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Old 06-19-2012, 10:16 PM
1,250 posts, read 1,488,138 times
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I notice most people tell newcomers to move near their job. The issue I have with that is that people change jobs often these days so it would not make sense to move somewhere and expect to be working in that part of town for more then 5 years.

Any opinions? I honestly think it is best to find a happy medium and live where you are happy without being to far from most job centers.
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Old 06-19-2012, 11:06 PM
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That's really hard to do, though, because what is a place that is not too far from most job centers?

I suppose you could say that midtown is probably the most central location, but a lot of people can't afford midtown. But even if you can and do, say in 5 years you get a job in Alpharetta or Kennesaw or something. Something that seemed like it was not too far from most job centers may very quickly start to feel very far away from work.

Maybe you can cater things to your particular line of work. Like if you work in accounting, maybe you can say most accouting firms are in Buckhead or midtown so I'll live close to there (I don't know if they are, I'm just making a hypothetical). A lot of people, though, don't have that luxury and could literally end up working anywhere from south of the airport to Cumming.

Then you have the opposite side of the spectrum, people that are in Atlanta for a very specialized company and the only way they would move is if they moved to a new city. For example, let's say you work for corporate Chick-fil-a as some kind of strategic director of restaurant placement or something specialized to the fast food industry. If that job dries up, you'll probably seek employment with corporate McDonalds or Wendys or something, and probably move out of Atlanta. I know Arby's has a presence here, but you know what I'm talking about.

You've also got people who work at home, or maybe people who are overnight nurses and will never fight traffic during peak times and can live wherever they want. Or people whose spouses work close to home but they don't.

What I'm trying to say is people's situations run the gamut from should live as close to work as possible to it really doesn't matter how close to work they live and everything in between.

The reason I advise newcomers to live close to work is because most of them come as renters, at least I advise everybody to rent first. I assume that most people aren't going to find their ideal location on the first try, so they should at least be close to work. The worst thing in the world is to hate where you live AND have an awful commute. The one thing you can really control is how far away you live, it's much harder to figure out where you actually WANT to live until you've been here for several months.

So I think live near where you work is valid advice for anyone coming to the city unless they are already very familiar with it and have a clear idea where they know they want to live. Then, by all means, live there.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:24 AM
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,264,254 times
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Originally Posted by Onthemove2014 View Post
I notice most people tell newcomers to move near their job. The issue I have with that is that people change jobs often these days so it would not make sense to move somewhere and expect to be working in that part of town for more then 5 years.

Any opinions? I honestly think it is best to find a happy medium and live where you are happy without being to far from most job centers.
It varies from person to person. Many mid-to-late career professionals with families don't switch jobs as often, if they can. (stability over career growth)

The other issue is in many cases if a person moves to a region of Atlanta for a job...other opportunities for them are also in that same area.

A good example to explain this....

are the differences between companies locating in Suwannee, Duluth, Lawrenceville, Alpharetta, and Kennesaw (most of the regions new job growth) and many companies in downtown and midtown (old traditional jobs).

The new areas to the northern suburbs are more likely to have new technology, new engineering, and IT firms. There are some major data centers. Given the suburban atmosphere there are alot of hybrid office buildings with warehouses and work space. This is often ideal for engineering firms that need to experiment, build, and design on site. You see a large presence from multi-national companies like Siemens that make specialized industrial products (very engineering design intensive).

In contrast many of the metro's top law and banking firms are older, traditional growth and located in midtown and downtown. You also see many of our earlier industries, such as coca-cola, AT&T properties,etc...

In a sense if a person moves to Johns Creek and works at a Siemens plant... there next job is more likely to be at Gwinnett's new Caterpillar plant, rather than a downtown job.

Employers, when they choose to move here, are very aware of where existing employee bases area. (FYI, this is one reason why the new bidomedical plant in Covington is a huge deal for the east I-20 corridor... there is no existing employee base for that industry specifically in Atlanta... it is an opportunity to promote growing one).

Now this is of course imperfect. Many early career professionals are trying to find themselves and might switch industries more often. There are always some jobs that are everywhere.

but... one thing I know for sure. Given our current levels of congestion and that most people work in the county in which they live, we don't have the infrastructure if many more people start doing cross-regional commutes. There is a finite capacity on our roadways and people have to choose how long of a commute they are willing to take for a job.

The other side to this... most areas of Atlanta that are near multiple major job centers... also cost more to live in, so many people are priced out of the most ideal areas.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:53 AM
102 posts, read 186,598 times
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It also depends on the hours of your commute. If you have flexibility to start your commute at non-peak times of 6:00 am and say 2:30 or 3:00 pm in the afternoon, then you can probably get anywhere in 30 - 40 minutes. If you must travel during peak hours and unless traffic does not bother you, you should be within 15 - 20 miles of the job. As others have mentioned, move where there is a concentration of jobs in your industry. I live in Stone Mountain and work in IT. Bad choice. There are next to no IT jobs here and as a result my commute is always an hour or more, which is totally exhausting. I have actually worked in Downtown, Cobb County, Buckhead and Alpharetta. I am not sure what would have been the best central location to all of those. Perhaps Dunwoody or Buckhead would have been a decent base to reach all of those places.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:46 AM
Location: Johns Creek, GA
1,957 posts, read 1,998,693 times
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It completely depends on how permanent your arrangements are?

If you are buying a house that you expect to keep for more than 5 years, then moving where you WANT is more important than moving close to where you work. A short commute is small comfort if you are going home to an environment/area that stresses you out as much as (or more than) the office does.

If you are renting, or completely expect to make your current job a long term career then it starts to make more sense to look for a short commute. For the most part, there is little difference from one mid-range apartment to another. The time you save commuting 10-15 minutes to work can translate into other advantages. Maybe you start cycling to work? Going home for lunch and having a quick jog + shower before you return (i've done this a few times and it helps break the day apart nicely).

There has been many a time that I get home after my 20 minute commute (9 miles), turn on the radio and remind myself how grateful I am for a short commute when i hear some of the traffic reports around the hotspots in town.
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