You got some great answers from the locals and I'll echo Sean and add that ever since the Edgewood Retail District opened, the crime stats in APD Zone 6 rose. Even so, it is a welcome and overall, very secure improvement in our community, making Edgewood even better than before.
I first saw Edgewood in 1988, when the defunct Colonial Bakery sat next to Atlanta Gas Light's property and the Edward's Bakery filled the whole neighborhood with the smell of apple pie - the adjacent neighborhood was just starting to see signs of renovated residential and multi-family redevelopment. However, some of the streets were pretty scary!
I just took some photos yesterday of the Mayson and Hardee street demolitions that Sean talked about - Mayson was rough, rough, rough and when I turned a corner nearby just yesterday, I ran into some less than welcoming neighbors - that being said, they are fewer and farther between nowadays
That being said, we got plenty of YUPPIES (like Sean Casey, and Lee Taylor) in the Eastside neighborhoods, and lots of affordable real estate on some terrific, neighborly streets.
If you are "just looking," then come on down here with your New Jersey money and get your real estate on.
All the Section 8 housing has been boarded up (some demolished), which has helped the neighborhood. However, there has been a significant amount of mortgage fraud, so there are quite a few empty foreclosures sitting in the neighborhood, including at least two on my street. There are also new construction townhomes in various parts of the neighborhood, but they have had a hard time selling these homes. I walk to the Edgewood retail center and Candler Park, but I would say Edgewood has years to come before it is one of the better transitional neighborhoods. One of the good and bad things about Edgewood is that there are is no village type area (besides retail center), which has not allowed it to flourish as much as say, East Atlanta or Glenwood Park. However, this has also not allowed a new influx of crime that specifically targets people who frequent the bars/restaurants such as the crime that happens in EA Village or Glenwood Park.
I would say, if you live in Edgewood, make sure you live on one of the better streets and just be aware of your surroundings. You can still get a good buy in the neighborhood, live in a central location, and will most likely reap in the benefits once the area turns around.
Of course, I am biased because I live here...
Edgewood is currently undergoing some exciting changes, including the demolition of the large tracts of Section 8 housing that negatively impacted the area in many ways. The plan is to replace these units with over 200 new mixed-income units that will be approximately 60% market rate and 40% on a sliding scale based on income.
If you are looking at crime statistics, please keep in mind that the numbers are heavily skewed by shop-lifting and such by the nearby Edgewood Retail District, which is another overwhelmingly positive develpment to the area.
Like many gentrifying areas, Edgewoods housing values can vary widely on a street-by-street and block-by-block basis...it really pays to have an agent knowledgeable in the area to help be sure you are getting the best deal possible. For what it is worth, if I were in the market for a new home, I would give SERIOUS consideration to Edgewood.