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Old 11-11-2014, 02:10 PM
 
78 posts, read 102,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grebe View Post
I'm sorry, I don't know Atlanta well at all, so I can't help with the comparison. But, I have lived in LA and LA suburbs. Where are the potential jobs located? It might not be realistic (or much fun...) to commute to and from Irvine or other parts of Orange County. Personally, I don't really think of Irvine as being within commuting distance to much of LA, but it all depends on where you're both working.

But there are plenty of livable areas in and near LA, depending on your criteria. Would you be ok with a condo instead of a house, for instance?

My hunch is also that Atlanta will come out ahead for you, mainly due to the cost of housing.

On your con #3 for LA, I wouldn't be so concerned. You can just avoid areas where you don't want to be/live. LA is so spread out. As you get to know the area, your comfort zone is also likely to expand.

Your comments on gentrification ring true to me to some extent. However, I think a lot depends on you and how you end up meeting people and making new friends. My social circle was very ethnically diverse in LA, but not diverse really at all in terms of educational background and socioeconomics. I mostly met people through work, church, and my kids' preschool.

Thank you for the reply. The potential job offer is in downtown LA but they also have an office in Irvine from which I can work out of. So if we are moving there, we will settle in or around the Irvine area and work out of the satellite office rather than commuting to the downtown every day. With having kids in mind, I would prefer a house over a condo but I will settle with a condo if I absolutely have to.

I agree with you. The cost of housing is what is making me lean towards Atlanta but LA definitely has better weather. I need to be paid twice as much as

I am not concerned about Con# 3 as I would definitely stay out of those areas but it was hard to ignore when a significant part of the metro area is composed of nothing but bad neighborhoods.

Gentrification isn't that big of an issue either but given a chance I would prefer a diverse place over a conservative place. I was thinking that it would be the opposite considering the liberal west vs the conservative deep south stereotypes but somehow LA feels more segregated compared to Atlanta.
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:46 PM
 
31 posts, read 36,008 times
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Ah, got it. People tend to have very love/hate reactions to Irvine. If you haven't already, I'd recommend posting any questions you have about it in the Orange County forum. It's important to keep in mind that it's far enough from LA that you'll be mostly hanging out in Orange County. There are cultural and political differences between LA county and Orange County. Sometimes these get overstated, but they are real.

Personally, I don't have strong feelings about Irvine because I've only visited. Some people like it because it has excellent public schools, is a planned community, has UC Irvine, etc. The complaints I've heard are that it's too cookie-cutter suburbia and as you noticed, not as well integrated as some other parts of SoCal.

For full disclosure, we recently moved from LA county to the Midwest, mostly because of the cost of living (housing). Lots of people obviously make SoCal work for them. We could get by ok, but didn't feel like we were saving enough for our kids, retirement, and aging parents.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:15 PM
 
78 posts, read 102,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grebe View Post
Ah, got it. People tend to have very love/hate reactions to Irvine. If you haven't already, I'd recommend posting any questions you have about it in the Orange County forum. It's important to keep in mind that it's far enough from LA that you'll be mostly hanging out in Orange County. There are cultural and political differences between LA county and Orange County. Sometimes these get overstated, but they are real.

Personally, I don't have strong feelings about Irvine because I've only visited. Some people like it because it has excellent public schools, is a planned community, has UC Irvine, etc. The complaints I've heard are that it's too cookie-cutter suburbia and as you noticed, not as well integrated as some other parts of SoCal.

For full disclosure, we recently moved from LA county to the Midwest, mostly because of the cost of living (housing). Lots of people obviously make SoCal work for them. We could get by ok, but didn't feel like we were saving enough for our kids, retirement, and aging parents.

Good luck with your decision!
Thank you. Your input definitely helps. I get the love/hate part about Irvine. I talked about Irvine with a few of my friends and some just hated it for being too dull and lacking variety. Some absolutely love it because of the schools and lack of crime. I think it's a great place to raise a family if not for the exorbitant housing costs. Also the lack of diversity and integration may make you feel like an outsider some times.

