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Old 06-17-2013, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
2,239 posts, read 5,815,662 times
Reputation: 3409

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I'm an admitted suburbanite, having lived (excluding college and grad school years) in the Sandy Springs panhandle/Dunwoody area since I was a child in the '70's. Back then, my parents moved from the High Point area of Sandy Springs (near the present Glenridge Connector) to Dunwoody, and people thought they were NUTS to build a house "so far out."

Having grown up in 30350/30338, I love it. You are equally close to Alpharetta and Buckhead, and a trip for dinner to either is easily within reach. Friday night rush hour may not be the best time, but we generally reserve trips to Buckhead/Intown for restaurants to Saturday nights and don't feel like we're giving up anything. There are plenty of places to eat around here that aren't chains. If you're only looking at Perimeter Mall, that's all you'll see (Cheesecake Factory and the like), but go across the street to Park Place and walk around.

There are tons of trees in my neighborhood, and it's the furthest thing from a cookie-cutter cluster home type setup. The kids do roam the hood from house to house, and I don't worry. Our n'hood has no outlet, so it's not a cut-through. We see our friends and neighbors everywhere. If you come to Dunwoody, you'll quickly learn the local hangouts (Los Rancheros, O'Brians, Dunwoody Tavern, and on and on).

Regarding schools, there is a divide between Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. Since we sit on the border of DeKalb and Fulton, I find that many of my DeKalb friends (but not all by any means) send their kids to public at least through elementary and most Fultonites go private (at least in 30350).

I recently had dinner at a friend's house in the heart of City of Decatur. It was great, but it's just "not my bag." I don't want to have to park on the street. The houses are very cozy, but cozy really means small. Having an old house is cool; having to spend tons of money to repair/restore an old house that already costs WAY more than you'd pay for a house in the burbs, not so cool (at least not for me). It's just a totally different vibe.

Look around, spend time in the 'burbs, and get a feel for it. OTP is quickly dismissed on this board, but you have to make your own decision based on what's right for you.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Here
418 posts, read 902,682 times
Reputation: 224
I do think that people bash on OTP unfairly as if living intown is the only way to go. While admittedy guilty of having said that I would never move out to the burbs, your perspective changes as you have kids, don't do, or do do certain things then all of sudden, calm and quiet is cooler than being urban chique. I have to say that OTP is impressive compared to other metro areas across the country. Having already been a suburan dweller elsewhere in another state, the OTP areas here allow you so much more restaurants choices, places to go and things to do. When we lived out of state in a suburb like Alpharetta, we use to always go into downtown and into the city for recreation - even with the kids. But here, I could see not having to do that given commercial and recreation options OTP. I guess more or less, I'm trying to convince myself that a move OTP makes sense for us.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:35 PM
 
924 posts, read 1,448,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I can't imagine anyone having regrets about moving to the ATL's beautiful suburbs. They have so much to offer, and at a very reasonable price.

That being said, we are personally sort of stuck on intown living. Part of it is what AtlJan said -- we love being close to friends and family. For me personally, the other big plus is the amazing convenience of everything. You can get to half a dozen great grocery stores within in a few minutes. There are also tons of wine stores, movies, doctors, churches, museums, parks, hotels, schools, shopping centers, restaurants, golf courses, airports, you name it, within a few mile radius.

I also like having public transportation available. Although I don't use it every day, there was a period a few years ago when I was unable to drive and transit really came in handy.

Ansley really hit the nail on the head. It depends on what you want at a given point in life.
I would have to disagree with you on golf courses. Sure there are a lot of nice private courses in town but good public courses are VERY limited and that is something you will have a much better variety of living in Cobb/Cherokee/North Fulton/Gwinnett.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:50 PM
 
9,008 posts, read 13,963,782 times
Reputation: 7632
Quote:
I'm trying to convince myself that a move OTP makes sense for us.
Well, don't convince yourself. Do what seems right, and the choices are different for different people.

