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Old 05-08-2018, 10:15 PM
 
4 posts, read 1,844 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello All,

My son and I will be relocating to ATL this summer and I am in in need of assistance in trying to drill down on the perfect location.

I am a single, African American, professional woman with a 10 year old son, so being in a DIVERSE, SAFE, PROGRESSIVE, and AFFORDABLE location is key. ALSO, being in an area that has a GREAT school system is essential. Additionally, my son and I love outdoor activities and would love to be in a location that has plenty of parks and green space, walking and bike paths, farmers markets, community events (ie, movies in the park, holiday themed festivals, & other community engagement events), as well as close proximity to entertainment. Initially, I will be renting; however, I want to set roots and would love to rent in a community where I could potentially find a house to purchase within the next year.

Currently, I have been researching both Duluth and Marietta but I can't seem to make a decision... I feel as though I don't have enough to go off of to finalize my choice... So, this is why I need your help. Based on the information I shared above which area do you feel is more conducive to what I am looking for? Also, are there any other areas that would be a better fit that I should consider? In my research I have also come across Roswell, Milton, Decatur, and Smyrna... I love Alpharetta and John's Creek, but those may be too pricey.

Lastly, just so you can have a better idea of who I am... I love eclectic and trendy spaces, boutique stores, thrifting, and hope to be involved in quite a few groups around the Atlanta area. AND, I currently work from home and will not have to worry about commuting into work each day.

I know this is quite a bit of information, but I want to say THANK YOU in advance for your help! I am truly appreciative and grateful!

Thank you,
MeMysha
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:32 PM
 
258 posts, read 326,792 times
Reputation: 157
Assuming you will be working, where is your job? Traffic is so bad in the metro that you probably want to consider your potential commute when choosing a location. You should also share your budget. People will have a difficult time making recommendations without it.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:03 AM
 
5,357 posts, read 4,883,814 times
Reputation: 3506
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeMysha View Post
Hello All,

My son and I will be relocating to ATL this summer and I am in in need of assistance in trying to drill down on the perfect location.

I am a single, African American, professional woman with a 10 year old son, so being in a DIVERSE, SAFE, PROGRESSIVE, and AFFORDABLE location is key. ALSO, being in an area that has a GREAT school system is essential. Additionally, my son and I love outdoor activities and would love to be in a location that has plenty of parks and green space, walking and bike paths, farmers markets, community events (ie, movies in the park, holiday themed festivals, & other community engagement events), as well as close proximity to entertainment. Initially, I will be renting; however, I want to set roots and would love to rent in a community where I could potentially find a house to purchase within the next year.

Currently, I have been researching both Duluth and Marietta but I can't seem to make a decision... I feel as though I don't have enough to go off of to finalize my choice... So, this is why I need your help. Based on the information I shared above which area do you feel is more conducive to what I am looking for? Also, are there any other areas that would be a better fit that I should consider? In my research I have also come across Roswell, Milton, Decatur, and Smyrna... I love Alpharetta and John's Creek, but those may be too pricey.

Lastly, just so you can have a better idea of who I am... I love eclectic and trendy spaces, boutique stores, thrifting, and hope to be involved in quite a few groups around the Atlanta area. AND, I currently work from home and will not have to worry about commuting into work each day.

I know this is quite a bit of information, but I want to say THANK YOU in advance for your help! I am truly appreciative and grateful!

Thank you,
MeMysha
Well, since you will be working from home and will not have to worry about commuting into work each day through what often can be some really tough (and on many days, really rough) traffic congestion in metro Atlanta (the Atlanta metropolitan area), that takes what is often the number-one concern of newcomers off of the table as a major issue.

That leaves the next major concern for you to address, which is your monthly budget for rental housing and your overall budget for your eventual housing purchase.

What is your monthly budget for rental housing? And... What is your overall budget for your eventual housing purchase?

Your housing budget will be a major determinant of where you are able to live.

A lower housing budget (roughly about $1200/month or less for a rental dwelling or about $400k or less or so for purchase in the current competitive metro Atlanta housing market) gets into some more affordable quality areas of aforementioned communities like Duluth (and Gwinnett County) and Marietta (and Cobb County) as well as some parts of Roswell (and North Fulton County).

The most desired parts of communities like Roswell, Duluth, Marietta (East Cobb), Milton, Decatur, Smyrna, Alpharetta and Johns Creek likely will be out of the reach of a $1200/month rental budget and/or a $400k housing purchase budget.

