Quality of Life in Atlanta>Question Details

Moiraesfate, Other/Just Looking in New Orleans, LA

Best place to live in Atlanta

Asked by Moiraesfate, New Orleans, LA Mon Aug 2, 2010

Hubby and I have been talking and frankly, we are sick to death of the constant threat of hurricanes, and massive amount of heat and humidity of New Orleans.

Atlanta means that, while we're still subject to some weather, it won't be nearly as bad as being in the middle of the gulf coast and it would be a good place for our careers.

I doubt we'll ever have kids. The nightlife isn't important (we're both in our 30's and beyond that ridiculousness. It got boring a long time ago). We would love to build a house at some point. I'd say it should be close to our jobs but since we don't have jobs there yet, its better to just get general ideas on where to live. and choose from the bunch.

I've heard to stay away from Marietta, that Buckhead is for rich people, and that Midtown is good (but maybe a little close for me. I'd like to be able to let my cat outside to play without being constantly scared she'll get squished by a car. I can't let her out where we're living now. Its too busy).

Help the community by answering this question:


Get started with http://www.knowatlanta.com. That's a great resource for giving you a lay of the land. Then I would have to agree with Lisa, you should base it from there on where you'll be working and what you can afford. Quality of life is greatly impacted by your daily commute.

But in general, there are a lot of great places to live, both inside and outside the perimeter. I'm sure we can find you something that will fit all the criteria.

P.S. I live in Roswell, so naturally I would have some bias toward that!

Stacy Carter
Associate Broker
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
One year ago, I wanted to know the same thing as you, but the "best place" really depends on what that means to you. You've already stated you don't need the nightlife and might build at some point and be near your future jobs, and I think you can get that almost anywhere near Atlanta. When we bought our house last year, we looked for something that was close to a highway (but not too close) and was halfway between Atlanta and Macon so that we could choose between the two cities. We are able to get to either city and the airport in less than 45 minutes, but we have the PEACE AND QUIET and PRIVACY and SOLITUDE that is priceless! We're only 4 minutes away from the highway and less than 20 minutes to our favorite grocery store, Lowes, Walmrt, etc. in Locust Grove and Forsyth. Unfortunately, we need to sell because of family issues, and we are so sad, because we found our dream house on our dream property in our dream location.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 9, 2010
Dear Moiraesfate. Sounds to me like you need to spend a couple of weekends in metro Atlanta, driving around, soaking up the possibilities. "best place" for me and "best place" for you are probably two very different locations - depends on your price range, depends on where you are likely to end up working, depends on your lifestyle, depends on your taste, depends on whether or not you want a suburb or more urban setting. I could list many places that I would recommend as "best" but in the end, it's pretty difficult to nail that down for someone until you meet them and have a long conversation, and, even then, it can change after you take them to a couple of areas and see some of the possibilities. Best advice: find a great agent who knows something about many areas of metro Atlanta and start delving into possibilities. But first, find a job here! Good luck for on your move.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
If you are otherwise happy in NOLA, ie - happy in the area in which you live, my suggestion is to find a similar area in Atlanta. Atlanta is a much larger city that New Orleans and you may want to go a section of the metro area that offers the same sense of community your current area has. Most areas inside the Perimeter in Atlanta will be similar to uptown, garden, marigny...while still not being in the hussle and bussle of downtown or high traffic. In short, there are a lot of wonderful neighborhoods.

My husband to be (in just 25 days) grew up in NOLA. He left due to job market years ago. It appears there are more jobs there now that aren't centered on the hospitality industry...actually more jobs in banking, housing, and green initiatives. It is not as humid here, but we certainly have humidity. Atlanta also has 10% unemployment rate, so be certain you have enough reserve $ to sustain yourselves while looking for a job.

Feel free to contact me if you want help matching your lifestyle to an area in Atlanta.

