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Old 07-28-2011, 09:09 AM
 
55 posts, read 81,937 times
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Some background first. After having enough of yet another very long, bone-chilling, gray and depressing Chicago winter, spent indoors running financial scenarios to remain in the area despite the weather, taxes and high cost of living, I took another trip for two weeks around Easter (been scouting next place to live for the last 4 years across West/Southwest US). My previous visits included Southern California, Las Vegas, Denver, Greater Phoenix, Dallas/Forth Worth, Austin and Houston, completed with mounds of research on housing, economy, education, jobs, et. al. This time, my search covered Northern Virginia, the Triangle area in NC, Metro Atlanta and West Palm Beach area in Florida.

Fast forward to today, moving truck is pulling in tomorrow morning. We are bound for North Fulton County. And here's why. While the area certainly did not blow me away in terms of downtown “stature” and world-class amenities, I just could not believe the value it offered as a whole. The way I saw it, it was the sum of the parts that kept coming back as the best place for me (consulting professional with no commute and very little travel) and my family (stay at home wife and elementary-aged children) and not individual standards such as most walkable downtown, best venues, cleanest beaches, lowest taxes or year-round weather.

Metro Atlanta has it all. I particularly loved OTP areas, but I'm biased because I've grown accustomed to suburban living. As far as the neighborhood, the quality and size of homes per mortgage dollar, to neighborhood amenities (I could not believe my eyes), quality and performance of schools in North Fulton, amount of shopping and conveniences around, amount of connecting mid-sized communities with likewise resources (Roswell/Alpharetta/Norcross), friendliest people and very diverse. Then it came the infrastructure, with the most resourceful, cleanest, user-friendly airport, to awesome roads, overall cleanliness, and new developments everywhere with the newest standards. Then I went out and experienced outstanding nightlife, restaurants and shopping in larger neighborhoods such as Buckhead and Midtown. I stopped counting at the amount of things we could do as a family (Aquarium, Museum, Piedmont Park), sporting events (almost all major sports, and best of all, college sports crazy), all the malls and all the retail - it was overwhelming!

I loved the fact that the population is very educated, and especially excited about all the colleges in the area. Coming from someone with an engineering degree, I can't wait to dream about my kids attending Georgia Tech (I went to Notre Dame).

One of the reasons top-3 reasons I wanted to move on to a different place to live was the weather. It must have been about 80 the whole time I was there (IN APRIL!). I saw pictures of last year’s Christmas parade and people wearing as little as flip flops to as much as fleece jackets. I was in shock! I sometimes break out my fleece jacket in the Chicago summer nights. Now trust me, I understand what summers are like, I grew up in hell itself (Central America). The way I see it, I hope it gets as hot as possible just so I don’t EVER experience another winter like the ones I had to survive.

I could not believe how green the whole area was. Heck, coming down on the plane all I could see was trees. The flowers, the colors, the grass. I also liked the fact that appears to be a large international presence as many Europeans (British) and Canadians have made Metro Atlanta their home. Having lived in both Canada and Europe, I could see why this was nothing but a positive.

I stumbled upon an outdoor cookout event in Alpharetta and got my hands on some top southern style food. I could barely keep my head up given the outstanding food I tasted, and I should have, because I was missing out on the best-kept secret yet: the women. Holy mother of God. I'm a happily married man, but I felt really strongly it was my duty to inform this pack of mid-20s ladies that it was just reckless to be that hot.

The possibilities of making Metro Atlanta your home base are endless, as you're within driving distance of great places such Nashville, Charlotte, New Orleans, even the best of South Florida and as far north as Washington D.C. – without having to foot the bill to live there. I never got to see the mountains and go on a road trip further north or south, but I have heard the stories about it and could only imagine the scenery.

I don’t know where I’m going with this anymore but just wanted to give my perspective. I can’t wait another day to hit I-65 S down for Nashville as a stop over and get in my new home Monday August 1st. I have very fond memories of Chicago and its suburbs (windycityfan forever), especially the home that my kids only knew about, but I sincerely think the year-round possibilities would make it go away very quickly.

Georgia, here we come!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:15 AM
 
455 posts, read 1,006,437 times
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Default You gave me goosebumps just reading this. I can't wait to get there either and leave behind

the LONG Buffalo winters as well. We had one of the LONGEST winters ever and hardly had a spring. While I was in Florida on spring break in mid-April, my friends at home were getting hit with snow. I agree with EVERYTHING you said. It is a beautiful place, with friendly people and a growing city which excites me. Have a safe trip and I'll be there shortly!! S. Forsyth for me but Johns Creek is only a few miles down the road!
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, Georgia
955 posts, read 2,871,334 times
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Come on down! We just moved to the S. Forsyth/Johns Creek area from Chicago a month ago and love it here. One bad thing that happened for me is that there was a huge storm that hit Chicago last Saturday and I had 6 feet of water in my townhome which i just rented out a month ago. It was a disaster as my insurance would not cover the bill where I had to come up with $20,000 from my own pocket. All my life I lived in Chicago I've never seen that kind of damage done in my town.

I feel safer living in the Johns Creek area from natural disasters and I am thankful to God that my family was in Atlanta and safe from all of this. California has the earthquakes, Florida has the tornadoes. And now, I don't think Chicago is a safe place to live either.


I lived in the northwest suburbs for 10 years before moving to Atlanta on June 30th, 2011.

