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Thread summary:

Moving from New Jersey to metro Atlanta area, searching for 30-40 minute commute, affordable housing, cultural diversity, possibly Smyrna, Duluth, Marietta, Tucker, home prices in 200k range

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Old 01-13-2007, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Douglasville, GA
642 posts, read 1,936,940 times
Reputation: 185

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Hello everyone. I just discovered this forum so I decided to jump right on in. Glad to be here.

Anyway, it seems that after years of discussing it that my wife and I are going to be soon making the move to Metro Atlanta from New Jersey.

My wife is on the verge of landing a position located in the area of the Perimeter Mall while I am still looking. I too will be focusing for my search for employment from within the city to areas North, Northwest and Northeast.

At this point we are starting to research certains towns as well. Some of the things that will be important to us will be affordability, diversity, quality of life issues and certainly convenience in terms of commuting. We'd like to find someplace with commutes of 30-40 minutes at the most if possible. Thus far I have begun to research communities to the Northern fringes of 285. I have particularly tried to find out demographic info on the towns of Smyrna, Marietta, Duluth and Tucker. We also have a 7 month old baby so with childcare also being an issue my wife wants to look into Austell as a friend of hers has recommended some daycare there. Initially we were pretty foucused on Douglasville but with the location of my wife's job, the commute for her would seem prohibitive. Especially without a mass transit option. Whille schools are not an issue just yet clearly they will be down the line. Also we will be renting initially while we do our due diligence on the various places where we'd like to puchase.

Any feedback on the aforementioned towns of Smyrna, Duluth, Marietta and Tucker would be appreciated. Oh one more thing I neglected to mention is that we are an African-American couple who will prefer a diverse area in which to live and raise our family. That was one thing that drew us to the developments that we visited in Douglasville during the summer of 2006 on a preliminary home search. That and the number of new, nice sized homes we viewed that were actually right in the $200,000 range.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:57 PM
 
1,025 posts, read 3,715,869 times
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Quote:
we will be renting initially while we do our due diligence on the various places
Brilliant plan.

Quote:
We also have a 7 month old baby so with childcare also being an issue my wife wants to look into Austell as a friend of hers has recommended some daycare there
The
Perimeter Mall-area commute from Austell would not exactly be convenient. Consider whether the childcare situation is good enough to offset the fact that Mom will spend a lot of her off time sitting in traffic. It might be worthwhile to you, though, if the caregiver is truly superb.
Quote:
My wife is on the verge of landing a position located in the area of the Perimeter Mall… I too will be focusing for my search for employment from within the city to areas North, Northwest and Northeast.
In that case, your best bet is renting for a while in Sandy Springs or Dunwoody. That would cut your wife’s commute to practically nothing and, assuming you find work on the north end, your commute won’t be too much of a hardship either. There are nice older homes for rent in established neighborhoods and plenty of apartments and townhomes, too.

As you’ve already determined, purchasing a home in Sandy Springs or Dunwoody is outside your target price, but you should look into renting there first anyway. Why? Because you two will be adjusting to a new city and new jobs. Why add a long, stressful daily commute to that?

Renting in close proximity to your jobs (or at least to hers), there will be lots more time and energy for house-hunting in Smyrna.

After you've both settled into your new jobs, have taken your time exploring metro Atlanta's more affordable suburbs and made a wise purchase, longer commutes will be easier to manage.
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Morrisville, North Carolina
465 posts, read 2,211,419 times
Reputation: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayrob View Post
Hello everyone. I just discovered this forum so I decided to jump right on in. Glad to be here.

Anyway, it seems that after years of discussing it that my wife and I are going to be soon making the move to Metro Atlanta from New Jersey.

My wife is on the verge of landing a position located in the area of the Perimeter Mall while I am still looking. I too will be focusing for my search for employment from within the city to areas North, Northwest and Northeast.

