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Old 12-27-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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Hello everyone
My family will be moving to Atlanta in Feb 2011 due to job change. Both of us will work in Buckhead area, and is planning to buy a single family house and settle down as soon as we can.
We have 2 small kids, one is 5 and one is 2. I have read a lot of other posts and seem to me most families choose Alpharetta/Johns Creek due to school consideration, which I am almost sold on now. But I do have one concern that I'd like to gather feedback on:
We'd work in Buckhead, and both our jobs require us to be out of town 25% of the time, so visit to the airport 1-2 times a month will be norm for each one of us. Can somebody share experience on the traffic side? How long does it take to commute to Buckhead for work from these two neighborhood? Does it make a big difference if living closer to highway 400? How is the commute to airport? Is Matra a good choice getting to airport?

Another question is Atlanta in general. We are relocating from Fort Lauderdale/Miami metro area. How is the living expense comparison for those who had lived in both Atlanta and SFL. We did not get a whole lot of salary increase moving up there, and wonder how will our budget look like and whether we can afford certain houses.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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North Fulton is a good choice as a bedroom community if you plan to use public schools.

I would try to live near GA 400 so you can use MARTA to the airport. Note: the MARTA line to Buckhead is only accessible in certain areas. Driving during rush hour is a bear from the northside via 400 or from 141 (Johns Creek).

I personally don't do this commute, but by driving, you are looking at a solid hour each way (moderate traffic). I have family and friends who commute in from North Fulton to Atlanta and it is rough. From North Fulton, MARTA is very convenient to use to go to the airport. Others will tell you more precise commute times, but it does depend how far you are from 400 or any other major artery.

Alpharetta is closer to GA 400, while Johns Creek is more north east. Johns Creek commuters tend to use 141 to come into town. Commute times are not easy from either location during rush hour into Atlanta.

Refer to this thread to give more information in your next post about what you are looking for (price-range, etc): //www.city-data.com/forum/atlan...ead-first.html

Good luck in your decisions.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:56 PM
 
13,875 posts, read 23,711,228 times
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We moved here from So. FL (Weston) five years ago. Cost of living was less then, now I'm not so sure, since housing prices have dropped a lot in So. FL. Insurance is definitely cheaper, food also, since you aren't limited to Publix, and more Publix. There is more competition here in terms of electric and gas companies, so that will work in your favor.

We no longer commute, but back in 2005 my spouse would leave our home in Milton (next to Alpharetta) to reach his office in the Perimeter area by 6:30 am, and beat the traffic. Now, only my son commutes to the Buckhead area, but he rarely has to be down there before 10:00 am, and he only needs 30 minutes or so.

A trip to the airport can be as fast as 40 minutes, or as long as 90. It all depends on the time of day. The local traffic tends to be more frustrating than the highway in our experience.

You might find this reassuring; I can tell you we (and our kids) like it much better here than in FL. The schools don't even compare. North Fulton schools are far better than what we had in Weston.

As the previous poster said, you can take MARTA to the airport. Alpharetta has a park and ride lot off of Windward, and another at Mansell.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,747,434 times
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Default Good Points

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
We moved here from So. FL (Weston) five years ago. Cost of living was less then, now I'm not so sure, since housing prices have dropped a lot in So. FL. Insurance is definitely cheaper, food also, since you aren't limited to Publix, and more Publix. There is more competition here in terms of electric and gas companies, so that will work in your favor.

We no longer commute, but back in 2005 my spouse would leave our home in Milton (next to Alpharetta) to reach his office in the Perimeter area by 6:30 am, and beat the traffic. Now, only my son commutes to the Buckhead area, but he rarely has to be down there before 10:00 am, and he only needs 30 minutes or so.

A trip to the airport can be as fast as 40 minutes, or as long as 90. It all depends on the time of day. The local traffic tends to be more frustrating than the highway in our experience.

You might find this reassuring; I can tell you we (and our kids) like it much better here than in FL. The schools don't even compare. North Fulton schools are far better than what we had in Weston.

As the previous poster said, you can take MARTA to the airport. Alpharetta has a park and ride lot off of Windward, and another at Mansell.
I guess mine was a bit earlier but, I did a similar trail a few years prior to yours. I used to live off Nob Hill and Broward. We got out of there in 97 because our kids were about to start school. Best move I have made as the schools they were slated for were eventually going to include South Broward High School....no thanks....to put it mildly.

Overall cost of living is a little lower here but, not by all that much. The schools in North Fulton are stellar by comparison. Our oldest had to repeat Kindergarten because of the lack of preparation. We simply didn't have a good handle on that but, we are glad we held him back. The best move for him.

