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Old 06-13-2012, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Whittier, CA
494 posts, read 1,536,059 times
Reputation: 450

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Short story... live in Los Angeles area, profession is a Sr. Software Engineer, make good money (north of $120k) but still can't make it due to the insane cost of housing in this city. A entry level single family home with a backyard, 3-4bd, 2000sqft in a neighborhood decent enough to raise kids costs upwards of $600,000 here (no, this is not beachfront property LOL! areas very inland and what would be considered average in the rest of the country!)

So, being in my late 30s with a single income and wanting to buy my own place I am finally thinking perhaps I HAVE to move out of LA if I ever want to be able to buy something without going dangerously into debt.

Can anyone who has lived in both places give me a brief comparison between Southern California and Atlanta Pros and Cons of moving.

I have already identified a few pros: Closer to the Caribbean (I love to SCUBA and I love the ocean) , solid in terms of IT jobs, cheap housing

Cons: Crime? (not sure about this), commuting/traffic (probably same as LA though), worse weather, no ocean (but I guess it's close enough - Florida or the Caribbean)

I would miss the geography of the west coast though (the Sierra Nevadas, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, the beautiful Pacific Coast etc.) but oh well, that would be a compromise to get ahead.

Edit - can someone also comment on good neighborhoods to live with good school districts and generally on the upper scale of things. Thanks.

Last edited by ducviloxi; 06-13-2012 at 03:44 PM..
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:02 PM
 
Location: North Fulton
1,039 posts, read 1,962,260 times
Reputation: 599
I never lived in LA, but Atlanta has many Californian transplants who move for the same reason, COL (cost of living). Some people don't care for it, while others love Atlanta, but if you decide on a visit to see for yourself that will answer some of your concerns. Some people from SoCal think our summers are unbearable due to the humidity.

The IT jobs are more concentrated in the North Fulton (Alpharetta area) and other areas north of downtown Atlanta. I would try to live near Atlanta if I were single and in your situation as dating is somewhat easier intown than in the sleepy 'burbs.

In a northern suburb, such as Alpharetta, the public schools are decent and you can find a decent sized house for around 250-350K. I would also look at the East Cobb area (Marietta) similar price-range and excellent public schools; these are considered the more affluent suburbs in the area. The drive to the nearest ocean from Atlanta is a solid 5+ hours (GA coast).
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
3,558 posts, read 2,313,834 times
Reputation: 2788
Atlanta is pretty solid for IT jobs right now for those with experience. And the same salary definitely goes much further than LA.

In terms of geography, around Atlanta is pretty flat but in north Georgia (1-2 hour drive) there are a lot of mountains.

And a home in the style you mentioned can easily be had for half that price ($300kish) around here.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
1,957 posts, read 2,000,747 times
Reputation: 2212
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducviloxi View Post
Short story... live in Los Angeles area, profession is a Sr. Software Engineer, make good money (north of $120k) but still can't make it due to the insane cost of housing in this city. A entry level single family home with a backyard, 3-4bd, 2000sqft in a neighborhood decent enough to raise kids costs upwards of $600,000 here (no, this is not beachfront property LOL! areas very inland and what would be considered average in the rest of the country!)

So, being in my late 30s with a single income and wanting to buy my own place I am finally thinking perhaps I HAVE to move out of LA if I ever want to be able to buy something without going dangerously into debt.

Can anyone who has lived in both places give me a brief comparison between Southern California and Atlanta Pros and Cons of moving.

I have already identified a few pros: Closer to the Caribbean (I love to SCUBA and I love the ocean) , solid in terms of IT jobs, cheap housing

Cons: Crime? (not sure about this), commuting/traffic (probably same as LA though), worse weather, no ocean (but I guess it's close enough - Florida or the Caribbean)

I would miss the geography of the west coast though (the Sierra Nevadas, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, the beautiful Pacific Coast etc.) but oh well, that would be a compromise to get ahead.

