U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-19-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
141 posts, read 235,837 times
Reputation: 88

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by msh0146 View Post
I don't want to be negative, but here are my $0.02.

What you are looking for does not exist. A hidden gem neighborhood in the city where you can buy a home big enough for a small family in a solid school district for $170K?

Look, this is a major metro area of over six million souls. You might find something like this in Kansas City or somewhere else in flyover country, but in Atlanta? I wish you luck, but I don't think so. I went through similar research while assessing a job opportunity in NOVA just outside of DC and I was stunned by the real estate costs. Large, relatively desirable cities with job markets that either haven't stalled (NOVA) or should recover quickly (ATL) are simply going to cost more.

You may need to re-set your expectations and will need to increase your budget somewhat, I am afraid.

Good luck.

Thanks for your honesty, Msh. It's greatly appreciated. I should add, however, that my expectations are quite modest compared to many people. To me, a house large enough for a small family would be 800-900 square feet or more. We plan to have one child and only need two bedrooms. Of course 3 would be even better, but we're simple. My husband and are rather minimal in needs and wants. I'm not expecting to get a new or even a renovated home. Just something well cared for in a safe neighborhood.
I don't even know how "solid" any school district is in intown Atlanta. There's been so many shifts lately. I just thought I'd throw this question out here to see what other residents would suggest or have experienced. And to be honest, I'm rather surprised at what I've found with all the great suggestions here. I've seen quite a few homes that would meet our needs (and budget) already. So I'm keeping hopeful.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-19-2012, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
141 posts, read 235,837 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Kirkwood is zoned for Drew Charter, the oldest and one of the best charter schools in GA. Many parents from the neighborhood send their kids there for middle school. Toomer is a great elementary school winning the governor's award this year.

Thanks, cqholt. Kirkwood has been rather surprising! It seems to have made so many improvements in recent years. It seems like a neighborhood I should definitely look more into.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,147 posts, read 16,140,747 times
Reputation: 4894
There are good deals to be found all over East Lake, Edgewood, and Kirkwood. I'm sure other neighborhoods too, but this is where I spend most of my time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 12:17 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 1,487,112 times
Reputation: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
Also wanted to note that I live in the city with kids because I don't like driving long distances to work and I would rather spend time with my kids at home and be able to make it to PTA meetings and other activities rather than spend time in traffic. We used to live in Cobb county and sometimes it would take over an hour to get home and I just didn't want to deal with all that traffic anymore as I felt it took away time from my family. Also, I save money on gas and car repairs/maintenance that I can use to pay for activities for my kids as I rarely drive now outside of a 5 mile radius (downtown, midtown, Little 5 points, West Midtown, Buckhead, etc, are all within 5 miles of my house and I can take and know backstreets so I am not perpetually stuck in traffic and can enjoy more of the city with my kids).
Doing it right. Having a big house isn't the holy grail.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 12:22 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 1,487,112 times
Reputation: 409
Quote:
Originally Posted by msh0146 View Post
I don't want to be negative, but here are my $0.02.

What you are looking for does not exist. A hidden gem neighborhood in the city where you can buy a home big enough for a small family in a solid school district for $170K?

Look, this is a major metro area of over six million souls. You might find something like this in Kansas City or somewhere else in flyover country, but in Atlanta? I wish you luck, but I don't think so. I went through similar research while assessing a job opportunity in NOVA just outside of DC and I was stunned by the real estate costs. Large, relatively desirable cities with job markets that either haven't stalled (NOVA) or should recover quickly (ATL) are simply going to cost more.

You may need to re-set your expectations and will need to increase your budget somewhat, I am afraid.

Good luck.

1. Atlanta metro does not have "over 6million people". Try just over 5million.

2. The job market is nothing compared to DC. ATL's economy is in the dumps and not " should recover quickly".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 01:04 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 5,071,217 times
Reputation: 911
Great question by OP. As they suggested they may be best off waiting a few years since they haven't had their child yet they have time on their side and I assume they like the area they are in otherwise. As a city resident and a new parent it is fun to look at the possibilities and even though it will be a few years before I consider a SFH I do like to look, many cool neighborhoods although Grant Park seems appealing to me lately.

