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Old 03-07-2013, 12:17 AM
 
Location: Cleveland
7 posts, read 26,915 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey there! So I've been trying to google like crazy, but I stumbled across this website and after reading how helpful everyone is, I decided to just try and ask myself. I plan on moving to Atlanta at the end of this year. I'm moving there to work on something, and the area I need to be no more than 25 minutes from is Lawrenceville. The neighborhoods that were suggested to me were Suwanee, Lawrenceville, & Alpharetta.

I don't know what kind of job I'm going to have once I move down there so I'd like to keep the rent relatively low. No more than $550. I've found a good handful of places down there that fit into that category, so I know it can be done!

The only thing is that I would LOVE a diverse area. I'm a 27 year old white girl, the guy I'm dating is black, and I have a very mixed group of friends. I would love for my area to be like that. I don't want to be in an all white neighborhood or an all black neighborhood.

So I looked into the neighborhoods that were suggested to me and I found some places, like I said lol, and the price ranges fit. The next step was to look up reviews of each apartment complex. That's where the trouble began. They look like beautiful apartments, but then people would be complaining in the reviews about gun shots and police always being there, and blah blah.

So now I'm terrified and confused on how to figure out which neighborhoods & apartment complexes I should stay away from, lol.

Where can i live that is NOT a bad neighborhood (like I said, 27 year old girl living by myself), that's affordable, and that's diverse, but that's also 25 minutes from Lawrenceville at the furthest?

Sorry if I'm making it extremely complicated!! haha. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,237 posts, read 8,862,448 times
Reputation: 5612
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristenJZ View Post
Hey there! So I've been trying to google like crazy, but I stumbled across this website and after reading how helpful everyone is, I decided to just try and ask myself. I plan on moving to Atlanta at the end of this year. I'm moving there to work on something, and the area I need to be no more than 25 minutes from is Lawrenceville. The neighborhoods that were suggested to me were Suwanee, Lawrenceville, & Alpharetta.

I don't know what kind of job I'm going to have once I move down there so I'd like to keep the rent relatively low. No more than $550. I've found a good handful of places down there that fit into that category, so I know it can be done!

The only thing is that I would LOVE a diverse area. I'm a 27 year old white girl, the guy I'm dating is black, and I have a very mixed group of friends. I would love for my area to be like that. I don't want to be in an all white neighborhood or an all black neighborhood.

So I looked into the neighborhoods that were suggested to me and I found some places, like I said lol, and the price ranges fit. The next step was to look up reviews of each apartment complex. That's where the trouble began. They look like beautiful apartments, but then people would be complaining in the reviews about gun shots and police always being there, and blah blah.

So now I'm terrified and confused on how to figure out which neighborhoods & apartment complexes I should stay away from, lol.

Where can i live that is NOT a bad neighborhood (like I said, 27 year old girl living by myself), that's affordable, and that's diverse, but that's also 25 minutes from Lawrenceville at the furthest?

Sorry if I'm making it extremely complicated!! haha. Thanks in advance!!
It is a good side of town. very suburban, but it has alot going on. There aren't too many areas where 20-somethings congregate w/o going into the city.

I'm glad you read those reviews. Truthfully, I would recommend considering finding a roommate on a site like roommates.com or something like that. $450/month splitting a roommate floor plan can make a huge difference. There is a new college established in Lawrenceville (Georgia Gwinnett C.). That might make it easier to find a roommate in a good area (?).

I would suggest raising your budget to $750 and live on the outskirts near Buford, except you really need to find a job or save up a good bit before biting off more than you can chew. Our job market is coming back, but we had a deeper hole dug for us in the recession too.

Basically we got hit hard in the housing bubble. Atlanta was such a fast growing area we had many more people with new houses and relatively new loans (far from paid off). Basically many young families and singles who use to be in condos and homes are now renting.

The housing market was great for buyers, but the rental market was terrible and prices went through the roof. The problem with $550 is the only thing that cheap are the aging complexes in the worse areas that haven't been taken care of adequately. They are literally the cheapest around.