I can say that personally I loved it from day one. When I got to my house, worked in the garden, got to fix things, I remember thinking, "This is what I was born to do!"

Then the honeymoon phase wore off. I started feeling isolated. I missed the excitement of the city, the lights, always knowing other people were awake late at night....

Then a couple of months later, that subsided, and I remembered, "you can't go home." You know that old saying, I mean, it's true. The reason I left town is because it didn't have much for me anymore. I had already stopped going to the bars, I was sicking of living in small square footage, and most of my friends had moved on. What I was missing wasn't living intown, I was missing my old life. But that was gone no matter what part of town I lived in, so onward and upward, time to make a new life in whatever environment is most appropriate.

That's when I started to really appreciate my new location. I discovered all the nearby parks, I bought my own tubes and kayak so I could hit the Chattahoochee whenever I felt like it, I found my own personal swimming holes at Lake Lanier, I discovered more local restaurants and all the cool nearby shopping (you never know what you're going to find at Duluth Salvage!)

Oh, I still work in the garden. But now I'm beginning to realize why people hire lawn services!
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Here
418 posts, read 902,682 times
Reputation: 224
ATLTJL, funny I felt that way when we moved to Atlanta a few years ago. As a family, we held onto the thought of moving back to our previous state of residence because we hadn't felt quite settled here. About 6-9 months ago, something finally clicked and we realize that we really enjoyed being here despite our gripings about Atlanta in the pass. Despite some shortcomings, we realize how much more fun we were having here as a family than we had living 17 years in the midwest. We felt more socially connected with neighbors and school parents, even loved the heat of the summer. Needless to say, we are feeling like this is a place we'd like to call home so hence we're trying to figure out which part of the metro area since proximity to work is not an issue.

Hire a lawn service, go kayaking more...you'll be thankful you did.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:22 PM
 
31,993 posts, read 36,511,561 times
Reputation: 13254
Quote:
Originally Posted by westau View Post
I would have to disagree with you on golf courses. Sure there are a lot of nice private courses in town but good public courses are VERY limited and that is something you will have a much better variety of living in Cobb/Cherokee/North Fulton/Gwinnett.
I agree that there aren't many public courses within the city. However, being centrally located means you have plenty of options in all directions within a 30-40 minute drive.

I admit I wouldn't want have to tackle that kind of commute on a daily basis but it's no big deal on a Saturday morning.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:07 PM
 
924 posts, read 1,448,068 times
Reputation: 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I agree that there aren't many public courses within the city. However, being centrally located means you have plenty of options in all directions within a 30-40 minute drive.

I admit I wouldn't want have to tackle that kind of commute on a daily basis but it's no big deal on a Saturday morning.
Ya, but you are very limited on the options shorter than that 30-40 minute drive(and really you can't get to a lot of good courses in that amount of time if you lived all the way downtown). The ideal place to live for golf would probably be Sandy Springs/Dunwoody/Roswell since most of the better courses are on the north side of town.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:52 AM
 
4 posts, read 4,650 times
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First time poster here, but long time lurker. I registered just to answer this thread.

I grew up in a South Florida suburb similar to the 'burbs of North Fulton. Great schools, family-oriented environment and good restaurants/shopping. I wanted the same for my children.

When my husband and I moved to Atlanta, we bought a two-bedroom condo in the Smynings area. We loved the area. The nearby restaurants are great (Canoe!!) and it was close to Midtown and Buckhead where we frequently went for dinner and to enjoy the nightlife. We had our first-born a few years ago. We lived in an upper floor unit of our condo which had a connecting outdoor staircase. Climbing up those icy stairs in the winter with a newborn baby was downright treacherous. Additionally, my husband began working in Alpharetta. We knew it was time to move.