Seeing as though you want to be in a suburban community with a great school system and lots of outdoor recreational amenities and lots of community events and entertainment amenities, your apparent top two picks of Duluth and Marietta are indeed excellent picks.

With the Marietta area being home to the outdoor recreational amenities of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and close to fun and popular outdoor recreational areas like the Chattahoochee River Nature Preserve, the Sope Creek Paper Mill Ruins Nature Preserve and Hiking area, Lake Allatoona and Red Top Mountain State Park, as well as home to the popular Marietta Square (Glover Park) in historic Downtown Marietta where major community events happen year-round, Marietta probably should get the slight nod over Duluth, which is a great community and an excellent choice in its own right.

Historic Glover Park at Marietta Square has the farmers' market, movies in the park, holiday-themed festivals and community-engagement events in a space surrounded by the type of unique retail shops that you are looking for.

Like much of the Atlanta metropolitan area/region as a whole, Marietta also has a large African-American population (along with large Hispanic and biracial/multiracial populations and a noticeable Asian presence in East Cobb) and schools that vary from good to exceptional in quality.

The Marietta City Schools system is a good school system while the Cobb County School District system varies in quality from good to exceptional depending on what cluster of schools one is in.

The clusters of schools anchored by Walton, Pope and Lassiter high schools in the highly-affluent area with mostly a Marietta mailing address known as East Cobb have the reputation of being some of the absolute best public schools in the entire Southeastern U.S.

Wheeler High School features a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) magnet program that is regarded as being one of the absolute best public school STEM magnet programs in the entire nation while Sprayberry and Kell high schools are really good schools as well.

The Marietta City Schools system (anchored by Marietta High School), and the clusters of Cobb County District schools anchored by Wheeler, Sprayberry and Kell high schools feature high numbers of lower-income transient students from working-class families that keep them from being ranked as high as the schools in the Walton, Pope and Lassiter clusters where there are significantly fewer numbers of lower-income transient students and families.

The Cobb County District cluster of schools anchored by Osborne High School are generally good but have academic rankings that are severely impaired by an extremely large number of lower-income transient and ESOL (English As A Second Language) students.
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Old 05-09-2018, 02:32 AM
 
7,687 posts, read 9,527,345 times
Reputation: 5657
Both areas are quite similar on paper, yet they have very different feels. Nobody can tell you which will make you feel more at home....but you'll be able to figure it out for yourself very quickly after visiting both areas. Just spend a couple hours in each one and see which you prefer.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Gwinnett County, Georgia
331 posts, read 190,133 times
Reputation: 468
Welcome.

You'll find a good mix of all of those things in Gwinnett County. Our public schools are regularly among the strongest in the state and our award winning parks seem to offer most of what we residents desire most, including higher-end facilities, classes, adult/youth sports and more. Most of the cities below (in bold) put on free family-friendly movies, concerts and fairs throughout the year (mostly Spring, Summer and Early Fall) along with events at Coolray Field and the Mall of Georgia, the largest mall in the state. The county offers shopping experiences that also include Costco and SAM"S Wholesale Clubs, antique shops and more.

Some agent sites allow you to search for homes by school and some of our consistently higher-performing high schools are highlighted below by cities served. Find the high school at Gwinnett County Public Schools or Buford City Schools to find out more about the schools within their clusters. There's also a good mix of private schools here.

Buford (Buford, Lanier, Mill Creek, Mountain View), Dacula (Archer, Dacula), Duluth (Duluth, Peachtree Ridge), Grayson (Grayson), Lawrenceville (Archer, Brookwood, Collins Hill, Dacula, Grayson, Mountain View, Peachtree Ridge), Lilburn (Parkview), Peachtree Corners (Duluth), Snellville (Brookwood, Grayson), Sugar Hill (Lanier, North Gwinnett), Suwanee (North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge)

Other parts of Metro Atlanta offer the same conveniences and we are not without challenges, but we were very pleased with our decision to move here in 2004. Be sure to look up the cities above at here on City-Data for deeper insights.

Again, welcome.

