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Old 10-11-2009, 07:50 PM
 
6 posts, read 20,663 times
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Hi,

I am a current SF bay area resident. I should also add that I am a native of Chicago with strong midwestern roots. I moved to Atlanta, GA with my dad after highschool graduation, attended GA State University, and then moved to SF in my early twenties. 20 years later I'm still here and I'm ready to settle down and buy my first home. I've lived in the City for most of the time (Ingleside, Fillmore, Glen Park, Sunset) and for the most part I love the City. I lead a very active outdoors life and SF and the neighboring bay area provides opportunities for year round running, kayaking, and cycling. The cultural diversity, city events, attractions are world class. However, I can not afford to buy here in SF...I am a single man and have two considerations on the table:

1. Move to Vallejo and buy a waterfront condo with an all cash offer.

2. Move to Atlanta and buy a house with an all cash offer.

There are pluses and minuses to both: Vallejo keeps me in the bay area close to SF and other bay cities, is affordable. I am aware of the bankruptcy, school closing, but I have no kids, and feel that the city is in a transitional stage. Just like any other city, there are good areas and bad areas. Believe me, there are areas in SF, that I would not be caught in at night.

Part of my family still reside in Atlanta and every time I visit I get a sales pitch to move back. I lived there for about 5 years from 85'-90' and the city has really progressed. There are tons of low priced homes and I'd be close to my family. However, the areas of town that remind me of SF - Midtown, VA Highlands, etc. are quite expensive. The outer lying areas are nice, but I do not want to do a lot of driving. I like being able to go out my door and go for a jog, or visit my local diner for a meal with having to pull the car out.

I had also considered my hometown Chicago (Hyde Park neighborhood) which I love, but I do not like snow and freezing temperatures. I tried living there for 6 months and could not stand the winter cabin fever and potholes

Any SF Expats living in V-Town or Atlanta like to share your thoughts.

Thanks!

Last edited by HappyPaddler; 10-11-2009 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:17 PM
 
12,823 posts, read 22,933,481 times
Reputation: 10997
That's a tough call.

My own informed opinion is that Atlanta will become one of the top 4 metros in all respects, this century. The Bay Area is the past and Atlanta is the future.

There are many pluses and minuses inherent in this, for both places.

If I were in your shoes, I'd probably go with Atlanta.

Buying in a gritty part of the Bay Area, just to keep a foot in the door here, is very risky at this juncture. Green jobs and biotech may not be enough to create long term prosperity here. Most other businesses have fled or are fleeing.
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Old 10-12-2009, 11:46 PM
 
Location: The Golden State
205 posts, read 567,960 times
Reputation: 145
A friend of mine moved here from Atlanta. She is always commenting on the 'water' in the bay area. She also says she's never seen so many fruit trees in people's yards. ... lol.

Also, she doesn't like the idea of the confederate flag in Georgia.
So, it depends on that you like and your idea of community.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,390 posts, read 27,135,334 times
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Sounds a bit like me... I live in SF Bay ... I wouldn't trade it just to own in ATL though, no way... SF Bay to me is on another level, especially for the outdoors enthusiast... SF proper is also a much different type of city.
My father and dad both live in North FL and would also like me to live near but it isn't worth it... ATL to me is a very different type big city than Chicago and SF...
I have also lived in Chicago for several years and the winter isn't really worth it but I liked the city and lived in several nabes... west loop, printers row, rogers park...
The outdoors stuff there might as well be non existent compared to sf bay area...ATL is better but not on par either.
I would stay ... I certainly wouldn't go buy something there... If you really need to go there just to get it out of your system... get a job, rent a place for awhile... see if you adjust. Or just go on craigslist get a one or two month sublease to really check it out.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
3,689 posts, read 8,628,489 times
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I don't think I could disagree more about the bay area being the past and Atlanta being the future.

Techwise, there's no comparison. Regardless of where they get started, almost all of the cutting edge tech companies are funded out of the bay. Atlanta, even including the Turners, a few sports legends, and the Coca-Cola family, has very little wealth and wealth management by comparison.

It's a point seldom brought up, but there's actual reasoning why housing in the bay area is so expensive, cheap in other metro areas, and extremely cheap in some rural areas. It's an outstanding metric of how desirable it is to live in that house (whether by owning or finding someone to rent it).

For those who live there now, maybe the bay area has come and gone in terms of the perfect place to live, but it will continue to attract the world's best and brightest because of its unique climate and culture.

Wonder how many people are waiting for that Hayward quake to bring a dip to the local real estate market and swoop in to buy their house...
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:25 AM
 
12,823 posts, read 22,933,481 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
I don't think I could disagree more about the bay area being the past and Atlanta being the future.

Techwise, there's no comparison. Regardless of where they get started, almost all of the cutting edge tech companies are funded out of the bay. Atlanta, even including the Turners, a few sports legends, and the Coca-Cola family, has very little wealth and wealth management by comparison.

It's a point seldom brought up, but there's actual reasoning why housing in the bay area is so expensive, cheap in other metro areas, and extremely cheap in some rural areas. It's an outstanding metric of how desirable it is to live in that house (whether by owning or finding someone to rent it).

For those who live there now, maybe the bay area has come and gone in terms of the perfect place to live, but it will continue to attract the world's best and brightest because of its unique climate and culture.