I wrestled with the idea of living so far from the city. I work in Buckhead and love the in-town areas. I visited Alpharetta a few times with my husband before finally agreeing to move there. I really liked the area. Traffic on the surface streets there are not too bad - at least in comparison to the Vinings/Cumberland area. The restaurants and shops there aren't your stereotypical suburb chain stores/eateries. There are a lot of small, family-owned businesses there that I like and frequent. I find that restaurants in downtown Roswell are on par with what you find in Buckhead, West Midtown, Virginia-Highlands, etc. The biggest thing of all is that the schools here are wonderful. My kids are in the Milton High School district. It's a private-school level education without the crazy tuition. If my husband and I stayed in the area where our condo was located, we would more than likely be shelling out $20K per kid per year for private school since we were zoned for Argyle Elementary.

I can't say enough good things about the area we moved to. Alpharetta has really tried to ramp up the neighborhood street parties with their Saturday farmer's market, food truck Thursdays, Taste of Alpharetta every spring and a lot more. It has such a great community feel here. I was naysayer at first and, admittedly, downright miserable the first week after I moved to Alpharetta.....mainly due to my commute everyday to Buckhead which is hellacious at best. Now I can't imagine living anywhere else.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:56 AM
 
31,993 posts, read 36,511,561 times
Reputation: 13254
Quote:
Originally Posted by westau View Post
Ya, but you are very limited on the options shorter than that 30-40 minute drive(and really you can't get to a lot of good courses in that amount of time if you lived all the way downtown). The ideal place to live for golf would probably be Sandy Springs/Dunwoody/Roswell since most of the better courses are on the north side of town.
Well, okay, maybe 45 minutes is a better radius.

Let's say I don't want to play at my golf club or at any of my friends' clubs in the city.

If I want to stay intown I can always go knock the ball around at Chastain, Bobby Jones, Charlie Yates, Tup Holmes, Cross Creek or John A. White. One of my kids lives near Candler Park and if you don't mind playing old school golf that is the best deal around.

If I want to branch out there are plenty of options. From Buckhead it is easy to get to Summerhill, Stone Mountain, the Georgian, any of the Trophy Clubs, St. Marlo, South Wind, and many others. Just hop on the freeway and you can be on the links within the hour.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:07 AM
 
40 posts, read 68,180 times
Reputation: 12
I have always (after leaving my parent's home) lived in a city. Since living in Atlanta I too have always said I would never leave the city for the suburbs. We had kids, and have held on for many years, but as some of you have said 'views change when you have kids'. I also resisted that notion for a long time! Having young kids in the city has been great -- walk to the library, the park, the local pizza joint, many pools nearby, etc. (I should say we live in a city neighborhood, not a downtown highrise) We are fortunate enough to have seen our neighborhood change a lot in the last 10 years, but I don't think it is going to be enough. I don't need my kids to be in the BEST school, but solid without a lot of behavior issues and with involved parents (at teh school or at home) is a must, and most intown schools are not there yet. As the kids are getting a little older I look to the future and their 'independence' ... To your point kferq, a lot of the reason I wanted to stay intown even past the time of "being young and hanging out in VaHi" and with the kids is many of the things you mention -- the older kids biking to friends houses, to the pool, to meet their friends at the pool or local pizza joint. The problem is that the neighborhoods with the solid schools and where kids can bike or go to the park etc unescorted are few ... Mornigside certainly is one ... but if you are buying a house now, not 18 years ago you are out of luck, unless you've got lots of money. Not even just regular joe money, but doctor-lawyer-business mogul-trust fund money. We are both college educated, don't drive expensive cars and keep them a long time, live frugally, we want a little bigger house but not huge, and it would be a real stretch for us to buy now in Decatur city, Morningside, Candler Park. Had we bought 20 years ago we'd be golden, but we were college students and not ready to buy a house. We hadn't even met yet! Someone buying a house here might say in 18 years what you are saying about Morningside now, but we don't have time to wait and we can't afford the established neighborhoods. You are lucky, and I am glad you have enjoyed the city offerings and stayed put. I really wish we could, and it will be sad to leave. But, I am having to adjust my perspective and priorities, and the suburbs are looking better and better. I am hoping like some of you others, I can get past the inital adjustment and feel like it was the best thing ever! I'm pretty sure I will.
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