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Old 12-12-2019, 11:07 AM
 
7 posts, read 3,790 times
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I am starting to explore the possibility of relocating my family to the northern Georgia area (among others) and was hoping to get some advice from others. Ideally we are looking for the following (in no particular order):

1. Good schools - Specifically we are looking at high schools (kids will be out of middle school by the time we relocate). We are not opposed to private schools but would definitely prefer public if possible.
2. Within an hour of jobs. I work in finance and my wife works in education.
3. Decent cost of living - We will be relocating from Chicago so I am sure most area would be better than here. Taxes, housing and gas here are all high.
4. More rustic area - Ideally we would like a wooded area with some hilly topography (northern Illinois is SO flat). Family likes to be in nature (fires at the firepit, swimming in the pool, hiking, fishing, camping, etc).
5. Not overly congested.
6. Housing - Homes between $250k - $500k.
7. Safe and clean
8. Better climate - We hate the cold, long winters of Chicago. My wife loves the beach so a move to Georgia would also put us closer to beaches.
9. Small-town feel would be an added bonus (holiday events, festivals, quaint downtown area, etc).

Do any areas in northern Georgia fir this? Thanks in advance!
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Ventura County, CA
212 posts, read 49,193 times
Reputation: 446
I will be interested to see how folks from GA. respond here. I have been looking for the right landing spot somewhere in the Blue Ridge part of the country, and was surprised at how much I liked Northern Georgia. But for your criteria, I'm not sure how far North you are talking about. Northern GA. is not very close to beaches, unless you count lakes, and you if you get very far North of Atlanta you are not going to find many large urban areas. I really liked the Gainesville area, but I am looking for a little higher elevation. All across the upper part of the state you are going to find some of your wishes like: Cost of living, rustic area, not overly congested, homes in your price range and small town feel. Your requirement for jobs will determine if the rest fits.

I am definitely an outsider looking in, but so anxious to see what comments come from this.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:22 AM
 
7 posts, read 3,790 times
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Thanks! When I mentioned beaches I just meant within driving distance to Florida beaches (a lot closer than Chicago).
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Ono Island, Orange Beach, AL
10,125 posts, read 9,703,514 times
Reputation: 5763
In which area of finance do you work?
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:22 PM
 
Location: N. Ga
3,756 posts, read 3,392,920 times
Reputation: 2141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude24 View Post
I will be interested to see how folks from GA. respond here. I have been looking for the right landing spot somewhere in the Blue Ridge part of the country, and was surprised at how much I liked Northern Georgia. But for your criteria, I'm not sure how far North you are talking about. Northern GA. is not very close to beaches, unless you count lakes, and you if you get very far North of Atlanta you are not going to find many large urban areas. I really liked the Gainesville area, but I am looking for a little higher elevation. All across the upper part of the state you are going to find some of your wishes like: Cost of living, rustic area, not overly congested, homes in your price range and small town feel. Your requirement for jobs will determine if the rest fits.

I am definitely an outsider looking in, but so anxious to see what comments come from this.
I'm going to be watching as well.... There is an ongoing discussion going on at the local level about how to quell the ongoing onslaught we are now having here in N.GA. We are growing at a rate that is just too fast to sustain. Our roads are at full capacity, our natural beauty is being destroyed, and even in our little community crime is on the upswing.
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:20 PM
 
7 posts, read 3,790 times
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AnsleyPark - I am an accountant.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:47 PM
 
6,397 posts, read 5,848,661 times
Reputation: 4435
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingtorelocate33 View Post
I am starting to explore the possibility of relocating my family to the northern Georgia area (among others) and was hoping to get some advice from others. Ideally we are looking for the following (in no particular order):

1. Good schools - Specifically we are looking at high schools (kids will be out of middle school by the time we relocate). We are not opposed to private schools but would definitely prefer public if possible.
2. Within an hour of jobs. I work in finance and my wife works in education.
3. Decent cost of living - We will be relocating from Chicago so I am sure most area would be better than here. Taxes, housing and gas here are all high.
4. More rustic area - Ideally we would like a wooded area with some hilly topography (northern Illinois is SO flat). Family likes to be in nature (fires at the firepit, swimming in the pool, hiking, fishing, camping, etc).
5. Not overly congested.
6. Housing - Homes between $250k - $500k.
7. Safe and clean
8. Better climate - We hate the cold, long winters of Chicago. My wife loves the beach so a move to Georgia would also put us closer to beaches.
9. Small-town feel would be an added bonus (holiday events, festivals, quaint downtown area, etc).