Now, they are all in High School and doing fine. I can't even begin to imagine what would have happened had we stayed in Broward between the overcrowding, crime, and cost of living.

South Florida is loaded with Seniors and the one thing they do more than play Bingo and look for Health Benefits is to shoot down ANYTHING related to school taxes. The thought being, we raised our kids somewhere else, it's your problem. To be fair, one should know that when starting a family in South Florida. Expect classrooms to have 20-30 percent more kids in attendance per class. This in and of itself is not a crime (there was a time when classes held 72 and they had nooooooooo trouble from kids...but, I digress).

Bottom line, you and your children are better off here. Northview, Johns Creek, Chattahoochee, Alpharetta, Milton are good public schools. There are good choices in private is fyou can afford to go that route.

We are way better off here than in South Florida. Hey, and how about the lack of nasty attitudes by comparison???
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, Georgia
956 posts, read 3,107,631 times
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How does the South Forsyth Schools compare to North Fulton? Are they comparable. We are moving into a subdivision where the schools are Johns Creek Elementary, Riverwatch, and Lambert High.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:09 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,747,434 times
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Default South Forsyth Schools

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpanda View Post
How does the South Forsyth Schools compare to North Fulton? Are they comparable. We are moving into a subdivision where the schools are Johns Creek Elementary, Riverwatch, and Lambert High.
The schools are fine there as well. West Forsyth has a beautiful campus if you are interested. However, if you are going to send your kids to South Forsyth Schools, you might want to consider living just over the Forsyth County line and get a break on your taxes?

I say this with quite a bit of caution. You have to consider your employment commutes. For me, if you live in Forsyth and work say, near the perimeter add 20 minutes each way to your commute and any savings you have gained in property taxes you will more than lose in commute costs....do the math....I have written several threads on this and lower taxes are just a realtor's gimmick to move property.

Either community is very liveable and nice. That's not the issue. The issue is commute and the costs associated with said commute. If you are working North of the River then living in South Forsyth is a feasible idea. If not, just count each mile, multiply by .50 cents per mile (current IRS rate) and multiply that by 2 for each day, by 5 for each week, by 4 for each month......total that and compare it say, the $200 a month you will save in property taxes.....it won't add up unless you work North of the River......

Go there because you like it but, if the commute is South of the River, ignore the tax "savings" you hear people rave about....it's a myth that is offset rather quickly in commute times and costs.

Lambert High is relatively new as is John's Creek. All the schools will be fine....look hard for a foreclosure as they are everywhere from the meltdown...real estate is very, very soft for existing homes....spend the time....find the deals!!!
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, Georgia
956 posts, read 3,107,631 times
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Where would you say are the major job centers in Northern Altanta. Is there a strong enough job base in Alpharetta, Johns Creel, Suwanee, and Duluth, where people will no longer have to commute to the city? or are all the jobs still in the city of Atlanta? Also I've notice how far the airport is from Johns Creek/Alpharetta. For those who take family vacations: is it better to park your car at the airport or drive to Doraville and take the MARTA?

I've also heard of a rumor for a second commercial airport in gwinnett? Is this for real or just a rumor?
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,747,434 times
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Default Employment Hubs....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpanda View Post
Where would you say are the major job centers in Northern Altanta. Is there a strong enough job base in Alpharetta, Johns Creel, Suwanee, and Duluth, where people will no longer have to commute to the city? or are all the jobs still in the city of Atlanta? Also I've notice how far the airport is from Johns Creek/Alpharetta. For those who take family vacations: is it better to park your car at the airport or drive to Doraville and take the MARTA?

I've also heard of a rumor for a second commercial airport in gwinnett? Is this for real or just a rumor?

Alpharetta and the surrounding corridor continue to grow. There are quite a few professional jobs here with large employers like ADT, Siemens, McKesson, etc...etc.....however, like most employers, jobs are scarce right now.....

After that, and in no particular order: Perimeter, Buckhead, Mid-Town, some downtown, Cumberland/Smyrna, Marietta, Roswell, Norcross, Duluth and Suwanee probably cover 70% of the professional jobs throughout Atlanta.

Are there others? Sure. However, that's the most dense for these types of jobs. It helps to explain the cost in housing in these areas.

The airport is a hike. Suggest you strongly consider a fast moving corridor if you have to use it regularly. If it's primarily for vacations? Take a shuttle if you are going to be gone for any length of time and save your car the beating in the parking lots. If not, Marta is not a bad option and the train will take you literally into the airport.