At this point we are starting to research certains towns as well. Some of the things that will be important to us will be affordability, diversity, quality of life issues and certainly convenience in terms of commuting. We'd like to find someplace with commutes of 30-40 minutes at the most if possible. Thus far I have begun to research communities to the Northern fringes of 285. I have particularly tried to find out demographic info on the towns of Smyrna, Marietta, Duluth and Tucker. We also have a 7 month old baby so with childcare also being an issue my wife wants to look into Austell as a friend of hers has recommended some daycare there. Initially we were pretty foucused on Douglasville but with the location of my wife's job, the commute for her would seem prohibitive. Especially without a mass transit option. Whille schools are not an issue just yet clearly they will be down the line. Also we will be renting initially while we do our due diligence on the various places where we'd like to puchase.

Any feedback on the aforementioned towns of Smyrna, Duluth, Marietta and Tucker would be appreciated. Oh one more thing I neglected to mention is that we are an African-American couple who will prefer a diverse area in which to live and raise our family. That was one thing that drew us to the developments that we visited in Douglasville during the summer of 2006 on a preliminary home search. That and the number of new, nice sized homes we viewed that were actually right in the $200,000 range.
All the areas you are considering happen to be diverse areas, so you're headed in the right direction.

Smyrna is a mixed area with parts of it being over run with mexicans, part of it middle class, and an upscale part of it called Vinings, where homes start at about $500k, but it's very possible to rent here. I live here now with my parents while in school, and they pay $850 for a two bed two bath apartment. Vinings is full of little shops, young couples and single professionals. It's about 15 minutes from another upscale area call Buckhead, which is in Atlanta proper. Takes me 20 minutes to get to Perimeter Mall from here.

Marietta is literally next door to Smyrna, and they are both in Cobb County. Marietta is similiar demographically to Smyrna. You have the upscale part of Marietta known as "East Cobb", where the homes are pricey, (starting around $550k, and that won't be new) the schools are good, it's safe, and the moms all drive luxury SUVs. Then there's west cobb, (somewhat decent) and Marietta around the square, or "downtown" as they consider it. Marietta has some iffy sections, so do your homework; it also has a heavily populated mexican part as well.

Duluth is in Gwinett County, and about 30 minutes north of intown Atlanta. Gwinnett County is the most diverse county in the metro area, and has some good schools as well. You'll find Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Romanians, everything up there, and quite a few foriegners owning businesses. You won't feel out of place at all, and there's plenty of family life, shopping and a couple of decent parks up that way. You also have good neighboring towns like Suwanee, Lawrenceville, Dacula, Buford and Grayson. That area is booming and the real estate is hot. You could find something new in a great neighborhood for $200k-$250k easily.

I don't know a whole lot about Tucker except that be careful, as it has ghetto parts, but pockets of nice neighborhoods. It is in Dekalb county I believe, near Decatur and Stone Mountain. I notice the previous poster suggested you rent in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs until you buy to be closer to work. I just want you to know those are expensive areas by Atlanta standards. A two bedroom in a nice part of Dunwoody could easily be $1000 and up. Sandy Springs has some apartments, mostly along Roswell Rd. You could find a deal there, but generally speaking, Sandy Springs is really a pricey home buying community, there are limited apartments. As far as apartments go, Sandy Springs is mixed, as for home buying, lilly white. Dunwoody is predominately white as well, apartment or not, with some Asian mix, lots of Jews, and Blacks here and there. You need at least $600k-700k for a new home in Dunwoody. If you could settle for a condo, then more like $300k. Good Luck.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Douglasville, GA
642 posts, read 1,936,940 times
Reputation: 185
First of all I'd like to thank you both for your replies. As things stand now it appears we will initially be moving into an apartment in Lithia Springs; right along the border with Austell. It seems that the Mrs has found out that it is possible for her to take about a 15 minute drive and then take some mode of mass transit to her soon to be workplace. That would be equal to what she does up here on her current job so it wouldn't be anything adverse to her. As far as settling somewhere, without having done any research on schools and things of that sort, if I had my druthers we would wind up in Douglasville which I was very impresed with on the surface. I'm speaking in terms of the house/price ratio. And basically it's new construction because as I understand it that area is just now up and coming or growing if you will and not yet overrun. When we mentioned the various areas that we were thinking of moving into to my brother-in-law last Summer he stated that if he was us he would look into Douglasville as well.
But admittedly there are the other factors that would come into play such as commuting and quality of schools etc.
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Old 01-16-2007, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, North Carolina
465 posts, read 2,211,419 times
Reputation: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayrob View Post
First of all I'd like to thank you both for your replies. As things stand now it appears we will initially be moving into an apartment in Lithia Springs; right along the border with Austell. It seems that the Mrs has found out that it is possible for her to take about a 15 minute drive and then take some mode of mass transit to her soon to be workplace. That would be equal to what she does up here on her current job so it wouldn't be anything adverse to her. As far as settling somewhere, without having done any research on schools and things of that sort, if I had my druthers we would wind up in Douglasville which I was very impresed with on the surface. I'm speaking in terms of the house/price ratio. And basically it's new construction because as I understand it that area is just now up and coming or growing if you will and not yet overrun. When we mentioned the various areas that we were thinking of moving into to my brother-in-law last Summer he stated that if he was us he would look into Douglasville as well.
But admittedly there are the other factors that would come into play such as commuting and quality of schools etc.
I would just love to know what plan your wife has of getting from Lithia Springs to Dunwoody in a reasonable amount of time. They are nowhere near each other. At all. What's so great about Douglasville? I guess you all must like small town living, or are on a serious budget. Yeah, the housing is cheap, but I'm not throwing a parade with banners saying "MOVE TO DOUGLASVILLE!!" You seemed to have completely lost geographical focus in your plan. Good Luck with that.
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Old 01-16-2007, 03:36 PM
 
