Home Buying in Alpharetta>Question Details

Christine Co…, Home Buyer in Miller Place, NY

My husband and I are considering relocating from Long Island to Alpharetta. He would be working in Alpharetta as well.

Asked by Christine Coppola Hanson, Miller Place, NY Tue Aug 6, 2013

We have two kids ages 10 & 7 so schools are very important to us. We haven't been down there yet, but looking to possible visit very soon. We would most likely be renting first but would like to buy as soon as we sell our home here. Our range is up to $300k and would need 4 bedrooms. Just looking on advice about where to start and what communities to consider in our price range.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Christine,

Alpharetta is a great place to live and has great schools in the area. Other great surrounding areas include Suwanee, John Creek, and Duluth. That would expand your search area and present additional available homes. In my experience, the the real estate websites do not tend to update the status of the inventory in a timely manner. I would suggest connecting with a real estate agent who can carefully navigate your home search and provide you with timely information on available homes.

LaShonda Solomon
Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Signature Partners
(678) 477-5226
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
Hi Christine,

I moved from Massapequa to Alpharetta back in 1995. It was a bit of a change but I love it here. Alpharetta has so much to offer to the community and excellent schools. What I could do for you is send over listings in the 300k and less range that include homes with 4 bedrooms. These homes would let you see what is available within your price range. Please either call or email me your information including your email address and I can get you started. Good luck!

Christine Watermolen, Realtor
Solid Source Realty, Inc
770-289-9400 (d)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 18, 2013
Meghan is correct, Trulia, Zillow and many other public sites do not consistently update their listing inventory. Search the web of course but the best results will be with an experienced agent in this area. Buyers pay nothing for representation and while there are certainly commission chasers, a genuine pro will ensure your best results.
Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 17, 2013
I don't know if you are familiar with Redfin.com but they are a real estate agency that has a website similar to trulia and zillow except for the fact that it is updated multiple times daily. Having looked for homes out here it was a struggle because what was shown on trulia and zillow were so outdated that nothing was available. As you can imagine very frustrating. But I stand by redfin, they also offer neighborhood trends and search preferences by schools. Hope this information helps out!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
Hi Christine. I relocated to Alpharetta 10 years from NJ and have relatives in LI. I love it here and hope you will too. It is a great place to raise kids. If you would like some help, I know 2 different realtors that are excellent and that I highly recommend. It depends on what your looking for and how you "mesh" with the realtor which one you go with. Please let me know if you need my help. Have fun finding the perfect home for your family. - K
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 16, 2013
Got it - Long Islanders

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 9, 2013
It was a discussion on principles among practitioners. Hank forgive me, what is an LI'er?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 9, 2013
Not a fight, best described as a spirited discussion. That's what happens when you get a couple of LI'ers mixed into the group....
Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 9, 2013
Wow, ummmm, Thanks for the info?? I think?? Didn't expect for my question to turn into a "fight" between realtors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
And if you'd like any market trends on Alpharetta-Roswell-Milton-Johns Creek this is a good first start:

Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
Hi Christine,

Sorry for the diversion between brokers, but I would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding neighborhoods, homes, builders, schools or anything else that can make your relocation a success.

Robert Whitfield
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
Agreed. Back to Christine - if you'd like help after all of this, please drop me an email.
Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
Ok this is not productive - we just disagree - good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
We probably should take this off line but.....

I didn't say that this location won't cause problems, I said that the location CAN cause problems. I said that the use of paired sales analysis CAN be used to show what if any, impact there will be. I said that some buyers either don't care or will accept adverse external influences to be in a certain area or community. As was noted by others, some buyers don't mind this and some community green space has been designed to have a very soft impact.

I also said that I have no issue with the using quality agents from other firms even in the same areas that I cover. I have also recommended agents in areas that I cover - Lee Taylor and I have done this many times over the years and have deals co-broked right now; it's not a big deal.

And you did take a swipe at Lisa with the snarky way you addressed the topic, it was uncalled for as she wasn't trying to mislead anyone. Candidly speaking, I think you owe her an apology. Congratulations on having your own shingle, it's something that means nothing when it comes to performance and experience.

