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Old 09-01-2007, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Fox Lake, IL
36 posts, read 211,410 times
Reputation: 28

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Hi all. I know this is a little long. But please read the entire post because I have specific questions since I finally had a chance to visit Georgia in person recently.

I've been on and off this site for quite a while now. I finally got a chance to visit Georgia for the first time in years recently. I rented a car and did a lot of driving down there. Mostly the suburbs outside the Eastern parts of Atlanta. (I put a list of the towns I visited below)

Here's the thing. I notice most of the posts about folks moving back to Georgia asking where to move to, concern people who can afford houses. I haven't noticed that many posts for those of us who need to look for rentals or housing in lower income areas if that's all we can afford.

I only make around $25,000 a year. I pay $765 a month for a one bedroom apartment up here in Illinois. My mom is starting social security this year which might help us be able to afford up to $1000 a month for rent. I might consider buying instead of renting again, if I could find a decent older area in Georgia where houses might start at 100k and under. I could rent with the option to buy. Or perhaps a condo or townhome maybe? I'd even consider moving us to a trailer park in Georgia if it's decent.

My question is, even though I visited a lot of areas in my visit to Georgia, I'm still not sure where the "decent" working class neighborhoods are in these towns. I don't mind if an area is racially mixed as long as it's not full of gangbangers. (my family and I are white folks)

I am a data entry clerk. I need to live close to any area that has lots of office parks but I don't have to live in that area. I liked Duluth a lot. I was thinking of us possibly moving to Duluth since it might be cheaper but then I could work in Alpharetta, Roswell, Dunwoody, etc. Does that sound like a good option?

Also, I don't like "small towns". I like more developed areas. I like to be close to lots of stores, for shopping basics. I don't mind all the development in Georgia and traffic because I'm used to it up here in Illinois where I live and work. I like to live in a "busier" area so that I'm close to office parks for work and basic shopping. (stores like Wal-Mart, etc)

Where's a good lower income place to live in Georgia for someone who only makes $25,000 a year? The only reason I'm not considering Atlanta itself is due to my asthma and the smog in the city.

The other reason I'm asking, is even though I got to visit a lot of areas, I was only in Georgia a week and only had time to "drive through". I got a basic feel of all these areas but I'm still not sure which areas have the most office parks and which areas might have lower income neighborhoods that are still decent. I need more help in narrowing it down. I did like Duluth a lot though.

Also, just so you guys know, I am used to an hour commute to work one way up here in Illinois. And when we get snow up here, it can be an hour 1/2 to two hours to get home. (and last year, it snowed a lot) Keep that in mind if you make any suggestions. I don't mind traffic. The traffic I experienced while driving around Georgia did not faze me at all since I'm used to it up here, but, I would like to try and keep my drive to work no longer then an hour if possible somewhere in Georgia.

Here is a list of all the areas I visited in Georgia.

Duluth
Conyers
Stockbridge
McDonough
Lithonia
Social Circle
Walnut Grove
Monroe
Loganville
Snellville
Grayson
Lawrenceville
Auburn
Winder
Dacula
Alpharetta


I didn't get a chance to visit all the cities I wanted to.

Here are other towns I'm considering but didn't get a chance to visit:

Vinings
Smyrna
Sandy Springs
Marietta
Kennesaw
Acworth
Woodstock
Cartersville
Sugar Hill
Buford
Suwanee
Fair Oaks
Powder Springs
Mableton
Austell
Douglasville
Doraville
Norcross
Lilburn

Athens

Remember, I don't care if an area is more racially diverse, as long as it's decent. I also don't care if it's a more congested area with traffic. That works better for me actually. My mom and brother live with me and I'd be moving all three of us. Since rent is going up so much, I may be able to afford an older house to buy possibly in an older neighborhood. I can't afford a new house in the newer neighborhoods. They are just too expensive. I'm looking for houses that are 100k and under. I could maybe rent a house and buy later.

I know there are posts about all the areas I listed above in this forum, but I've found most of those posts are for folks who are looking to buy homes that start at 200k and over. I can't afford that. What are the best towns for those of us who are lower income and can't afford to buy new but we want to be close enough to towns with lots of office parks for jobs?

Thank you in advance. This forum has been very helpful to me over the past year.