1,088 posts, read 5,734,856 times
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If she is planning on driving to the Holmes station make sure she has a "club" and a really good car alarm. Not a safe parking lot. Otherwise that is between a 45 and 60 minute drive.
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Old 01-16-2007, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Douglasville, GA
642 posts, read 1,936,940 times
Reputation: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxman777 View Post
If she is planning on driving to the Holmes station make sure she has a "club" and a really good car alarm. Not a safe parking lot. Otherwise that is between a 45 and 60 minute drive.
Now that I know nothing about. But she did say that she was going to have to make a test run during rush hour one motning before her start date. She's not really the type to knowingly place herself in harms way though. We're still in Jersey now so a lot is still to be worked out. In faxt she jsut gave notice of resignation to her current employer today.
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Old 01-16-2007, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/DC
563 posts, read 2,506,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxman777 View Post
If she is planning on driving to the Holmes station make sure she has a "club" and a really good car alarm. Not a safe parking lot. Otherwise that is between a 45 and 60 minute drive.

Get out of my head! I was just thinking that.

The Holmes station isn't the safest place for a woman to be after dark.

She COULD take the back roads to 285 and cut her commute down a bit, that way she'd avoid Thornton Road and I-20, which is a mess in the mornings.
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Old 01-16-2007, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/DC
563 posts, read 2,506,821 times
Reputation: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeweloflight View Post
I would just love to know what plan your wife has of getting from Lithia Springs to Dunwoody in a reasonable amount of time. They are nowhere near each other. At all. What's so great about Douglasville? I guess you all must like small town living, or are on a serious budget. Yeah, the housing is cheap, but I'm not throwing a parade with banners saying "MOVE TO DOUGLASVILLE!!" You seemed to have completely lost geographical focus in your plan. Good Luck with that.
What's wrong with Douglasville? I'm curious, do you live out here? I actually live in Douglasville (originally from Miami) and I can honestly say the beauty of being here is its growing diversity and its lack of pretentiousness, unlike other metro areas.
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Old 01-16-2007, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, North Carolina
465 posts, read 2,211,419 times
Reputation: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoveDiva View Post
What's wrong with Douglasville? I'm curious, do you live out here? I actually live in Douglasville (originally from Miami) and I can honestly say the beauty of being here is its growing diversity and its lack of pretentiousness, unlike other metro areas.
No offense, DoveDiva, I just prefer intown living. Douglasville is too rural for me. Even with all it's new "growth", I need more action. It used to be the most rural suburb, now I think the statistics say Carrollton. If you like it, great. It's just not my speed. I have to be fifteen or 20 minutes tops from the city.
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