5 years from now when your child is school age perhaps your local school will be decent or at least comfortable enough as a backup should you not get into a charter. In a city changing so fast 5 years can be a long time.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 02:28 PM
 
14,375 posts, read 7,085,168 times
Reputation: 7421
Forgot to mention that you can see about joining the board of a charter school either a new one or existing one, an existing one may be hard to join the board but usually they are open to having members of the community join. At most charters that will guarantee any future a children a spot in that particular school but you have to check the by-laws of the charter to be sure of this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 02:42 PM
 
14,375 posts, read 7,085,168 times
Reputation: 7421
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfish27 View Post
Thanks Residinghere! I do use GreatSchools because some of the reviews are helpful but like any other review site I take a lot of them with a grain of salt.

I think your idea of visiting schools is wonderful, however we don't have a child yet. We're considering buying a house and plan to start a family very soon, so schools are playing a key role in our decision. However it seems like many of the local districts are changing so much with redistricting, cheating scandals, school closures, etc. I'd hate to buy a home because of certain schools only to have the local school closed. I'm wondering now if maybe we should just wait until we have a child and are a little closer to school age before we decide.
I totally understand your predicament. I went through similar feelings before moving back to the city a few years ago in regards to where to send my son to school. He was 3 at the time and we only had one income and could not afford to live in the areas that are considered the best districts. I did come to the realization and a lot of other parents I know have come to the same realization, that education is more important in the home, the early years of a child's life than what will go on at school, especially at the elementary level (I place more weight on school from grades 5 and up). Also at each school, individual teachers are more important and their programs, how they teach each child, versus their test scores or reputations as "good." I know a few families who children go to "good" elementary schools in particular who seem less satisfied with their child's educational experiene due to what I mentioned above, a focus on test material or the cramming of memorization into their kids, excessive homework (3 hours plus per night for a 2nd grader) and higher class sizes/overcrowding. A lot of what are considered to be "mediocre" schools just have a large percentage of kids who were not taught at home very well before coming to school. I know at MA Jones, my son received excellent instruction from his teachers, even the one I didn't like was decent and he made sure to challenge my son with things that were above his grade level. All the teachers were very attentive to him and nuturing. Even with the bad apple kids I did feel they gave him adequate attention but I wanted for him to have a superior educational experience, which is why we took a chance on the charter school he goes to now and I am highly satisfied with the charter. All charters are not equal either BTW, some are worse than traditional schools and I was hesitant in putting my son in a charter.

A few of the schools in APS I know in particular will not have many changes over the next 4 years. Like I said, the Jackson cluster is growing and there is a lot of talk that they will be a great cluster in the future. There are still a lot of affordable houses in that area and if I were looking for a good school for my kids I would either look there or Riverside/Whittier Mill area, which is zoned for North Atlanta. We were thinking of moving within the city to find a place with a larger yard (we have 2 big dogs that need some space) and was looking at the east, SE, and westside areas due to these school zones. But I will probably end up moving back to Ohio where I'm from before my son hits high school as I'm from a smaller city, like the poster mentioned above and pretty much every school is decent there, plus they have vouchers so I can send my kids to private schools for free.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home...CHICAGO
3,315 posts, read 3,759,184 times
Reputation: 3944
Quote:
Originally Posted by starfish27 View Post
Thanks for your honesty, Msh. It's greatly appreciated. I should add, however, that my expectations are quite modest compared to many people. To me, a house large enough for a small family would be 800-900 square feet or more. We plan to have one child and only need two bedrooms. Of course 3 would be even better, but we're simple. My husband and are rather minimal in needs and wants. I'm not expecting to get a new or even a renovated home. Just something well cared for in a safe neighborhood.
I don't even know how "solid" any school district is in intown Atlanta. There's been so many shifts lately. I just thought I'd throw this question out here to see what other residents would suggest or have experienced. And to be honest, I'm rather surprised at what I've found with all the great suggestions here. I've seen quite a few homes that would meet our needs (and budget) already. So I'm keeping hopeful.
I have to agree with Msh.

