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Old 07-02-2011, 11:32 PM
 
27 posts, read 37,351 times
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Red face Alpharetta, Duluth, Marietta or Elsewhere?

Hi! I'm looking to move to GA within the next 12 months and need some additional help. I'm a mother of 3 children, 2 high-schoolers and one elementary schooler (yes, they are spread out ), so safety and schools are my simultaneous #1 priority. I've looked at the areas above and like what they have to offer; however, I'm additionally looking for diversity. I'm born and raised in Orange County, CA; however, I've lived in Seattle, NYC, Philadelphia and suburbs near each of those cities, so it's important to me to have that balance. I don't much believe in living solely with any one group of people. Been there done that and can with wisdom say that too much of one thing, is well...too much. I've been back home for 6 years now and realize that although there's truly no place like home - some homes can be outgrown.

So, if anyone can help out - I'd greatly appreciate it. Here's what I'm looking for:
1) Safety - Nothing too fancy, but if my next door neighbor can NOT be on America's Most Wanted, that'd be a good thing. Oh! And if I can get to and from my car from my front door without getting mugged, that'd be considered a plus.
2) Schools - Every graduate needn't be a Rhodes scholar, but a great schools rating of 8 or above would tickle my fancy! Or, if you know the school district, teachers are on point and the kids are performing well (great arts program, solid focus on academics) - I'm good with that.
3) Diversity - This is a biggie even though it's number three. I'm an African American woman who was raised around mostly Whites, as well as many Latinos, some Asians and sprinkles of every foreigner known to man without incident and knows that I'm just as fabulous as anyone else on the planet. I have three beautiful, intelligent, productive and capable children who know they are just as fabulous as anyone else. Where I don't want to end up is some place where any of this for them is compromised, especially my youngest who has Autism, though relatively undetectable to people who haven't come into contact with this disorder. So, no white sheets to the left, right, front, back or down the street from me. And, don't act like you don't know where the white sheet pockets are. I know where there are in the O.C., though out here they are MUCH more elusive about it.
4) Proximity - to the Lord's House - not looking for a mega-church, a simple Christian, Bible-Believing Church will do.
5) Proximity - to fun...please don't suggest some place out in the sticks that's not near civilization, or at least within reasonable driving distance to such.
6) Proximity - to job...I'll likely be telecommuting with my current job, but just in case, please suggest somewhere that's close to big businesses that hire for Analysts, Software Developers, stuff like that
7) Proximity - to SuperWalmart...ugh, this is NOT my wish list item, but my daughter's. I really do believe she was switched at birth.

If Elsewhere - please let me know where . Thank's all for any help and I love this board. All of the posters are really knowledgeable about the areas. Take Care and God Bless.
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Old 07-02-2011, 11:35 PM
 
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What is your budget?
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Alpharetta, GA
249 posts, read 313,401 times
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Always Blessed.. I have been doing some research and also read many many threads on here.. you might want to check some of the places we are about to check out in a week.... Suwanne, John's Creek, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs & Cumming.
As for a church there is a church that we will be attending once we move and while visiting.. Embry Hills, it's bible based Church of Christ but my friend down there told me that there ialso a few smaller and good ones in Dunwoody and Roswell i think.

Lorilove... do you think a budget for a home under 120 is realistic? I have been seeing tons of homes on the internet in the 90's and 100's that look so nice .
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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If you travel east to west, you will go from Duluth/Suwanee (Suwanee is north of Duluth. Both are in Gwinnett County), to Johns Creek/Alpharetta/Roswell (all in North Fulton county), to Marietta (Cobb).

Gwinnett County probably has the highest diversity of all races. Johns Creek has the highest Asian diversity. Alpharetta has the best location in terms of access to jobs. To the OP: check out Alpharetta high on greatschools, they have breakdown by race, etc. A good option may be to live in Alpharetta with access to GA 400 which takes you to other job markets. I dont know much about Marietta, but East Cobb is supposed to have good schools, esp. Walton High. If living in North Fulton, pretty much all schools are good, the differences may be more in the racial make up than quality.

If you are trying to get into good middle class areas in the northern suburbs in North Fulton, I think the starting price is 250K (house) 200K townhouse. Gwinnett is probably slightly lower (closer to 250K in good school district. may be much lower in not so good school districts). Rent in the good middle class areas is about $1500+/mo.
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Old 07-03-2011, 10:27 AM
 
1,628 posts, read 1,512,621 times
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$120,000 for a home that will also not need immediate repairs will be tough. If you are looking in a top school district it will be near impossible.

The homes that I have seen (friends/neighbors) sell in that price range were all foreclosures. The negotiation and closing process was definitely longer and more frustrating. If you have the time to sit it out and wait through the process, now is the time to pick up a bargain. I am not sure how reasonable that is for someone moving from out of town.

The homes in my neighborhood were built in the 80's. There were a few that sold just under 120K but they were in bad need of upgrades and general repairs that come with a 25 year old home. I would say the buyers on average put in 40K-50K immediately. We have been blessed because all the new homeowners have been young professionals that had planned for the cost and knew they had a hidden gem.