(Another problem is in the last 2 decades Atlanta dismantled all of the public housing projects and changed to a voucher system. It moved alot of people out to the cheapest apartments that come from several generations of life in the projects. The bad thing is I think for a decade or two the cheapest rent places will have people who were brought up by or taught to live life in the worst area possible socially. In the long-run things will be better, but for now it is what it is.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:17 AM
 
9,009 posts, read 11,891,205 times
Reputation: 7534
You have to take reivews you read online with a grain of salt. The most prolific reviewers are those who have had bad experiences, not good.

However, even in suburban Atlanta in parts of town that are nice, there are still pockets of crime. If you're looking at rents less than $550, the properties you are looking at are not going to be in the best areas.

It's easy for apartment managers to splash a coat of paint on the buidling, furnish a decent model, and take photos of that and the pool and make everything look great in advertising and then you get there and realize it is the barrio.

The thing that you need to do is plan a visit and spend at least 2 full days looking at apartments. If you have any sense, you'll be able to tell which places are decent and which aren't by a quick visit. You can always use the age old trick of looking at cars in the parking lot. If you see a lot of late model cars, you're probably ok, a bunch of old clunkers or cars on blocks, then run away. Once you've narrowed it down, make sure to visit the properties you really like after dark. If there are a bunch of shady characters hanging around outside, don't rent there. There are a few places that look totally find during the day but become drug dens at night. This isn't common, but it does exist and is worth looking out for. My rule was if you see a bunch of single women out alone at night walking their dogs, it's probably safe.

If when you're looking at the apartment complex you see people walking around, just stop and ask someone what they think. Even if the leasing agent is with you, just ask a resident. Most will be candid with you and let you know if there are problems.

When you visit the apartments, make sure you are shown an actual empty rentable unit and not just a model. Even the dumpiest places usually manage to maintain a decent model. Use common sense and trust your gut.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:24 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 34,325,557 times
Reputation: 3605
Almost anything you find for $550/month is going to be marginal at best unless you go waaaaayyyy out of town. Even in the Woodstock area, you're going to pay over $600 for a decent 1-bedroom.

The challenge you have is not knowing where you'll be working- the last thing you want to do is rent an apartment and find out you end up working on the other side of town.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Cleveland
7 posts, read 26,915 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobKovacs View Post
Almost anything you find for $550/month is going to be marginal at best unless you go waaaaayyyy out of town. Even in the Woodstock area, you're going to pay over $600 for a decent 1-bedroom.

The challenge you have is not knowing where you'll be working- the last thing you want to do is rent an apartment and find out you end up working on the other side of town.
Well I'm going down there to do music. So for my regular job, the good thing is I'm not waiting for a job to place me or something like that. I can choose to work wherever I want, so it wouldn't be across town unless I chose to work that far away! I was just planning to work relatively close to wherever I live.

I'm disappointed. Everyone was telling me that Atlanta is so much cheaper than Cleveland once you get outside the city and it's looking like that's not the case at all. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Cleveland
7 posts, read 26,915 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
You have to take reivews you read online with a grain of salt. The most prolific reviewers are those who have had bad experiences, not good.

However, even in suburban Atlanta in parts of town that are nice, there are still pockets of crime. If you're looking at rents less than $550, the properties you are looking at are not going to be in the best areas.

It's easy for apartment managers to splash a coat of paint on the buidling, furnish a decent model, and take photos of that and the pool and make everything look great in advertising and then you get there and realize it is the barrio.

The thing that you need to do is plan a visit and spend at least 2 full days looking at apartments. If you have any sense, you'll be able to tell which places are decent and which aren't by a quick visit. You can always use the age old trick of looking at cars in the parking lot. If you see a lot of late model cars, you're probably ok, a bunch of old clunkers or cars on blocks, then run away. Once you've narrowed it down, make sure to visit the properties you really like after dark. If there are a bunch of shady characters hanging around outside, don't rent there. There are a few places that look totally find during the day but become drug dens at night. This isn't common, but it does exist and is worth looking out for. My rule was if you see a bunch of single women out alone at night walking their dogs, it's probably safe.

If when you're looking at the apartment complex you see people walking around, just stop and ask someone what they think. Even if the leasing agent is with you, just ask a resident. Most will be candid with you and let you know if there are problems.