Do any areas in northern Georgia fir this? Thanks in advance!
1) - The highest-rated and most highly-regarded public high schools in greater North Georgia will be located in the northern suburbs and exurbs of the expansive greater Atlanta metropolitan area in jurisdictions like Cobb, North Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cherokee, Jackson counties and even in some parts of Hall, Dawson, Pickens, Lumpkin and Bartow counties.

If you want to live in an area of the highest-rated and most highly-regarded public high schools, you likely will have to accept living in a North Atlanta suburban/exurban area with more traffic than you might like to deal with... North Atlanta suburban areas like East Cobb, West Cobb, North Fulton, Forsyth and Gwinnett counties.

2) - The largest clusters of jobs in greater North Georgia are in areas like the Atlanta metropolitan area (in areas like Downtown Atlanta, Midtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Perimeter Center (Dunwoody/Sandy Springs), Cumberland/Vinings, Alpharetta, Peachtree Corners, Emory University, the Atlanta Airport, North Cobb County, and the I-85/GA-316/I-985 corridor through Gwinnett County). There is also a sizable cluster of jobs in the Gainesville area (which puts you closer to the Blue Ridge Mountains and a decent-sized cluster of jobs in the Dalton area.

The Chattanooga metropolitan area (which straddles the Tennessee-Georgia state line) also offers a very good-sized cluster of jobs with many of the amenities you desire without the severe traffic congestion of suburban counties closer to Atlanta.

3) - The cost-of-living is likely to be noticeably lower in greater North Georgia than in Chicagoland... Though it should be noted that the cost-of-living has been on the rise in recent years, particularly in the crowded inner-suburban North Georgia counties closest to Atlanta (and especially in North Atlanta suburban areas like North Fulton, North Dekalb, Cobb, Forsyth and some parts of Gwinnett).

4) - One will find much, much, much more vegetation and much more hilly topography (along with much mountainous topography) in greater North Georgia north of Interstate 20 than one will find in Chicagoland and northern Illinois.

North Georgia (including the heavily developed North Atlanta suburbs and exurbs) is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains region that encompasses much of North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee and even up into southwestern Virginia... So you will find much hilly-to-mountainous topography carpeted with an abundance of lush greenery and vegetation... That is including in the very popular and much beloved Chattahoochee National Forest mountain wilderness recreation area of North Georgia. It will be far different than Chicagoland and northern Illinois.

5) - Like I mentioned before, if you want to live in an area of the highest-rated and most highly-regarded public high schools that may also be close to a large cluster of good-paying jobs, you likely may have to accept living in an area that will have more traffic than you might like.

There are areas of decently and above-average rated schools farther out from Atlanta in the rural and far-outer exurban counties of North Georgia (including in the North Georgia Mountains region), but the drawback is that those areas may likely be located farther away from the largest clusters of good-paying jobs in metro Atlanta... Though areas like Gainesville, Dalton and Chattanooga may offer some degree of employment opportunities without the severe traffic congestion of the Atlanta metro area.

6) - Housing costs are noticeably more affordable than other areas like West Coast, Northeast, South Florida, etc... Though, housing costs in area that are closest to the hottest and largest clusters of employment (particularly in metro Atlanta) have been on the rise in recent years.

7) - Outside of the areas closest to Atlanta, many of the areas under discussion here are generally safe (with generally low crime rates) and clean.

8) - While the summers here will be warmer and more humid than in northern Illinois, North Georgia generally features a significantly warmer and milder climate than Chicagoland and northern Illinois during the winter months... Though, the overall amount of precipitation will be higher (50-plus inches of average precipitation in North Georgia compared to less than 40 inches of average precipitation in northern Illinois each year.

North Georgia (particularly in the foothills and mountainous areas north of Atlanta) also are no strangers to winter weather, especially during the most active winter seasons. The winters will not offer anywhere near the amount of punishment that winters in northern Illinois will offer... But modest amounts of ice and snow (or at least the threat of modest amounts of ice and snow) on multiple occasions will not be unusual in the North Georgia foothill and mountain counties north of Atlanta.

