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Old 05-27-2010, 07:43 AM
1 posts, read 3,172 times
Reputation: 28


I have received a job offer from a company in Norcross. Salary about mid-90's, at least 5K relocation, options, etc.

While the offer seems good at first glance the idea of moving from the San Francisco Bay area to Atlanta has me right now gutted with anxiety. I'm divorced, early 50's, the kids live with their mother (overseas). So I'm making this move on my own. I don't own a home, so no problem just packing up and moving. I have some comfort level living where I'm at (been in same apartment for 10 years) and that makes making the effort of moving a bit harder.

Probably looking to live just North of Norcross in the John's Creek-Dunwoody area. Might first look at renting a house then perhaps buying. Don't think I want to move into another apartment complex. While I've tried to do some researching about the area I'm still in the dark about about overall lifestyle in the area.

Is that salary good for Atlanta? It's about average and what I can expect for a Sr. Mechanical Engineering position in Silicon Valley.

What is a fair rate for rental housing? Figure: 3 bed, 2 bath as average, but may not be exactly what I'll end up in (I currently pay $1400 a month for a 1 bedroom in a fairly nice complex on the East bay of San Francisco, Ca).

What is the weather like? I've heard really hot and humid in Summer.
What are normal monthly utilities cost? Probably have to run the air conditioner all day right? (My current bill averages around $70 a month. I get plenty of ocean breezes through my place so rarely run the AC).

What is traffic like in that area? Just getting around the general vicinity? I'm hoping to keep my commute times short.

What is the shopping experience like? Plentiful stores, modern and well kept?

What is travelling into town like? Is there really anything to do downtown anyway? Is public transit an realistic option? Here we have BART.

Is everyone in that area married with kids? What is the singles life like there?

Recreation? What is there to do? I have a feeling I'll be bored outta my skull.

What is the crime rate like in that area? Atlanta (not to offend anyone) sort of has the rep out here of Oakland when it comes to crime. I don't go to Oakland (except to sometimes see a game, then out as quickly as I can).

Just a few of the questions. This would be a big move so I've got a fair amount of anxiety assoicated with it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:03 AM
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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* See your private message inbox, please *
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:10 AM
Location: ATL
4,688 posts, read 6,407,605 times
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Atlanta will be a great move for you. Atlanta is safe compared to other cities its size. As long as you arent selling drugs or hanging out in the hood you will be ok.

Traffic | Isnt as bad as everyone make it out to be as long as you live near your job. That salary is great for Atlanta. Living near Norcross would be great

Entertainment | You will never be bored here, always festivals, concerts, etc going on

Cost of Living | Its cheap here. One of the cheapest largest cities in America (Great time to buy a house)

Shopping | Lots of shopping with several new shopping destinations opening in a few years

Crime: Atlanta is like most other cities. San Fran/Oakland metro area had more crime that Atlanta in 2009

This will be a great move, no city is perfect but you will love it here.

Last edited by tonygeorgia; 05-27-2010 at 09:27 AM..
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:35 AM
Location: GA
2,738 posts, read 9,347,610 times
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The move can be great, but it's more about your state of mind. Be open to it and keep a positive attitude. That salary could go a long way. You can find your "niche" here if you want to. Change isn't always easy. You might consider renting a townhome; there's many to choose from. I find the people here very welcoming and helpful. Keep in mind ATL isn't San Fran. You will have to adjust; make the most of it. Good luck!
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:00 AM
Location: Lindbergh (Atlanta, GA)
126 posts, read 271,987 times
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San Fransisco and Atlanta are very different cities. I would heavily recommend that you take a trip out here for at least a couple of days. Drive around, walk around, etc. I think folks on this forum (including myself) would be happy to create a itinerary for you. Ill make some general comments below, but a trip is your best bet.

Yes, Atlanta is hot and humid for the summer. But you get used to it, I suppose. I grew up in Mass, went to college in the mountains of Virginia, then moved to Atlanta. My first summer was hot. But your body adjusts. Definitely not the same as San Fran, where (if im not mistaken) the temperature is fairly constant all year round. Big change there.

I have a BS in mechanical engineering (but I work in the financial services industry as a consultant). From what I understand, $95k for a Sr. ME is about average. I have no doubt that it will set you up very nicely here, especially if you are looking to live in the suburbs and not in the city. There are some cost of living calculators out there, where you type in your current city, current salary, and the city you wish to move to and it will spit you out a figure for what your new salary would need to be to live the same lifestyle. Here is one: Cost of living: Compare prices in two cities - CNNMoney.com. I find they are fairly accurate. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see how much cheaper Atlanta is than San Fransisco.

If you like the outdoors, then Atlanta area will be good for you. If you head north of the city, you will bump into mountains. Great for hiking, mountain biking, camping, etc. In-town, we have alot of festivals, etc (as someone mentioned). Also, as far as major US cities are concerned, Atlanta is very green (lots of trees, growth, etc). I haven't found one that compares yet. It makes for a really visually appealing city, especially if you like that type of thing.

