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Old 12-08-2014, 02:51 PM
 
15 posts, read 46,666 times
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Hi everyone! My family is looking to move to the Atlanta area from the west coast in the next few months. My husband will be working in Buckhead and I work from home. We are looking to buy in the East Cobb area for the short commute and the great schools.

My question is this- looking at houses it seems that the farther north you go (even just staying in the Walton/Pope districts as we are looking) the prices diminish. I'm wondering how bad the traffic really is and if it is worth it to pay more to be farther south. The houses we are looking at all seem to be on the east side of East Cobb so I'm talking about the distance from say Lower Roswell Road on Johnson Ferry up until Shallowford road. How long of a drive would that be in peak traffic times?

Any insight would be appreciated! And I'll answer the basic questions below:

1. Budget Up to 800k
2. House/Condo/Townhome? Home
3. Employment Status(commute/work from home) Commute to Buckhead
4. Children(public school vs. private) Public
5. Suburban or Urban lifestyle preference or a mix of the two Suburban
6. Easy access to public transit, important or not? Not
7. Preferable demographics of desired neighborhood. Lots of elementary age children
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:50 PM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
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Former East Cobb resident of 18 years (grew up near Walton). If commute times are an issue, I wouldn't go north of Roswell Road (GA 120) as Johnson Ferry can get pretty backed up especially in the afternoon rush hour and could add 15-25 minutes if you're going all the way up to Shallowford.

Based on your $800K budget, there are plenty of good neighborhoods in the price range within the Walton district, and since your kids are in elementary school, the Timber Ridge, Mt. Bethel, and East Side districts are pretty top notch.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:06 PM
 
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We were looking in the same districts and close to the same budget. I can tell you the prices diminish quite a bit depending on the school. I noticed that Walton commanded the highest prices- a home in the lassiter or pope district would command about 100K less. That same home in Wheeler or sprayberry would be another 100K less! Lassiter and Pope pretty much have the same rep for quality of school while Walton is "considered" the best. I say that in parenthesis because a lot of depends on what type of school you are looking for. I have a lot of patients that have children in all 3 of those schools and I hear it from the Walton kids more than any of the others about how unhappy they are due to the insane amount of pressure there, the amount of money, drugs, etc. Pope and Lassiter have more of a mix and it isnt as bad. But Walton is going to be closer to the private school experience (except Walton is severely overcrowded until they finish the new school). Ultimately we ended up buying at the very top end of Marietta, right above swallowford on sandy plains. I need to be at work at 7:45am and if I leave by 7 I am there by 7:30, if i leave at 7:15 I am there about 7:50. I work off 75 and windy hill. My wife goes to work in midtown, but doesnt need to be there until 9 and it takes her about the same time. So it totally depends on when your husband needs to be there. If at 8 then yes going to swallowford will add a good 15 mins.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:44 AM
 
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Thank you both so much for your input! Its difficult to tell distances on a map, and even more difficult to gauge what traffic would be like on the main streets. I had been looking at some houses farther north but now I'm inclined to keep farther south. Thank you again!!
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:05 AM
 
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Jenny,

In my experience, the distance does make big difference. East Cobb is a very residential area, so those miles are filled with developments--few swaths of unbuilt land.

We recently moved from Lassiter district (Sandy Plains/Shallowford) to Walton district. My husband's building is at 285. His commute is less than half of what it was.

We were also looking in that price range, and after some deliberation we came to the conclusion that we'd prefer a shorter commute over a newer/bigger house. That being said, we ended up finding EXACTLY what we wanted
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:27 AM
 
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I have a kid at Walton, and plenty of friends with kids at Pope. I simply do not believe that there are more drugs, pressure, etc. at Walton than at Pope. My child is in honors classes, and yes, it is academically challenging. But she is not unhappy, in fact she is thriving, and the kids in my neighborhood and my daughter's friends are as well. Yes, there is money (but there are plenty of neighborhoods that feed to Pope where the homes are 2 or 3k more than my neighborhood). If your kid won't be happy without the latest designer whatever and a new BMW and is constantly comparing herself to those with more money, than I guess she wouldn't be happy at Walton OR Pope. There are plenty of regular, non-entitled, non-spoiled, non-drug using, polite, friendly happy kids at Walton. I agree with the above advice that Mt. Bethel, Timber Ridge, and East Side elem. would be a good place for the OP to focus.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:32 AM
 
15 posts, read 46,666 times
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Chimama1- do you mind sharing about where you ended up buying? I'm weighing the pros and cons of buying a house I like less in a swim/tennis neighborhood versus a newer one that may be on its own. Everyone says to buy in a swim/tennis for the social aspect- however my children are still small enough I have no idea if they will end up liking either sport.

A lot of the homes in the walton district in the S/T areas I am seeing could use some work and I am not at all a fan of renovations.

Deacongirl- I went to a private high school here that definitely had the reputation for pressure and drugs etc., but I found that it was the exception and not the rule. I think that every school has its reputation but school is largely what you decide to make of it. My husband works with an intern who went to Walton and has nothing but nice things to say about his experience. My children are still so small enough that a lot can change between now and when they go to school anyway!
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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I would definitely do the swim/tennis--great way for your children and you to get to know the neighbors and make lifelong friends. The greatness of swim team doesn't have that much to do with how great a swimmer your child is or becomes--it's about community. The fact that the child learns an important life skill/lifelong sport is icing on the cake.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:03 AM
 
550 posts, read 757,688 times
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I would strongly encourage you to do swim tennis and think you would regret it if not. A neighborhood swim team builds tons of community and is the best way to meet and develop relationships for yourself and your kids. Neighborhoods also do first and last day of school parties, Trick or Treating get togethers, etc. etc. The tennis aspect seems to be more for adults--but it has been lots of fun to play on my neighborhood team and I know many other women who feel the same. It depends on the neighborhood if someone organizes lessons for kids--my daughter actually plays on a team out of another neighborhood. But the swim meets are tons of fun, and I would say the majority of the kids are not going to be fantastic swimmers or swim year round, but it is still a valuable experience. You can join a swim team without living in the neighborhood--but it is so much better to be able to walk to the pool etc. I am not into renovations either--but a lot of the homes have already been updated--I would be very surprised if you can't find something in that price range that isn't ready to move into in a neighborhood. Good luck!
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:32 AM
 
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Deacongirl, have you heard good things about Waterford Green? There is a house there that I'm interested in. That house would need some changes but the clubhouse and pool looks nice.
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