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Old 12-09-2014, 09:33 AM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
4,995 posts, read 3,475,762 times
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Also cosign on the swim/tennis subdivisions, they help with the community aspect that can be lacking in suburban areas.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:00 PM
 
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Interestingly (for this thread) our new house is NOT in a swim/tennis! Our old neighborhood was a big swim/tennis. It definitely adds a sense of community--I enjoyed the newsletter and email blasts if something urgent was going on (we once received alerts to stay in our houses because a rapid raccoon had been spotted ) But as the years passed we realized that we're not really "subdivision people" In six years I went to book club twice and bunco twice. We often skipped the fun neighborhood festivities. It's not that we disliked living in an active swim/tennis. But we have a large-ish family and our kids are involved in several activities, so that limits our "free" time. My husband works long hours, and he stated he would rather spend evenings and weekends with us than neighbors. And I didn't like the guilt I experienced when I felt I'd let people down by not attending neighborhood get togethers

When we decided we wanted to move, our list of "must haves" included a shorter commute, a basement, a particular configuration of bedrooms and a great yard (big, flat, useable) We also liked the thought of some privacy, and a lot large enough our kids could explore (we tried really hard to find property with a creek!) Our imaginary geographical cut off was Post Oak Tritt Rd. Oh my...We looked at so many homes that were overwrought with fanciness. But the prospect of tearing out newly redone expensive finishes just because we like much simpler things did not sit well with me. On the other hand, we are not gold-painted ceiling, marble, mural, scroll-y, column-y people. Several neighborhoods we liked simply did not have a floor plan that met our criteria--on or off the market. We were not finding what we wanted and we really didn't want to buy a tear-down and build. So we really examined the way our family lives life, and tried to envision what we wanted our life to look like in our next house. We easily agreed that we were willing to sacrifice being in a neighborhood if we found the right place. We found a house that feels like it was built for us! It's a little farther west in the Walton district than I would have prefered. But, again, we just had to decide what our trade-offs were.

Nearly all the swim/tennis neighborhoods take outside members, so our kids can still do neighborhood swim team--just down the road a little bit. This Halloween, 5-6 different friends invited us to join them for trick-or-treating in their subdivisions. Yet it has still taken some getting used to. Subdivisions have been an East Cobb institution since the 60's and 70's, and people look confused for a minute when I tell them we don't live in one. I am involved in the kids' schools and activities, and that helps keep me "in the loop." Another huge plus for us, though, is that we can walk to places/businesses! This is rare in East Cobb! We consider ourselves suburban pioneers

We are very happy in our new home, and confident we made the right decision for our family. In all honesty, though, if our identical house and lot was available in an awesome swim/tennis--for about the same price!--I probably would have chosen that one (if even just for possible resale.) But I have been through the vast majority of East Cobb subdivisions, and that set up does not exist. However, if I were new to the area, and didn't expect that I was going to live in this home for the rest of life, then I'd choose "less than perfect" home in a swim/tennis over a "perfect" one not in a neighborhood.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:53 AM
 
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Chimama1-

Thank you so much for your post! It really addressed a lot of concerns and fears I had about buying in or out of a S/T. We will be moving across country with really no one we know (except for a few people my husband works with- none of which have kids our age) and it was something I was really worried about.

Right now we live in a planned community with a very strong mom's group, and I have the exact same feelings that you describe. It can be a blessing or a nuisance at times. I am rather independent by nature, as is my husband, but I worry about giving my kids the absolute best childhood experience. It is good to know that other neighborhoods will accept kids into their programs and it does take some pressure off.

Your posts have been SO helpful. We came out a few months ago to house hunt before our move got delayed and we looked in the Lassiter district. Hearing about the commute from your perspective definitely made me feel that sticking farther south this time around is the wise thing to do.

I appreciate everyone's help so much! Thank you!
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:33 AM
 
550 posts, read 757,688 times
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Just to be clear, at least in my neighorhood, there is no pressure to join in--and I can go for days not seeing or interacting with neighbors if I choose to. Something to consider also is that while I am sure there are exceptions, the homes that aren't in subdivisions (from what I have noticed) tend to be closer to the main (very, very busy) roads. ON the bright side, as Chimama says, it would be great (and very unusual for East Cobb) to be able to walk to shops or restaurants. But the kids in our neighborhood enjoy being able to ride books with relative freedom, play around the creek, walk to the pool and playground etc. Wherever you end up, it is a very family friendly place to live, the seasons are beautiful here, the schools are excellent, and I bet your kids will make tons of friends and have a ball!
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Old 12-10-2014, 05:23 PM
 
161 posts, read 165,584 times
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Jenny,

Glad I could help!! Deacongirl is absolutely right about there being trade-offs--those were all things we had to consider. And another thing she is right about--we were also willing to consider homes on more "main" roads. Not super-busy ones like Johnson Ferry or Roswell Rd, but we did look at plenty of homes on Timber Ridge, Woodlawn, Sewell Mill, Murdock, Bill Murdock, North Hembree, Casteel, Post Oak Tritt...Those names don't mean anything to you now, but once you visit, you'll see what I mean I think as long as you carefully and honestly examine what you want/expect, you'll make the right decision for your family.