I might lean towards Atlanta just for the cost of living and for the same reasons you mentioned above. Make sure we have enough savings for kids and retirement- though it is a long way for me to retirement it's never too early to start saving
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
5,302 posts, read 8,096,781 times
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First of all, Irvine is NOT LA--it's Orange County, which I agree, isn't very diverse or cultured. It's bland suburbia, although it is beautiful. LA is pretty much on par with NYC as far as diversity--Atlanta is diverse, but nowhere near the same level. In LA, you have your typical Whites and Blacks, but also Latinos (mainly Mexican), West Asians/North Africans (Arabs, Persians, Israelis, Armenians, etc), Asians (Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese), and a lot of Jews too. Thing is, much like in Atlanta, it tends to be segregated by neighborhood/economics--the poor areas tend to be Black and Latino, though some White, Korean, or Southeast Asians also live in these areas. Wealthier areas tend to be White, Asian, and North African/West Asian, with some Blacks and Latinos thrown in. And usually, it's just overwhelmingly one race that lives in the neighborhood. Socioeconomically and in terms of education, it's not so diverse. But, you can find any kind of restaurant/cuisine or festival from anywhere in the world. There's a Little Armenia, a Thai Town, a South Asian neighborhood, Middle Eastern neighborhoods (all that in ADDITION to Chinatown and Little Tokyo)...you won't find that kind of stuff in most cities, I'd imagine not so much in Atlanta even. LA also just has a lot more culture and a lot more to do.

I find it funny that you say LA is hot when the truth is, in summer, Atlanta is far hotter. LA does get hot in some inland areas, but everywhere at night cools off into the 60sF in LA, unless there is a rare heat wave that keeps temps in the 70sF. But generally, nights are refreshingly-cool at night, especially if you live on the coast where you can feel the sea breeze and the fog rolls in from the water. Atlanta is hot and humid in the day and in the night with no relief until fall arrives. Oh, and lots of bugs. LA has a dry heat, so unless there is some rare monsoonal flow making its way into the city, it's not going to feel as hot since there's no humidity. Plus, LA also has the beach that you can escape to in the heat, as well as pools. In Atlanta, people have pools but otherwise, they're stuck with being inside unless they love hot weather. But, Atlanta is cheaper, and if you really want 4 seasons, then Atlanta might be the best choice for you.
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Old 11-13-2014, 12:31 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,464,772 times
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Both Atlanta and LA have bad traffic, but at least Atlanta in theory offers public transit as an option via the rail lines. It assumes home/work are proximate to stations, but at least it's a potential option to not sit in traffic.

And Atlanta, by comparison, will be eminently more affordable to live closer in.

That said, I think the heat/humidity of Atlanta would be a deal-breaker for me. But I'm a cold-weather person.
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Old 11-13-2014, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,315 posts, read 6,970,829 times
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This is an interesting comparison. Not just LA vs Atlanta metros but suburbs like Irvine vs Alpharetta and Duluth. Anyway, to me it really boils down to cost of RE vs weather. What is more important to you? Some other minor x factors are how far away your extended families would be and how difficult the move is from where you are now.
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Old 11-14-2014, 02:44 PM
 
1,640 posts, read 2,049,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyIsTheLimt View Post
Growing City: I think Atlanta along with Dallas and Houston will be growth engines for the next two to three decades. With the growth comes more potential for new jobs, possibility of real estate appreciation etc. In general I like the vibe that comes with a rapidly expanding city with a lot of new comers, new construction projects etc..We went to this one recent project called Avalon in North Atlanta and it looked really neat.
Be careful of what you wish for.

"Rapidly growing" cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, et al. are much more transient than cities with more stable population growth such as Los Angeles and even San Diego, which, like you said, already experienced rapid population growth in a different era.