There is public transit, but if you live in the suburbs, there won't be any trains. Trains essentially run within the city (often referred to as 'Inside the Perimeter', or 'ITP'). The 'Perimeter' is I-285. Generally, the suburbs are considered anything OTP (Outside the Perimeter). ITP, the trains take you to the major places, but not everywhere.

Downtown is essentially just business, hotels, and the sports arenas. On weekends, when there is not a sporting event, downtown is DEAD. The areas where folks hang out, and where there are things to do, are Midtown neighborhood (just north of Downtown, where our major park is), Virginia Highlands neighborhood (east of Midtown), Buckhead neighborhood (North of Midtown), and other in-town neighborhoods east of Downtown (too many to list).

Atlanta does get a bad rap for crime. Some of it is warranted. In the suburbs, I don't think its too bad (but I dont live out there, so someone else should chime in). The northern area of the city is generally safer than the southern area. Hope I dont ruffle any feathers there, but thats my opinion. I wouldn't concern yourself with the crime if you are living north of the city.

Can't comment on many of your other questions. Im in my 20s, so I don't think everyone is married with kids, but that opinion is probably a result of my age
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:06 AM
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,986 posts, read 3,352,226 times
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Wow, so much to answer?

I lived in Johns Creek for 13 years, so I can speak a little bit about its nature. But I'm coming from the standpoint of married with kids, not single.

I'm certain that $90K will get you a lot farther here than it would in the bay area. $1400/month would rent you a very decent house around here.

Crime may be a big problem in Atlanta, and in some of the suburbs closer in, but Johns Creek is generally a low-crime area. They've had a spate recently of house breakins but I think they finally caught the guys.

The weather is very different from San Francisco and it will be an adjustment for you. We don't think it gets hot here, but you probably will. Spring and fall are fabulous. Winters are mild (compared to the north). It snows here maybe once a year then it melts within a day. But the first time they predict a "winter storm", the reaction of the local media and everyone around you will make you think the world is ending. It's comical in a way. If there's any ice at all everything shuts down. Summers do get hot, but they don't stay hot. You will get consistently in the 80s and 90s but periodically a weather system will move through and things will cool down for a few days. What will startle you (if you aren't used to them) is the ferocity of the thunderstorms. If you've lived in California all your life then nothing will prepare you for your first severe thunderstorm. We get hail and tornadoes. But we deal with them much in the same way California deals with earthquakes: its a fact of life so you prepare, you endure, and you move on.

Shopping and entertainment depends largely on what you are looking for. In the burbs there's lots of mall shopping, but there is the occasional eclectic store. You just have to find them. If you like outdoor activities then there's plenty to do in the area. Head north to get to the North Georgia "mountains" (they will be hills by your standard, but they are just as much fun). Head further north and you are in the Smokies. Lots of state and national parks in the area. If you're looking for nightclubs you probably won't find many this far out. You will have to go closer in to Atlanta.

I would say "traffic is really bad" which is the opinion of most of the people who live here. But I've driven in bay area traffic and I found it worse. Unfortunately public transit isn't that great. There's been very little co-operation between the communities surrounding Atlanta and public transit has suffered as a result. Now we are way behind. There's MARTA (similar to BART) but it only runs closer in to the city. There's no night rail or heavy rail this far out: only busses. Commuting from Johns Creek to Norcross should take 30-45 minutes depending on where you're going.

Is there a reason to go in to the city? Absolutely! There's lots of great stuff to do downtown. Some fabulous restaurants, the symphony, opera, museums, theater, festivals, Cirque du Soleil visits once a year, Cavalia was here at the beginning of this year. If you're willing to drive downtown then you will definitely not be bored.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:20 AM
77 posts, read 254,812 times
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Just FYI - where in Norcross you are living and working makes a big difference. The mailing address of Norcross is really a very large area, with the portion to the east (especially around Jimmy Carter Blvd. area) being relatively very high crime and just not an area you would want to live in given your description of your salary, educational level, interests, etc. The west part of Norcross (around the Peachtree Corners area and state highway 141) is more upscale, dramatically different housing costs, etc. Just be careful with assuming that all Norcross addresses are basically the same.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:20 AM
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 11,774,292 times
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^Great advice, rxlynn.

Norcross does have a great little historic Downtown - it was a railroad town.
Directly adjacent and within walking distance is this great new urbanist development:
Seven Norcross Photo Gallery and Features - Norcross GA New Homes - Hedgewood, Atlanta New Homes Builder (http://www.hedgewoodhomes.com/neighborhoods/gallery.aspx?cid=6 - broken link)
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:55 PM
Location: North Fulton, GA
1,154 posts, read 2,271,308 times
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I have friends who moved to Peachtree Corners from CT (no children, 50s) and they are loving it. They bought a house in a swim/tennis community where everyone is very friendly. The shopping in that area is very nice although I am not sure about the restaurant scene.

You should come for a visit and get some initial feelings regarding the area.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:23 PM
12,918 posts, read 20,999,039 times
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Originally Posted by akress View Post
Also, as far as major US cities are concerned, Atlanta is very green (lots of trees, growth, etc). I haven't found one that compares yet. It makes for a really visually appealing city, especially if you like that type of thing.


So true.

There may even be no comparison in the world (major city)...
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