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Old 04-05-2008, 01:17 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,120 posts, read 36,420,834 times
Reputation: 15467

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beubanks View Post
The best time to buy a home is when the market is down. I own a home very close to Emory, off of Clairmont Road near Buford Hwy. There are plenty of quiet, safe, tucked away, beautiful neighborhoods for you to find a home under $200,000.

I also own a home in East Atlanta (just moved to it from my Clairmont house.) I bought it under $200,000, it is completely renovated, surrounded by brand new homes, and is a quiet, friendly, walk your dog area/stroll your baby neighborhood.

As a realtor, I suggest you contact a Realtor so they can discuss the market and the neighborhoods where can find you great rentals and/or homes for sale and point out good school options for your child.

Good Luck!
I always forget about the neighborhoods off Clairmont just above I-85...they are a great value for the location.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:02 PM
 
60 posts, read 136,500 times
Reputation: 22
I spent today checking out Tucker and Decatur (and a few places closer to Emory). I wasn't too impressed with Tucker. I checked out Livsey, Fernbank, Oakhurst, and Oakgrove Elementary. They were all closed (Saturday), so I could only wander around them and check out the neighborhoods.
-Livsey: Lots of trailers out front. Very small school and old building.
-Fernbank: really nice neighborhood right around it. I am looking to see what I can buy or rent in this area.
-Oakhurst: biggest school of the group. This was also the nicest looking school. But the area immediately around the school was kinda sketchy...houses with boarded up windows and such.
-Oakridge: old looking school, but I noticed they have alot of musical instruments. The neighborhood around it looks VERY pricey.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 12,480,357 times
Reputation: 2774
Don't write off Tucker yet. There are some beautiful neighborhoods there, but the little downtown area does not give a very good impression. They are working on a plan to "Decaturize" the look of Main St. there. There are also nice neighborhoods in the Briarcliff and Lavista corridors from Emory all the way out to the Northlake area (although some are very pricey).

Just be patient and keep looking - you are definitely in the right area of town though.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:01 PM
 
3,972 posts, read 11,285,039 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdadda View Post
I spent today checking out Tucker and Decatur (and a few places closer to Emory). I wasn't too impressed with Tucker. I checked out Livsey, Fernbank, Oakhurst, and Oakgrove Elementary. They were all closed (Saturday), so I could only wander around them and check out the neighborhoods.
-Livsey: Lots of trailers out front. Very small school and old building.
-Fernbank: really nice neighborhood right around it. I am looking to see what I can buy or rent in this area.
-Oakhurst: biggest school of the group. This was also the nicest looking school. But the area immediately around the school was kinda sketchy...houses with boarded up windows and such.
-Oakridge: old looking school, but I noticed they have alot of musical instruments. The neighborhood around it looks VERY pricey.
Two things, one LIvsey is a good little school. The advantage is that the population is very small, which is what research says is best for that age group.

Secondly, I attended meetings this week that lead me to believe that many schools in DEKalb will struggle to offer much more than PE and music next school year. The system will not be funding extras that are not funded by the state. Given that in your initial post you talked about art, you need to understand that both the City of Atlanta, City of Decatur and Fulton County systems are all better funded than DeKalb.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/Decatur/Emory area
1,320 posts, read 3,880,908 times
Reputation: 496
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdadda View Post
-Livsey: Lots of trailers out front. Very small school and old building.
-Fernbank: really nice neighborhood right around it. I am looking to see what I can buy or rent in this area.
-Oakhurst: biggest school of the group. This was also the nicest looking school. But the area immediately around the school was kinda sketchy...houses with boarded up windows and such.
-Oakridge: old looking school, but I noticed they have alot of musical instruments. The neighborhood around it looks VERY pricey.
Livsey Area: Much more affordable than inside the perimeter

Fernbank Area: This is Druid Hills -- one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. The Fernbank part of Druid Hills is less expensive than the area west of the golf course, but still very expensive ($400k is a cheap house here). That's why the Emory Garden condos (see above) is such a good alternative.

Oakhurst: This area is increasingly expensive. Home prices went way up as the older bungalows were renovated and NeoCraftsman infill added in the past few years. The prices have levelled off, but it's still quite expensive.

Oak Grove: This area has a mix of old ranches and huge new homes, but based partly on the fact that Oak Grove is traditionally one of the highest ranked elementary schools in the state, the home prices are very high. There are some condos in the area and you might be able to find a rental.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:47 PM
 
401 posts, read 1,593,951 times
Reputation: 129
My kids go to Oakhurst. Just for info - Oakhurst really is the smallest school of the group you listed with only 250 kids. It's three stories with very high ceilings so it seems huge. We live near the school and it is not nearly as sketchy as it looks. We have had no problems at all. I have no qualms about going for an evening jog alone. We have never had a problem.