I do believe, however, that jobs can change. Knowing that is exactly why I stayed on the North 400 corridor. By living near that highway you can take a job from anywhere between downtown, Marietta, and Gwinnett and never have to move......move to the East or West by as little as 7 miles and that all changes.....drastically.....traffic here? It's what legends are made of...it's tough...

Peachtree Industrial moves okay but, all highways are a challenge. 400 is straight shot and if you have to go East, West, or even South.....you can???

Depends on what you and your spouse do for a living. There are quite a few jobs in this corridor in normal times but, these are not normal times. If you are coming to town with a job, you are fine. If not, you are probably going to have a tough, tough time like everyone else.

Regardless, the locations you are interested in won't dissappoint. The schools are good, the crime is relatively low, and the houses tend to appreciate over time. Especially if you are going to be here awhile and can grab one at below market pricing during this meltdown.

Best wishes to you and yours on the relo.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,747,434 times
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Default Forgot ,the airport

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Longstreet View Post
Alpharetta and the surrounding corridor continue to grow. There are quite a few professional jobs here with large employers like ADT, Siemens, McKesson, etc...etc.....however, like most employers, jobs are scarce right now.....

After that, and in no particular order: Perimeter, Buckhead, Mid-Town, some downtown, Cumberland/Smyrna, Marietta, Roswell, Norcross, Duluth and Suwanee probably cover 70% of the professional jobs throughout Atlanta.

Are there others? Sure. However, that's the most dense for these types of jobs. It helps to explain the cost in housing in these areas.

The airport is a hike. Suggest you strongly consider a fast moving corridor if you have to use it regularly. If it's primarily for vacations? Take a shuttle if you are going to be gone for any length of time and save your car the beating in the parking lots. If not, Marta is not a bad option and the train will take you literally into the airport.

I do believe, however, that jobs can change. Knowing that is exactly why I stayed on the North 400 corridor. By living near that highway you can take a job from anywhere between downtown, Marietta, and Gwinnett and never have to move......move to the East or West by as little as 7 miles and that all changes.....drastically.....traffic here? It's what legends are made of...it's tough...

Peachtree Industrial moves okay but, all highways are a challenge. 400 is straight shot and if you have to go East, West, or even South.....you can???

Depends on what you and your spouse do for a living. There are quite a few jobs in this corridor in normal times but, these are not normal times. If you are coming to town with a job, you are fine. If not, you are probably going to have a tough, tough time like everyone else.

Regardless, the locations you are interested in won't dissappoint. The schools are good, the crime is relatively low, and the houses tend to appreciate over time. Especially if you are going to be here awhile and can grab one at below market pricing during this meltdown.

Best wishes to you and yours on the relo.

Forgot, the airport. Nope, it just ain't gonna happen. The Airport is owned by the city. And while they make no money from it they do create quite a few jobs with it. Jobs equal votes so you can connect the dots from there. We are a metro of 5 million and have one airport. It's a whopper to be sure but, after spending 2 billion on those 2 new additional runways after all these years pretty much cinches it that we all have a better chance of winning the next mega millions....together....than we do at getting a new airport.....

If they do add one, it would have to be North....probably Lumpkin, White , or Paulding County to get the clearances, land, and air routes necessary to pull it off..need some airspace afterall...apparently they don't turn on a dime.....the other idea that has been toyed about is to use Chattanooga's airport, connected by high-speed rail between the cities to help ease the burden and Hartsfield.....while Chattanooga has a nice regional airport I just don't see that happening.

Remember, in order to have that happen you have to convince people that a 90 minute train ride is good for them AFTER They get on-board with the train.....these are the same people that drive 20 minutes down 400 and skip the Marta rail because of the hassle involved in transitioning from one mode of transport to the other....it's time....and yes, I'm one of those that is not going to do it either ......

Sooooooooo, while another airport is not only needed, it's sorely overdue but, that's about as far as it has gone or is going to go in the immediate future.....they just aren't going to let those dollars escape the incumbent system....not a chance.....
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:33 PM
 
10 posts, read 28,083 times
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Thank you very much for the kind reply, and certainly appreciate the feedback from former south floridians :-)
An hour each way is quite some commute time. Even thought I have been quite used to 1 hour driving time each way living in SFL for 8 years, my spouse has been accustomed to the 25min commute time and has a hard time swallow this...
Follow up questions: 1) our kids are small, if I only consider the quality of the elementary/middle school, how is it living in cities closer to the peremiters, such as Vinings, Marietta, Dunwoody and Sandy springs? Are they family friendly, considering kids activities, parks, sports, neighborhoods etc. What about Buckhead itself? 2) if we choose private school, what is the average annual cost for private schools? And what cities closer to Buckhead have the top-notch private schools?

Thanks!
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