One of my closest friends from AZ just recently moved to Charleston, SC last December, which is also experiencing rapid population growth at this time, and nearly every single friend, neighbor, co-worker, fellow churchgoer, etc. of hers is from elsewhere, although mostly the Northeast and FL. When I visited her in July, she introduced me to about 8-10 of her new friends, most of whom were from work or church, and every single one had moved down *AFTER* her. Keep in mind, she moved to Charleston in December 2013.

However, as my friend in SC is quickly learning, with rapid population growth comes transience. For example, several of my friend's friends, many of whom are corporate relos, are planning to move back to wherever they came from. I attempted to introduce my friend from AZ to an acquaintance of mine from high school in RI who moved to Charleston last October, but by December, she and her husband had already returned to MA, just before my friend from AZ had arrived in Charleston. Another acquaintance of mine from college in FL had moved to Charleston briefly in July, but by the time I got around to exchanging their contact info with one another, my friend from FL was already back in Jacksonville. A similar occurrence recently transpired with yet another acquaintance of mine from high school in RI.

Point is, while living in a rapidly growing metro area with lots of new development and upcoming "projects" may seem cool, especially if you're from, say, a declining Rust Belt metro or the like, I will caution you that it's quite difficult to make long-lasting, meaningful, emotionally dependable friendships in high-growth areas because they tend to be very transient. I hope my real-life examples illustrate this issue well. However, unlike Charleston, Atlanta has a much more robust, diversified economy--not to mention it's also less of a "destination city" for many, so to speak--so this issue is less apparent in Atlanta, but still present nonetheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyIsTheLimt View Post
2. Cost of Living: The offer in LA pays me 20 to 30% more but while factoring in the taxes and cost of living I think it still comes out to less than what I can get in Atlanta. A decent 4 bed/4 bath home would run close to 400k in a nice Suburb of Atlanta like Alpharetta or Cumming where as a 3 bd/3ba will cost 800K+ in any nice LA suburbs like Irvine.
I learned a long time ago that location has a much stronger influence on my own personal happiness than home-ownership, meaning that I'd rather rent a 800-sqft. apartment on Balboa Peninsula than own a 3,000-sqft. Cracker-Jack box way out in the boonies (AKA Forsyth County), surrounded by a bunch of rednecks and Christian fundamentalists. YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyIsTheLimt View Post
4. Suburbs: Suburbs like Johns Creek/Alpharetta/Cumming(Forsyth) are consistently ranked as the best to live in the United States. Johns Creek is rated 10 among the best places to live in United States

Alpharetta was ranked number 1 reloville by Forbes magazine

The adjoining Forsyth county is one of the richest counties in US
That's cute.

I've actually lived in both Alpharetta and Irvine, and I'll have you know that Irvine kicks the believin' Jesus outta Alpharetta every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Compared to Alpharetta, Irvine has:

1. Much better weather: Warmer winters, cooler summers, much more sunshine overall, no snow, no ice, no tornadoes, no hailstorms, far fewer seasonal allergens and irritants.

2. Much prettier scenery: More varied terrain, mountain views, less claustrophobic-feeling/more horizon views, much prettier flora, more landscaped/manicured overall.

3. Better infrastructure: Wider, better-marked roads; more street landscaping; synchronized traffic signals; better freeway system and connectivity.

4. Better shopping: Irvine Spectrum, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island. Need I say more? LOL.

5. More pleasing culture: More diverse; less socially conservative; less religious; more open-minded; more accepting and tolerant of people of varying races, heritages, faiths, and sexual orientations; better educated populace.

6. Stronger economy: Larger corporate presence (corporate hub for Orange County); larger GDP; more of a standalone economy (Alpharetta is more of a bedroom community by comparison with fewer corporate HQ’s and regional offices, office parks, etc.).

7. Strong educational system: Better funded K-12 schools; higher childhood literacy and academic achievement rates; home to UC-Irvine and regional campuses for several other institutions of higher learning.

8. Less crime: The FBI just recently ranked Irvine as the safest city in the US with a population of >100,000, the link below.

