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Old 07-26-2011, 07:11 AM
 
Location: England
7 posts, read 7,497 times
Reputation: 13

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After much delay (over a year ), I am shortly expecting a job offer (followed by long negotiations over terms ...) to transfer with my multi-national company from the UK to the Marietta area shortly. This should then lead to a move to the Atlanta area late this year or early next year .
Haiving had some time to look at potential areas, we have narrowed our choices down to Roswell or the Roswell side of East Cobb. Selection being based on ease (relative) of commute to Marietta and the better quality of schooling in that area. Comments .......
We are a family of 4 with two children aged 5 and 8, and with a housing budget of $500k to $600k.
We have two questions which we would appreciate some advice please ....
We will almost certainly rent at first but with the number of different elementary schools close togehter in the area, what happens if we rent in one school district for 6 months, then buy in another close by. Moving from the UK will no doubt be a challenge, and we would not want to get our children settled in one school, only to have to move them again. Can someone explain if there is a way round this, as everything I have read, suggests the school is linked directly to your home address .....
Also, having looked around we are unsure whether to go for a resale home or a new build. There do seem to be a number of new developments in the area which at first view look great But ....
- what sort of premium are we likely to pay for New against Resale, and
- which builders are considered at the "Better" end of housebuilding in the area. I'm guessing that house builders in the US are similar to here, there are the reliable quality ones and those to avoid; any pointers would be appreciated
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:37 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,205 posts, read 4,262,650 times
Reputation: 870
Welcome, harbers, and best wishes for your prospective move. I'm a Commonwealth native, naturalized US citizen and resident of the Roswell portion of East Cobb.

About public school attendance zones, I'm afraid there are no exceptions, as far as I know. If you rent in the zone of school A then later buy a home in the zone of school B, your children will have to transfer from A to B. As you say, this would be undesirable. About the only mitigating factor is that the school zones here are quite large, relative to UK standards. Public elementary schools typically have around 500 students, most of whom ride a bus to school.

The academic quality of the schools in this area is very good. Don't be misled by any claims about Georgia schools being bad, the Atlanta Public Schools scandal (North Fulton and East Cobb counties are not part of APS), etc. Georgia public schools vary depending on local demographics. I was educated in highly reputed schools in New Zealand, UK and Canada (decades ago), and in comparison with my schooling, I feel my child has been very well served by Cobb County schools.

Given the decline in US housing markets generally, and in the Atlanta area specifically, your housing budget is fairly high-end for this area and should get you into a large, well-appointed home. I hope others can answer your specific questions in this area since my exposure to the housing market is well below your price range.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:21 PM
 
397 posts, read 377,139 times
Reputation: 226
New homes are very badly built here compared to the UK and most will have a 1 year warranty compared to your 10 year NHCA one. Also be prepared for much higher maintenance costs, insurance and council tax.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:47 AM
 
Location: England
7 posts, read 7,497 times
Reputation: 13
Many thanks for your reply Rainy,
Re the school district question, I'm wondering about the merits of renting for more than just a very short initial period, if we were to have the hassle of changing school area. There are so many good areas around Roswell / Cobb but the school districting, especially in Roswell for Mountain Park / Roswell North seem a little disjointed. We would be gutted for the children in having to change schools so I guess whether we decide to rent for a while, or buy early we really need to be sure of the school we want to get our children into. Is that a fair observation ?
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:53 AM
 
Location: England
7 posts, read 7,497 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks for your reply JP
Surely there are some "Better" housebuilders in the area.
Having bought new in the UK the quality here does vary massively between builder, and some UK new homes are really poor.
I did read somewhere that Wieland Homes are supposedly one of the most reputable in Atlanta.
Are they, or are there others out there who are equally good ?
Similarly are there builders to avoid ?
Or would we be better with a resale - but presumably these are generally going to be built by the same people who are building now .....
Thanks for any opinions.
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