Is it too far to live in gainesville, if you work in Alpharetta?

Asked by Chaz, Lindenhurst, NY Thu Feb 3, 2011

Relocating, What is the actual drive time early morn and early afternoon from alpharetta, (winward area), with traffic. Is it a good idea to be looking on the southwest side of Lanier. Clue me in have no idea.

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15
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Fri Feb 4, 2011
BEST ANSWER
Hey Chaz - Your situation on LI isn't unusual and yeah, borders on criminal with the lack of genuine help from the fed. That said, it's also totally unrelated to a move down here. One benefit of your LI beating is your desire for education about things here - that's good. How you're going about it really isn't.

You posting here are only going to add to your confusion as everyone will have a different opinion. Many agents will just spit out positives and avoid negatives - everyone wants business. You need to pick up the phone, call a few agents and develop a trusted relationship with them. If you're twisting up there then learn from that because I can GUARANTEE you that you will twist here as well if you buy in the wrong area.

North Atlanta is a huge area and inside are multiple smaller markets, inside those are multiple micro markets. Trends and tendencies are different down to schools and communities. If you think you’re going to narrow anything down by posting in a PUBLIC (your caps) then you are headed for a wall. Opinions are like you know what – the data is something different.

If you want to educate yourself about this area then start with developing a relationship with an experienced agent. A big part of being experienced is having the ability to interpret data and tell a client the truth – even if it irks them or costs a deal. Keep posting on the PUBLIC forums and see how often that happens.
Web Reference:  http://www.hrmiller.com
2 votes
Chaz, Both Buyer And Seller, Lindenhurst, NY
Fri Feb 11, 2011
Well we followed all the advice, and came down to see for ourselves, with the help of a professional. And thank god we did. The agent was extremely helpful and we had a great sampling of what is out there. We did narrow it down as you all said to the alpharetta, milton, winward area. Great choices everywhere. Thank you all for the advice.
1 vote
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Fri Feb 11, 2011
Have you considered to Mapquest.com for particulars for all your answers. Communicate with other co-workers in that area

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
972-699-9111
http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
Lorie Gould, Agent, Duluth, GA
Sat Feb 5, 2011
I live in Flowery Branch which is south of Gainesville. I moved here from Alpharetta 4 years ago. I often drive to Alpharetta during "rush hour" times. The great thing about the southern part of Lake Lanier is that there are many routes north-south and east-west. I personally love the area and moved here for the growth that has already happened and continues to take place. Not to mention you can get a lot more house for the money. Cities you will find on the south side of Lake Lanier include Buford, Flowery Branch, and Oakwood. Cumming would be another option for you.

Depending on which city you decided upon you would be looking at about 45 minutes in rush hour taking back roads... which is what I do. Of course, the time would be less during non-traffic times.

Ironically, my husband works by Perimeter Mall. Although, we live further north his travel time was reduced by 30 minutes. Turns out 85 is a much better commute south than Georgia 400.

If you would like to have a sit down with a map I will gladly show you the routes that I take and how that changes depending on the time of day. Prior to you buying a home I would recommend you take a few mornings and afternoons to drive the route so that you can experience first hand what your commute would be like.

Buying a home is such a huge purchase, you want to make sure you have a clear picture of your life in that home:)

Lorie Gould
Associate Broker
Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners

Short Sale Specialist
CDPE, Certified DIstressed Property Expert
REO Certified
Web Reference:  http://www.HomesByLorie.com
0 votes
Robert A Whi…, Agent, Roswell, GA
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Chaz,

I hear your frustration with the situation, and understand your desire to research as much as you can - and you are right to be wary - because not all, but far too many agents will indeed sugar coat things. It can be very hard to know who to trust.

I can guarantee you I don't sugar coat anything - and neither does Hank. But enough about Hank - how can you know I am not limited to the same services that 20,000+ other agents offer here in Atlanta - how can you know that I will call things exactly the way they are, help you get the best home at the best price, and always put your families best interests before my own vested interests - which for any real estate professional is of course - getting to the closing table so we can get paid?