And as far as that recommendation issue, do you really want to open that up again? I think I have all of the emails....I'd rather move on.
Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013

First, we really should take this offline. I am not killing you - you are killing yourself by engaging in this kind of behavior. Your comment giving a thumbs up approval of Michal Hammonds ridiculous "Archie Bunker" comment were both flagged and removed by Trulia because they were plain unprofessional.

Second, we all refer business - usually because we don't work an area, for example, I can't afford to go perform $5000 worth of complimentary building evaluations for a buyer in Fayetteville- so I refer that out.

Third, I did not attack Lisa, - it is one thing to acknowledge another agent as being a good agent, it is another thing to lay it on thick and gush with compliments, and then suggest to a buyer that another agent (from another firm) would serve you very well! I simply pointed out that for one Broker to recommend another Broker when you both serve the same area, is not something most Brokers would condone. I could have let that go, but I found it not only outrageous but highly suspect. Example: When I was with Prudential in East Cobb, if any Pru agent in the East Cobb office had recommended in an open online forum, that a buyer should for example work with Joe Blow with the East Cobb Harry Norman office, I assure you that Pru agent would be fired on the spot. Pick any industry, its the same.

Fourth, I never asked you for a referral of my skills on Trulia - that would be ridiculous, because: A: You don't know anything about me, B: I consider you competition (because we are in the same market) and I am 100% confident the totality of services you offer can't match the totality of my services to buyers, C.I don't need an agent referral, I have not even posted all my client referrals. The issue of my supposedly asking you for a referral is still an open issue with Trulia and they have not responded back to me that no error has been found.

Fifth, I don't mind anyone who has a competitive advantage over all other "ordinary" agents (like you and I do) to portray their advantages in a useful light, but when I see what appears to be a misleading comment or claim put forth in order to get business, I am going to call it no matter who the agent is. In my opinion, to suggest that a house backing up to a lighted noisy tennis court is anything other than "very likely" not a wise investment to a buyer who had already expressed concern with regard to future resale, is dishonest and misleading. To suggest that it might not be a problem because a paired appraisal analysis could determine if there was any degree of negative impact, and then determine a dollar amount of this negative impact, I found to be a highly misleading and self serving suggestion. As we all know, appraisals are not exact science and are one mans opinion of value on the day of the appraisal. IMHO, to suggest that an appraisal is the only viable way to answer this question, or could even do so with a useful degree of accuracy was misleading - so I asked experts. They agreed with my opinion, that it would be very difficult, time consuming, and not of real value in the end.

Our goal should be to advise the client (to the best of our abilities) of the most likely positives and negatives to making any transaction - without regard to how much a client likes or wants a particular house. You and I have more responsibility than ordinary agents in that regard, if we are going to offer our extra expertise in addition to being an agent and a Broker. We should NOT use our extra insights to try to find ways make a questionable deal look ok for a buyer so they can get the property they wanted.

You can have any appraiser in GA look that type property over and run every analysis available to answer that question - will this condition impact the future sale if I buy it, or might it be ok? if they come up with some numbers that say its ok and not a risk, I say BS. I don't care how many agents postulate the situation might be a bonus to a tennis player - I say that point is not in the buyers best interests because if it is such that we have to "point out that at least one type buyer might buy the property", that speaks for itself. I don't base my advice on what a few "imprudent buyers" might do I the future, but on the most likely scenario a client can expect based on my experience of the issue.

Unless a significant barrier can be put up, which will block the view and the light but not the noise, that property will very likely not perform well, and regardless of any paired analysis, would not be a wise investment unless it was priced well under market. Then you might break even.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
Bob you are killing me yet again! It's odd but many of the comments from last night don't seem to be here this morning, interesting. But I will comment on them none the less because once again, you've taken a tangent path into the land of crazy.

You commented about my example of homes selling in East Cobb with multiple, significant adverse external influences: "As to the comments about comparing this scenario to Million dollar homes on Johnson Ferry Rd in East Cobb -that is misleading and total rubbish - they are not comparable in any way." No kidding? I was using that as an example of buyers making exceptions in desirable areas. I was not comparing Alpharetta to East Cobb in that example.