Last edited by AthmaGirl; 09-01-2007 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,405 posts, read 4,231,308 times
Reputation: 839
Just so you know. the smog is just as bad in the suburbs, if not worse. Unlike up north, where the pollution comes from factories and industry, in metro Atlanta the pollution comes mainly from cars, as there really aren't smokestack industries here. Out of the 5 million people in the metro area, only about 450,000 live in the city of Atlanta, meaning that most of the cars are outside the city. I'm not an expert on asthma, but I don't think that anywhere around metro Atlanta is supposed to be good for people with that condition.
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Old 09-02-2007, 02:44 AM
 
168 posts, read 552,892 times
Reputation: 73
Actually, the worst pollution comes from coal burning plants. Try a search of Scorecard.org before you plant yourself anywhere new. You will also have the tree pollen every spring....pretty bad.

Sorry I can't help you with the cities you visited, but for your income, I'd suggest that you seriously consider the location of colleges to attend easily, so you can get your pay up higher. $25k is barely survival pay these days. It's nice your mom can help out, but you need to do this for yourself eventually. And there are lots of colleges around, with good programs, if only you don't have to spend all your spare time on the road.

Vinings is expensive. There are lots of big businesses in the entire area north of the Town Center Mall area in Kennesaw, between Hwy 41 and Busbee Pkwy - not to mention all the shopping centers in the area. There is a business park off Hwy 41 and Canton Rd in Marietta, and a business park on Hwy 41 near the little airport. I'm sure I left out many.

There seems to be a lot of apartment/condo life all around that area, but I have no idea the cost. There are probably many older homes for rent in the area as well.

Most the areas north of the 285 loop are very decent up through Woodstock, but probably not much biz above Kennesaw. If you download the free GoogleEarth, you can really make out the biz areas from residential in a given town. Good luck.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:10 AM
 
582 posts, read 1,816,913 times
Reputation: 98
You can also get a good idea of what a house will cost to rent in those areas if you go onto craigslist.org. Going onto the Atlanta craigslist in the real estate for rent section you can then type in each city and see what is available. I also think you might be able to make more if you find the right place. I have seen people with a lot of experience doing data entry and fast and accurate typing skills making $12-15 an hour. Duluth is a good area for you if you can swing it because it's not far from Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, and also the John's Creek area which has a huge office park. I don't know about the area, but there are some townhouses in Norcross that I saw going for less than $100k. You may not need to go as far down as you think though, i'm selling a house in Atlanta for $130,000 and the lender put together pricing for the house and with the HOA we're at $1100-1250 a month. If you find somewhere around $115k with a very low HOA you might be able to afford that.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,405 posts, read 4,231,308 times
Reputation: 839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westward View Post
Actually, the worst pollution comes from coal burning plants. Try a search of Scorecard.org before you plant yourself anywhere new. You will also have the tree pollen every spring....pretty bad.
The Georgia Clean Air Campaign reports that over 50% of ozone pollution in metro Atlanta comes from cars. In terms of other pollutants, they are obviously attributable to other sources.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Fox Lake, IL
36 posts, read 211,410 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioNative View Post
Just so you know. the smog is just as bad in the suburbs, if not worse. Unlike up north, where the pollution comes from factories and industry, in metro Atlanta the pollution comes mainly from cars, as there really aren't smokestack industries here. Out of the 5 million people in the metro area, only about 450,000 live in the city of Atlanta, meaning that most of the cars are outside the city. I'm not an expert on asthma, but I don't think that anywhere around metro Atlanta is supposed to be good for people with that condition.

I forgot to mention that I grew up in Georgia. We moved to Illinois in 1993. The pollution from traffic doesn't seem to bother me too much. I'm used to that up here in Illinois. I had pretty bad allergies growing up in Georgia but my lungs always did ok. When I was down in Conyers, visiting Georgia for a week, my lungs did great actually.

But I've noticed the summers have gotten hotter overall in Georgia then they were when I grew up here. Heat can increase overall air pollution because it increases ozone levels, especially in the summer. So, it is something I'm keeping in mind if we move back. I'm just so tired of the winters up here. I didn't start getting sinus infections until we moved to Illinois.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Fox Lake, IL
36 posts, read 211,410 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westward View Post
Actually, the worst pollution comes from coal burning plants. Try a search of Scorecard.org before you plant yourself anywhere new. You will also have the tree pollen every spring....pretty bad.