In my case it is very simple - go to http://www.thehomebuyersrep.com/compare_services.htm , and see how I work when representing buyer clients - it is nothing like anything you have ever experienced from any real estate professional before. You will see two things right off - clearly I am not about rushing any buyer to closing - and clearly I am providing a lot of unmatched extra due-diligence on your behalf (that no law requires me to provide) that you will receive no where else. If after reviewing that page, you can honestly say that your still not sure - that someone with the dual qualifications and invaluable experience and insights of being both a Broker/Owner (not just an agent) and an ICC Certified Building Inspection Expert, who is willing to provide all those extra services to protect and better inform your family and assure a sound investment (not just a house) - who will actually advise you NOT buy certain homes, is not clearly and without question representing your best interests above all others, then you did not understand something - and we need to talk!

I will tell you two things you may not want to hear - first, Gainesville is probably going to be too far away - and I am talking about quality of life - trying your nerves on a daily basis more than the miles. I have spent 30-40 minutes (routinly) just on Hwy 20 merely to get accross from 400 to 985 to then go north to Gainesville for another 15 minutes. I must tell you 400 can be a train wreck at rush hour - I would try to avoid it as much as possible. There are other better options (with better value and appreciation trends) that will still give you the room, privacy and a little more natural beauty to come home to without having to stare at 4 neighbors decks/houses.

Second - you do need to pick a Buyers Broker who you can trust - there is only so much you can do and learn on the internet - you can even draw the wrong conclusions about properties and areas from material on the internet. Moreover, until you actually sign a GA Exclusive Buyer Brokerage Agreement to be represented, no matter how skilled or how inept an agent may be - they are absolutly not legally beholding (responsible) to you for any advice or information they give to you - no matter how completely wrong it may be - because you are a customer, not a client. Customers are owed no client level advice, expertise, and worse - short of outright fruad, an agent is not accountable to "unrepresented customers" for their mistakes, actions, or failures to act. That has very serious implications for you - far more than most agents understand. Many agents will gladly work with you without a signed Brokerage Agreement up to the time to make an offer (then they ask you to sign a Buyer Agreemnt to assure their commission) - and they feel that is perfectly ok! As a Broker/Owner, I know better - I have to know GA real estate and agency laws to not only protect our cleints at all times, but ourselves as well. Neither me, nor any agent that works for me will ever assist a buyer without representing them in writing from the start - that is my corporate policy and to do otherwise is a disservice to the buying public!

I would be happy to talk with you and provide some sound advice based on your particular situation and goals - feel free to call me anytime at your convenience!

Regards,

Robert Whitfield
Broker/Owner - Realtor
Professional Buyers Broker
Relocation Expert
New Home Construction Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspection Expert
Advantage Realtors
678-585-9691
877-787-7167
“I Go The Extra Mile For Every Client - For No Extra Fee!"
0 votes
Susan Jankos…, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Chaz,
I haven't heard back from you but I think I can give you some good quick advice. The shortest commute from Lake Lanier to your workplace off of Windward in Alpharetta would be from Cumming (Forsyth County), North Hall County or Dawsonville. Your commute would range from 20 to 35 minutes, of course this depends on the area you choose. When you get on GA 400 will also determine the commute time as some periods are worse than others.
I hope this helps you narrow down your search. Let me know if I can assist you further. I am a certified relocation specialist and my area of expertise is North Fulton as well as Forsyth (including Lake Lanier),West Gwinnett, Cherokee and East Cobb Counties. And my niche market is waterfront! (I currenlty have a property on the market in Gainesville but it doesn't appear that it meets your needs).
I look forward to hearing from you.
Susan
0 votes
Charlotte Cl…, , 30506
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Chaz,

I hear your frustration. Metro Atlanta is huge, there are seemingly endless choices on where to live! Until you make a visit and get a feel for different areas it will be nearly impossible to determine where is the best area for you and your family.