Then you jump up and down about me suggesting a paired sales analysis would be productive in this case IF DESIRED. I did not say the agent should do it. Your long winded a response included "consultation" with an SRA and MAI. Well done; MAIs are commercial guys and I earned my SRA back in '91. If you had an SRA say "whoever proposed that is selling a load of something or trying to impress someone", and the other said "that would be extremely hard and time consuming to do correctly, and even if the data were present, the accuracy and value of the analysis would be questionable" then I would in fact like his name as you offered.

As far as you being compared to an Archie Bunker "type", I absolutely laughed out loud. I laughed even harder when you said that was racist. Loosen your tie.

And then there's you attacking Lisa - is that you being a pro? I use many buyer agents that are not in my company - and you know why? Because many in my company are not agents that I trust, not motivated or are not productive. Looking at my board, I have five deals closing this month with motivated, hungry agents from other firms. What Lisa said is 100% accurate and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it - especially when she says it about me.

In fact, I must be doing something right, remember several months ago when you asked me for a recommendation here? Then you denied it and we went to Trulia to research it? They never did find an inconsistency with at "sent from" email address did they?

Now, we dance a very good tango here on Trulia and I really do enjoy it. However you might have better luck throttling back a bit and not attacking every agent on here. I've been slammed and not had a chanced to play on here as much as I'd like - hard to keep up at times.
Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 8, 2013
Lisa, I have compliment and endorsed Hank and other agents as well, but you went farther and actually recommended him over yourself (and that is a bit strange) - but if that's what you want to do... However coming from the perspective of a Broker/Owner I found that comment frankly outrageous, and I actually started to call your Broker and let them know about it. I would want to know if an agent in my firm did that. I highly doubt your Broker would approve of your referring business to another Broker, but if they are OK with that behavior, that is their prerogative.

As for trolling and who was the actual troll, I found this definition: "Trolling requires deceiving; any trolling that doesn't involve deceiving someone isn't trolling at all; it's just stupid."

I don't know what your motivation was, or what you hoped to accomplish by the statement, but there was absolutely nothing deceptive in what I said - and the comment was not just for the purpose of creating controversy - it was to advise other agents that this Broker found that behavior unacceptable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 7, 2013
Wow! We should have a Schreiber HS reunion!

Bob, I would have replied sooner but I've been busy with closings, inspections, writing offers, and showing houses.

I'm not quite sure why you felt the need to put your two cents in about my complimenting, and yes...I would go as far as... endorsing, Hank on this forum. I am fully aware that this is the internet and open to the public, including my broker. If I was worried about what my broker's reaction would be I wouldn't be ignorant enough to post such views on line.

In my "not so humble" opinion, my reputation is my most valuable asset. If you were to ask anyone and everyone I've worked with and worked for they would say my reputation is: being a straight shooter and always having my clients' backs. Whether recommending, referring, or co-broking with an agent, I base my decision on the other agent's integrity, experience, knowledge, and professionalism. This has absolutely nothing to do with what firm they work for. A smart Realtor once said " I’m not working with some jug head simply because they’re in the same company."

Have you not heard the saying, "if you don't have something nice to say..." I think when people put unsolicited, negative comments on line it's called "trolling."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 7, 2013
Hi Christine,

I'm not a realtor, but I can speak to you from personal experience. We moved here from Dix Hills 10 years ago with a 10, 9 and 7 year old(at the time) to Alpharetta.

Our focus was the schools as well. After much research, we decided on the Alpharetta school district and are very happy about our choice.

There's much to choose from in your price range.Call me anytime to discuss and I'll be more than happy to help you in any way I can. We New Yorkers need to help one another.

P.S. It's funny how things tend come full circle. My oldest goes to Hofstra.

Ray Waisler
Sr. Mortgage Manager | Evolve Bank & Trust
11605 Haynes Bridge Road Suite 125 | Alpharetta, GA 30009
P: 877-695-6284 | P: 678-266-3301 | F: 617-977-0187 | C: 678-492-1550
NMLS#: 6621
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 7, 2013

Just another agent, formerly from Port Washington checking in! (Who would've known!?)

We moved to the Atlanta area (Cobb County) in 1979 and to Alpharetta in 2004. All 3 kids, 2 of which had left Atlanta and subsequently returned, now live in the area. I doubt if any of them would leave because of what the Atlanta area has to offer.