… That while the beaches of the South Atlantic coast are as close as a 4-5 hour drive away (on the Georgia-South Carolina coast), while the beaches of the Gulf Coast are as close as a 5-6 hour drive away (on the Florida-Alabama (or 'Floribama') shore of the Gulf of Mexico).

9) - Various North Georgia towns like Blue Ridge, Helen, Dahlonega, Blairsville, Cleveland, Dawsonville, Buford, Canton, Woodstock, Hiawassee, Young Harris, Clayton, Toccoa, Clarksville, Cornelia, Ellijay, Jasper, Cartersville, and even Gainesville will provide different variations of the small-town feel that appeals to you.
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Old 12-12-2019, 07:53 PM
 
3,604 posts, read 5,293,545 times
Reputation: 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingtorelocate33 View Post
I am starting to explore the possibility of relocating my family to the northern Georgia area (among others) and was hoping to get some advice from others. Ideally we are looking for the following (in no particular order):

1. Good schools - Specifically we are looking at high schools (kids will be out of middle school by the time we relocate). We are not opposed to private schools but would definitely prefer public if possible.
2. Within an hour of jobs. I work in finance and my wife works in education.
3. Decent cost of living - We will be relocating from Chicago so I am sure most area would be better than here. Taxes, housing and gas here are all high.
4. More rustic area - Ideally we would like a wooded area with some hilly topography (northern Illinois is SO flat). Family likes to be in nature (fires at the firepit, swimming in the pool, hiking, fishing, camping, etc).
5. Not overly congested.
6. Housing - Homes between $250k - $500k.
7. Safe and clean
8. Better climate - We hate the cold, long winters of Chicago. My wife loves the beach so a move to Georgia would also put us closer to beaches.
9. Small-town feel would be an added bonus (holiday events, festivals, quaint downtown area, etc).

Do any areas in northern Georgia fir this? Thanks in advance!
Atlanta has major traffic issues especially in the northern suburbs making my commute to 5 points downtown a 90 minute drive M-T, for some reason Friday is a telework day or people are off as it only takes about 40 minutes. I'm in the office only 1 day a week.

Forsyth & Cherokee counties check about 80% of the boxes you have listed. We are not what you would consider norther Georgia up by the Tennessee line. I'm about 25 miles north of 285 in Cumming, near the Lake, it's moderately hilly up here, I'd say 200 to 300 ft elevations are common up here. If you go an hour north you are in the mountains. Very picturesque with the trees and hills, there are a lot of trees here.

Schools are top notch the schools right me are all top 10 in the state, think almost Naperville quality.

Climate is great I grew up in Ohio near the lake and lived in Chicago so I know how cold it is up there. Most days are low 50's in winter, overnight in high 20's-low 30's during the winter.

Safe and clean.. Very much.

Housing $500k gets you a 3500 square foot house and most homes above $400k have a walkout basement.

Forsyth county has some of the lowest property taxes in the state, about 25% lower than the surrounding counties.

Congestion outside of rush hour is really good, roads are all newer & well designed which helps out a lot with congestion in your immediate area.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Ono Island, Orange Beach, AL
10,125 posts, read 9,703,514 times
Reputation: 5763
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingtorelocate33 View Post
AnsleyPark - I am an accountant.
For basic accountancy work - small business, personal taxes, etc. Most all of the areas discussed in this thread should offer you employment opportunities. Of course, if your accountancy skills are in the investment banking, public company arena, you will necessarily need to be closer to Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead, where those jobs are located.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:10 AM
 
Location: North of Birmingham, AL
436 posts, read 301,861 times
Reputation: 595
I feel like I should be working for the Cartersville Chamber of Commerce, because this is the second recent thread where I am mentioning the town. It is is a very nice hilly to low mountainous setting close to hiking, lakes, etc. And it's very convenient to the NW Atlanta suburbs. There is a nice downtown area and a suprising Western Art Museum of all things. I'm not sure about the school system, but I would assume it may be pretty good since it is becoming a far outer Atlanta suburb, albeit while retaining a smaller town feel.
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