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Old 06-17-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Long Island
131 posts, read 314,532 times
Reputation: 60

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Hi everyone! My husband has an opportunity to transfer to a location in Atlanta, GA with his company. We love where we live now (Long Island, New York) but it is just too expensive and we need to find a more affordable place to live. His company actually has 5 different locations that are hiring for his position that he would be able to transfer to so I am trying to figure out which location would be the best for us. They all offer the same pay so it really comes to a matter of which area would fit us best. I will start by listing the locations then telling all of you a little about us:

#1 Buckhead Loop, Atlanta
10575 Davis Drive, Alpharetta
790 Cobb Place Blvd NW, Kennesaw
2275 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth
3206 Buford Drive, Buford

**I would also like to state that we are looking for a 1 bedroom, 1 bath and a single family home for no more than $800 a month. We are sick of apartments/condos. My husband would like a commute no longer than a 15/20 minute drive.

About Us:
-Husband love freshwater fishing, especially for largemouth bass. He fishes daily.

-We like medium sized towns. We hate big city living but also don't want to have to drive 10 miles for a grocery store, so a nice little suburb would be suffice.

-Safety is one of our #1 priorities.

-We go out to eat frequently and enjoy going bowling a few times a week. Nearby bowling alley & restaurants would be nice, maybe even a nice downtown area?

-We do not go out and drink at bars but my husband does enjoy going to get a pack of beer on game days (which are frequently on Sundays) so an area where we could buy beer on a Sunday? When we passed through Georgia on our drive from FL to NY we went to a Ruby Tuesdays in Dublin and he couldn't order a beer since it was Sunday but I'm not aware of other towns that have that law.

-My vision isn't the best but at night it gets pretty bad unless there's lights and I noticed on our drive through Georgia that the roads weren't well lit in some areas, and when we were driving to my aunts house in Cummings there were absolutely no lights at all and my husband had to take over the wheel since I couldn't see, so I really need an area that has lights (sorry if this sounds ridiculous lol)

-We want a family friendly community. We don't have kids but do plan on having some in the near future.

-I'm still in college and I am currently going to a community college for Criminal Justice but am also going to Culinary school for baking as a backup. I would need a nearby Community College and also a nearby Culinary School. No more than a 20 minute drive preferably.

That's all I can think of, if any of you could help us out I would really appreciate it.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,268,204 times
Reputation: 4205
Any of those locations, except for the Buckhead location, would fit well for you two.

For $800 you should be able to find something within a 15 minute drive. Those are all suburban locations with lots of affordable housing. You're essentially paying for how much house you buy/rent the further out of town you get.

Many of our streets aren't well lit. The closer you are to a freeway, mall, or town center area the more street lights there are (and more ambient light from retail businesses). We also tend to have alot of secondary roads that do not have as much traffic as the main arterial streets, but they are frequently old back country roads built before the suburban growth took over. This means they are really hilly, curvy, ... and dark.

Something tells me you will like Buford the best, followed by Kennesaw. These are suburban areas near the exurban fringe. If you are near the freeway you will find well light areas, lots of retail, really nice malls. Down the road you will find new neighborhoods and further away you will find a exurban mix. Lots of undeveloped land with new neighborhoods dotting the area.

It would also be easy to get to Cumming, since you already know at east someone there.

Alpharetta is very suburban, a little more established, and a little bit pricier.

Buckhead is actually its own business district. Compact tall buildings. The housing around is the most expensive in town. You're looking at getting a small apartment or a long commute!

The Duluth location can work for you. There is affordable housing nearby, but at that price you'd be choosing a house that isn't quite as nice. It's an established suburb built in the 80s. The issue there is it has struggled to keep the retail area near the mall nice, because when they built the mall at the Buford location (Mall of Georgia) it made 3 malls in one small stretch through Gwinnett Co. Basically the county was over-retailed. Everyone went to the really nice, new shiny mall, leaving Duluth/Gwinnett Place behind to struggle. I actually live somewhat nearby. There are still plenty of areas nice to live, but given your desire for the outdoors and escaping the city... Buford sounds like a perfect fit for you.

The only warning I will add... the more exurban/rural you go, the less street light there will be and you will find lots of local traffic problems. It is a rapidly growing area, which means we are stretched to keep our infrastructure up with the growth.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:01 AM
 
7,711 posts, read 9,545,692 times
Reputation: 5678
I'd also say Buford is your best bet.

It feels like it's in the country, but since it's an exurb it has a lot of the amenities of the city.