As was already discussed in a previous post, when you think "Alpharetta", think Milton, Alpharetta and Johns Creek, all of which were previously Alpharetta.

Since you stated that Alpharetta was your choice location, I would then go after the best schools. Alpharetta (which again includes Milton, Alpharetta, and Johns Creek) have among the highest rated schools in the state and in the country. You can't go wrong - you can only go better!

To discuss homes FOR SALE, versus rentals, there are many choices, but people in Alpharetta seem to have a bias toward living east of GA-400 or west of GA-400. I don't want to sway you in either direction, but when you visit, keep that distinction in mind.

Currently, in the West of "400" area, for 4 bedroom homes priced between $250,000 and $300,000, there are 15 homes for sale. Generally, they run in the 2,600 square foot size, and most of them are in subdivisions that have a pool.

In the East of "400" area there are 23 homes for sale with the same criteria. Although they probably average the same square footage, the range is bigger, where some are over 3,000 square feet and some are under 2,000. As with the west side, most are in pool subdivisions.

Let me also mention something about the pool situation. When we first moved to the Atlanta area, a neighborhood pool was an absolute blessing because that was where our kids met the other neighborhood kids and where we met so many of the neighbors. A neighborhood pool is a real blessing if you want to integrate yourself into the neighborhood quickly.

On the rental side, determine where you want your eventual home to be and then get a feel of the rentals (homes for rent or apartments). and focus on that.

As with all the other agents who have responded, I would certainly love to help you find what you're looking for. Simply click on my picture and shoot me an email or give me a call.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Lisa - we spoke a few years back off of here -

Now on the 6 degrees....saw the maiden name, anything to do with Peter Siegel? Schreiber HS '79?

And Bob, relax a little.....
Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013

This is some great feedback from some good agents in a hurry!

I have to get out to evaluate some seller repairs for my purchasers closing on Monday, but I must comment on Lisa's recommendation of Hank Miller. Hank is a good agent indeed, but it is a little unusual for one Broker to recommend another Broker in the same marketplace.

Understand when I use the term Broker, neither Lisa nor Hank is a Broker. Lisa is an agent, and Hank is an associate broker, but the two firms holding their respective real estate license are two different Brokers, and these two agents are supposed to be working as an extension of and on behalf of their Brokers, (hence the name agent) and under the supervision of their respective Brokers.

It almost never happens, but I would suggest agents be very careful in recommending Brokers from other Brokerage Firms in your same market, as "your" Broker might not view that action in a very good light. As a Broker/Owner, if this happened in my firm, I can tell you that agent would be sent packing in a flash! It is all about doing the right thing, and integrity and loyalty to the firm you work for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
OMG! I didn't know that Hank came here from Port Washington! I grew up in PW and go back often to visit my high school friends who still live there.

Christine...I've read many of Hanks replies to questions on Trulia for years and I believe he would be a great agent for you to work with. I don't know him personally but have been impressed with his knowledge and professionalism...That's saying a LOT since I'm a Realtor too, living in Alpharetta for the past 14+ years and working as a Realtor for 11+ years. I have two kids, ages 11 and 15 so I'm very knowledgable about the local school system.

Obviously I would be an excellent candidate as well :) but you should speak to a number of Realtors to see who you connect with. The most important thing when choosing a Realtor is TRUST.

My sister who lives in the upper east side of Manhattan is moving down in about a year too. She has twin 7 mos olds but is also basing her search on schools (as did I). IMHO the high schools I would focus on are:
North Fulton: Johns Creek, Milton, Alpharetta, Chattahoochee, Northview
East Cobb: Walton, Pope, Lassiter
Although your kids are young I would focus on the HS because the feeder schools are typically also very good.

Alpharetta is an excellent place to bring up kids, we've loved it!

If you want to pick my brain please feel free to contact me. I wasn't kidding about Hank, he seems to be a great choice for a Realtor (if you don't choose to work with me :).

Good luck,
Lisa Chasin (maiden name Siegel...in case we know each other through 6 degrees of separation)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
I moved from the Chicago area to Alpharetta in 1994. You will find very many folks from the NE live there.

