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Old 06-11-2012, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Jersey born & bred
67 posts, read 275,889 times
Reputation: 41

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So I'll be moving to the Atlanta area but only temporarily, for an internship. I don't necessarily need the names of developments or apartment buildings (though I'm open to any suggestions), just the general area I should be looking in.

It'll just be me, a 24 year old woman, and I'll be interning in the Virginia Highland area. Schools are of no concern and I just need an apartment/condo/loft/townhouse. My budget is kind of hard to pinpoint right now since I'll probably need something fully or partially furnished and that will inflate the price but I'm looking for an area where rent is in the $600 - $900/month range because I'd like to keep all my housing expenses (rent, utilities and furniture rental if I absolutely cannot find a furnished place) under $1200/month. Access to public transportation isn't very important since I'll have my car but off-street, preferably covered, parking is necessary.

I'm young but I'm not a party animal and while I don't hate city life, I'm more of a suburban girl. Ideally, I'd like my commute to take 40 minutes or less but I understand that there may not be any suburbs that close so I'm open to quainter, quieter Intown neighborhoods that have boutiques, cafes, bookstores, etc. Sorry if that sounds kind of vague. For those that are familiar with the areas, I'm thinking of something like downtown/Nassau St. in Princeton, NJ and Walnut St. in Shadyside in Pittsburgh. Being close to other shopping areas (big box stores, malls and the like) and any farmers markets would be a perk too.

Obviously, I want someplace clean and safe but that's subjective and there's crime everywhere. I've lived in both Newark and Princeton, NJ, Delaware and both Reading and Pittsburgh, PA so I'm used to a variety of situations. As long as the crime isn't on a Newark level, I'll be fine. I'm black and I don't mind living or not living around any ethnicities. I prefer diversity but lack of diversity isn't a deal breaker. My biggest concerns are:

1.) that it's someplace relatively quiet (not a lot of noisy traffic at all hours, tons of drunk people stumbling home at 2 AM, etc.) but not so far out in the suburbs that I'm surrounded by established families that I have nothing in common with and
2.) that the area has some semi-recent development. I've dealt with carbon monoxide poisoning and mold inhalation due to living in older housing with older appliances and plumbing so I'm pretty paranoid about those kinds of things.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,244 posts, read 16,284,161 times
Reputation: 4924
Inman Park or Old 4th Ward has tons of newer apartment complexes that are not situtated on busy streets. The area around the BeltLine is safe and offers lots of restaurant and sidewalk cafes.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:54 AM
 
2,079 posts, read 2,013,051 times
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If you will be working in the Highlands, I'd try to set yourself up for a commute that does not involve any highways. Honestly if you are willing to accept a smaller space, like a basement studio or carriage house back in the residental side streets of the Highlands, you will have some options and nearly zero commute. The main drag (Highland) in that area gets busy, but the side streets are quiet. I'd make sure you have dedicated parking though, as on-street parking gets competitive on weekends.

Something like the Emory area ( a couple miles east of VaHi) might have some good options for your "furnished" requirement, as schools will get a lot of short-term stays for professors and such. Maybe you could even find a student looking to sub-let an apartment (not sure of your time frame). That area will give you an easy commute, be a younger demographic, and still have a neighborhood feel. Emory runs their own housing bullitien board which may yield more results than craigslist. By going a couple miles west towards Georgia Tech you will get into a much more urban environement, but have more of the same oppurtunities for furnished spaces.

Last edited by red92s; 06-11-2012 at 12:04 PM..
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Jersey born & bred
67 posts, read 275,889 times
Reputation: 41
Thanks for the replies. Can someone tell me the highways and roads to avoid? I've gotten a lot of advice about looking for housing either relatively close to the Highlands or going eastward but that going west or north would involve the major highways and/or going through downtown and that traffic can get pretty bad and double or triple my commute time. I've heard some good things about Atlantic Station also but I don't want to consider it if the traffic makes it unfeasible. Also, would you consider Decatur to be too family-friendly for someone my age? I've gotten mixed reviews, some people say that there are a lot of young professionals there and some say that it's mostly families.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:28 AM
 
Location: atlanta
3,978 posts, read 4,586,023 times
Reputation: 3250
the places you are describing, by looking at google maps, would not be defined as "suburban" here. when you say "suburban" on this forum, people think you're talking about this:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Johns...03.62,,0,-5.68

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Johns...353.7,,0,-3.33

if this is not what you mean, i wouldn't say "suburban". a lot of people from the northeast make this type of mistake because "suburban" up north REALLY means "sub urban" meaning still in an urban area but not as dense.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:37 AM
 