Wonder how many people are waiting for that Hayward quake to bring a dip to the local real estate market and swoop in to buy their house...
You are stuck in the past, in that you believe the late 20th century trend of the Bay Area being the leading center of technology, will continue. I don't believe that. I believe the golden age has passed, for the Bay Area, vis a vis business innovation.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:41 AM
 
3,735 posts, read 7,667,342 times
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Texas will surpass the bay area technology field, I think and Atlanta is close by.

Atlanta has much to offer and is totally different than the bay area as you already know. Please don't compare Atlanta from the '80's or even the '90's to now it is a totally different place.

If you are considering moving to Vallejo, you will have to drive or catch the train to anything worth wild anyways. In Atlanta you can own a really nice place cash and travel where ever you want to. Virgina Highlands is nice but also consider East Atlanta, Ormewood, Oakhurst, Kirkwood, Edgewood,Cabbagetown, the City of Decatur and many other places you can live to get the city and community feeling without having to drive all the time.

If and when you decide to have a family GA for families is a much better evironment to raise kids. There are plenty of things to do there as well.

Vallejo is years away from being nice. Also, it filed bankruptcy just last year so I wouldn't say that it is getting better any time soon. That sounds like a gamble to me.

Also, the climate is also very nice year round in GA. Of course there are a couple of months in the summer where it gets muggy and or humid but I am so tired of people talking about the bay area weather as if it doesn't have bad days. The bay area to me gets too cold at times and every place has imperfect weather from time to time. You can't take the weather to the bank.

BTW, I LOVE CHICAGO!!
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
3,689 posts, read 8,628,489 times
Reputation: 2979
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
You are stuck in the past, in that you believe the late 20th century trend of the Bay Area being the leading center of technology, will continue. I don't believe that. I believe the golden age has passed, for the Bay Area, vis a vis business innovation.
The numbers don't back up that assertion. It may have its lead narrowed, but the tech money, by and large, is staying put. In terms of innovation the Boston cluster is still a distant second. The Texas triangle and Atlanta are where already-successful tech companies put their factories and their incremental research centers, not where the innovations and breakthroughs coupled to startups primarily take place. Exceptions? Of course (Dell comes to mind). But nobody in their right mind puts new plants in the Bay Area (land and by and large populace is too expensive for that), whereas you can't say the same for the other regions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayarea-girl View Post
Texas will surpass the bay area technology field, I think and Atlanta is close by.
I thought we were discussing desirability of living, not "more tech is here than there". Tech by itself doesn't make a place enjoyable to live (Been to Mumbai lately?). Kinda like arguing which ocean has more water in it.

Quote:
If and when you decide to have a family GA for families is a much better evironment to raise kids. There are plenty of things to do there as well.
Not sure the OP was looking too heavily at immediate childrearing. A recent news article put Georgia 50th out of 51st in terms of childhood education, and California wasn't 51st. I believe Atlanta is worse than average for Georgia (ouch) and Vallejo is better than average for California. Every other factor I can consider for kids comes on the side of the bay. People let their kids ride their bikes around Vallejo more than they let them ride around Atlanta or its suburbs.

A drive up Chamblee Tucker Road will also quickly convince you that perhaps California doesn't have the market cornered on illegals.

Crime: Atlanta routinely makes the top 3 nationally for worst for crime. While California's bureaucrats often get maligned for inefficient governance I suspect it's more due toward benign incompetence rather than abject corruption. Atlanta, on the other hand..

Final difference: It's about 4 hours to the ocean from Atlanta (and closer to 5 for an actual beach). 4 hours from Vallejo could get you to Pismo Beach (or Waikiki if you flew).
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:11 PM
 
3,735 posts, read 7,667,342 times
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Zoidberg, we aren't talking which place has more tech. Although, ground breaking endeavors I agree will always be here.

Younger people should always look at a place they are purchasing in terms of safety, will they be able to sell when they want to, and for the possibilities of having kids. Ones current position is not what it will be in 5 years. So thinking ahead is something everyone should be doing.

Actually, CA came in lower than GA for school rankings. CA came in 47th and GA 41st to school rankings. Smartest State 2006-2007 The 2007-2008 numbers have not come out yet but with many GA schools ranking in the top 100 this year, all of its new schools, and efforts to bring in top teaching professionals I'll beat the rankings will continue to improve. The way the school systems keep reducing staff and cutting budgets year after year in CA I doubt the schools will be able to be good.

Illegals and or just a foreign population is diversifying the Atlanta and its suburbs without a doubt. But that is not what the original poster was asking about either. I actually don't mind a foreign presence in GA.

Crime: Uhmmm, get your facts correct Atlanta does not hit the top 3 when it comes to crime it doesn't even make the top 10.
Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States, Page 2 of 2 - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com
America's top 5 most dangerous cities - MSN Real Estate
Top 10 Most Dangerous American Cities
America's Most Dangerous Cities - Forbes.com
The city of Atlanta does need to improve on many things when it comes with the cities crime. But I think times are changing as the city becomes more gentrified and with a new management.

It takes over 2 and a 1/2 hours to get to the ocean from Atlanta if you want to enjoy the cost if you want to stay in GA. Savannah is still in GA. Plus N. Carolina and Florida are close enough. I can drive over 10 hours in CA and still be in the same da#b state. While living in GA one can hit more than 3 states within that time frame. GA also has one of the largest International Airports, which means traveling is very convenient.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:15 PM
 
3,735 posts, read 7,667,342 times
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Also, the one thing I wanted to add about Atlanta vs. the Bay is that getting a job in the bay is MUCH better than getting one in Atlanta. In Atlanta it is all about who you know and we don't have the same problem here.
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