People fish in the Chattahoochee all the time right near Buford Dam. I don't know if you can catch big mouth bass there, but they are constantly releasing rainbow trout from the hatchery. The water they release into the river is from the bottom of the lake, so it is in the mid 50's year round, so think cold water fish. I'm sure he can also fish in Lake Lanier, but I don't know what kind of fish it has...probably a bit of everything. I'm sure there are also more local fishing holes that I'm not aware of, the people that live up there tend to be into that type of thing, so I'm sure he will find out quickly!

Buford is also close to Mall of Georgia which has everything in the world you can possibly imagine as far as retail goes.

I don't know about bowling alleys, but I do know there is a huge Stars and Strikes in Dacula, which is probably about 15 minutes away. There is probably somewhere closer, though. The Dave & Busters in Discover Mills has bowling as well, but I think it is always cosmic bowling, not often the traditional kind.

Don't worry about booze in metro Atlanta. Every single county and city in the metro area to my knowledge overturned the ban on Sunday sales a few months ago. Some places in rural Georgia probably didn't, but it got thrown out in landslide votes all over metro Atlanta, even as far out as Buford.

If you decide on Buford but are interested in total family friendliness, you can check out nearby Suwanee which is like total family nirvana, even bordering on sickeningly so for people without kids. If he works in Buford, you can live in the northern part of Suwanee where you can likely get more house for your money. There is lots of money in the area, though, so I don't know how much house you will be able to buy on the budget you are talking about. Definitely a 1 bedroom apartment for $800 should be more than doable, but for houses....I've never heard of a 1 bedroom/1 bathroom single family home anywhere in the Atlanta metro.

Kennesaw is probably going to skew cheaper. I don't know anything about the area over there, but there should be plenty of what you are looking for in nearby Woodstock or Canton. They sure do have some dark roads over there, though! It's really in the country, think horse farms and lots of open land.

Alpharetta is a beautiful area. It's a little less "good ol' southern boy" and more of a suburb for people who largely commute to Atlanta for work. Lots of tech firms are headquartered there and it's a bit more uppity. It might actually fit in best for Long Island sensibilities, aside from Buckhead, which is completely not the vibe you are describing.

Previous poster is correct about Pleasant Hill, it's a bit older and more rundown. The community is trying to revitalize the area, but it seems to slip a little more each year. The only new businesses that are really thriving is the Korean businesses because that's how the demographics are going. I'm not saying the Target, Kohls, and Toys R Us are going to pull out tomorrow, but Barnes & Noble recently closed its store there and some of the local restaurants have relocated to the more profitable Mall of Georgia area. It's definitely the most ethnically diverse area on the list, though, if that's important to you. You can also live in nearby Duluth or Lawrenceville and have a decent commute once he figures out the backroads (Pleasant Hill is best avoided).

I would recommend coming and having a look before deciding anything. Atlanta is known for having hidden gems all over the place, but really, a weekend would be plenty of time to visit each area and get a feel for it. Just skip Buckhead because it's too far away from fishing and your budget isn't even in the right stratosphere for it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:46 AM
 
2,074 posts, read 2,002,327 times
Reputation: 1430
1 Bedroom, 1 bathroom detached houses are extremely rare here. There are some in the oldest parts of the city closest to downtown (Cabbagetown) that were originally built for mill workers. Even 2/1's are increasingly harder to find as more and more older homes are renovated, or knocked down and rebuilt.

In most of the areas suggest below (Kennesaw, Buford, Alpharetta) you will be hard pressed to find a detached home with less than 3 bedrooms. Those suburbs have really grown in recent decades specifically because it was so cheap and easy to build larger homes.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:08 AM
 
Location: atlanta
3,967 posts, read 4,562,154 times
Reputation: 3217
Quote:
Originally Posted by breakingpointe516 View Post
H
-Husband love freshwater fishing, especially for largemouth bass. He fishes daily.
i actually did a google search on this; it's very common to fish for largemouth bass in the chattahoochee river but i don't know if i would eat them if they came from the chattahoochee (but that's just me). we have creeks all over the place and a few man made lakes. talk to your husband and see if he knows what environment bass fish are the most common in (lakes, rivers, streams?) and maybe that would help?

Quote:
-We do not go out and drink at bars but my husband does enjoy going to get a pack of beer on game days (which are frequently on Sundays) so an area where we could buy beer on a Sunday? When we passed through Georgia on our drive from FL to NY we went to a Ruby Tuesdays in Dublin and he couldn't order a beer since it was Sunday but I'm not aware of other towns that have that law.
thankfully the city of atlanta and the suburbs close in have all gotten rid of that archaic law. there are spots here and there where the jurisdiction of the city ends and you'll find a spot where you can't buy beer on sunday, but it shouldn't be a problem.

