So, I'm moving to Atlanta

Some may remember this semi-recent posting where I asked about the NYC housing market. While I ended up interviewing for that position in person, I decided that I didn’t want that job. Around the same time, I also interviewed for a position in Atlanta - and really liked the people I interviewed, leaving with a feeling that this would be an excellent position. Lo and behold, the position was offered, I accepted and I start July 1.
Now, I’ve lived in Atlanta before, and grew up in southeastern TN. Last time I was there I lived in Sandy Springs, paid too much in rent and just wasn’t happy with where I was living. This time, I’m determined to do better, so I’m looking for advice on housing - locations, even specific complexes/management companies if you like them.

Things you probably need to know: I’ll be working at GSU, I want to live reasonably close to Marta because I’m not paying to park at work unless I have to, but I do have a car so could drive a short distance to a station if I had to. It’s just me, so I’m not so much worried about school access or huge amounts of space. I’ve been renting a stand alone house here, and while it’s ok - I haven’t been in love with having to do the yard work and stuff for a rental - so I’m not attached to that idea.

I’m toying with the idea of several areas, including Decatur, Grant Park and the like - but I’m not tied to them. I’m not sold on Cobb or Gwinnett counties - mainly based on what I know of the commutes.

I’m semi-flexible on rent amount - I hesitate to mention a specific number because it really can vary. I can be more specific in a PM if necessary. Also, if you’re there, and live in a complex that you really like - let me know, since I’m happy to use your name for resident referral if available.

Decatur… is very reasonable… Their are a lot of properties for rent and purchase (quite a few foreclosures) and its a walking neighborhood thats hard to beat in the spring/summer. The nearby farmer’s market as well as the numerous restaurants…

I haven’t lived there since 2001, when I graduated from Agnes Scott, but I really miss Decatur.

What didn’t you like about Sandy Springs? I lived there for a year myself and didn’t really enjoy it either - it felt quite disconnected from the city. My wife and I moved to California for work and adventure but still own a condo in Midtown, an area we loved living in. I can tell you from being a landlord that there are deals to be had with rentals in the area cries. It is a fun area, and it can be close to Marta and lots of good restaurants, etc. Decatur is really nice too though, and can also be close to a Marta line.

Are you okay with the giant apartment complexes, or are you looking for something a little nicer? Depending on your price range I wouldn’t completely rule out renting a house, especially if yard work is part of the package (we are currently renting a house where our rent covers a company that comes out once a week to take care of the yard). I don’t think it is all that uncommon - owners have a vested interest in not letting renters destroy their nice yards through lack of maintenance.

That’s a pretty good explanation - I also think it felt like a very transient population, but that could be where I lived (I was in a complex right at the North Springs Marta station - convenient, but lots of people on temporary work assignments and such).
I’m ok with the big complexes - though if I had to pick, I’d go with a smaller building perhaps. I’ve just found that it helps with building a social group (this won’t be quite as hard as last time I was there, but I’m still going to have to do some, since, in 8 years, most that I was friends with then have left the city). There are also potential benefits to the larger complexes - like the ability to completely drop the gym membership - none of these alone will make the argument for one over the other, though - and I know that i can move again within the city if needed if I find something better.

Midtown I hadn’t really considered, but I’ll add it into the mix if I can find the right place there.

You know it’s really humid there, right? And the Mexican food won’t be as good. And you don’t want to miss those monsoon storms and flash floods, do you?

::clings to lsura’s leg::
Don’t go!!
Just kidding- go on, then! More desert for me!


Decatur is a nice neighborhood. Probably the best part of my six-weeks stay in Atlanta a couple of years ago. And I still pine for the farmer’s market… Sigh Instead, now I live in Athens.

Just a couple of things to beware. I don’t know if they’ve told you, but GA’s deficit is apparently big, there are economic problems, and that includes huge budget cuts to the public university system. Luckily you got the job before they froze the position. But you may end up with a couple of years without raises.

About MARTA, because of the same problems, even if now there seems to be running same as usual (meaning not good), there are at least rumors of reducing its service even more (and making it suck more). If the reduction does happen, then you should be careful about the schedules. Also, compare the MARTA fare with buying parking pass for work.

I don’t know if you know, but I live currently live in Arizona and work for the land grant university. Our state deficit is ridiculously huge - and if the emergency sales tax ballot doesn’t pass this month, we’re looking at even bigger cuts to higher ed (and k-12 for that matter).