One thing you will need to know is two communities were create in the area that was unincorporated Alpharetta. Those towns are Milton and Johns Creek. So if you are looking at homes consider all of those towns as being part of what used to be Alpharetta. The town of Alpharetta is, of course, still a thriving community. All these towns are served by the Fulton County school system and the schools are almost universally great. There are private school available too. You'll enjoy some great park district facilities and programs.

The links below have loads of additional info about the area.



Google+ http://goo.gl/NW1D2
Facebook http://facebook.com/HomeSalesForce
Twitter http://twitter.com/JohnBThomasJr
Linkedin http://linkedin.com/in/JohnBThomasJr
HomeSalesForce.com http://www.HomeSalesForce.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
I would love to send you infomations on homes in Alpharetta area or many more which could be suitable for your family..I've lived in Atlanta since 1977, so I'm pretty much familar with most of the areas. if you can send me your contact infomatio, I would glad to give datail info.


Kelly Kim
Harry Norman Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
I came down here from Port Washington, east of you but I know your area well from growing up on the island. This will be a bit of a change from NY but Alpharetta is a solid place to be.

Your options are significant and to properly direct you requires more than this forum allows. Suffice it to say that as an appraiser and agent living and working in North Fulton since '94 I know the place well.

You can hit my site for appraiser level data and trends - unfiltered. You can also search using preset searches, Alpharetta is http://hankmillerteam.com/homes-for-sale-in-alpharetta-ga-2/

Hit my profile on Trulia or see my reviews on Zillow, http://www.zillow.com/profile/BrokerAppraiser/Reviews?s1=0&a…

Drop me a line if I can help -

Web Reference: http://www.hmtatlanta.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Hi Christine,

Alpharetta is a great place to live! Many family oriented subdivisions and top Fulton County schools are locted here. I invite you to visit my website and learn more, Alpharetta.Georgiamls.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
HI Christine,

Based on your stated important needs, and without knowing a lot more about your requirements and expectations, you have a few area options: Fulton County: Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Crabapple, Roswell, Cobb County: East Cobb,(Marietta) , Roswell, Extreme West Cherokee County Woodstock, and even South Hall County, Cumming.

I would not direct you toward specific communities to consider without knowing a lot more about you as that would be pointless and not helpful. If you just want to see what kind of home you get for $300K go to http://www.RobertWhitfield.com/ and you can browse thousands of homes by city.

The challenge if you need to rent first and cant find a way to do a bridge loan etc, is that the school where you find a rental may not be the school where you find your home, so your children will have to change schools again when you buy a home.

Let me know if I can help you.


Robert Whitfield
Professional Buyers Broker
New Home Construction Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspector
Advantage Realtors
Corporate Relocations | New Construction | Luxury & Investment Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
I moved a lot as a military wife. I know how it is to move to new areas, schools, new medical providers, neighbors, tax areas etc. I will be glad to give you advice and help you. If interested, please contact me at: bscyphrs@aol.com Re/Max T&C.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Hello Christine,

I work with several real estate agents and recommend Stephanie Holland who knows the Alpharetta area quite well and will be in a position to answer your questions. Her information is below

Stephanie Holland
Prudential Georgia Realty

Another agent to consider is Mark Midyette and his information is below

Mark Midyette
Keller Williams

Lynel is right, you need to get prequalified before an agent will be willing to help you find a home. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions

Abida Mumtaz
Mortgage Consultant
Evolve Bank & Trust
11605 Haynes Bridge Road, Suite 125
Alpharetta, Georgia 30009
678.907.5973 Cell
678.387.1434 Fax
NMLS# 269753
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
Dear Christine:

When you sell your other home and find that you need to purchase. I would be happy to assist you with a *pre-qualification for a home mortgage if you are in need of one. The first step that most realtor's will ask.... if you have been pre-qualified with a mortgage lender.

I would be happy to assist you with that process. In fact if you prefer we could look at numbers and such so you will have an idea of sales price and such, we can step over the current house payment (assuming it will be gone)...that way your first step is out of the way and standing by.

I thank you for the opportunity,

Lynel Adams
Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer
Silverton Mortgage Specialist
NMLS 359696
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 6, 2013
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