Joan Macaluso
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
If you want to build a house, be prepared to live OTP (outside the perimeter I-285). Not much empty real esate left ITP (Inside the Perimeter). Atlanta metro area continues to grow and there are some sweet spots to build a home. Good thing to come to this site. There's a lot of good people who will help you with that. Before you build, I'd recommend buying something you are comfortable with and somewhere centrally located. I wouldn't recommend living near your job. I'd recommend living where you like to live. The traffic will be bad regardless of where you live but if you enjoy your back yard after a hectic day, you won't regret living where you do. If you leave early enough in the mornings (before 6AM) and leave late (after 7P), you should be okay. Otherwise, traffic will be a bear. You'll learn alternate routes, learn which radio station helps you the most and find a good paper to read while stuck in traffic (just kidding). I'd recommend living OTP and get used to driving to work. That way, when you build your dream home OTP, you'll already be used to the drive.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 8, 2010
You really need to rent for a year to find out the best place to live. Some of the neighborhoods mentioned, although nice have HORRENDOUS traffic problems. You will quickly come to dislike them as you sit in traffic for an hour every night.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 7, 2010
Cost is so dependent on so many factors. There are areas of intown where you can find a foreclosure for $10,000 but whether you'd want to live there is anyone's guess. There are also neighborhoods where it costs millions. No matter what your budget is, there will be an area that will work for you. However, if you're in the hotel industry, I'd imagine you'll want to stay close to the areas that have the most hotels, which would mean having a convenient commute intown. You could live outside the perimeter (I-285) and have a decent commute if you're not too far outside and if you're on the correct side of the city for wherever you end up working (cross-town commutes are killer). Aside from that, where you live will depend on what you can afford, the type of vibe you like, and the size place you need.

For instance, I live in an intown neighborhood near Emory University called Medlock Park (30033 zip code). You can find a 3 bedroom (1 BA, 1.5 BA or 2 BA) home around $200k. My neighborhood is quiet and wooded (very suburban) but convenient to Downtown Decatur, Downtown Atlanta, Midtown and Buckhead. It's in unincorporated DeKalb county so it has somewhat lower property taxes than nearby properties inside the City of Decatur or City of Atlanta. There's a local park with playground, pool, and sports fields; a trail, a big tennis center, a public library; several good grocery stores. Alternatively, in neighborhoods like Virginia-Highland (intown neighborhoods that are extremely popular) homes are more likely to start at $500k and go up from there.

The point is, there are lots and lots of neighborhoods. Whether a neighborhood is "good" is entirely dependent on what you consider good. Good for you and good for the agents responding on this board may be entirely different things. Your best bet is to come and visit and get a sense of the areas that you like and would consider putting down roots. No one else is going to be able to tell you where you'll be happy living.

Oh, one last thing . . . coyotes are an increasing problem -- even intown. Unless you have an enclosure your cat can't escape from (and nothing else can get into) you'd do best to keep your cat living indoors -- hopefully you could find a place with a nice screened porch for her to get fresh air while staying safe.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We all love where we live. And your responders all live in various locales surrounding Atlanta. Atlanta is blessed to have many fine areas north, south, east and west of the downtown business district.

You need to concentrate on finding employment and determining how far, TIME-WISE, you are willing to drive to/from work. Then, you can begin to look at homes that suit your lifestyle, drive-time preference, and price objectives.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Unless you're in professions that are always hiring (if there even is such a thing), you'll really do better to get jobs first to figure out what part of town will make sense for you to live in. Budget is also a big issue. Intown is great but tends to be expensive. Commutes are a huge issue so unless you want to spend an hour or more each way getting to and from work, you'll want to live on the same side of town as you work. But don't worry, Atlanta is huge and there are tons of great neighborhoods to choose from.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
I would say one of the safest places to live in Atlanta would be Buford ,Flowery branch, Duluth And Powder Springs, these are some great family places.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 18, 2014
I would say one of the safest places to live in Atlanta would be Buford ,Flowery branch, Duluth And Powder Springs, these are some great family places.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 18, 2014
Well hello again,

We are closer than ever to moving to Atlanta. We have the money to move, now we're working on the jobs. In the last two weeks, my husband has had two interviews with one of the top end hotels in the country whose flagship is located in downtown Atlanta. It seems very promising. The job pays $40,000 a year at the lowest end.