Last edited by AtlantaMove; 05-09-2018 at 05:19 AM..
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:41 AM
 
203 posts, read 77,946 times
Reputation: 381
City of Decatur seems to fit the lifestyle that you seek, but it is expensive.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:54 AM
 
4 posts, read 1,844 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humanista View Post
Assuming you will be working, where is your job? Traffic is so bad in the metro that you probably want to consider your potential commute when choosing a location. You should also share your budget. People will have a difficult time making recommendations without it.

Hi, I will be working from home. I'm wanting to stay within a budget of $1800 or less for a rental and $500,000 for purchase.

Thank you,
Memysha
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:18 PM
 
5,357 posts, read 4,883,814 times
Reputation: 3506
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeMysha View Post
Hi, I will be working from home. I'm wanting to stay within a budget of $1800 or less for a rental and $500,000 for purchase.

Thank you,
Memysha
A housing budget of $1800/month for rentals and/or $500k for purchase gives you quite a few options, probably many more options than you might like.

Unfortunately, your budget of $1800/month and/or $500k for purchase most likely still does not get you entry into the real estate market in the City of Decatur, an area which otherwise probably would be a great fit for you.

But your housing budget does get you into some really affluent areas like the exceptionally high-ranked clusters of Cobb County district schools anchored by Walton, Pope and Lassiter high schools in the highly-affluent area of eastern Cobb County with Marietta and Roswell mailing addresses commonly known as "East Cobb."

Walton, Pope and Lassiter are 3 of the highest-ranked and highest-regarded clusters of public schools in the entire Southeastern U.S.

As noted before, the cluster of Cobb County district schools anchored by Wheeler High School (also in East Cobb, but a slightly less-affluent part) is also an excellent option because of the exceptionally highly-regarded STEM magnet program at Wheeler High School and because of the extremely high level of diversity in that area.

Students who perform well academically at Walton, Pope, Lassiter and Wheeler high schools often get considered for admission and scholarships to the best colleges and universities in America, including the schools of the Ivy League and the "Big 6" conferences (the SEC/Southeastern Conference, the ACC/Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big-10, the Pac-12, the Big East, the Big-12).

If you are looking for housing on the basis of school quality with your housing budget, I probably would recommend you strongly consider the aforementioned clusters of schools in East Cobb because of the close proximity of that area of schools to the City of Marietta, which appears to have all of the qualities and amenities in a community that you are looking for.

Marietta likely is the next best option to the City of Decatur in regards to what you want in terms of an active village-like historic city center with lots of outdoor activities, community engagement events and entertainment events in a popular area (historic Marietta Square/Glover Park) surrounded by unique retail shops and restaurants.

In addition being the site of lots of outdoor activities and community events in a popular historic downtown village area with lots of unique shops and restaurants, Marietta also is likely the best option for you because of the numerous outdoor recreational amenities mentioned in my previous post.

I think that Marietta pretty much offers the entire mix of all of the amenities and community qualities that you are looking for at your budget and likely should be at the top of your list for consideration.

In addition to the exceptionally high quality of the public schools in the area, East Cobb would be a great option for you because not only does the area give you access to the extremely active and somewhat close-knit Marietta Square-anchored Marietta and Cobb County communities, but East Cobb also gives you access to the popular historic downtown village areas of Roswell and Woodstock.

You have a lot of great options for exceptional public schools, outdoor activities, community engagement/entertainment events and community networking up that way in the Marietta/East Cobb area, which would be a great fit for you and your son.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:38 PM
 
151 posts, read 63,007 times
Reputation: 199
I have some friends that lived in Marietta. They ended up moving out to West Cobb because the schools are better west of Marietta. I have friends at work that live in Duluth. If you work on the west side of Atlanta it's at least 1 1/2 hours one way commute. When I was renting I lived in Sandy Springs and Vinings. Those are 2 good areas with good schools and they have close proximity to the city of Atlanta. As Born to roll mentions East Cobb has excellent schools but high housing cost go with that. I'm partial to Cobb county but i we could afford the housing we would probably buy a house in Sandy Springs.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:38 PM
 
4 posts, read 1,844 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for the wonderful feedback. I put in a lease offer to rent a home in Marietta; however, someone beat me to the punch and was able to obtain the lease before I could... So, back to the drawing board I go. Can anyone give me any feedback on Henry (Stockbridge, Ellenwood and McDonough) and Newton Counties ? From what I have read they both seem to be charming areas to live in. How are the school systems? What is the culture like? Are they safe areas and offer an engaged community environment to live in?
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