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Old 10-26-2011, 01:08 PM
Location: Atlanta
12 posts, read 15,939 times
Reputation: 22


Hi all - I've been lurking in these forums for about 4 months now while a possible work transfer has been brewing. I'm now on the brink of accepting the offer and I'd like some guidance from you.

My husband, my 8 month old, my two dogs (medium size 50lbs each) and I would be moving from Los Angeles to Atlanta in January. My job is looking for someone to go to Atlanta and we are looking for a place a little better to raise a family than urban Los Angeles. I am originally from the North East (suburbs) and my husband grew up in the Mountain West.

We're looking to rent first to really get to know the different areas we are interested in and then buy within a year. Some questions related to renting: 1) How hard is it to find a place that will rent to someone with dogs? In LA having two dogs over 30lbs makes finding a rentable space very difficult and much more expensive - is that true in Atlanta as well? 2) How hard is it to find someplace with a 6 month lease? We're really hoping to buy, but I feel way more comfortable getting to know the city a little bit before we buy. I just don't want to be tied into a year long lease dying for it to be over so we can buy. This isn't a huge issue though.

Answers to the "sticky" questions

1. Budget - $350-400k for buying/ Around $1500 for renting (can go higher, if needed)
2. House/Condo/Townhome? Prefer a house for both renting and buying - also need a yard for the dogs
3. Employment Status(commute/work from home) - I'll be working, husband doesn't have a job yet
3a. Work Location - My job is in Buckhead. My husband is looking at a few companies, one of which is in Alpharetta, also thinking of possibly attending SCAD for a masters degree
4. Children(public school vs. private) - When we buy I'd like to be in a good school district - I'd prefer to send our kids to public school as that is part of the reason why we are leaving LA - the public schools here are awful and private school just seems like an extreme expense that can be avoided by living somewhere with good enough schools.
5. Suburban or Urban lifestyle preference or a mix of the two - We're looking to live somewhere more suburban - we're leaving LA because we feel like we are constantly ontop of people.
6. Easy access to public transit, important or not? Not hugely important to us
7. Preferable demographics of desired neighborhood. - Would like young working families, strong "community" feeling, lots of young kids for our kids to grow up with
8. Airport access - not that important - neither of us travel frequently for work

In the research I've done I've been told Chamblee would be a good fit, we've also looked at Roswell (another company that my husband is interested in is located in Roswell), and Dunwoody. It seems like Decatur might fit our needs too from reading on this board, but I don't know much about it. If my husband were to get a job in Alpharetta what would be the best place for us to live "in between" our two jobs? Is that commute doable?

That's the low down for now - this pretty much sums up my feelings about the move right now

Thanks for any/all help!
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:25 PM
2,373 posts, read 3,726,245 times
Reputation: 1577
Chamblee is not bad but would not have immediately come to mind as a best fit.

Renting with two dogs should not be a major issue. Apartments tend to have a size limit more than houses. 6 month leases are doable but you would likely have to pay more per month.

At your price range you should have lots of options as to where to live. Decatur or other intown communities are nice but would be a lousy commute if your husband ends up working in Alpharetta. On the north side of Buckhead you could look at Brookhaven or Sandy Springs. Johns Creek would also be a good option (excellent schools) but a little more of a commute for you.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:25 PM
8,270 posts, read 10,209,538 times
Reputation: 6379
For your main two questions:

1) Not hard at all. A lot of communities are even putting up fences and advertising that they have their own "dog parks." Okay, so they're not real dog parks, but still how awesome is it to have an off leash area right in your own complex?

2) Almost every community offers 6 month leases. Usually it will cost like $50-$100 more per month than a 12 month lease.

Your other questions aren't all that terribly important to answer here because you'll be able to sort out your own answers in the period you are renting before you buy.

Most of what I have said applies to "corporate" style apartments owned and managed by professional leasing companies. If you rent a house, the rules will vary all over the map since they will be determined by individual home owners.

I don't think Chamblee would be a terrible area for you since it is close to Buckhead. It's a little lower on the socioeconomic scale, but it still has nice areas. Probably what I would do, though, is go for Sandy Springs close to GA 400. Easy for you to drop into Buckhead, and also not a bad ride up to Alpharetta. Decatur would be awful for everyone, tough commute to Buckhead and going to Alpharetta from there will make your husband want to slit his wrists. The key for you guys is going to be PROXIMITY TO GEORGIA 400 since it is the road that goes straight into Buckhead AND up to Roswell/Alpharetta. That means Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Roswell.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:51 PM
Location: Atlanta
12 posts, read 15,939 times
Reputation: 22
Thanks for the input so far!

Will look to stay near GA 400. We're used to horrendus commutes at the moment coming from LA (I have a 13 mile commute that takes me at least 45 minutes on a daily basis) but would love to change that if possible.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:03 PM
Location: 30328
425 posts, read 1,585,124 times
Reputation: 153
Even in Sandy Springs you want to avoid bottleneck corridors. For example, to the west of Roswell Road, you want to avoid Johnson Ferry road. Having to travel that road every day you will start to wonder "how am I saving commute time living in Sandy Springs?"

The convenient areas of Sandy Springs are anywhere south of 285, down lake forrest, glenridge/hammond area, and riverside area. Go too far into Johnson Ferry and you'll start hating all cars w/ Cobb plate on them. Also north of Abernathy is not as nice.
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