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Old 02-13-2013, 09:05 AM
 
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raghav, Are you close to a MARTA station? What is your closest MARTA station.

I think the simplest options would be:
Live in Perimeter area, and take MARTA (live car free). Reasonable schools, esp for elementary schools are OK.
OR
Rent a North Fulton townhouse for $1500 or so, and drive all the way, or drive + MARTA (best schools, typical US suburbia, where the Indian population eventually ends up)
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Washington State
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Basically, most products are much cheaper in the US than Europe. You didn't mention where in Europe you lived but here's a comparison in costs between Paris and Atlanta Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed. So Atlanta would be about 38% cheaper than Paris considering housing and consumer products.

The one big contra to the lower cost is helath care which is much more costly in the US...suggest you onfirm your employer covers health insurance. Also, while Atlanta has better public transportation than most US cities, it is no match for the public transportation systems in European cities. I would consider a car a requirement if you have kids.

Atlanta is low cost city but larger than you might be aware of as the metro area is I think about 5m. There are some terrible areas to avoid and some really nice areas that are still pretty reasonable in cost.

Last edited by Yac; 02-27-2013 at 08:26 AM..
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:51 AM
 
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Appreciate all the inputs, will try and collate the questions to me, and provide answers -

@FromGA - I am not there yet visa processing still going on, most probably we'll land there sometime June first half. And about the second part of your point, I think I'd avoid living in a townhouse (I think that translates to an independent house) for now, may be the first year. Given that its our first year and we are going to have two kids to handle/manage, I'd prefer an apartment complex, where things are more co-managed and less self-managed.

@Others - I believe we'd end up having to pick up a car. However, my inclinations towards access to public transportation is due to the fact that both me and my wife dont drive a lot (the US way that is) and therefore would like to start off without a car. eventually, when we do go through the driving classes, and license and all that, we'd pick up on that. So, generally speaking, we'd prefer something that provides decent public transport access.

I have already checked with my employer, and apparantly they dont provide any medical cover at all, we'd have to pick up our own cover, and pay for it. (I am equally surprised, but still trying to get a second/third re-check on that). I was checking some websites about medical insurance, and some options were like $1500 copay, and monthly 350 or so.. is that something thats too expensive ? or would provide too less coverage ?? generally speaking, irrespective of brand attached to that.. whats the general opinion of such medical insurers ??

In Europe, I spent maximum time in Brussels, and Zurich areas. And yes, there, the public transportation system is excellent. I already have a feeling that the public transportation in US is nothing like that (6 weeks in Los Angeles last year gave me that feeling already).. I am hoping to have some basic services...

Another question that I want to pop out here, Since you guys are living there, if you can, pls put in your suggestion. If someone works on the Piedmont road (I hope I spelled it right), where should one be living (given all the constraints that I have put myself in Suggested areas ? please...


I appreciate all the posts coming in.. seriously.. its great to have so many of you taking time to put in your thoughts..
thanks a lot in advance...
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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raghav, I think others will be able to help you if you look at MARTA website:
MARTA - Schedules & Maps
and tell them how close your work place on Piedmont Rd will be to a MARTA train station.

I think Piedmont Rd is a pretty long road. Or you can look at google maps, and tell users what is your closest major intersection. eg. Piedmont and 14th St etc. Are you in Downton, Midtown, etc.

If you are going to be working close to a MARTA station, folks will tell you where to stay more properly.

(When I previously asked: "Are you close to a MARTA station? What is your closest MARTA station." this is what I meant. I was not clear. I realized you were not here yet.)
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:36 PM
 
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Considering you are new to the US, and coming from India, I would recommend Perimeter area for living without a car.

I am originally from India, and that is where I looked (option (a) that I previously mentioned. Although I ended up taking option (b), that is North Fulton.

(These are the options considering you have to send your kid to school etc.)

edit/add: Perimeter is North Springs, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody in the MARTA station list.

another edit/add: North Fulton would be Roswell/Alpharetta/Johns Creek. You would be driving or taking a bus (bus is a difficult option, but do-able) to MARTA train station, then taking train. Advantages: Better schools. Disadv: Much tougher commute.

Last edited by FromGA; 02-13-2013 at 12:45 PM..
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,244 posts, read 16,284,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FromGA View Post
Considering you are new to the US, and coming from India, I would recommend Perimeter area for living without a car.

