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Old 05-09-2008, 01:29 PM
 
5 posts, read 12,811 times
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Am planning on relocating to this area in near future to be near family. Counties of interest include Hall, Lumpkin, White,Union, Habersham, Fannin or Gilmer. Would appreciate input from anyone regarding these areas with respect to cost of living, property taxes, possible employment and racial makeup. Thanks
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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Default North Georgia

You did not mention Towns County. It has the lowest property taxes, virtually no crime, a first class 2 year college that is going to 4 year, gorgeous scenery. As for diversity, there is none racially. It is all white last I heard. Reason being there is little economic opportunity there if you want to work for someone else. If you are starting a business, then you might be okay.

Habersham is good. Most any of the counties in NE Georgia are very liveable, but wages are low. So are taxes usually. Ad valorem taxes based on millage rates vary from county to county. You can contact the Tax Commissioner in each county and ask for their tax rates and ask them also how to figure it.

For example, in Towns County, where I lived for 2 years, my taxes on a 200K plus house with a second lot was just over 550 dollars annually. Here in Athens my property taxes are over 1600 dollars for a house assessed at 167,000. Same major differences apply to motor vehicles.

I would not live in Hall County--period.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:26 PM
 
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Default Ps

Union County abuts Towns to the west. Also liveable with a bit more going on in Blairsville. Also closer to Murphy, NC where you will find a Walmart. Blairsville has a Home Depot---for now.

Don't know enough about White County, Fannin or Gilmer. All I can say is the further from Atlanta the better the quality of life due to traffic, crime, uncontrolled growth, schools. However, economic opportunity also decreases the further out you move.

Good luck.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Canton, GA
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You also didn't mention if you had school age children. If you do, that would impact where you should move a great deal because some counties have really lousy schools.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:25 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,115 posts, read 37,610,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcallahan031987 View Post
Would appreciate input from anyone regarding these areas with respect to cost of living, property taxes, possible employment and racial makeup.
North GA counties (western NC, too) are as white as the driven snow, and always have been. Their reputation has always been that of not being too "welcoming" to non-whites, and many communities there were pretty up-front about it.
I remember seeing a census report for N GA counties back in the early 70's...most of the counties would report 2, 1 or 0 blacks residing within their boundaries. I always wondered who these brave souls were.
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Old 05-12-2008, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Near Devil's Pond, Georgia
424 posts, read 1,556,578 times
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Some counties in Georgia, especially in the mountain areas have policies granting extra homestead exemptions to older homeowners beyond the usual homestead exemption. That sounds good, at least initially. These counties have witnessed an influx of older residents who have decided these places would be good for retirement. Again, that sounds good. The counties end up attracting older residents, usually with some wealth. They come in an buy up property. As the county gets greyer, the demand for basic services is still there, but the tax burden is gradually shifted to residents who do not qualify for the additional age-based homestead exemption. The tax money has to come from somewhere after all. This puts additional pressure on the younger residents to lessen their tax burden by selling some or all of their property, often to another older newcomer who will ultimately qualify for the age-based homestead exemption, which in turn will reduce the tax intake from that same property. The demand for services will still be there, and may actually increase in some areas, such as healthcare (hospitals, senior services, etc.) with the influx of an aging populace. Some services might actually decrease, such as the need for public schools, since the generation of school-age children will probably decrease with the exodus of younger parents from those counties. At some point, the greying population will surely see their property taxes having to rise since the number of younger property owners who don't qualify for the extra homestead exemption will be too small to maintain the burden of taxes shifted to them. In other words, the grey ghettos that might arise will end up with higher taxes on the very citizens that moved there originally with the goal of avoiding such taxes. Nobody seems to talk about this, but I think it will be a very real problem especially as many Floridians and others move to the area for retirement.

I'm just throwing this in here as a thing to consider. You might want to investigate the property tax and homestead exemption policies for ANY county you are thinking of as a future home. Weigh those policies with the changes in demographics and population projections/histories for each area.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:06 AM
 
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Default Older residents

My experience talking to locals in Towns County was as you would expect most anyplace--mixed opinions. Some of the locals started real estate companies and made millions themselves. Or, they started restaurants with same results. The influx of older folks brings money to an area that traditionally is limited on jobs and younger locals have to move away. They are delighted to be able to have somewhat of a choice now. All of the staff in my physician's office in Hiawassee, GA were locals. Without the patient load, no job. I think that most would say their community and life has improved with the influx of the "right type" of people. That is to say, people who have some money, who spend it and who do not commit crimes as a routine way of life. When you find concentrations of retirees, you won't find a lot of drug crime etc. It is a two edged sword, but most folks I ran into were okay with a new economy and new services. The small community was very glad, for example, to have some new fire equipment bought with money raised in the community among the "old folks".

The single biggest issue with N. Georgia is lack of serious medical coverage. Oh, you have physicians and even specialists that are in town for several days a week usually out of Atlanta group practices. The problem is a major medical center when you have a major need in a major hurry. I would suggest that if you have an ongoing, serious, chronic condition, you might want to look elsewhere to retire. But if you are in reasonably good condition, then North Georgia would be hard to beat. Or, Western NC or Eastern TN.

But please don't tell anyone, KEEP IT A SECRET!
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:17 AM
 
1,474 posts, read 3,255,953 times
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Default By The Way

The reason I moved from North Georgia after giving it two years was my addiction to flatter land. I felt enclosed there with mountains all around AND trying to do yard work like a mountain goat was just too hard to do. We had to drive 28 miles one way to a Walmart. I know, I want too much from life.

The mountain areas can be very seductive, but for me life became excruciatingly boring. The other part is the preponderance of two lane roads which can be treacherous when I, as a retiree, want to go slower and someone else who is late for work is anxious to get around me.

I urge anyone headed to the hills for retirement to carry with them a hobby they love and the agreement of a married couple that this is what they want out of life. There was no shortage of people who seemed to be stuck with a house in the area.
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Old 05-12-2008, 07:36 PM
 
483 posts, read 1,962,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
North GA counties (western NC, too) are as white as the driven snow, and always have been. Their reputation has always been that of not being too "welcoming" to non-whites, and many communities there were pretty up-front about it.
You need to get a grip, or move into the 21st century.
I live in one of those counties, and while the makeup is not 50/50 or 60/40 like in Atlanta, you don't have to go far to find people of whatever race or nationality you want.
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:05 PM
 
11 posts, read 42,630 times
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You have to understand the area. Until the fifties, the primary economic product was corn whiskey - most of it illegal. It was the only way most people could feed their families and law enforcement looked the other way intentionally. As the bootleggers attrited, their sons and daughters converted the corn fields and chicken houses into marijuana factories - and still LE looked the other way as there was no other significant production revenue in the economy.

More recently, these old bootleggers/dope growers took their money and went into the banking business ... essentially laundering drug money through various forms of fraud - although one banker is the largest US supplier of tractors and farm equipment to Mexico and Colombia. The banks are inextricably tied to banks in the Caymans and Mexico - which is where the money comes from to build anything. Thats where it stands today.

To find out the general and recent tone of the community, google this... "Osborn Eller Gibson"
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