The short answer to your direct question above is that a commute to Alpharetta (Windward) from the Lake Lanier area is not unrealistic at all. Many people do it everyday.

Now here's the REALLY long answer: The worst of the traffic you will experience will actually be as you approach the Windward area from any direction. Coming from the lake the 10 miles on GA-400 between Exit #14 (Hwy 20 / Cumming) and Exit #11 (Windward) is where you will see significant congestion during peak hours- usually 4-6pm and 7-8:30am around here give or take a few minutes and whether or not an airplane is crash landing on the highway! Yes, that did actually happen on GA-400 a few years back.

Once you get north of Hwy 20 the massive "Atlanta Traffic" dwindles in most areas with the exception of a few poorly planned intersections. Hwy 20 underwent a massive expansion over the past several years and is now a four lane divided highway for much (but not all) of the stretch between Cumming and Buford, and traffic is much improved as a result. But at peak hours you will still see backups in certain pockets like at Hwy 20 and Suwanee Dam Road in Sugar Hill. So living along the Hwy 20 corridor in the Cumming/Sugar Hill areas typically would be a 30-40 minute commute to Windward as a general guideline during peak hours and less than 30 during non-traffic times. An accident can throw those numbers out the window and probably does once or twice a month.

Personally, I lived on that Hwy 20 corridor back from 1996-2003. Back then the area was just a bunch of cow pastures and country stores. In the 15 years since I started there, it has grown tremendously. Now it is just another suburban area with neighborhoods everywhere. It is nice and great for a lot of people, but I hear you saying you want some space. Going just a couple of miles north of Hwy 20 will buy you that without suffering much of a commute increase. When we moved from Sugar Hill to Gainesville in 2003 my husband's commute time to Roswell actually GOT LOWER because at the time traffic on Hwy 20 was so bad and unpredictable. We now live in Gainesville off Hwy 306/Hwy 53 which is a straight shot down to GA-400. From our area of Gainesville it takes 20 minutes at just about any time of day to get to that Exit #14. We moved here for the same reason it sounds like you are interested in it- to get away from so many people. It was a great move for us, and we love being on Lake Lanier. It is a laid back lifestyle, but it is still close enough to ATL that you can have the benefits of the city when you need them. It really is just going to depend on your priorities and what things are going to be the most important to you and your family. But again, it IS totally realistic to be looking at options along the GA-400 corridor of Lake Lanier and also anything in close proximity to Hwy 369 which is a low volume route to GA-400. As you get toward the other side of Gainesville along the I-985 corridor you are probably looking at more of a commute than most people are going to want to endure on a daily basis!

I hope this info helps you, but a visit to see for yourself before ruling out any areas is probably what is required to make the right decision for your family. If you don't necessarily want to be at the lake, there are a lot of great areas along the west side of GA-400 out along Post Road that might also be interesting to you. You just need to come on down and see us! Come take advantage of our Southern hospitality!!!
0 votes
Veronika Bar…, Agent, Roswell, GA
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Chaz,

Link below provides value comparison map for different areas of Metro Atlanta. Hope you find it helpful to your research.
0 votes
Veronika Bar…, Agent, Roswell, GA
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Hi Chaz,