Location: atlanta
3,978 posts, read 4,586,023 times
Reputation: 3250
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlFromJersey View Post
Thanks for the replies. Can someone tell me the highways and roads to avoid? I've gotten a lot of advice about looking for housing either relatively close to the Highlands or going eastward but that going west or north would involve the major highways and/or going through downtown and that traffic can get pretty bad and double or triple my commute time. I've heard some good things about Atlantic Station also but I don't want to consider it if the traffic makes it unfeasible. Also, would you consider Decatur to be too family-friendly for someone my age? I've gotten mixed reviews, some people say that there are a lot of young professionals there and some say that it's mostly families.
atlantic station is a new urban area here, it looks like this:


so you won't find any houses, just condos and apartments. it is okay, but a large part of it is private property so they have all these BS rules about no smoking on the sidewalk, parking, etc. but when it comes to commute time, it won't take more than 20 minutes to get there from Va-Hi even on a bad day.

downtown decatur would be an excellent choice. it's a hop skip and a jump from Va-Hi and is very similar to the areas you described above. in addition to downtown decatur, you may also want to look at oakhurst (which is also in decatur), north druid hills or the old fourth ward.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:38 AM
 
Location: Jersey born & bred
67 posts, read 275,889 times
Reputation: 41
bryantm3, I actually would prefer something like that but I've been told by many people that living in an actual suburban area would mean a ridiculous commute for me and since my internship is only 15-20 hours a week, it wouldn't make sense to spend such a long time in traffic when I'd only be working for a few hours. Though I've lived in various cities and towns, the town I consider to be my hometown is only one square mile and is considered rural by the state (though more of NJ is considered rural than most people think) so I think our definition of suburban are pretty similar. It does seem that young adults seem to stay away from the suburbs in ATL though and that isn't necessarily true up here so I'm finding it hard to strike a balance between location preference and socializing preference.

Thanks for the recs for the other places. I've been told about Druid Hills before so I guess that means I should add that to my list.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:20 AM
 
2,079 posts, read 2,013,051 times
Reputation: 1435
The desire to be in a suburban environement, yet surrounded primarily by people of your age and demographic, are competing interests. Generally younger people live in the more densely popluated areas closer to, or inside, the city. They don't have 3 kids, 2 SUV's, and a labradors they need room for, and don't yet have the financial resources to buy larger homes.

I feel like you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not seriously consdiering just staying in Virginia Highlands. A near-zero commute is a rare gift in Atlanta. You've got plenty of coffee shops, places to eat, and boutiques. I've seen furnished studios and in-law suites in your price range. It's still a very much a neighborhood of single family homes, it just happens to have a great business districe right down the middle of it.

Candler Park could be right up your alley as well.
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Old 06-12-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Jersey born & bred
67 posts, read 275,889 times
Reputation: 41
Yes, I'm finding that to be true. In the places I've lived, while suburbs were certainly more populated by families, young professionals didn't avoid them and a lot of them even preferred them because the rents were cheaper. It seems the commute in the Atlanta area makes the suburbs undesirable for younger people, even with the cheaper housing. I have no objection to staying Virginia Highlands, I just want to amass as much information as possible about the different areas so I can make an informed decision especially since I may stay longer or move after I graduate in December. I have family in the area but they live in Conyers and they're not so great at telling me the differences between intown neighborhoods. They pretty much just say "young people like you live there!", lol.

So far, I've pretty much narrowed it down to some of the areas mentioned here. The Highlands, Druid Hills, Candler Park, Morningside and going no further than Decatur. One of my biggest concerns is really parking. After spending two years living in downtown Pittsburgh where I either had to park in a garage, park on the street for free after certain hours but move my car before 7 am or get a residential parking permit to park close to my place, I'd really like some place that I don't have to compete for parking or pay an arm and a leg for a guaranteed spot. I assume the parking near the stores and coffee shops will be more populated (which I have no problem with) but can anyone tell me if it often spills into the surrounding residential streets?
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:21 PM
 
2,079 posts, read 2,013,051 times
Reputation: 1435
The Highlands will get quite a bit of on-street parking during peak times (weekend nights). Most of the other areas you mentioned are not as competitive, or are just larger and offer free surface lots.

If I was going to live in the Highlands, I'd want to insure I had a dedicated space. Most of the other areas you shouldn't have much problem.

Just to clarify, the Highlands is a very nice residential neighborhood. Homes are expensive, and it's a "family" area. There are some condo buildings and small apartment complexes scattered in there, but it's high-end single family homes for the most part.
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