We are both unhappy in NOLA. There's so many reasons, for me at least. I'm sick of the nasty roaches that keep getting in my house. Sick to death of the intense heat thats unlike anywhere else I've ever seen (After having spent a little bit of time in Atlanta, trust me, the heat is worse in NOLA due to the humidity). All our friends have left the city and only one family member remains here. And, though we're both working at the moment, my job is under question because the company I work for has sold 5 hotels in since this time last year. Its a very very bad sign and we are slower than we have ever been. The company he works for was just sold. He still has a job but we don't know for how long.

Its time to leave.

That being said, I've been doing some intense research on the internet on locations to live. Likely, it will first be an apartment. We have debated on buying a condo, since neither of us has any current interest in ever dealing with yard work. A house would be nice, but its far off, at least until both of us are working fairly decent jobs.

From what I've seen, certain zip codes of Decatur are considered one of the best areas to live with Oakhurst and Winnona being the top two. I rather like the area of Austell that a friend of ours lives in, but he has been absolutely zero help in the decision on where to live anywhere in Atlanta and his answer is always "I don't know". I have also heard that Alpharetta and Roswell are good places.

The two things I'm most concerned about are the commute, safety and cleanliness.

I'd like to have secure entrances where we live, through parking, and into the building. In fact, I won't consider a place that doesn't have that. An alarm would be a bonus but not absolutely necessary.

A half an hour commute is fine. 45 minutes is acceptable, but pushing it. An hour is too long, though I suppose we will have to do what we have to do so long as we get a fairly safe location. Anything longer isn't something I want to deal with.

NO ROACHES. Let me repeat that... NO ROACHES. Alot of the apartment building reviews I've been seeing on the net keep talking about how the apartments have nasty roaches, and some even talk about spiders. Nasty, disgusting things.

I would prefer a building built after 1980, the newer the better. And a laundry on site, preferably with a washer and dryer in the unit or at least the option for them. And preferably a unit above the first floor. The rest is negotiable.

Pretty much, anything Downtown and in Buckhead is out. Too expensive, too busy, and too loud. Not to mention that it wouldn't be fair to my kitty to be stuck in that environment. It sounds silly to spend so much time thinking about the needs of a cat but she's family too.

One of the things I have always loved about Atlanta is all the trees and grass. It feels so alive and new. And not in the business of the city type of feeling. And yet, you are still in a big city where you can do anything you want to do. I like the city, just not the insanity.

Anyway, the thing I'm really looking for are recommended zip codes to look in inside the areas I mentioned. And if even any of those areas I talked about would not be recommended, it would be great to know.

Thanks for your help. And yes, once we are ready to move, I will likely be contacting someone directly to assist us in it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 21, 2011
Then High Falls Lake is your perfect choice! http://wildrumpus.brinkster.net

Private, yet only 4 minutes to the corner store and 20 minutes to the mall. If you work in the city, it's only 40 minutes to Atlanta or Macon.

I've found that realtors usually steer you towards their listings.

Everyone's tastes are different.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
What is your budget?
There are many hotels meet your requirement, you can search http://dusthotels.com for more detailed information . this site will search all the best hotel booking sites for you, when you got the search results, you can set some filters to find your favorites.
Web Reference: http://dusthotels.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 15, 2011
You need a place that is convenient to Atlanta yet with a country atmosphere. South Fulton is a great area for someone who works in Atlanta or the airport but likes to get away from the hectic environment of Midtown or Buckhead. There are a variety of places to choose from: acreage to communities with all t he amenities. And all these homes are on sale. Prices are unbelievable.
Give me a call!!! 404-217-6389
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Bottom line starts with what can you qualify OR afford to purchase after that will eliminate many areas.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Dear Moiraesfate,