Last edited by mrpanda; 07-28-2011 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:38 AM
 
55 posts, read 81,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpanda View Post
Come on down! We just moved to the S. Forsyth/Johns Creek area from Chicago a month ago and love it here. One bad thing that happened for me is that there was a huge storm that hit Chicago last Saturday and I had 6 feet of water in my townhome which i just rented out a month ago. It was a disaster as my insurance would not cover the bill where I had to come up with $20,000 from my own pocket. All my life I lived in Chicago I've never seen that kind of damage done in my town.

I feel safer living in the Johns Creek area from natural disasters and I am thankful to God that my family was in Atlanta and safe from all of this. California has the earthquakes, Florida has the tornadoes. And now, I don't think Chicago is a safe place to live either.


I lived in the northwest suburbs for 10 years before moving to Atlanta on June 30th, 2011.
What a shame mrpanda. So sorry to see this happening to you. That storm was awful. After seems like weeks of not a slight drop of rain, the sky broke open. We came out of it unscathed but flooded basements and damage were the main water cooler topic.

Best of luck to you and your family.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:00 PM
 
Location: North Fulton, GA
1,157 posts, read 2,348,556 times
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People weren't wearing flip-flops last Christmas as there was snow on the ground. Of course that was just the warm-up (er, cool down) for the snow/ice mess that cancelled school for a week and caused all sorts of shut-downs. Seems there are very few snowplows here, so when it snows, you have to wait for it to melt before the traffic gets moving.

Also, the 80 degree temps feel great in April, but high humidity and temps reaching 90s most days do get a little old since it has lasted since May. Not complaining, but warning you that the weather here can be a bit brutal at times.

And, one night this spring we spent most of the night in the basement due to the threat of tornadoes- the sirens here in Roswell went off at least three times.

We have been enjoying the great food and restaurants in the metro area, especially the Roswell/Milton ones that feature local foods. And the Pie Hole in Roswell has the best homemade pies (too many varieties to list and they change daily).

Last month we went to Savannah, Hilton Head and Tybee Island (not a bad drive, just boring) and last weekend were up in the north Georgia mountains, so there is a lot to do within 1-5 hours from Atlanta.
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
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Welcome to Johns Creek!
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
738 posts, read 1,155,898 times
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It's nice to hear a newcomer's perspective, from someone who has chosen to move here recently. I did that myself (from Boston originally) but it's been 15+ years and sometimes it's hard to remember why I came. I do recall being impressed by a lot of the things you mentioned (cleanliness, friendly people, lower cost of living, great airport, mild winters) but now I sorta take them for granted. Thank you for the reminder!
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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Ditto!!! We moved here for the same reasons! Welcome! Not night life people, but just good to know we can always pop into Atlanta for events and stuff.
Didn't come from a snow state (CA), but heed the warning, the summers are BRUTAL here. Too hot (and sunny) to really do any outdoor activites for the whole summer, and if you wait until nightfall, it's slightly cooler without the sun, but those dang mosquitoes are waiting for you - ARGH! For reference, our east facing non AC'd garage had been consistantly 85-95 degrees since May. Can't wait until fall...
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:46 PM
 
55 posts, read 81,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamlym View Post
Ditto!!! We moved here for the same reasons! Welcome! Not night life people, but just good to know we can always pop into Atlanta for events and stuff.
Didn't come from a snow state (CA), but heed the warning, the summers are BRUTAL here. Too hot (and sunny) to really do any outdoor activites for the whole summer, and if you wait until nightfall, it's slightly cooler without the sun, but those dang mosquitoes are waiting for you - ARGH! For reference, our east facing non AC'd garage had been consistantly 85-95 degrees since May. Can't wait until fall...
Um, I grew up in Central America. That's like, on the Equator. Which means, the hottest place on earth.

All sarcasm aside, it's never too hot or sunny for me or my family to keep us from enjoying life. The same can't be said about winter. Besides this, Chicago summers are hot too. It's been low 90s for long stretches and our garage is boiling red too. Our backyards have mosquitoes too - heck, you can't even open your mouth due to swarm of gnats.

All in all, I understand your concern and trust me, I know what I'm getting into. I appreciate your comments. The way I think of it though, I'd rather melt and die of dehydration than ever live through another dark, arctic winter. And it's not even close. It's far manageable for us to cool down than spend 6 months out of the year indoors.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Sandy Springs, GA
197 posts, read 442,284 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamlym View Post
Ditto!!! We moved here for the same reasons! Welcome! Not night life people, but just good to know we can always pop into Atlanta for events and stuff.
Didn't come from a snow state (CA), but heed the warning, the summers are BRUTAL here. Too hot (and sunny) to really do any outdoor activites for the whole summer, and if you wait until nightfall, it's slightly cooler without the sun, but those dang mosquitoes are waiting for you - ARGH! For reference, our east facing non AC'd garage had been consistantly 85-95 degrees since May. Can't wait until fall...
I've lived in many different places around the country and I actually don't think the summers are that bad here. Granted the Summer like weather did start earlier than normal this year and it has persisted longer than normal but that is occurring all over the country this year. Usually the real high temp days only last for brief period of time. To put it in perspective, I just spoke with a colleague today in Indiana and he told me that in the area of Indiana he's in the real temp (not heat index) there today was 104 degrees and at that same time it was only 90 degrees here.
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