mosque, temple, synagogue, sacrificial altar, or whatever.

Oh, and $600,000+ can easily buy you a nice 4 or 5 bedroom house in these areas. It probably won't be new (new houses in some of the best school districts start at well over $1 million) but that's fine - the north metro Atlanta suburbs are very heavily wooded with tall trees and the old neighborhoods look the best anyway because the trees and landscaping on the lots meld together better with the surrounding forests.

Last edited by GF72; 07-11-2007 at 11:09 PM..
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:28 PM
2 posts, read 6,473 times
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Default Thank you! A couple of other ?'s re: Alpharetta area.

All of your posts have really helped! Not only as far as info. regarding the area but your friendliness makes me more at ease about the people as well!

My husband is going there on the 24th to check things out before we make any decisions (I am too pregnant to fly.) Alpharetta sounds like a possible area as there seems to be quite a few jobs in my field there but I have told my husband to drive around the city at rush hour as I have heard some bad things about the traffic- of course, I can't imagine that it can be worse than So. California! I like that the area is a bit of a melting pot. I did see a post that said Alpharetta is a "very republican, homophobic-leaning city." Do any of you agree? The republican thing doesn't really bother me (my husband is a registered Republican but is very moderate, even slightly liberal on social issues)...I just want a progressive city.

We have figured that we probably could swing private school if need be. Is there any you can recommend that we check out? My husband is going to set up appts with schools for his visit. I prefer a school without a religious affiliation.

Also, are there any specific subdivisions in the Alpharetta area you recommend we check out?

Thank you again!
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:54 PM
Location: Buford, GA
138 posts, read 544,427 times
Reputation: 28
600-650k for 1500 square feet..... That is an absolute crime...

You will be amazed at what you can get for that price in Georgia.

I grew up in Marietta, spent half my life there. It's very nice. If you go North a bit in Woodstock and Canton there are incredible communities there as well.

Alpharetta is great too. I actually used to work in Alpharetta in Marketing/Sales for McKesson right off of Winward Parkway.

What type of community are you guys looking for? Are you looking for a Swim/Tennis community? People with young kids? Golf? Play areas? Nature areas?
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