Without knowing anything about your children, or where your husband works in Buckhead, I'll share more about our thought-process and you can decide if any of it is applicable to you

If we had been more flexible on the bedroom arrangement and less particular about the yard, and really wanted to be in a S/T, I would have strongly considered:

Baldwin Farms (great location off Timber Ridge. Beautiful houses and neighborhood, almost "too perfect" for us )
Riverhill/Hampton Farms (possibly my personal favorite. lovely older, 1970's, neighborhood about as far south in East Cobb as you can get. Variety of homes, but mostly colonial/traditional, many significanlty updated. IMO, feels like a real "neighborhood")
Waterford Green (people seem to be very happy here, hear great things about the amenities, great location and houses have plenty of square footage. Many are a little "too grand" and 80's grand at that!)
Indian Hills (very active subdivision, joining the CC is optional. Lots of large lots. Many homes need significant updating. New homes and updated one seem over-priced to me, but people are very happy here.)
East Hampton (very active S/T! Newer homes--90's-00', definitely more stereotypical cookie cutter suburban development. Large sq footage, at the expense of yards. However, I have several good friends here, and the trade off is amenities and socializing--the upside is a vibrant community. This is actually the SD that helped us define our trade-offs.)
Camden Place (good location. newer, bigger homes.)
Jackson's Creek (I really like this one, too. Great location. Older--80's--homes. Many well maintained and updated. IMO, feels like a real community.)
Atlanta Country Club (very large variety of homes, price ranges and people. Many big lots/yards, but most homes in our price range still needed significant updating. Commute couldn't be beat, though--my husband could kayak to work!! Ultimately, we are just not ACC "people" )
Mabry Manor (brand new S/T, really cute houses. Very small yards. Nice flat streets. They're definitely going for more the "small town USA" feel that East Hampton kind of has, too.)
New one on JFerry (I believe it sold out before they even cleared the land or put a sign up!)

I know I'm leaving some good ones out, but I've already written WAY too much!

I should mention that these are extremely popular subdivisions for the same reasons they appeal to me (and probably you!) Lovely homes in lovely neighborhoods with top-notch schools and close-in commutes. Good houses go very very quickly here! We looked at "pocket listings" in Baldwin Farms and Riverhill (and a few others) This was a new term for me, so forgive me if you are already familiar with this, but it's looking at houses before they're listed on MLS. Typically word of mouth, and agents-to-agent relationships. I would spread the word to anyone you know here--especially coworkers--what you are looking for, and ask them to let you know as soon as they hear of friends or neighbors that are thinking about selling. Find a very local agent (East Cobb specific) There is a Keller-Williams office on Roswell Rd with tons of agents.

Best of luck to you! It really is a great place to raise a family
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:02 PM
 
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Thank you! That was extremely helpful! We have an agent we are working with already- we went out to house hunt once before and saw a bunch of what you have mentioned. I think we decided to not go any farther north than Mabry Manor after that trip. We saw a lot of really cute neighborhoods and you are right, houses tend to go quickly there. I loved one called Madison Hall, but that has nothing for sale right now. We won't go back out until after Christmas so I'm hoping a few more houses pop up after the new year.

Perhaps also the ones that have been sitting awhile will be willing to come down a bit in price- I hope!

Thanks again so much for all your help, I really really appreciate it!
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:48 PM
 
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Mabry Manor:

Mountain View Elementary
Hightower Trail Middle
Pope High
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:48 PM
 
161 posts, read 165,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny5309 View Post
Thank you! That was extremely helpful! We have an agent we are working with already- we went out to house hunt once before and saw a bunch of what you have mentioned. I think we decided to not go any farther north than Mabry Manor after that trip. We saw a lot of really cute neighborhoods and you are right, houses tend to go quickly there. I loved one called Madison Hall, but that has nothing for sale right now. We won't go back out until after Christmas so I'm hoping a few more houses pop up after the new year.

Perhaps also the ones that have been sitting awhile will be willing to come down a bit in price- I hope!

Thanks again so much for all your help, I really really appreciate it!
Ok, great! Funny, Mabry Manor was our cut-off too. Then my husband decided all the folks coming and going from the development would add too much traffic to that intersection, so we moved the line to Post Oak Tritt Clearly, his top priority was shaving minutes from his commute!

Madison Hall has beautiful homes! We have some friends there, and the homes seem well-built, too. If that was your favorite, you should absolutely visit Baldwin Farm if you didn't on your first trip out here

Early spring is definitely when the market starts heating up here. Generally speaking, you'll have less competition if you're ready to move on something soon after the holidays, when the first new listings start to go up

All the best!!
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Queens, NY
53 posts, read 179,284 times
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Sorry to hijack your thread but are there sub-divisions in East Cobb that are more "affordable" -- more like the 300K range for a SFH 4+BR? We have similar requirements like the OP. Kids are starting elementary school and both of us work from home so we can pretty much live anywhere. Based on searches here, we'd like East Cobb but just don't have the budget that most people do.

My DS is 4 and loves swimming so having a community swim team would be great.

I saw a recommendation of a KW agency in the area but before I approach them, I'd like to narrow down some communities.

I'm in IT and even if I did have to switch jobs, I don't mind driving up to an hour or so to get to work. DW is in the medical field and should be able to find something within 20 minutes hopefully so the future commute times don't matter to us.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Lake Spivey, Georgia
1,841 posts, read 1,253,607 times
Reputation: 1958
Haner: Further north.
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