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Old 04-08-2007, 01:36 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,675 times
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Two of my close friends---who will not be owning a car---are moving to Atlanta with their young daughter.


Please comment as much as you can on the Virginia Highlands neighborhood, including

1) Is it a nice neighborhood? What is the crime situation?

2) Are there reasonably affordable homes in the neighborhood?

3) Are there nice Catholic and/or private schools within walking distance?

4) Can you reasonbly live and recreate in the nieghborhood without a car

5) What, in general, does the neighborhood have to offer and what is its drawbacks.


Thanks so much. We place great importance on this issue.
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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1) Is it a nice neighborhood? What is the crime situation?

Depends on your definition of nice -- it is very urban, not very suburban feeling, it has neat shops and restaurants, the houses are old and close together...

I believe that there are a fair amount of Homeless people wandering around. 12 percent of VA-HI residents indicated improved crime prevention as a priority for their neighborhood this year.

People spend huge amounts of $ to live in this neighborhood because of the very convienient location -- but that location comes with a price in terms of crime and safety.

2) Are there reasonably affordable homes in the neighborhood?

It would depend on what you would consider affordable -- But I am guessing no and if there are, they are being snatched up and torn town for mini-mansions.

3) Are there nice Catholic and/or private schools within walking distance?

Morningside Elementary, the local public school, is overcrowded but excellent. Children's School might be walkable and maybe Paideia, but in Atlanta, these types of schools choose you, not the other way around. Simply wanting to go to private school, especially the close-in ones, doesn't automatically mean you can. There are some intown Catholic schools, but none within walking distance of VA-HI.


4) Can you reasonbly live and recreate in the nieghborhood without a car

I am not sure -- depends on their attitude. ATLANTA IS A CAR CITY -- no exceptions. Having to rely solely on MARTA is not for the weak of stomach or weak of spirit. Among the poor of Atlanta, many do this, but not many more. And most people aspire to have a car. They will be very limited in their health care choices for their children.

5) What, in general, does the neighborhood have to offer and what is its drawbacks.

I won't go into to much information but I will tell you that most people who live in the VA-HI area have a certain amount of $$$$ or they have been there a long time or both. It is full of young families but most of them are two career/two income families and most are highly educated professionals. This isn't a bad thing at all -- just is how it is. I think any remaining economic diversity is dissappearing.

Here is a link to an old discussion on this board about VA-HI


Virginia Highland info.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:05 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,139,813 times
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As last minute mom already stated, Atlanta is really not a "transit only" type of city if you have kids. MARTA rail is nice for a city like this, but it does not extend into the VaHi neighborhood, so they would have to rely on the bus system to get around, which is rarely on time or convenient.

Home prices, well, here's one listing on Craigs List for a 3BR/2BA Bungalo type home which is very common in that area: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/rfs/307535071.html (broken link)

At $600,000+ does that answer it? Well ok, you CAN find less expensive homes in that area, but not by any means what you'd call "inexpensive" or to me anyway, "reasonably priced".

The VaHi area is trendy and has varied privately owned shops, restaurants, and clubs. Atlanta is known for not really being much in the way of charactor - it's more of a cookie cutter clone type of city, but the VaHi area does have a very unique feel to it, which you don't see everywhere in the city. In other words, if you want a Walmart or Target, you're not going to find it there, but if you like antique and vintage stores or a cafe, you will. Crime is like any inner city neighborhood - high by some standards, soso by others. Depends on where you're coming from and where you're used to living.

Tell them to contact a good realtor and give them their price range, expectations, etc., and they may still be able to find them something they can afford. But there is one thing they will have to change - they will need a car.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:44 PM
 
16 posts, read 61,675 times
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Thanks so much everybody!

Unfortunately for medical reasons they cannot have a car.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:53 PM
 
1,516 posts, read 6,139,273 times
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Would they consider a driver? If this is a service they can afford they will have many more options. To move to Va/Hi without a car is still very limiting. Atlanta is not a pedestrian friendly city and even though there are stores and restaurants in the area, you really do need a car to get around.
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Old 04-08-2007, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/DC
563 posts, read 2,541,477 times
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I have a friend who lives in the metro Atlanta area and she doesn't drive due to medical reasons. She somehow is able to make it to hang out with us in Atlantic Station, come to sorority chapter meetings, and make it to work (she is a high school teacher).

I'll ask her how she makes it here in Atlanta and if she knows anything about the area from a non-driver's perspective. I'll report back by mid-week.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:25 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,139,813 times
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There are various areas of mixed-use development going up around some of the MARTA rail stations - the Lindbergh station being one of them. Maybe they should consider looking at the townhomes or condos in areas like that.

There's a HUGE difference between running errands and being able to to them via rail, vs via bus. So if they can find a place to live within walking distance of a rail station they're going to be much better off. Or like someone else has stated, hire a driver part time.

One route would be to buy a home that has a finished basement they could turn into an apartment. Rent the apartment out to a college student or young adult and in exchange for rent their "job" would be to drive you to the store or errands a few times a week or something. I had an Aunt that did this after thoroughly checking reference of course, and it worked out just fine for her.
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