When you visit the apartments, make sure you are shown an actual empty rentable unit and not just a model. Even the dumpiest places usually manage to maintain a decent model. Use common sense and trust your gut.
Yeah I definitely try and remember that the people who write reviews are always just the angry ones lol. I've worked in Customer Service and I know how it goes when it comes time to fill out a survey or do a review lol! I usually ignore all the stuff about the managers being bad and everything, but the gunshot parts were something I didn't want to hear, even once lol.

These are awesome suggestions, thank you. I'm planning a trip down there around June. I'll definitely look at night and ask some of the residents, and ask to see an actual unit and not a model.

The cars in the parking lot is a good trick too! Hahah. I did notice that in one picture of a complex that was on their website. It was definitely a bunch of beaters. I was like alrighty...on to the next one haha.

Thanks so much!
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:53 AM
 
492 posts, read 678,427 times
Reputation: 248
Not everyone buys a new car every 5 years or leases. That doesn't make them a criminal or "poor".
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Cleveland
7 posts, read 26,915 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
It is a good side of town. very suburban, but it has alot going on. There aren't too many areas where 20-somethings congregate w/o going into the city.

I'm glad you read those reviews. Truthfully, I would recommend considering finding a roommate on a site like roommates.com or something like that. $450/month splitting a roommate floor plan can make a huge difference. There is a new college established in Lawrenceville (Georgia Gwinnett C.). That might make it easier to find a roommate in a good area (?).

I would suggest raising your budget to $750 and live on the outskirts near Buford, except you really need to find a job or save up a good bit before biting off more than you can chew. Our job market is coming back, but we had a deeper hole dug for us in the recession too.

Basically we got hit hard in the housing bubble. Atlanta was such a fast growing area we had many more people with new houses and relatively new loans (far from paid off). Basically many young families and singles who use to be in condos and homes are now renting.

The housing market was great for buyers, but the rental market was terrible and prices went through the roof. The problem with $550 is the only thing that cheap are the aging complexes in the worse areas that haven't been taken care of adequately. They are literally the cheapest around.

(Another problem is in the last 2 decades Atlanta dismantled all of the public housing projects and changed to a voucher system. It moved alot of people out to the cheapest apartments that come from several generations of life in the projects. The bad thing is I think for a decade or two the cheapest rent places will have people who were brought up by or taught to live life in the worst area possible socially. In the long-run things will be better, but for now it is what it is.
Hey thanks for replying!

Honestly though, a roommate is not an option for me right now just because of certain circumstances with the move.

I'm going down there with $5,000 in my account. I'm going down there to do music though, so I need a lot of time to record. If I get a full time job, I don't know if I'll have as much time to record as they need me to. So I might just be doing a part time job or a waitressing job. That's why I want to keep the rent low. My last apartment was $700 and I was working almost full time and was struggling like CRAZY. I don't want it to be like that again. The apartment doesn't have to be in a beautiful super nice neighborhood, I mean the neighborhood I grew up in had crime but like walking down the streets and playing outside was never an issue. I'm kind of looking for that again.

Thanks for that last paragraph...lettin me know the projects moved to the lower rent apartments. I'll keep that in mind! That's helpful.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:17 AM
 
7,128 posts, read 7,858,234 times
Reputation: 6194
The difference between Cleveland and Atlanta is going to be night and day. Assuming you can find what you want, you'll probably enjoy Atlanta very much.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:09 AM
 
9,009 posts, read 11,891,205 times
Reputation: 7534
Quote:
Not everyone buys a new car every 5 years or leases. That doesn't make them a criminal or "poor".
Of course it does!

No, use a little sense to interpret what I said. I shouldn't have to explain, but here's the deal:

It doesn't have to necessarily be a new car, but you can tell the general class of the tenants by how the cars are kept. For example, I drive a 9 year old Toyota, but the car look absolutely fine to anybody who looks at it. The parking lot doesn't have to be full of 1 and 2 year old BMWs and Mercedes, but you certainly don't want to see a bunch of bald tires, oxidized paint, and mismatched parts. Perhaps a better metric than late model cars is well kept up cars. How someone keeps his car may be an imperfect metric, but it's a fairly accurate snapshot of how someone lives and what kind of pride he has in his surroundings/possessions.
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