Quote:
-My vision isn't the best but at night it gets pretty bad unless there's lights and I noticed on our drive through Georgia that the roads weren't well lit in some areas, and when we were driving to my aunts house in Cummings there were absolutely no lights at all and my husband had to take over the wheel since I couldn't see, so I really need an area that has lights (sorry if this sounds ridiculous lol)
i know what you're talking about— i was driving around birmingham road, post road, etc. near cumming a couple of months ago and i damn near ran off the road several times— i had to go 30 when the speed limit was 55. to avoid this kind of situation, live closer in to town.

from all it sounds like you want, you may like either decatur (WITHIN the city limits— i stress that because most of the east side of atlanta has a decatur mailing address but only 5% of it is inside the city limits), roswell, or you may want to check out vinings or marietta. the latter two are near the river, and the former is near the lake in avondale and several other creeks. they all offer a downtown area with restaurants and bars, and all are family friendly.

a lot of the above posters are recommending buford but i think they're doing so for the fishing aspect since it's near lake lanier. but that far out, you're going to have to drive 20 miles to get to a downtown area with bars and restaurants, the streets aren't well lit (buford and cumming are neighbours), and it's far from any culinary school that i know of. if the fishing is that important, i'm sure lake lanier is a great place to do it but there are better alternatives with great places to fish as well considering the other parts of the equation.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:35 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,098,619 times
Reputation: 3502
The only ones I can comment on are buford and alpharetta. I lived in Alpharetta for a few years and didn't like it and I wouldn't recommend it therefore that's as far as I'm going to go with that.

Buford, OTOH, you should find most of what you're looking for.
Finding a single family home in that price range is no sweat if you buy the home as there is a major overbuilding and oversupply problem but I don't think you'll find one to rent in that range. You won't find a 1/1 either. What you might consider doing however, is temporarily renting an apt.... hear me out... then as you save up money, buy a piece of land and build your own cottage. That's the only way you're going to get a small house. That may be partly due to the building codes or zoning restrictions. The one thing I would warn you about is buying a house in this area before you're 100% sure you want to live in that house forever. That's because with the oversupply and overbuilding, that makes it cheap to buy but impossible to sell.

There's a bowling alley nearby and lake lanier is nearby which is a fishing destination. Some of the most beautiful mountain fishing and cheap (or free) camping is only about 45m-1 hr away.

In my area, the police show up usually within 2 minutes, yes two minutes. But I'm in the vicinity of Bogan Park where there are cops often waiting for calls there.


Unlike the rest of the metro area, Gwinnett is pretty good about lighting the streets. That was one of the things I liked when I moved here. Not only lighted roads, but GOOD roads. Even some of the backwoods secondary roads have lights scattered about.

Grocery stores... no shortage of those although we don't have a whole foods and we are about a 45mins drive from the nearest one .

However...
The one thing you're going to have a problem finding here is a community college. Unfortunately we just don't have any. I never understood why. Most people here drive up to the Gainesville State college for their schoolin'. It's a haul. Going to be at the edge of your 20 minutes limit at best.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Long Island
131 posts, read 314,532 times
Reputation: 60
We don't care if it has 3 bedrooms, but we'd prefer a 1 bedroom because we don't need the extra space. However if we can only find a 2 or 3 bedroom we will be okay with that. Maybe we could bring in a roommate.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:39 PM
 
Location: North Fulton
1,039 posts, read 1,961,262 times
Reputation: 599
With the rental rate you posted (800), your better bets are near Kennesaw or Buford, which are both far-flung suburbs. They are both near lakes. I know Buford a little better than I do Kennesaw, and overall, they are kinda similar. Of course, I would choose what is closest to where your work is since traffic here is awful during rush hour.

For school reasons, you might do better to live in Kennesaw and try to go to KSU (Kennesaw State University) to finish college. There are options in Gwinnett as well where Buford is. The colleges in Gwinnett are mostly 2 year or satellite campuses of other colleges but there are other college options in near-by Gainesville, for example.
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: GA
2,738 posts, read 9,350,223 times
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You could choose the Duluth or Buford location and live in Suwanee. I am not sure about renting a house for 800. There's bowling, shopping, restaurants, and a nice new downtown. The area has good shopping with well lit roads. Suwanee is very family friendly. Good luck!
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:28 AM
 
Location: atlanta
3,967 posts, read 4,562,154 times
Reputation: 3217
i can't for the life of me figure out why everyone wants you to live in the boonies... however i would definitely make a trip and figure out whether you want to live intown, in the suburbs or in the exurbs. out buford way is definitely in the exurbs which is why i can't understand why everyone's recommending it.
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