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Old 11-10-2009, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
8 posts, read 12,969 times
Reputation: 12

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I've just accepted a job at my company's corporate headquarters in Alpharetta. I've been to Alpharetta on business trips and was not very impressed. It is very suburban and seems like the "action" is all strip-malls and big-box stores.

Venturing down into Atlanta, I saw lots of beautiful neighborhoods with plenty of character and charm. Close to the action and what I would assume to be the "cultural centers" of the city.

We're living in Long Beach, CA right now and we really like the urban-ish living where you can live in a very aesthetically appealing neighborhood and still walk or bike to a lot of interesting places. We have a lot of diversity, and plenty of places to go to see a show, see some art, hear excellent music, and get a fine meal. We were inches from buying a house here in Long Beach when I got the word of this job promotion.

So I'm looking for some suggestions on places to go house-hunting in or around Atlanta that will be "compatible" with our lifestyle. Schools are also going to be very important as we have a little one who will be starting her education very soon. I keep hearing about the Morningside schools, so we looked around that area, and it seems very nice, although the real estate is not much less expensive than in So Cal.

So what do you think?

Sincere thanks for your opinions!

Matthew
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:13 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
164 posts, read 310,245 times
Reputation: 102
If you don't mind the drive to Alpharetta, some nice in town neighborhoods you could check out are:

Inman Park
Kirkwood
Edgewood
Oakhurst
East Lake
Downtown Decatur area
Lake Clair
Candlar Park
historic MAK
Agnes Scott College area
Avondale Estates

Also check out
East Atlanta Villege
Grant Park
Oremwood Park

The first group i mentioned is around each other, around the Decatur area(east side), the second group is a little closer to downtown on the east.

I'm not familiar with the schools in these areas, but most of them do have or will have charter schools. Also prices range in these areas from probably 100K for a foreclosure to maybe up to million.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:34 AM
 
102 posts, read 243,598 times
Reputation: 75
Here some info to expand on nyte3k's post......

Inman Park, Lake Claire and Candler Park are districted to Mary Lin Elementary, which is an excellent school in the City of Atlanta district. Morningside and I believe Midtown is districted to Morningside Elementary, also an excellent Atlanta school. Virginia Highland goes to Springdale Park, a new Atlanta elementary school that should be very good given its district lines

Anything in the City of Decatur (MAK, Oakhurst, Agnes Scott, Glenlake, etc) goes to Clairemont, Winnona Park or Oakhust Elementary. They are all Expeditionary Learning Schools and are all top notch.

Ormewood and Grant Park are served by a regular elementary school which isn't so hot and by the Neighborhood Charter School which is considered good. This is in the City of Atlanta district. Most of Kirkwood is served by Toomer Elementary (Atlanta district). It's starting to turn around but is not quite there yet IMO. Avondale Estates goes to Avondale Elementary in DeKalb County. Not a good school at all. There is a group of parents there trying to start a charter school that looks very promising called the Museum School of Avondale Estates. It sounds wonderful on paper but is still in development. They hope to open next year, but I don't believe that the state has approved them yet.

You can check out these schools on greatschools.net

or on the state DOE site...

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement.

Also, you really need to go see the schools when you have narrowed it down a bit. They all have a different feel and test scores don't tell you everything. There are schools with top test scores in this state that I would never consider sending my kids to.

Commuting to Alpharetta from intown is not going to be pretty. You might want to take a peek around downtown Roswell or maybe Sandy Springs to see if that would be a good compromise. It's not as hip and urban as the neighborhoods discussed above, but it's much less suburban than Alpharetta. Unfortunately, I don't know very much about schools in those areas so hopefully someone else can chime in on that.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
887 posts, read 1,197,016 times
Reputation: 617
I would suggest a more northern urban nabe, like Virginia Highland or Morningside-Lenox Park. The 400 (a toll highway that takes you to Alpharetta) is more accessible here than most of Atlanta's urban hoods while keeping you close to the nightlife and art scene of midtown. Va-Hi is literally behind Piedmont Park and in walking distance while Morningside is rather close as well.

I feel northbound traffic up to Alpharetta would not be as bad, as this is a reverse commute (most folks in the burbs drive into the city for work moreso than vice versa). To be honest though, I wouldn't want your commute because of the distance, but if you really want a more urban lifestyle and good schools those two hoods are among the best.

Virginia Highland :: Atlanta, Georgia
Morningside Lenox Park Association
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
164 posts, read 310,245 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizchick86 View Post
I would suggest a more northern urban nabe, like Virginia Highland or Morningside-Lenox Park. The 400 (a toll highway that takes you to Alpharetta) is more accessible here than most of Atlanta's urban hoods while keeping you close to the nightlife and art scene of midtown. Va-Hi is literally behind Piedmont Park and in walking distance while Morningside is rather close as well.

I feel northbound traffic up to Alpharetta would not be as bad, as this is a reverse commute (most folks in the burbs drive into the city for work moreso than vice versa). To be honest though, I wouldn't want your commute because of the distance, but if you really want a more urban lifestyle and good schools those two hoods are among the best.