I have another friend that bought a HUD home in Austell for $80,000 cash, other than paint it was move in ready. I don't know details of the area he bought in but he did note how crazy it was getting the deal signed.

Pay attention to the realtor listing the property. You can often tell if it is a foreclosure if you google the company.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:34 AM
 
876 posts, read 1,094,761 times
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You might find a townhome or condo priced at 90-120 for minimal repairs in parts of Marietta, Alpharetta or Duluth (most of the public schools have really good reputations). Most of these areas are racially diverse as already mentioned and I recommend all of them to most anyone wanting good public schools. Many parts of Gwinnett, Cobb and North Fulton counties will probably work for you as well just from reading your post. Most public school clusters there are quite good.

If you buy a house in that range, it would very limited in those areas. In general for these ares mentioned above, the property would most likely be distressed, quite small in size (less than 1400 sq ft) and/or in need of huge repairs. Buying a foreclosed property is not easy either, there is a big waiting game especially if you are trying to get a loan and not paying cash for the property. For people moving from out of town, that usually doesn't work for them.

I would start with researching public schools on Greatschools.net and narrow your searches around those. You can probably find a deal, but right now in the summer, housing sell more quickly and the prices usually fetch a little higher, too, so if it is possible to wait until fall to spring or so, you may have a better selection at a lower price.

Since you are very new to Atlanta, I would recommend renting first and then buying something later because you may not like where you initially live. I don't think the prices here will rebound anytime soon, but if you were to buy 6 months later (off season from fall or winter to spring), I think you can score a better deal than you can now in the summer. Good luck in your big move across country!

Last edited by SW30303; 07-03-2011 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Georgia
1,260 posts, read 1,390,939 times
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Well they pretty much all suck...LOL. But seeing that you seem to be of the 'bible thumper' type...I'm sure you will love all of them!

As far as cost-to-safety ratio...You are by far better off with Alpharetta and Duluth. Basically, we are down to Marietta vs. Alpharetta. I'm not knocking Marietta, but this is by far more the 'old-school type area' compared to Alpharetta. Many corporations are relocating to Alpharetta. Its like you go to Marietta you find places like GE, Boeing...Go to Alpharetta you will find places like Etrade, ADP...Overall, I would say Alpharetta is the better bet...But thats just based on what you say. You want a safe, secure, boring, watching the paint dry, Jesus loves...type of life...Alpharetta/Duluth is perfect!!!
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:07 PM
 
27 posts, read 37,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAisGreat View Post
Well they pretty much all suck...LOL. But seeing that you seem to be of the 'bible thumper' type...I'm sure you will love all of them!

As far as cost-to-safety ratio...You are by far better off with Alpharetta and Duluth. Basically, we are down to Marietta vs. Alpharetta. I'm not knocking Marietta, but this is by far more the 'old-school type area' compared to Alpharetta. Many corporations are relocating to Alpharetta. Its like you go to Marietta you find places like GE, Boeing...Go to Alpharetta you will find places like Etrade, ADP...Overall, I would say Alpharetta is the better bet...But thats just based on what you say. You want a safe, secure, boring, watching the paint dry, Jesus loves...type of life...Alpharetta/Duluth is perfect!!!
Thanks for your reply; however, I do not recall "boring" being a criteria of mine -- nope, just double checked and actually wanted fun, but since fun is quite subjective, I won't press. Thanks again and God Bless.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:09 PM
 
27 posts, read 37,351 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by SW30303 View Post
You might find a townhome or condo priced at 90-120 for minimal repairs in parts of Marietta, Alpharetta or Duluth (most of the public schools have really good reputations). Most of these areas are racially diverse as already mentioned and I recommend all of them to most anyone wanting good public schools. Many parts of Gwinnett, Cobb and North Fulton counties will probably work for you as well just from reading your post. Most public school clusters there are quite good.

If you buy a house in that range, it would very limited in those areas. In general for these ares mentioned above, the property would most likely be distressed, quite small in size (less than 1400 sq ft) and/or in need of huge repairs. Buying a foreclosed property is not easy either, there is a big waiting game especially if you are trying to get a loan and not paying cash for the property. For people moving from out of town, that usually doesn't work for them.

I would start with researching public schools on Greatschools.net and narrow your searches around those. You can probably find a deal, but right now in the summer, housing sell more quickly and the prices usually fetch a little higher, too, so if it is possible to wait until fall to spring or so, you may have a better selection at a lower price.

Since you are very new to Atlanta, I would recommend renting first and then buying something later because you may not like where you initially live. I don't think the prices here will rebound anytime soon, but if you were to buy 6 months later (off season from fall or winter to spring), I think you can score a better deal than you can now in the summer. Good luck in your big move across country!
Great ideas about renting and thanks for your insight on the school district. Take Care and God Bless!
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:15 PM
 
27 posts, read 37,351 times
Reputation: 24
Oh and budget house-wise for buying would be $200K - $250K, but I really like the idea of renting first to get a feel of the area better. Someone mentioned Austell - anyone else have any additional 1st hand information on that area? I'm a first rate internet researcher, but I am hoping to get wisdom from those who actually live in/have lived in the area or know more about it than what I can find through various search engines. Thanks.
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