FBI ranks Irvine as safest big city in U.S. for 10th year in a row - LA Times

9. More varied activities and recreational opportunities in the general area: Hiking, mountain biking, surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, Disneyland--the list is endless. The number of day-trip possibilities from Orange County are endless as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyIsTheLimt View Post
Atlanta has one of the best rated nightlife in the country.
Maybe if you're black.

Compared to LA, I found Atlanta to have an alarmingly segregated nightlife scene. But after all, it's the South and the black "Mecca," so what do you expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyIsTheLimt View Post
Beaches in Florida though not so close are still a few hours drive away and the smoky mountains are a short drive away. Orlando is not too far either.
This is where you really lose me.

Unlike Metro Atlanta, Greater Los Angeles is a coastal metro area, meaning that, in LA and OC, you have the potential to live on or within walking distance from the beach. Also, there are mountain ranges that surround the LA Basin, the most prominent being the San Gabriel Mountains and Santa Monica Mountains among a couple others.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather have beaches and mountains in my backyard or, at the very least, 20-30 minutes away from home vs. having to drive hours to some tacky, redneck beach town in the FL Panhandle or some remote hillbilly town in the Smokey Mountains.

Finally, if theme parks are your thing, you do know that there are tons of theme parks of Southern California, right? Most, if not all, of the theme parks in Orlando are also in Southern California (i.e., Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, et al.), although not in one collective area like in Orlando. Again, this is another backyard vs. hours of driving issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyIsTheLimt View Post
4. Gentrification: I found more places in Atlanta where different races live together. In buckhead and the northern suburbs I saw whites, blacks, Asians and all other races. but in LA it's usually once race that dominates the area. Irvine for example I found is mostly Asian. Even the brochures of the new subdivisions have Asian couples printed on them. Some areas are mostly hispanic and some areas are mostly white. Atlanta also may have such areas but I feel like LA is worst in this aspect.
I beg your pardon? I live in Long Beach, CA (LA County), which is, arguably, the most diverse, integrated city in the entire United States, so I really don't know what you're talking about.

It sounds like you can't handle the diversity of the LA area. If that's the case, then you should probably move to Atlanta, where it's definitely more black-and-white, literally and figuratively. In my experience, the potential relos who chose another city such as Atlanta, Charlotte, or Raleigh over a California city are the ones who are trying to avoid, for lack of a better term, the Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese, Jewish, Italian, and other racial, ethnic, and "lifestyle" groups (i.e., LBGT folks) that have a stronghold in the demographics, politics, and culture of California.

That said, I will have you know that overall, LA is a much easier place to navigate socially than Atlanta. It's a lot more open, tolerant, and welcoming, to say the least, than Atlanta. It's a post-politically correct society--no one cares what religion you, where you're from, or who you sleep with. You're not going to hear the term "Yankee" used outside of reference to the baseball team or in a history lecture, and you won't get "y'all" day-in and day-out, either. Not to mention you'll find a lot more support for progressive ideals such hybrid and electric cars, the "green" movement (i.e., recycling), organic eating and living, caps on land development, educational expenditures, and so forth in LA vs. Atlanta.

But if you're goal is to own a brand new 3000-sqft. upgraded home in the boonies and holy-jump at a megachurch on Sundays, then by all means, move to Atlanta. However, I will have you know that Atlanta is notorious for attracting four types of people:

1. Black people from all over the country who want to live in the black "Mecca"
2. Materialistic people from the Northeast who are looking for want bigger, newer, cheaper housing
3. Runaways from Christian fundamentalist families in extremely conservative small towns in Georgia and neighboring states
4. The people who simply gave up on Florida

FWIW, most people would choose LA over Atlanta, even in Atlanta. I hope my post offers some guidance. Best of luck in your decision and relocation,

8to32
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Sandy Springs (ATL)
1,874 posts, read 2,363,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8to32characters View Post
Be careful of what you wish for.

"Rapidly growing" cities such as Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, et al. are much more transient than cities with more stable population growth such as Los Angeles and even San Diego, which, like you said, already experienced rapid population growth in a different era.