I am originally from India, and that is where I looked (option (a) that I previously mentioned. Although I ended up taking option (b), that is North Fulton.

(These are the options considering you have to send your kid to school etc.)

edit/add: Perimeter is North Springs, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody in the MARTA station list.

another edit/add: North Fulton would be Roswell/Alpharetta/Johns Creek. You would be driving or taking a bus (bus is a difficult option, but do-able) to MARTA train station, then taking train. Advantages: Better schools. Disadv: Much tougher commute.
The 150 route serves several apartment communities with large Indian populations in the Perimeter Center area. Eg: Jefferson at Perimeter, Ashwood, Wesleyan at Perimeter.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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@FromGA - Thanks for your patience with my queries, much appreciated.

I did go ahead and check the maps and the MARTA website, and found that the closest marta station would be buckhead... And, thanks for this particular pointer, gives me a different view of the commute altogether...

Could you guys help about possible area to pick as residence with decent schools around the place.. North Fulton looks nice on map (loads of greenery.. ) but I think its a bit too early too much for me at this point...

suggestions please...

@cqholt - I looked up the location you mentioned, could you please suggest a way to look up schools in a given neighbourhood ? and some way of rating them ? are there ratings available for pre primary schools ??

thanks in advance guys,
I really really appreciate all this help coming my way...
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
The 150 route serves several apartment communities with large Indian populations in the Perimeter Center area. Eg: Jefferson at Perimeter, Ashwood, Wesleyan at Perimeter.
cq, Looks like Jefferson at Perimeter is the one further north from Perimeter mall (would that be the ones to take the 150 bus?) How about the other two? Are any of them walking distance to MARTA station?

raghav, So we have established your MARTA station (Buckhead), your possible future apartment location (to look up Perimeter area -- google maps: "Perimeter mall, Atlanta" or "Jefferson at Perimeter" that cqholt suggested.) I think there are two good elementary schools in that area - Austin Elementary and Vanderlyn Elementary. I think some of the apartments cq mentioned go to one of these.

Look up school rankings at:
GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community

Go to DeKalb County Schools, and they will either have a way to look up assigned school by address. Or you may have to look up bus route information for the two schools I mentioned to see which locations gets what school.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,244 posts, read 16,284,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FromGA View Post
cq, Looks like Jefferson at Perimeter is the one further north from Perimeter mall (would that be the ones to take the 150 bus?) How about the other two? Are any of them walking distance to MARTA station?

raghav, So we have established your MARTA station (Buckhead), your possible future apartment location (to look up Perimeter area -- google maps: "Perimeter mall, Atlanta" or "Jefferson at Perimeter" that cqholt suggested.) I think there are two good elementary schools in that area - Austin Elementary and Vanderlyn Elementary. I think some of the apartments cq mentioned go to one of these.

Look up school rankings at:
GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community

Go to DeKalb County Schools, and they will either have a way to look up assigned school by address. Or you may have to look up bus route information for the two schools I mentioned to see which locations gets what school.
Yes, #150 is convenient to all. Wesleyan at Perimeter is not a bad walk, I use to do it when I lived there.
Quote:
I did go ahead and check the maps and the MARTA website, and found that the closest marta station would be buckhead... And, thanks for this particular pointer, gives me a different view of the commute altogether...
Buckhead as a free local-bus route, The BUC bucride.com/, that serves major employment areas, Buckhead Station and Lenox Station.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:09 PM
 
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Quote:
I have already checked with my employer, and apparantly they dont provide any medical cover at all, we'd have to pick up our own cover, and pay for it. (I am equally surprised, but still trying to get a second/third re-check on that). I was checking some websites about medical insurance, and some options were like $1500 copay, and monthly 350 or so.. is that something thats too expensive ? or would provide too less coverage ?? generally speaking, irrespective of brand attached to that.. whats the general opinion of such medical insurers ??
This sounds cheap for family coverage. I bought my insurance at ehealthinsurance.com. It is a BCBSGA High Deductable Plan. I have a deductable of 2600 with annual out of pocket of 5500 (if my memory serves me right) and I pay around $500 per month (includes Dental). My insurance went up when I turned 50 so if you are younger you might save if you are over 60 you pay even more. At the same time it cost more to have maternity care (or whatever they call it) which you need if you are considering having more children.

I would expect similar family care to be close to double this amount but not sure how that works for foreign nationals.

This is definitely one topic that is "broken" in the US - private pay health insurance is quite expensive.
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