Edit - can someone also comment on good neighborhoods to live with good school districts and generally on the upper scale of things. Thanks.
$120K/yr will let you live in many areas of the city, but you'll be firmly middle class if that is the only income for your household.

I would forget about SCUBA diving and the ocean being any easier. Atlanta is a 4 hour drive from the nearest coastline and a 1.5 hour flight from south Florida. Bermuda is a ~2.5 hour flight away (direct from ATL), as are many other island destinations.

Housing is definitely cheaper than in CA. If you are willing to go as far as ~35 minutes outside of the city then you can find some large swaths of property for a fair price.

Commuting will probably be worse overall due to the small footprint that commuter rail has out here, but that is completely dependent upon where you work and where you live. It is completely possible to have a 15 minute commute and still live & work in decent parts of town.... but I also know many people who commute 45+ minutes (or more).

I was surprised to find out that there is more crime in Atlanta than LA, so I don't have any information to give you there.

As for the 'upper scale' of things... you're going to have to be more specific. There are 'nice' places tucked in all over the city and metro area. I rent a room in a ~130k townhouse, but there is a 1.4 million dollar house just down the street (on the river), and a neighborhood of nicely landscaped 700k homes one neighborhood over (I jog through it often). Choosing how close or how far from the city, the river, or the country you think you might like to be will help us narrow it down some.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:47 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 1,488,995 times
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Being realistic, he probably wont get anything near 120K moving here. Companies are cheap about paying measily 40k here. Employers take adantage of the cheapness here. Keep that in mind.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
3,558 posts, read 2,313,834 times
Reputation: 2788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onthemove2014 View Post
Being realistic, he probably wont get anything near 120K moving here. Companies are cheap about paying measily 40k here. Employers take adantage of the cheapness here. Keep that in mind.
There are $100k+ positions here in software if you have the qualifications. If your company is cheap, leave. I'm learning that right now. Since Georgia is a completely employer-centric right to work state, it's up to the employee to seek higher wages or better opportunities.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Whittier, CA
494 posts, read 1,536,059 times
Reputation: 450
Quote:
Originally Posted by atltechdude View Post
Atlanta is pretty solid for IT jobs right now for those with experience. And the same salary definitely goes much further than LA.

In terms of geography, around Atlanta is pretty flat but in north Georgia (1-2 hour drive) there are a lot of mountains.

And a home in the style you mentioned can easily be had for half that price ($300kish) around here.
In addition to the cost of the house here there is usually a very steep HOA ($250-350/month), property taxes can run upto 1.5% of the house per year and in some areas there is an additional tax of 1% called Mello Roos. Not to mention income tax rates here CA run upto almost 10%!!

Actually I have done a job search and there are hundreds of $100k+ job openings in my very field!
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:34 PM
 
2,074 posts, read 2,003,839 times
Reputation: 1430
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onthemove2014 View Post
Being realistic, he probably wont get anything near 120K moving here. Companies are cheap about paying measily 40k here. Employers take adantage of the cheapness here. Keep that in mind.
Bitter much?

Here is a salary profile for "Software Engineer V" in Atlanta . . . closest thing to "Senior Software Engineer" I could find. Median is $116k.

Salary.com Salary Wizard- Do you know what you're worth?
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
20 posts, read 31,289 times
Reputation: 20
Well, you probably know that $600,000 in Atlanta can buy you A LOT of house. I've never lived in CA but i have lived in FL before I moved to GA. I like it here, I actually like the weather (except for the humidity in the summer but it's better than FL) About crime and all that, it really depends on which suburb or neighborhood in Atlanta you choose. Some suburbs have very low crime rates (Woodstock, Roswell) while there are some very dangerous hoods (Buckhead, parts of Decatur) Traffic is maybe a little better than L.A. but not much.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:28 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
5,243 posts, read 4,385,621 times
Reputation: 2723
Yes, definitely stay away from buckhead. It is truly frightening.
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