I know some Neely Farm residents. Top tier corporate execs (Fortune 500) live in Neely. The ones that I know send their kids to private school. Negative publicity in Gwinnett compared to Fulton and Cobb ??? Not sure what exactly you are referring to but it depends on the subject I suppose. For example, I've had buyers ask me to show them anything in Roswell area EXCEPT Fulton county, so I suppose it depends on who you are talking to and what concerns them.
No agent can tell you that one subdivision is better than another. We can give you examples or areas that are showing a higher desirability based on number of sales and market values. Best advice for any buyer interested in a particular subdivision: drive through it at different times of day and days of the week. Take a look around, see if the neighborhood feels right for your lifestyle and family. Are people waving as you pass? Is there a high level of pride of ownership? Do the homes appear well maintained?
I'll say this. For a neighborhood the size of NF, there isn't much turnover in my opinion and that is typically a sign that people are very happy there, which in turn affects pride of ownership and propert values.
I can tell you this from personal experience years ago, and stories of others I have encountered in this business. You can find the most beautiful, perfect home in the world, your dream home, the bargain of the century. But, if you don't like where it sits when you come home from work every day, that makes it awfully difficult to make those payments and remain content. Focus on an area, then find your perfect home. If Neely Farm speaks to you, that's great.
You received some good advice already from another agent. If you don't already have your own buyer agent, find one. Buyers who think they will do better on their own, make common missteps, are often taken advantage of, or miss something substantial during the transaction that they may not even realize until after closing, if ever. It costs you nothing to be represented. Why not take advantage of a professional's time and advise, at no cost to you?
Good luck with your purchase.