U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 01-04-2010, 01:28 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
15 posts, read 30,579 times
Reputation: 30

Advertisements

Hi, there. I am in the process of narrowing down our final choices for a new hometown. This has been a long and hard adventure but I think I'm ready to pick - but I'd like some help.

First, some background: My husband works for a big telecom but he works 100% at home (fortunately he manages overseas accounts so he is availble all day to explore the new city!) and I am a writer. We have 2 boys, 9 and 14. Our "old" home is a Victorian that we restored here in NE PA. After the first 20 years of life in MA then a few in NJ then PA...well, we're ready for the south. I have traveled extensively throughout the country and a lot of the world, always with an eye for where we could move to. What has really gotten my attention is Georgia. (It is VERY hard to pick a new home when you can choose from anywhere at all.) But I wanted a few specific things:
1. Warm weather. Seasons are nice but you don't have to shovel humidity. Goodbye, 'Noreasters!
2. Small town atmosphere. We are now an hour outside of Manhattan and I'll do almost anything to avoid it for all the noise! I like having the museums and events that big cities offer but I am willing to go there when needed - I don't want to live in the shadow of a skyscraper!
3. Safe, good schools. Ours here in PA are terrible. My youngest is gifted and needs a specialized program. The one good thing the schools have done here is give my little one a dedicated teacher that works with him on a college-like curriculum. He'll need some cooperative folks down there to carry on with him. So, good schools are vital.
4. I want the new town to want me! We are around every day and want to be a part of our new community. I don't want to be seen as an outsider or resented (like the NYers are here).

Our housing needs are simple:
1. Under $300K or so
2. Big... 5 bedrooms or more (because we both need offices to work in)
3. No McMansions. I hate little rows of sameness that look like house seeds were planted by the Homogenous Fairy.
4. ...but new. My DH made me promise we'd live in a new house after these 14 years of rehabbing the big 'ol Victorian.
5. A nice sized yard. We're not going to get 5 acres there but I need a little breathing room and some privacy. I'd like to think 1/2 an acre would do fine.

So, can I find all this in Suwanee? I want to have a new hometown that my kids can get involved in and my husband and I can jump right in and make this "home." I love the idea of walking after dinner around the neighborhood and saying hi to the other happy families. (Yes, I know - it is corny but we've been on a private hill with no neighbors for a LONG time!!)

What are the property taxes like there? What are the not-so-good towns and what are considered the best? Why? I don't have a commute to worry about so I'm not really concerned about traffic or easy highway access. Where is my Mayberry? Would you move there all over again if you had the choice? If not, where?

I'm looking foward to being a Southerner (or at least a really friendly Northerner on extended leave). Thanks for your input!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-05-2010, 09:36 AM
 
Location: East side - Metro ATL
1,325 posts, read 2,285,677 times
Reputation: 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by shagelau View Post
Hi, there. I am in the process of narrowing down our final choices for a new hometown. This has been a long and hard adventure but I think I'm ready to pick - but I'd like some help.

First, some background: My husband works for a big telecom but he works 100% at home (fortunately he manages overseas accounts so he is availble all day to explore the new city!) and I am a writer. We have 2 boys, 9 and 14. Our "old" home is a Victorian that we restored here in NE PA. After the first 20 years of life in MA then a few in NJ then PA...well, we're ready for the south. I have traveled extensively throughout the country and a lot of the world, always with an eye for where we could move to. What has really gotten my attention is Georgia. (It is VERY hard to pick a new home when you can choose from anywhere at all.) But I wanted a few specific things:
1. Warm weather. Seasons are nice but you don't have to shovel humidity. Goodbye, 'Noreasters!
2. Small town atmosphere. We are now an hour outside of Manhattan and I'll do almost anything to avoid it for all the noise! I like having the museums and events that big cities offer but I am willing to go there when needed - I don't want to live in the shadow of a skyscraper!
3. Safe, good schools. Ours here in PA are terrible. My youngest is gifted and needs a specialized program. The one good thing the schools have done here is give my little one a dedicated teacher that works with him on a college-like curriculum. He'll need some cooperative folks down there to carry on with him. So, good schools are vital.
4. I want the new town to want me! We are around every day and want to be a part of our new community. I don't want to be seen as an outsider or resented (like the NYers are here).

