What is the best suburb of Atlanta
Living in Atlanta City or Suburbs?
So you've taken the plunge, packed your bags, and headed to Atlanta, but the million dollar question remains: where are you going to live? Atlanta is such a sprawling city, and one that is notorious for its traffic and long commutes, so many people choose to live in an neighborhood near their office. Of course, there are other important factors to consider, from the cost of living and access to public transport to the quality of schools.
Lifestyle plays a big role in deciding where to settle. Those looking for a true in-town experience can buy a Midtown condo or townhouse in Inman Park, while families looking for a large home with a yard on a quiet street can go to suburbs like Roswell or Smyrna to prefer. To Know, Here Is The Essential Atlanta Neighborhood Guide To Help You Decide Which One Is Right For You. Look here.
The most basic distinction of Atlanta living can be the conditions of the perimeter: Do you want to be ITP (within perimeter) and OTP (out of perimeter)? These terms broadly define the difference between life in the city and life in the suburbs based on the city's encapsulating freeway, the 285 Perimeter Beltway. What you need to know:
- ITP residents often live in a faster, urban lifestyle with pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, access to public transportation, shorter commutes, a variety of cultural attractions, and world-class restaurants and shopping.
- On the other hand, OTP residents often find relatively low cost of living (more house for the money) alongside communities with amenities like swimming pools and tennis courts and stellar public school systems.
Atlanta is a city of micro-neighborhoods - with 242 neighborhoods officially defined by the city, deciding where to live can be overwhelming.
However, these neighborhoods are divisions of 25 citizens' councils (they are the ones that handle zoning, land use, and other planning issues), two counties (mostly Fulton, and partly DeKalb to the east), and three main wards:
- Downtown: Includes the following neighborhoods: Castleberry Hill, Five Points, Luckie Marietta, and Peachtree Center, among others.
- Midtown: Includes the following neighborhoods: Peachtree Street, Historic Midtown, Atlantic Station, Home Park, Georgia Tech and Technology Square, Loring Heights and Sherwood Forest, among others.
- Buckhead: Covers the entire northern fifth of the city (north of I-75 and I-85) and includes the following neighborhoods: Chastain Park, Collier Hills / Brookwood Hills, Garden Hills, Lindbergh, West Paces Ferry / Northside, Peachtree Hills, Tuxedo Park and Peachtree Battle, among other things.
There are also neighborhoods that have integrated into their own towns, such as Brookhaven (north of Buckhead) and Decatur (in the Far East), both of which are known to be family-friendly. There are other boroughs, such as Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest Atlanta, that have also been defined, and two of the most popular are:
- East Side: Popular neighborhoods include Cabbagetown, Edgewood, East Lake, Inman Park, Grant Park, Kirkwood, Old Fourth Ward, and Virginia Highland.
- West Midtown: Popular neighborhoods include Berkeley Park, Western Home Park, Knight Park / Howell Station, and Marietta Street Artery.
The Atlanta Metro area is home to dozens of suburban neighborhoods. Some of the popular suburbs include Chamblee, Dunwoody / Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Alpharetta, Roswell, Marietta, Kennesaw, Norcross, Duluth, Johns Creek, and Stone Mountain. Though the suburbs are behind the city in terms of cultural attractions and trendy eateries, there are some neighborhoods (Alpharetta's Avalon and Roswell Square) that have expanded their offerings beyond simple chain restaurants to charming, independent places worth many return visits .
How to choose
Personal preference will be the biggest indicator of which neighborhood is best for you. For objective advice, real estate expert Svenja Gudell, Senior Director for Economic Research for Zillow, helps to understand the finances of life compared to the suburbs:
Deciding whether to rent or buy can also influence your decision where to live. For those in the market to buy a home, the median cost of homes in Atlanta is $ 154,600 (compared to the national average of $ 178,500), according to Zillow. The good news is Atlanta is an affordable place to live. But how affordable will depend on where you want to buy. Take a look at some of these costs from Zillow as of January 2015 in different neighborhoods:
|area||Median home value||Median home value per square. Ft. ($)||Forecast for Median Home Value Appreciation through January 2016|
|Buckhead (Buckhead Forest, Village & North Buckhead)||293,767||$221||2.97%|
What does it all mean? "Basically, it is more expensive to buy in the suburbs, but you will likely get a bigger house with a bigger yard on a private street," explains Gudell. So you will be spending more money (column 1), but you will get more house for your money (column 2).
"If you look at the projected increase in value over the next year, you will find that the residential properties are much more expensive compared to the suburbs, which means that you will get more money selling the house in these neighborhoods," says Gudell. "Indeed, Dunwoody is seeing devaluation over the next year, so for short-term buyers, this would not be a wise investment."
Living in the city is currently a better financial investment than living in the suburbs of Atlanta, but you will get more home for your money in the suburbs.
But not everything is the goal when it comes to finding the perfect neighborhood. "Spend time in whatever area you want to live in," advises Josh Green, editor at Curbed Atlanta. "And that doesn't just mean having lunch there on the weekend. Examine the traffic patterns, how active the community is. Go there morning and night. Look out for home listing services in the area. See If." You see a large number of houses or apartments being built, or older homes being renovated, this is a pretty good indicator of strong desirability. If you don't see any construction going on in an Atlanta neighborhood right now, that's probably a sign that it has matured, or a red flag that something is wrong. "
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