Both Stephanie below, and now your husband have the right idea - come to town and look for a few days - if you can spend a long weekend, I can show you several areas that can work well - and because I am not wedded to any particular area, I will give you a true insiders opinion and prove what I am saying as well. I have lived in Atlanta for over thirty years and know its communites well and have watched the radical changes that have taken place in that time. I serve and know the markets and neighborhoods of intown Atlanta, and all of greater north Atlanta. I don't serve southside buyers (below I-20) unless they are buying a home that is at least $300K due to all the extra work and due-diligence I perform for clients at no cost to them. I love Atlanta, and have helped buyers move to, and/or oversaw the construction of thier dream home in virtually every corner of this city and all its suburbs while representing them as their buyers broker.

You make an excellent point about so many Hotel chains being represented in Atlanta and that could be an outstanding and life changing opportunity to you and your husband that would be hard to match in any other state in the southeast.

I dont know what price range you will be looking in, but I will say with regard to making a sound investment, stay away form any suggestions to purchase a single family home that is less than three bedrooms or has less than two full baths - homes that dont meet that minimum criteria are considered functionally obsolecent, and I can tell you from experince as a listing agent representing sellers in both the Decatur and Druid Hills area, are harder to sell even in good markets.

I have information on several types and sources of downpayment assistance programs if that helps, and can talk further about what kind of money you need to plan on based on your price range.

I would be happy to help you plan and strategize your move if you get in touch with me.

Our unique Wise Buyer Program provides over $5000 worth of free home structural and major systems analysis in addition to top buyer representation. There is nothing else like it in Atlanta - with this system you are more informed because you know what you are buying Before you ever submit your offer! That approach has many significant benefits - for more information, see the site below.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need immediate assistance.


Robert Whitfield
Broker/Owner - Realtor
Professional Buyers Broker
Relocation Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspection Expert
Advantage Realtors
“Know what you’re buying - Before you submit your offer!”
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 6, 2010
Hard to answer type. Hubby and I have been associated with Intercontinental Hotel Group but not in a hugely direct manner. He was a manager for a while in a small local company for them. The company I work for owns one of the Holiday Inn's in town and I do reservations for them.

Other than that, most of the ones we've worked for are rather small potatoes. I worked for two hotels back in Canada (a Travelodge, and then a Sandman) and then this company which owns 7 hotels in and around the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Honestly, I badly want to move in to the Sales Department as an Admin Assist. but not sure if or when that will happen. Thats part of the thing though. Atlanta has a bunch of major head offices of major hotel companies around the world. Getting in to work for any of them would be a major major boon to our careers even if we have to start at the bottom and work our way up. And the fact that he's been a manager in hotels for 10 years, and I've worked everything from the front desk to housekeeping, banquets and reservations for 8 years, I'd say we have a good leg up on things.

As to my cat, I'd actually debated on that. There are little kitty enclosures that you can buy that will allow them to still be outside while not allowing them to run off. I would love to get one of them for her. The only reason I haven't invested in one in New Orleans is because of the massive heat and the fact that my landlord would probably flip out since it would involve cutting a hole in the wall for a cat door to give her access to the enclosure. I'd just really like to be able to let her out again.

Back home we have coyotes where I grew up. In Canada that is. Coyotes aren't new, though I don't know how bad they are in Atlanta. You never saw them often in the city where I grew up but you did occasionally, mostly on the outskirts and at the riverbottom around the old mine entrance.

Anyway, thanks for the help all of you. Hubby made the suggestion himself last night of us just spending a few weekends there looking around before we move there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 3, 2010
Stacy - the link that you cite sent me to a page that stated: "Bad Request - Invalid Hostname." Fix that, sister.

I gave out a few thumbs up, but Lisa Crowder once again showcases how circumspect and knowledgeable she always is - great answers, especially the insight into our wily coyotes...

