You have excellent advice here and as Hank and Joshua pointed out, there are some obvious answers to your questions.
Kevin and Tori make it clear that Trulia Voices is a great conversation starter, but we all need to ask about 5 to 10 direct questions just to establish some level of qualification for exactly what you are attempting to do.
In my opinion, the closer that you are to the urban core of Atlanta, or to the core of the better suburban centers (like Dunwoody Village, Smyrna Village, and a few other areas that are within 30 minutes of downtown) the better.
If I were you and if you do not want to invest more than $25,000-30,000 in a downpayment on a 90% LTV mortgage, then I would choose East Atlanta Village, Kirkwood, and Grant Park for cool neighborhoods that get you what you want. I can name Toco Hills, Decatur Terrace and Howell Station too, if you need more choices.
Buy a house that already has 2 functional bathrooms and a functional kitchen and you are on your way. Buy a house with covered parking. Buy at least 1/3 of an acre. Buy a brick house. Choose good immediate neighbors and walking proximity to a retail and restaurant district.
Get your real estate on, and call a few of us to interview and to identify a talented Realtor who can help you make an informed purchase decision.