Sorry about the way you feel. I totally understand, have relocated twice myself between 3 different countries(!), as well as have assisted many clients to relocate to GA. I have to I agree with Hank about shifting your focus on property values rather than size of the house and lot you can get for your money. If your line of work involves frequent relocations, location (as always in real estate) is the key for your consideration. If it’s possible you may be facing another relocation in a few years and must sell your house again (I assume, it’s still one of your largest investments), I suggest that you consider popular destinations with less vacant land to be build on in the future.
Shorter commute is always a blessing as you get more time to spend with your family.
If you feel that you can’t find a house in Alpharetta to suite your family needs and your budget, I'd like to suggest looking in Cumming (South of exit 15 of 400) or Suwanee, Milton and Johns Creek (former parts of Alpharetta, very desirable destinations).
Most important, real estate is all about "see, feel and touch". Simply coming down here and driving through different areas will instantly remove that stress of your mind :) Look forward to learn more about your housing needs and how can I assist you.
0 votes
Susan Jankos…, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Hi Chaz,
It sounds like you are saying that you want to live on Lake Lanier, not necessarily in Gainesville. If that is true, then you can live along the southwest to southeast of Lake Lanier. Actually, there are other pockets that would work for you too.
Am I understanding you correctly?
Susan
0 votes
Chaz, Both Buyer And Seller, Lindenhurst, NY
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Im sorry if i am frustrating you hank, didn't know there was a limit to how many questions i can ask on a PUBLIC website. But because of the skew on things that agents put to push thier areas i want to make sure i am not being told one thing and it is another. As you might think agents are unbiased they are. And even though your answer is helpful I can do without making me feel uncomfortable which I get from a lot of experience agents. Don't know why they have to put you down first and then give you advice. Really. Come on I am moving my whole young young family across the country with no family or friends around. So yes I want to make sure i exhaust all options. I live in hell currently although my house is appraised at 499 we are selling it at 375 because the banks wont help, govt wont help, agents cant sell, so yes i want the perfect setting. I don't want to live on top of people anymore, and have coffee looking at my next door neihbor or a white pvc fence. I want to take advantage of a depressed market as i am in one. I have already been priced out of my other choice in the country to move to. But i appreciate every bit of advice that you and the others have given my family.
0 votes
Jennifer_Pir…, , Dawsonville, GA
Fri Feb 4, 2011
Hello Chaz,

I live in Dahlonega off Hwy. 400 just outside Gainesville (zip code 30506.) My husband I both have lived at this location and worked in Alpharetta. There are a few reasons we feel that the ride is worth it to us. We enjoy being close to the mountains and the property taxes are much cheaper.

We find that GA 400 gives us such easy access to Alpharetta and that is works for us. This trip is about 26-30 miles and we can be there is about 20 minutes.

Jennifer Pirkle
Harvest Realty
678-617-0715
0 votes
Nancy Huffman, , Atlanta, GA
Thu Feb 3, 2011
Chaz,
Hank is right. You need to work with an agent who can help you determine your needs, goals, price range, etc., then talk about commutes, routes, etc.
I disagree with Lee, though, it's not a 20 minute commute. Depending on where in Gainesville, the route is a two-lane to four-lane highway that's pretty busy. If you truly get the southwest corner, you're still going to have to travel over some of the two-lane road (369 or 306) to get to 400 and down to Alpharetta. Depends on time of day as well. I would suggest looking in Dawson County as well. There's lake access there and it's a little less commercial around the lake access areas.
I work in the Forsyth/Hall/North Fulton area and can provide you with a comparison of homes and routes from different locations within that pocket of north Atlanta/north Georgia. Would love to help.

Nancy Huffman
Solid Source Realty GA LLC
770-401-5500
770-475-1130 x8345
atlantadreamhomefinders@gmail.com
0 votes
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Thu Feb 3, 2011
Chaz if you would put an agent to work instead of pinging out here you'd be much more productive. I see you all over the place, there are decent areas and decent buys in and around Windward that might simplify things.

Gainesville, like many areas in the NE metro area, continue to see dropping values. I would place less concern on the commute and more on trends where you seem to be looking. 300K here is nothing like 300K on LI, you will have more home even in areas that are slowly stabilizing.

As for the drive - there's not really a straight shot, you'll be running secondary roads , ball park 30-40 minutes on avg.
Web Reference:  http://www.hrmiller.com
0 votes
Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Thu Feb 3, 2011
That's an easy commute. 20 minutes. Maybe 30, Just a bunch of F150's haulin' bass boats, some light load Duelies, and an array of Saabs, BMWs and Civics...
Web Reference:  http://intowninsider.com
0 votes
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