Also, the parent population at Oakhurst is actually a little crunchy but pretty upscale - granola eating yoga moms in Volvos mostly.

I think you need to visit the inside of the schools as well - if you can when they are open.
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Western Springs, IL
39 posts, read 131,265 times
Reputation: 15
I think it would be helpful if folks would not refer to Dekalb County schools as a monolith. That's misleading. One does not attend Dekalb County schools in the abstract. One attends a specific, local school.

The OP is specifically looking at, among other schools, Fernbank Elementary in the Dekalb County district, and Fernbank is by any metric one of the top public elementary schools in the Atlanta area, outscoring many and perhaps all other schools listed here. It (including its arts program) is supported robustly by the district and the very active and affluent PTA. Comparisons available here: Fernbank Elementary School - 157 Heaton Park Dr Ne, Atlanta, GA - Trulia

And, though I am one of those old fashioned tax-and-spend liberals, it is true that Dekalb County taxes are significantly easier on the post-doc budget than some of the other options discussed here.

I am not interested in arguing about which of a number of very good schools are better than others. I am, however, hoping that posts will stop painting schools with a disparaging and misleadingly large brush. Cool?
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:51 AM
 
2,701 posts, read 5,028,923 times
Reputation: 3543
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdadda View Post
1. Elementary schools. I want a school that will artisitically and academically challenge my child. I have heard Decatur city schools (Oakhurst especially) are good and Livsey in Tucker is good. Any others?
2. Safe neighborhood. My wife may want to stay home with our new baby for a while, and I don't want to worry about them all the time.
3. Fairly close to Emory. I have heard traffic nightmares, so I would prefer a commute of less than 30 minutes.

As an alternative,I suggest the Mountain Park elementary area for these 3 requirements and under $200,000.

Mountain Park Elementary School - Lilburn, Georgia - GA - school overview

Single Family Home - 1377 RIDGEWOOD DRIVE SW, LILBURN, GA, 30047

Yahoo! Maps

Single Family Home - 1878 LAKE LUCERNE WAY, LILBURN, GA, 30047

Yahoo! Maps
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:36 AM
 
3,972 posts, read 11,285,039 times
Reputation: 1439
Quote:
Originally Posted by bicycleguy View Post
I think it would be helpful if folks would not refer to Dekalb County schools as a monolith. That's misleading. One does not attend Dekalb County schools in the abstract. One attends a specific, local school.

The OP is specifically looking at, among other schools, Fernbank Elementary in the Dekalb County district, and Fernbank is by any metric one of the top public elementary schools in the Atlanta area, outscoring many and perhaps all other schools listed here. It (including its arts program) is supported robustly by the district and the very active and affluent PTA. Comparisons available here: Fernbank Elementary School - 157 Heaton Park Dr Ne, Atlanta, GA - Trulia

And, though I am one of those old fashioned tax-and-spend liberals, it is true that Dekalb County taxes are significantly easier on the post-doc budget than some of the other options discussed here.

I am not interested in arguing about which of a number of very good schools are better than others. I am, however, hoping that posts will stop painting schools with a disparaging and misleadingly large brush. Cool?

Only in Buckhead and DeKalb County and maybe Peachtree Corners do people buy homes by the elementary school. Most people want public k-12 -- but ironically when you only consider the elementary school, you may not be satisfied with the middle and high school. (Go look at how homes are advertised in Cobb Co vs your neighborhood. You will see Walton High School as oppossed to Mt. Bethel elem.)

The OP listed his priorities which included arts and academics. DCSS is not in a good financial position and it is my understanding every school is losing teaching positions next year except for those that are performing the least well. Because DeKalb has so many low performing schools, more than 1/2 of its middle and high schools didn't make AYP under NCLB, resources have to be redirected. There is a high school that is significantly smaller than Druid Hills where they are experimenting with whether adding ass't principals will make a difference in how teachers teach (more monitoring) and in the overall school climate. This school has 2 more ass't principals than Druid Hills.

You are not just buying a home in a school zone, you are buying a system. I have been around a long time, and I promise you, even the good schools are being impacted by the overall weaknesses that are DeKalb.

In my opinion, it is important that people are realistic and understand that. Additionally, if your priorities are beyond academics and you have limited financial resources to provide for these things outside of school, like art lessons, etc, then what the school offers is important.

I understand that Fernbank is a fine school -- it is. But think how much better it might be, if the funds flowed more freely and the system wasn't quite so dysfunctional. The same goes for Shamrock and Druid Hills.
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:28 AM
 
20 posts, read 59,540 times
Reputation: 18
Does anyone have information on how well City of Decatur school system serves kids who are, let's say, NOT so gifted? We are looking at moving into this area from Snellville (tired of the horrible commute to and from Emory). My ADHD son has been well-served by the Gwinnett Co. school system. I have read plenty on how well high achievers are served by the City of Decatur system, but not too much on how well they handle kids who struggle. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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