Stephanie's advice to come visit and drive around is paramount.

Scott's advice to establish employment first is foremost - commuting in Atlanta sucks.

What type of hotels do you like to work in?

Atlanta is home to the regional HQ of the Americas for Intercontinental, The Diplomat Companies, who are HUGE and quite a few other regional hoteliers - Starwood is all over the place and their W brand is in my opinon, unrivalled...

...and I'm not a rich guy, but I did just help a client buy a $950000 house in Brookwood Hills, and to answer your question I think that Brookwood Hills is the best place to live in Atlanta, and has been since 1928 or so.

In the city of Atlanta, that is.

Have you ever read "What Color is My Parachute?" You and your husband should start with that book, figure out your careers and then move - depending on the direction of your lives, you may find that Greenville, SC or Nashville, TN is more your speed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
My husband lived in Marietta for six months after Katrina. In the time he lived there, they were robbed once, they had a roach infestation (apparently the origin was the apartment next door), and then they had a fire on the floor above them and were forced to move. He only lived there about a month before moving back to New Orleans. The new place was more money but they didn't have any of the problems. I forget what area they moved to. Because of his bad experience there, he doesn't want to live in Marietta.

Since he's adamantly against living in Marietta, I'm trying to find another place to research that would be livable but the only experience I have in Atlanta is a total of about two weeks for Dragon Con. The impression I have of Atlanta is "very very big" and thats about it.

Mostly I'm trying to get an idea of cost so we know how much we should save before we go there. Having an employer is fine and all but totally worthless if we don't have any money to move. If we can choose a general location, we can get a general idea of how much we should save and what we should be looking for. I don't know what the bad areas of the city are, and I know that Buckhead is the most expensive.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Atlanta is quite diverse. Sally mentioned East Cobb and I have lived, owned business and investment properties and worked here my whole life. I'm into outdoors, sports, golf, gardening, and civic/community service. Whoever told you to stay away from Marietta doesn't know Marietta or made their own bad experience here. Seriously, I've been in Marietta for 51 years and it was great for nightlife when I was in my 20s and 30s and now it's got enough class for my successful 50s. I really can't imagine anyone saying stay away from Marietta ... totally baffling to me. Feel free to call me and I'll be happy to share. 678-439-8683
Web Reference: http://kennycook.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
Atlanta is a wonderful place to live and I am sure you will love living here. One of the things to understand is how an area is named. You said you were told to stay away from Marietta. I find that extremely weird. Marietta is a great area. There is a city of Marietta, but so much of the East Cobb area is called Marietta. It is close in but enough away to be a comfortable place to live. You will find most areas surrounding a city will be called by the city's name, but not in the city. Those areas are actually in the county for that area. You will certainly get used to the area names.

My advice to you is to locate the employer before you decide on an area. Our commutes can be very long if you locate on one side of this huge town and work in another. Around all of the employment areas there are terrific places to live.

Best of luck to you as you make the move.

Sally W. Hamby
Fidelity Bank Mortgage
404 644 7696
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
I live in Midtown on 5th Street and love it! Want to find out what's going on? Check out the link the link. Hope to see you around the neighborhood sometime!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
We both work in the hotel industry. He's in revenue management and I'm currently in reservations.

The renting might work. But then the question is where to rent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
I vote for Sany Springs. Not to close, but not to far, right off 400 with easy access to buckhead and downtown. 400N takes you to alpharetta in 10 minutes, and lake lanier in 20 minutes or less. Mortgage Rates are at all time lows so now is a great time to move in that regard.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010

Sorry to hear about your decision to move from New Orleans...you all sure have had your challenges in recent years it seems.

Atlanta is certainly a great choice for a new hometown. If you are not sure of which part of town you might want to live in, why not rent for a year while you get the "lay of the land". Certainly during this time you will have a chance to evaluate Atlanta's different communities and how well they might fit your needs.

Of course if you need a "tour guide" I would be more than happy to help!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 2, 2010
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