Typically the Relo companies suggest certain compainies that they have relationships with, just as an added service when the transferee is moving to an area in which they might not know anyone. But, as I did when I moved here, the transferee is free to work with whatever agent they feel will know the area best. The first agent we were "assigned" worked mainly downtown Atlanta in the condos, and we ended up working with an agent in North Fulton that was better prepared to advise us on the area.
Please let me know if I can help.
Keller Williams Realty Consultants
If you are going to make a lot of trips to the airport you will have an easier time if you travel non rush hour times. Also, there is a subway (MARTA) that you can take from Sandy Springs all the way to the airport. Traffic is a big issue here and I would not recommend going further north than Alpharetta if you need to commute during rush hour.
I have helped others who have moved and chose Roswel and Alpharetta over any other place in the country.
Another thing that could be confusing is the recent incorporation of cities that formerly had an Alpharetta address... now they are Johns Creek and Milton. Parts of Duluth are also in North Fulton. A little confusing, but a great place to live. I've been here 26 years.
Having relocated myself from South Florida, I can appreciate your requirements, as we were looking for a similar area. After much research and looking, we settled on North Fulton, specifically Roswell. I would say Alpharetta / Roswell would be a great place to start. They both have a great sense of suburban community, while still being a convenient commute into Atlanta. Also, being well established, there is not as much new construction as you might find in Forsyth County. If you'd rather be more in town with a suburban feel, I'd say Dekalb County has several beautiful communities.
Hope this helps, and feel free to browse my website for detailed reports of area homes.
Keller Williams Realty Consultants
Since you mentioned Asian shopping, you can find no better place than DULUTH (in the suburbs) - it has some of the best schools, while adding that great mix of diversity in every sense of the word.
If price is an Issue, I would consider Suwanee, the up and coming Mall of Georgia (Buford, Dacula, Hoschton) area.
What your looking for should be located in my area! Johns Creek/Suwanee has some of the best schools in the Gwinnett/South Forsyth area.
Homes here maintain value and there are many newer McMansions in this area to consider. Some subdivisions for you to consider are St. Marlo, St. Ives, McGinnis Reserve, River Club, Edinburg, and I have many more great reccomendations for you. If you would like to see a sample of homes available in these subdivisions you can contact me with your e-mail address and I would be happy to send them to you. From what you described I'm sure you will find exactly what you desire.
Be sure to contact me when you get ready to make your move. I'm a relocation specialist with Cartus relocation. Cartus is one of the largest relocation companies in the world. Odds are if your company has a relocation package for you it's Cartus. You can request me directly and I'm already in their network!
ERA Sunrise Realty
Atlanta is a great place to relocate and there are lots of great neighborhoods that would meet your criteria. North Fulton county would be a great area to start looking in with many beautiful newer homes in newer subdivisions. There are many neighborhoods that came to mind when I read your question. The schools in North Fulton are known for their excellence. If you haven't already, check out http://www.greatschools.net and Trulia's shcools information. You could start with the following zipcodes just to get an idea of the houses in yoiur price range. 30005,30022,30097 in Fulton County.
Charlotte is a great city too but Atlanta has so much to offer everyone.
It;s an easy drive to the airport if you can avoid doing it during rush hour. Access into Atlanta is easy from Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Duluth,
There are multiple communities for you to choose from. If you would like I will be happy to set up an account for you to receive properties that meet your criteria via email. Feel free to contact me, I will be happy to help.
Being from GA, I think I can answer honestly. Look north of mid-town to Cumming. Depending on your work/home location traffic is a big consideration. A lot of the new cities like John's Creek are very nice, in your target price range as well as good schools.
Atlanta is a great place to work, live and play. Based on the criteria that you mentioned, I would suggest looking in areas such as North Cobb and North Fulton. Both areas have great schools and also have corporate offices for quite a few fortune 500 companies. Feel free to contact me for additional information.
Keller Williams Realty Signature Partners
One more thing, you said you were considering Miami.
Be sure you know what you are getting in to there. I lived there for about 8 years and I would never choose to live there again. The tropical look and feel is alluring, but I enjoy visiting much more than I did living there. Moving your family is a huge decision and you are right to spend a lot of time in researching your final destination. I have contacts in Miami that can talk to you about living there, a lot of my family and friends are still there.
Whatever you decide, best of luck to you and your family.
You can call me at 770-851-5050
Final Question: Assuming everything works out and we do move to Atlanta (still unknown at this stage - my wife's first choice is Charlotte, mine Atlanta) , the company will likely offer me a full relo-package. I believe most companies "suggest" certain agents???? I assume I don't have to use them?? I respect your time, knowledge and expertise and I don't want to waste anyone's time assisting me if there is no chance of earning my business.