Virginia Highland :: Atlanta, Georgia
Morningside Lenox Park Association
I would agree with the reverse commute, however Alpharetta is a major spot for jobs so i'm not sure if traffic will be free and clear.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/Decatur/Emory area
1,320 posts, read 2,710,452 times
Reputation: 475
The neighborhood that's going to best personify your criteria is Ansley Park, but it's one of the most expensive intown neighborhoods. You didn't specify a price range or size or type of home you're looking for. Given that you were planning to buy in Long Beach, perhaps Ansley Park is within your price range. It's adjacent to most of the main cultural venues of the city (the High Museum, the Arts Center, etc.). Adjacent to Piedmont Park (the city's largest park and home to many of the city's biggest festivals). It's located right between Midtown (great restaurants & shopping) and Buckhead (ditto). They have a private security force. It's gorgeous and has many of the city's finest homes -- mostly historic. Many of the homes are huge and extremely expensive but some are small and only quite expensive . Depending on your size and price requirements, it might work. Also, the neighborhood connects to the (I75-85 connector via the 17th Street bridge) and from that you can move throughout the city as quickly as the interstate will take you (which, granted, is not always very quickly).

I'd be happy to set up a web site for you that will show you listings in that area (or any other intown neighborhood you decide you'd like to explore) as they come on the market. Just DM me if you'd like for me to do that (no obligation).

Welcome to the city!
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:53 PM
 
8,695 posts, read 12,161,027 times
Reputation: 1959
Quote:
Originally Posted by frances125 View Post
Here some info to expand on nyte3k's post......

Inman Park, Lake Claire and Candler Park are districted to Mary Lin Elementary, which is an excellent school in the City of Atlanta district. Morningside and I believe Midtown is districted to Morningside Elementary, also an excellent Atlanta school. Virginia Highland goes to Springdale Park, a new Atlanta elementary school that should be very good given its district lines

Anything in the City of Decatur (MAK, Oakhurst, Agnes Scott, Glenlake, etc) goes to Clairemont, Winnona Park or Oakhust Elementary. They are all Expeditionary Learning Schools and are all top notch.

Ormewood and Grant Park are served by a regular elementary school which isn't so hot and by the Neighborhood Charter School which is considered good. This is in the City of Atlanta district. Most of Kirkwood is served by Toomer Elementary (Atlanta district). It's starting to turn around but is not quite there yet IMO. Avondale Estates goes to Avondale Elementary in DeKalb County. Not a good school at all. There is a group of parents there trying to start a charter school that looks very promising called the Museum School of Avondale Estates. It sounds wonderful on paper but is still in development. They hope to open next year, but I don't believe that the state has approved them yet.

You can check out these schools on greatschools.net

or on the state DOE site...

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement.

Also, you really need to go see the schools when you have narrowed it down a bit. They all have a different feel and test scores don't tell you everything. There are schools with top test scores in this state that I would never consider sending my kids to.

Commuting to Alpharetta from intown is not going to be pretty. You might want to take a peek around downtown Roswell or maybe Sandy Springs to see if that would be a good compromise. It's not as hip and urban as the neighborhoods discussed above, but it's much less suburban than Alpharetta. Unfortunately, I don't know very much about schools in those areas so hopefully someone else can chime in on that.

Very informative...only need a few corrections:

*Morningside Elementary serves the neighborhoods of Morningside, Ansley Park, Sherwood Forest, Piedmont Heights, and part of Linridge/Martin Manor

*Almost all of Midtown is now served by Springdale Park Elementary along with Virginia-Highland, Atkins Park, Poncey-Highland, and the part of Druid Hills in the City of Atlanta (the southwestern sliver of Midtown...{south of Ponce, north of North, and west of the Beltline}...is served by Hill-Hope Elementary).



Here are some helpful links:

http://www.atlantapublicschools.us/186110108171837253/lib/186110108171837253/Elementary_Map_FY10_2.pdf (broken link)

http://www.atlantaga.gov/client_resources/government/planning/npu%20system/maps/npu_e.pdf (broken link)

http://www.atlantaga.gov/client_resources/government/planning/npu%20system/maps/npu_f.pdf (broken link)

http://www.atlantaga.gov/client_resources/government/planning/npu%20system/maps/npu_n.pdf (broken link)
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
8 posts, read 12,969 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks to everyone for their responses! This is a lot of GREAT information.

InTownHomes247: I looked at some of the real estate on-line in Ansley Park, and that may be a bit above our price range. We are trying to stay under $500,000 purchase price, which it looks like I can do in just about any of the surrounding areas. So it's really going to come down to going to some of these suggested neighborhoods and looking around -- seeing how they "feel".

Next month I'll be taking the first of 2 business trips out to prepare for the move. It's getting exciting!

Again, thanks to everyone for the responses and information.

Matthew
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:53 PM
 
2,987 posts, read 4,780,808 times
Reputation: 1388
Since you are from Long Beach the commute from Atlanta to Alpharetta is not going to be an issue at all IMO. I would strongly recommend an Intown area although Alpharetta is nice. No need to spend so much money in GA for a house though. Good luck on your move as I am very jealous.
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