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Old 05-12-2007, 03:08 AM
 
24 posts, read 115,035 times
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Well, my husband has accepted a position in the east side of Stone Mountain area... A few questions that will help me... Within a 30-40 minute commute for my husband... (Need him to get home for dinner you know)

1. Best Schools? (kids 10,8,6) with small-medium class sizes? <20:1 ratios. When do Atlanta area schools start? Have seen early, to mid August? (much earlier than here in Mass.)

2. Best Communities?

We are overwhelmed on what we read on realtor.com - so many houses, so many neighborhoods. School systems make us nervous when we see high schools of 3500 students... (more like the size of a small liberal arts college)

Thanks in advance for suggestions. Will be visiting in the next weeks to start scoping it out...
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:16 AM
 
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What is your price range? And what kind of house/neighborhood do you want?

I often give tours of our local schools to folks from out of town, who in the end like the school, but not the housing stock in our community.

In Georgia, the state dictates class size --

grades K-3 -- there can be no more than 21 students
4-8 about 28

High schools --currently sit at 32 but I think that as soon as we have new leadership at the state level you can expect to see that go down --

Almost all the major school systems in Metro Atlanta start school by August 14th this year. We are almost all done by Memorial Day.

Tell me a little more about your housing priorities and I will see what other info I can give you.
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:24 AM
 
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Housing - $450K to 650K
Newer Neighborhood (> year 2000)
3000ft^2

Wow, our school here goes until June 22nd...
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Old 05-12-2007, 05:54 AM
 
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I always feeel so sorry for the kids who move here from the Northeast or Midwest. They get such a short break. Even 90 percent of the private schools have followed the public schools with simliarly early start dates.




First a disclaimer, I don't know much about the areas East of Stone Mountain, so I can't comment on that.


I am going to suggest you start with the city of Decatur. Most school systems in Georgia are county school systems -- that is they serve the entire county. In Metro Atlanta, we have some exceptions (Marietta, Buford, Decatur and Atlanta). Decatur is in DeKalb County but has its' own school system which is very well regarded.

If you go to harrynorman dot com and click on find homes, then choose the function to search by schools, choose high school, then choose Decatur, (not Decatur High School) enter all your other information, you will see some of your choices.

Decatur High is very small by Metro standards Decatur schools are wonderful but you will be paying higher property taxes -- but I bet they will still be lower than where you are coming from.

The key is that you have to stay in the City of Decatur.

The Lakeside or Druid Hills clusters are also probably conveniient, but as a DeKalb County parent, I am concerned that the system is falling apart -- or hasn't hit rock bottom yet. We have a school super. who can't seem to make decisions, or makes poor ones regularly, We can't seem to stay out of the news and our Super. decides it is because one of the local networks is out to get him. We also have a very poor school board, comprised of many members who aren't educated themselves.

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/dekalb/stories/2007/05/10/clxedboard0510.html (broken link)

Oh, I got distracted -- within Lakeside, there are a lot of elementary schools supported by the community and others which aren't. Within Druid Hills, the best is Fernbank, Briar Vista is wall to wall Montessori and wouldn't be a good place to transfer your kids and well the others need some revitalization.

There are some positives going on in DeKalb, in fairness. We seem to be making progress in the ability to hire decent teachers -- in part because Gwinnett has become so big all those teachers from DeKalb that fled diversity to Gwinnett are begging to come back. Additionally, Gwinnett has become pretty darn diverse.

Onto Gwinnett, I am thinking that perhaps Peachtree Corners might be too far. While the schools are huge, Norcross High has an IB program that is suppose to be great and the middle school has it as well. I know many people who are very happy at Simpson Elementary but it is 1000 students.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
196 posts, read 689,030 times
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OhioPlastic- My wife and I were faced with the same situation about one year ago. I also work in Stone Mountain. We bought in the Gwinnett County area around Grayson. To Stone Mountain about a 30 minute drive and there are several backroads in case the traffic gets congested (as it certainly will). Loganville is a growing area also that has some really nice housing. Schools in both places, either Grayson or Brookwood are great high schools. Lots of shopping and upscale restaurants. Let me know if I can help more..
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:53 AM
 
Location: NY to FL to ATL
612 posts, read 2,638,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moving123 View Post
OhioPlastic- My wife and I were faced with the same situation about one year ago. I also work in Stone Mountain. We bought in the Gwinnett County area around Grayson. To Stone Mountain about a 30 minute drive and there are several backroads in case the traffic gets congested (as it certainly will). Loganville is a growing area also that has some really nice housing. Schools in both places, either Grayson or Brookwood are great high schools. Lots of shopping and upscale restaurants. Let me know if I can help more..
I agree. The Loganville, Grayson and south part of Snellville will give you easy access to Stone Mountain.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:16 AM
 
24 posts, read 115,035 times
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Is Duluth (around Sugarloaf) or Cumming too far of a commute?

Also - we've read a lot on these forums and elsewhere about the rapid growth makes them need to put students in trailers. Is that the norm everywhere or just certain areas?

Thank you!
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:24 AM
 
24 posts, read 115,035 times
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One more thing...

As you look around your neighborhoods, it is a buyers market (or sellers)? We are getting regular updates from AtlantaMLS.com and so many of them say "reduced". There are just as many "active" listings and a few "new" here and there.

I wondered why people are leaving...

So another question would be are there still lots of people moving in as opposed to away from the area?

Also, are there any of these areas that are scenic in any way? Or is it all just more houses (subdivisions), golf courses, etc.? (I wouldn't mind a golf course view).

Thank you!
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
196 posts, read 689,030 times
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I believe and my wife is a realtor, that the area is overbuilt with new homes. When the market slowed, the builders lagged this slowdown so many new homes were and are still on the market. They are hurting so they need to sell creating the buyers market. As for the other active listings, many of the people who have been waiting to build their dream house are upgrading to the new "overbuilt" homes thus creating a market for the slightly used homes.
Loganville is scenic and has a lot to offer in the form of scenic farmland and larger lots. There are several golf couse views.
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:55 PM
 
24 posts, read 115,035 times
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Thanks so much for the information. That is interesting - and I guess I would like to aim for the "dream house" at the outset - I don't want to have to move again!

Some posts mentioned nice housing developments with bad neighborhoods right outside the "gated community" - do you know of any areas like this to avoid?

I will look at Loganville online and see what I can find out. Once we are there and can drive and see these places, it will help a lot.

Thanks again!
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