One of my closest friends from AZ just recently moved to Charleston, SC last December, which is also experiencing rapid population growth at this time, and nearly every single friend, neighbor, co-worker, fellow churchgoer, etc. of hers is from elsewhere, although mostly the Northeast and FL. When I visited her in July, she introduced me to about 8-10 of her new friends, most of whom were from work or church, and every single one had moved down *AFTER* her. Keep in mind, she moved to Charleston in December 2013.

However, as my friend in SC is quickly learning, with rapid population growth comes transience. For example, several of my friend's friends, many of whom are corporate relos, are planning to move back to wherever they came from. I attempted to introduce my friend from AZ to an acquaintance of mine from high school in RI who moved to Charleston last October, but by December, she and her husband had already returned to MA, just before my friend from AZ had arrived in Charleston. Another acquaintance of mine from college in FL had moved to Charleston briefly in July, but by the time I got around to exchanging their contact info with one another, my friend from FL was already back in Jacksonville. A similar occurrence recently transpired with yet another acquaintance of mine from high school in RI.

Point is, while living in a rapidly growing metro area with lots of new development and upcoming "projects" may seem cool, especially if you're from, say, a declining Rust Belt metro or the like, I will caution you that it's quite difficult to make long-lasting, meaningful, emotionally dependable friendships in high-growth areas because they tend to be very transient. I hope my real-life examples illustrate this issue well. However, unlike Charleston, Atlanta has a much more robust, diversified economy--not to mention it's also less of a "destination city" for many, so to speak--so this issue is less apparent in Atlanta, but still present nonetheless.



I learned a long time ago that location has a much stronger influence on my own personal happiness than home-ownership, meaning that I'd rather rent a 800-sqft. apartment on Balboa Peninsula than own a 3,000-sqft. Cracker-Jack box way out in the boonies (AKA Forsyth County), surrounded by a bunch of rednecks and Christian fundamentalists. YMMV.



That's cute.

I've actually lived in both Alpharetta and Irvine, and I'll have you know that Irvine kicks the believin' Jesus outta Alpharetta every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Compared to Alpharetta, Irvine has:

1. Much better weather: Warmer winters, cooler summers, much more sunshine overall, no snow, no ice, no tornadoes, no hailstorms, far fewer seasonal allergens and irritants.

2. Much prettier scenery: More varied terrain, mountain views, less claustrophobic-feeling/more horizon views, much prettier flora, more landscaped/manicured overall.

3. Better infrastructure: Wider, better-marked roads; more street landscaping; synchronized traffic signals; better freeway system and connectivity.

4. Better shopping: Irvine Spectrum, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island. Need I say more? LOL.

5. More pleasing culture: More diverse; less socially conservative; less religious; more open-minded; more accepting and tolerant of people of varying races, heritages, faiths, and sexual orientations; better educated populace.

6. Stronger economy: Larger corporate presence (corporate hub for Orange County); larger GDP; more of a standalone economy (Alpharetta is more of a bedroom community by comparison with fewer corporate HQs and regional offices, office parks, etc.).

7. Strong educational system: Better funded K-12 schools; higher childhood literacy and academic achievement rates; home to UC-Irvine and regional campuses for several other institutions of higher learning.

8. Less crime: The FBI just recently ranked Irvine as the safest city in the US with a population of >100,000, the link below.

FBI ranks Irvine as safest big city in U.S. for 10th year in a row - LA Times

9. More varied activities and recreational opportunities in the general area: Hiking, mountain biking, surfing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, Disneyland--the list is endless. The number of day-trip possibilities from Orange County are endless as well.



Maybe if you're black.

Compared to LA, I found Atlanta to have an alarmingly segregated nightlife scene. But after all, it's the South and the black "Mecca," so what do you expect?



This is where you really lose me.

Unlike Metro Atlanta, Greater Los Angeles is a coastal metro area, meaning that, in LA and OC, you have the potential to live on or within walking distance from the beach. Also, there are mountain ranges that surround the LA Basin, the most prominent being the San Gabriel Mountains and Santa Monica Mountains among a couple others.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather have beaches and mountains in my backyard or, at the very least, 20-30 minutes away from home vs. having to drive hours to some tacky, redneck beach town in the FL Panhandle or some remote hillbilly town in the Smokey Mountains.