What you are looking for does not exist in town at that price unless you are ok with renting, or buying a very small condo flat. You say you are fine with 800-900 sq. ft. because you only want to have one child, but trust me, as a family, you will outgrow that space very quickly.

I moved from Avondale Estates to Stone Mountain to Virginia-Highland/Druid Hills because the schools in those suburban towns are horrible. My daughter did horribly in school and had behavioral problems when she went to school while we lived in Avondale Estates. We moved in town to Virginia-Highland, I transferred her to Mary Lin and she became a completely different child. Her behavior changed and her grades shot up. She went to Inman Middle School and is now going into her sophomore year in high school. She has been on the honor roll since middle school, was on the exceptional honor roll during her freshman year, has received many awards, and is taking accelerated math courses for the summer. I attribute that to us moving in town to a really good school district. When I lived in VA-HI, I only saw one bedroom condos for sale at the price you are seeking. Single family homes start at $700k there and a two bedroom condo may run $250k. Since the economy you might be able to catch some deals but because of the area, I doubt it. The schools are great though!

These are the following schools in the VA-HI/Druid Hills Area:

Mary Lin Elementary
Springdale Elementary
Morningside Elementary
Fernbank Elementary
Inman Middle School
Grady High School
Paidea School (Private)

I don't know much about the charter schools because I never felt the need to put my child in one since living in that district.

We live in Buckhead now so she attends North Atlanta High School. Everything is a trade-off. I only want to live in town and because I am a single parent who doesn't make a lot of money currently, I accept that I will most likely not be a homeowner. But I'd rather live in town and have access to all the amenities and good schools and rent than buy in the 'burbs where there's nothing to do, long commutes and ****ty schools.

You have to evalulate what is top priority for you and your future family. Is homeownership that much of priority for what you want? Something to think about.

I can't speak for all major cities, but at least for Atlanta, I've found that living in the suburbs isn't necessarily the key to a better life if you are wanting to raise children. I've experienced more crime and dangerous situations when I lived in Avondale Estaes and Stone Mountain. When I lived in the above-mentioned areas, my place was robbed, I was threatened to be robbed on the street, important documents snatched out of my hands and I left my building, my apartment buidling was set on fire, and another apartment was shot into; and the same weekend my place was shot into, a resident who lived way on the other side of the complex was murdered.

Since living in town I've had no problems at all. None! Heck, I even leave my car doors unlocked; and I've walked to the store or have gone jogging at 10 and 11 at night with absolutely no incident. I would never have done any of those things in Avondale Estates or Stone Mountain.

Last edited by Atlanta_BD; 06-19-2012 at 10:22 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-19-2012, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
141 posts, read 235,837 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah View Post
Great question by OP. As they suggested they may be best off waiting a few years since they haven't had their child yet they have time on their side and I assume they like the area they are in otherwise. As a city resident and a new parent it is fun to look at the possibilities and even though it will be a few years before I consider a SFH I do like to look, many cool neighborhoods although Grant Park seems appealing to me lately.

5 years from now when your child is school age perhaps your local school will be decent or at least comfortable enough as a backup should you not get into a charter. In a city changing so fast 5 years can be a long time.
You have a very good point that 5 years can be a long time in place with so many changes! All in all, I like my area just fine. However, we own a condo and it's not the most ideal situation for a young child. We have the space, but our walls are thin enough that I have concerns about the inevitable middle-of-the-night-screaming-baby really annoying our neighbors with whom we share walls and a ceiling. Even if we weren't planning on having a child we would want to move to a house. Actual outdoor space of my own really appeals after so many years of condo living!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top