I haven’t had a raise since I got to AZ in 2007 - and had no hopes of one until at least 2012 when I would have gone for tenure, and only then because of that.

Yeah, I’m watching the Marta situation - but I’m hoping that if I can live reasonably close to a rail station it’ll be ok, even if service becomes less frequent - I focused on the cost of parking, but having previously worked in downtown Atlanta, I mostly don’t want to deal with the traffic (and the usual parking issues on a college campus :slight_smile: )

Alice, I know! The humidity will be one of my favorite things! My sinuses aren’t yet rejoicing, but will soon! :slight_smile: More green stuff for me!
Thanks for the input so far, all! :slight_smile:

You’re right about Gwinnett being a bad fit. The commute to Atlanta is Los Angeleanly brutal. The culture is politicaly conservative, “Prosperity Theology” Christian, and heavily slanted towards people raising families. And even though the same tracks carry Amtrak & freights one block away past my kitchen window, MARTA stops at the edge of the county, so as to keep the marauding hordes confined to Fulton County; or at least to require they buy their own cars first.

If I had my druthers, I’d live in a bungalow in Decatur; attend the Quaker meeting, buy box lunches at the Farmers Market and eat them while sightseeing in the Decatur Cemetery.

As always the forums at City-Data are a great place to read and ask questions about cities.

Post Dunwoody? I lived there from late 2000-2002. No longer in Atlanta, so nothing else to add to this.

Yes. I was there from late 1999- mid 2002.

You don’t really say what sort of scene you’re into, so it’s hard to suggest something. Personally, I hate the burbs with their endless strip malls, and soccer mom culture. If I was working where you will be, I’d probably look at Virginia Highlands (if you can afford it). I like the bars…

'burbs are bad. :slight_smile: (see previous comments about Cobb/Gwinnett and having lived in Sandy Springs). It looks like, if I was lucky, I might find a place in my range (I’m looking 600-800, with a preference to the low or mid point of that if possible).

I don’t mind bars - but I’d rather be able to go to them easily than live way close to them - they’re not the center of my social life. I want places I can go like decent, perhaps quirky, restaurants, ease of commute, a mixed set of ages and types where I live.

That make sense? I’ll clarify if I can, but it’s not yet 6 AM in Tucson and I’m still having my coffee. :slight_smile:
ETA: I ran across this company that looks interesting - - anyone know anything about them? They seem to have some possibilities.

Virginia Highlands still kinda sounds like a good place for you. Don’t know what the rents are there though, and most of what I see there are condos vs. apt complexes, but then I never seriously looked into the area. I just go there to drink once in a while.

In that price range, your options will be somewhat limited - not terribly, but you’ll have to make some compromises. Living ITP, my first priority would be security. Nothing worse than not feeling safe in your own home. Crime near the schools, and on MARTA, seems worse since the economic troubles. I’m way out in the burbs, so I can only call attention to the obvious, and can’t offer much useful info. You’d do better checking

But I think many areas of Decatur are quite nice. If she’s looking for railroads and bus stops, they are easily found, and even going to GSU by car is not the biggest ordeal. And I don’t think downtown Decatur has lots of bars… it has some fancy bars, and it certainly has a lot of nice restaurants. It looks like a nice family place, and it was a nice family place where I lived there. Plus the farmer market is close by.

Agree that Decatur is nice.

Virginia Highlands, Poncey Highland, Candler Park, East Atlanta Village (a little sketchier, but fun) are also interesting options.

If you are looking for a newer complex, there are the Highland Walk Apartments. Lots of new shops and restaurants going in there. (Inman Park MARTA station within a reasonable distance.)

I know their name but not much else about them. I can tell you that some of the apartments I see on that website are not exactly in the neighborhoods they claim. They are sort of stretching the borders.

Thanks. That’s absolutely a huge help. I actually talked to a place in Decatur yesterday - it’s at the max end of my range, but I’ve seen good things about them on yelp and other review sites and that’s one thing they mentioned is that there are places that claim one location but aren’t really there. I also found out that 2-3 of my future coworkers are renting in this small complex - and I hadn’t talked to anyone there about specific complexes at all, so that’s very encouraging to me.
I’ll check out the Highland Walk apts too - if you currently rent there, DM me your name so I can give you the resident referral if I end up there.

Nah, I don’t rent there, but thanks for the offer. I am actually a landlord myself, in Poncey Highland.