Finally, if theme parks are your thing, you do know that there are tons of theme parks of Southern California, right? Most, if not all, of the theme parks in Orlando are also in Southern California (i.e., Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, et al.), although not in one collective area like in Orlando. Again, this is another backyard vs. hours of driving issue.



I beg your pardon? I live in Long Beach, CA (LA County), which is, arguably, the most diverse, integrated city in the entire United States, so I really don't know what you're talking about.

It sounds like you can't handle the diversity of the LA area. If that's the case, then you should probably move to Atlanta, where it's definitely more black-and-white, literally and figuratively. In my experience, the potential relos who chose another city such as Atlanta, Charlotte, or Raleigh over a California city are the ones who are trying to avoid, for lack of a better term, the Mexican, Korean, Vietnamese, Jewish, Italian, and other racial, ethnic, and "lifestyle" groups (i.e., LBGT folks) that have a stronghold in the demographics, politics, and culture of California.

That said, I will have you know that overall, LA is a much easier place to navigate socially than Atlanta. It's a lot more open, tolerant, and welcoming, to say the least, than Atlanta. It's a post-politically correct society--no one cares what religion you, where you're from, or who you sleep with. You're not going to hear the term "Yankee" used outside of reference to the baseball team or in a history lecture, and you won't get "y'all" day-in and day-out, either. Not to mention you'll find a lot more support for progressive ideals such hybrid and electric cars, the "green" movement (i.e., recycling), organic eating and living, caps on land development, educational expenditures, and so forth in LA vs. Atlanta.

But if you're goal is to own a brand new 3000-sqft. upgraded home in the boonies and holy-jump at a megachurch on Sundays, then by all means, move to Atlanta. However, I will have you know that Atlanta is notorious for attracting four types of people:

1. Black people from all over the country who want to live in the black "Mecca"
2. Materialistic people from the Northeast who are looking for want bigger, newer, cheaper housing
3. Runaways from Christian fundamentalist families in extremely conservative small towns in Georgia and neighboring states
4. The people who simply gave up on Florida

FWIW, most people would choose LA over Atlanta, even in Atlanta. I hope my post offers some guidance. Best of luck in your decision and relocation,

8to32
Very good points.
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:51 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
2,322 posts, read 2,313,890 times
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As a person who has lived in ATL & LA, ATL is a cool place, there is a lot to do and it's probably the cosmopolitan southern city. If your black, then you'll find a lot of things for you as it is a black Mecca. It's cheaper to live their housing wise and there are great parks and a good social scene. However, LA just has a ton of more stuff to do. It's has way better food, festivities, outdoor activities, culture, and it's more diverse. In terms of segregation, ATL is more segregated than LA. LA does have areas that your likely to find a heavy majority of one race as well but at the same time socially, it is pretty integrated. I felt like living in ATL was really black/white and there is not that much integration socially. I'm black, and litterally all my friends were black. It wasn't that I was even trying to not have white friends, but all the parties and social events that were not city festivles only had one group of people. The food in ATL is not that great either... Low key sucks I'm certain ways. Traffic is a wash. PT is better in LA and they are building 5 trains right now. ATL has a lot of good things got for it like the beltline, krog market, ponce, buckhead... Etc. LA's downtown is getting really cool tho...whatever you choose you can't really go wrong.
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:37 AM
 
78 posts, read 102,083 times
Reputation: 81
Thank you for all the input. After much thought we have decided to pic Atlanta and are considering moving to the area surrounding Johns creek, GA. It all came down to weather vs savings in the end. I have decided to save the extra change for a rainy day rather than tacking on a 800k mortgage while paying significantly higher taxes. Coming from the north as I mentioned I wouldn't mind having 4 seasons and the winters are a breeze here anyways comparatively. To clarify I am not black..
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