Our housing needs are simple:
1. Under $300K or so
2. Big... 5 bedrooms or more (because we both need offices to work in)
3. No McMansions. I hate little rows of sameness that look like house seeds were planted by the Homogenous Fairy.
4. ...but new. My DH made me promise we'd live in a new house after these 14 years of rehabbing the big 'ol Victorian.
5. A nice sized yard. We're not going to get 5 acres there but I need a little breathing room and some privacy. I'd like to think 1/2 an acre would do fine.

So, can I find all this in Suwanee? I want to have a new hometown that my kids can get involved in and my husband and I can jump right in and make this "home." I love the idea of walking after dinner around the neighborhood and saying hi to the other happy families. (Yes, I know - it is corny but we've been on a private hill with no neighbors for a LONG time!!)

What are the property taxes like there? What are the not-so-good towns and what are considered the best? Why? I don't have a commute to worry about so I'm not really concerned about traffic or easy highway access. Where is my Mayberry? Would you move there all over again if you had the choice? If not, where?

I'm looking foward to being a Southerner (or at least a really friendly Northerner on extended leave). Thanks for your input!
First and foremost, Suwanne is a suburb of Atlanta so you will not find that "Mayberry" feel. To get that Mayberry feel, you will definately have to move further out {i.e. Gainesville (//www.city-data.com/city/Gainesville-Georgia.html) or Social Circle, GA (//www.city-data.com/city/Social...e-Georgia.html)}. If you are looking for a surburban community that was considered by Money Magazine in '06 as one of the best places to live (Best Places to Live: Top 100 - Suwanee, Ga. (10) - Money Magazine), then Suwannee is right for you.

Just make sure you visit first to be sure that GA is right for you. If you decide to stay, welcome to Georgia! I hope this information helps at least a little.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2010, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,460 posts, read 4,497,662 times
Reputation: 966
You might want to consider moving this thread over the the Atlanta forum, where you are likely to get more responses.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-06-2010, 10:57 AM
 
9,124 posts, read 33,512,185 times
Reputation: 3573
To get a new 5-bedroom house in the Atlanta metro areathat's not a cookie-cutter copy of all the other houses in the development, you're going to need to spend a lot more than $300k. $300k will buy you a brand-new Pulte (or other reputable builder) house with some nice finishes, that would easily cost $450k in NEPA or $700k in central NJ, but it's going to be in a development of the same homes. If you want something more unique, you're going to need to look at a builder like Hedgewood that does TND developments (like Vikery in Cumming), and that house is likely to run $600k+.

"Mayberry" doesn't really exist within an hour +/- of downtown Atlanta. The closest thing to it might be the City of Decatur, but that's going to put you into older, small homes, or cost you $600k to get a newer build.

Regarding taxes, that depends on what city/county you end up in, but a good number to budget would be 1-1.5% of the purchase price of your home as a ballpark.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-07-2010, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Central FL
1,382 posts, read 3,397,347 times
Reputation: 1183
I don't recommend Gainesville. I live here and it's not what you are looking for at all. My husband's sisters live in NE PA and we just spent Thanksgiving up there. You can do better than Gainesville if you want to be around young families.

I can't comment on Suwanee but I did want to speak about education in GA in general. Property taxes are low here, so that means most of the money for schools comes from the state (via sales taxes). Sales tax revenues are way down here with no sign of improvement. There have been massive cuts in education from the state. We are waiting to hear if this school year could be shortened by as much as one full week in my district due to more teacher furlough days. That is just nuts and my sister in law in PA is always shocked to hear how things are down here (she is a teacher who lives in PA but works over in NJ). So just keep that in mind. We also had 100 teachers laid off in my county, mostly in special ed. I fear that you may think schools are bad where you are, but you haven't really seen bad yet.

A lot does depend on the district. I would check GreatSchools.net and ask around at any neighborhood that you are considering. If your son requires special services, I think the larger districts might be better prepared to provide that. Ask the district for sure before you settle somewhere.

I have a friend who lives over by Ackworth and she seems to like it. Class sizes at her son's school are very small and she has great neighbors too. Canton and Ball Ground are supposed to be nice too, and I had another friend who said he liked the Cherokee County area. I have heard good things about Suwanee and it has many family friendly amenities like a public trail for walkingk, biking, etc.

Keep in mind that tornadoes do happen here in GA as we are on the eastern fringe of tornado alley.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top