Sorry I can't help you with the cities you visited, but for your income, I'd suggest that you seriously consider the location of colleges to attend easily, so you can get your pay up higher. $25k is barely survival pay these days. It's nice your mom can help out, but you need to do this for yourself eventually. And there are lots of colleges around, with good programs, if only you don't have to spend all your spare time on the road.

Vinings is expensive. There are lots of big businesses in the entire area north of the Town Center Mall area in Kennesaw, between Hwy 41 and Busbee Pkwy - not to mention all the shopping centers in the area. There is a business park off Hwy 41 and Canton Rd in Marietta, and a business park on Hwy 41 near the little airport. I'm sure I left out many.

There seems to be a lot of apartment/condo life all around that area, but I have no idea the cost. There are probably many older homes for rent in the area as well.

Most the areas north of the 285 loop are very decent up through Woodstock, but probably not much biz above Kennesaw. If you download the free GoogleEarth, you can really make out the biz areas from residential in a given town. Good luck.
I remember the tree pollen from the pine trees growing up in Georgia. A yellow blanket of powder covered everything. Ah, memories.

Thank you for the info about Kennesaw. That is another area I'm looking into besides Duluth. I'm glad to hear there are some office parks up that way too.

As far as my income, $25,000 a year is ok if I'm renting an apartment. I can afford all the basics. I actually live in a pretty decent area up here. That's why I'm looking for decent lower income neighborhoods to live in because you don't have to make 100k a year to afford the basics. I budget very well. There are many people in this country who get by on $25,000 and even less. I believe we are classified as the "working poor" in this country. Or maybe it's $15,000 a year and under. I can't remember. But we do get by. I don't need a big house or fancy car. I just want a relatively decent area to live in close to jobs. Not all decent areas have to be expensive.
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Old 09-02-2007, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Fox Lake, IL
36 posts, read 211,410 times
Reputation: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraSatin View Post
You can also get a good idea of what a house will cost to rent in those areas if you go onto craigslist.org. Going onto the Atlanta craigslist in the real estate for rent section you can then type in each city and see what is available. I also think you might be able to make more if you find the right place. I have seen people with a lot of experience doing data entry and fast and accurate typing skills making $12-15 an hour. Duluth is a good area for you if you can swing it because it's not far from Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, and also the John's Creek area which has a huge office park. I don't know about the area, but there are some townhouses in Norcross that I saw going for less than $100k. You may not need to go as far down as you think though, i'm selling a house in Atlanta for $130,000 and the lender put together pricing for the house and with the HOA we're at $1100-1250 a month. If you find somewhere around $115k with a very low HOA you might be able to afford that.

That's a good idea. I had forgotten about Craigslist. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 09-02-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: TEXAS
115 posts, read 478,755 times
Reputation: 44
Default Moving To The Kennesaw Area

WELL I WANT TO MOVE TO WOODSTOCK OR KENNESAW BUT IM WONDERING ABOUT JOBS AS A SURGICAL TECHNICIAN THERE. LIKE AthmaGirl, IM LOOKING FOR SOMETHING THAT I CAN AFFORD TOO. WHAT NEARBY SURGERY CENTERS OR HOSPITAL DOES IT HAVE THAT WILL KEEP ME OUT OF THE MAIN STREAMS OF ATLANTA. WHERE THERES SHOPPING AREAS, PHARMACYS,ETC. IS COST OF LIVING HIGH IN THAT AREA? IM BLACK WITH A VERY FRIENDLY BLACK CHRISTIAN FAMILY. ALSO LIKE AthmaGirl I DON'T CARE ABOUT RACIAL MIXTURES AS LONG AS IT IS DECENT. IM FROM LOUISIANA SO CRIME DON'T SURPRISE ME AT ALL PRAYER ALWAYS WORKS FOR ME. I WOULD LIKE A PLACE WHERE THERES LOW CRIME. CAN SOMEONE HELP THIS SISTA OUT?
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Old 09-02-2007, 05:05 PM
 
168 posts, read 552,892 times
Reputation: 73
There is one hospital, Wellstar Kennestone, in Kennesaw, and another Wellstar hospital not too far away on S.Cobb in Marietta. The one on S.Cobb Dr. is in a more diverse, more affordably priced area, in a good mix of smaller, older homes, along with many new smaller homes. Lots of new shopping there too, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, etc, and plenty of restaurants. The area around Kennestone is going to be a bit more expensive. I don't know of any hospitals/surgical centers in Woodstock.
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