We are relocating to Georgia and would like to buy a house there, but we do not know about the school system

Asked by Raquel G., GO Tue Sep 23, 2008

in Georgia...any advice will be appreciated.

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Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
Hi Raquel,

I just touched on schools in my latest newsletter.

Bottom line is that GA isn't lighting the world on fire compared to other states. That said, there are pockets in and around metro Atlanta that have quality schools. Test scores are very important but I also like my clients to consider stats like matriculation rate, how many students go to four year colleges and where they go, how involved is the community with the school, how are the feeder schools.....on and on. Property values and school reputation go hand in hand.

Here are couple of good sites: http://schools.ajchomefinder.com/ http://www.greatschools.net/schools/cities/Georgia/GA

It's my opinion that the combination of best schools, best homes, easy asscess and demonstrated market appeal can be found in East Cobb (Marietta), Roswell, and Alpharetta. Matt hit the button, you will pay for that desirability but you will also benefit in many different ways. Even within these areas, there will be differences.

Of course there will be other opinions, but that's mine! My team and I speak our minds - please let me know if we can help you!

Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
REMAX Greater Atlanta
3 votes
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Wed Sep 24, 2008
Todd -

I agree with just about everything you said up to the point about it being off season for schools - I'll go half way on that.

Naturally the spring and summer are the prime times for moving and most people want to get their kids set prior to the start of the school year. That said, Atlanta still ranks in the top tier for relocation activity. I wind up with a significant number of buyers that have to relocate outside of their desired time frame. I like to track how clients search for homes off my site – school district has always in the top three over the last several years.

Of the six “East Cobb” schools conventional wisdom puts Walton, Pope and Lassiter at the top. Wheeler has a great math and technology program for gifted students and Kell and Sprayberry continue to improve.

After presenting data to my buyer clients including school data, demographics, housing prices and options, taxes, commuting times, recreation…I find about an even split between East Cobb and the North Fulton schools. In my opinion, a big advantage to East Cobb is the fact that the area is essentially set; there’s no further large development coming which means redistricting isn’t on the radar. North Fulton continues to grow (albeit much slower now) and new schools are on the docket – which will result in redistricting. Of course the counter is those new schools are tremendously equipped. Both areas have strong parental involvement, excellent community relations and strong market appeal.

As for your home, I’ve seen the same “Empty Nester” buyers singing the same songs – let it go in one ear and out the other. You can buy more house in those other school districts because those school districts underperform compared to yours, exactly what this thread is about. I brief my buyers that even if they think schools aren’t important, they impact value and marketability.

On a side note – this economy is a disaster as we all know and the number of buyers remains low. That said, homes are moving and at this time I think PRICE has usurped LOCATION as top dog. By that I mean my clients know where they want to be but when it comes to offering homes for their consideration, price establishes the hard cap. There are plenty of homes for sale at very aggressive prices in the very best school districts – price is more of a factor than ever before. We’re not going to see the “how much more a month will that one cost me” buyer anytime soon. Something else – the economy is forcing many families paying private school tuitions to reconsider public schools – private school enrollments are down. I already see the school issue being more and more important as this economic disaster continues.

And last – I myself am currently planning to buy in Walton next spring. While my office is right on Roswell Rd, I presently live just north of you and the schools here are not getting it done. I already have one in private school (high school) and the idea of having to put another one in just to live up here makes no sense - I’m one of those families I mentioned earlier and I know where I’m headed.

Hope this helps –

Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
REMAX Greater Atlanta
1 vote
Jodi Smith, , Marietta, GA
Wed May 20, 2009
This is a great link to use: http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=211&PI…

Copy and Paste it to your Browser.

Search Cobb County Schools and it will break it down to dynamics of the schools, academic records and a lot more.

Also check out North Fulton and Forsyth Counties.

Just so you know, you get a little less home for your money than you would in other School Districts, but remember too...you get what you pay for.

0 votes
Dennis Ander…, Both Buyer And Seller, 30188
Thu Apr 30, 2009
I moved to COBB County 15 years ago simply for the schools.

3 Options are Pope, Lassiter & Walton high school districts. All 3 are great schools, elementary and middle schools are also very good. I would not look anywhere else in Atlanta.
0 votes
Jason Fritz, , Marietta, GA
Mon Apr 6, 2009
City of Marietta has the best schools, in my opinion. Though they are not currently ranked as the best I believe that they are on the rise and will soon be among the best in the nation. Specifically Marietta High School.
0 votes
Kathy, Home Buyer, Atlanta, GA
Tue Mar 17, 2009
Stay away from Clayton County! Go to ajc.com and search for Clayton County Schools to see all the recent drama. You couldn't pay me to live there right now.
0 votes
Ronna Schame…, , Dublin, GA
Thu Mar 12, 2009
As for school systems, private school systems are always an option and therefore give you more opportunities. The town we live in is Dublin, GA, which is located on I-16 between Macon GA and Savannah GA. It is smaller in size with less traffic but a very up and coming small town with all of the amenities of a larger community without the headaches. We have a hospital, a VA hospital, theaters, a community theater, fitness center, shopping, restaurants, rec center, Elks, American Legion, Senior living, and much, much more. The housing is more affordable and crime rate lower. If you are interested in more information, email me. I am not a realtor! We also have a very nice home for sale, which is would be a nice home for a family. It is too big for us and we are looking to downsize. I hope that I have helped with some of your questions. dolynana@gmail.com
0 votes
Susie Tillis, Agent, Marietta, GA
Thu Mar 5, 2009
I like the site http://www.schoolmatters.com. What part of GA are you thinking of moving to?
Web Reference:  http://www.susietillis.com
0 votes
Mike Penning…, Agent, Woodstock, GA
Thu Mar 5, 2009
Do you have an idea of price range for a home, approximate age of home, relationship to work. Judging by all of the answers below, you may end up looking for a needle in a haystack when the budget does not make the school district. I live in East Cobb and we do have great schools.
Web Reference:  http://www.maxsell.net
0 votes
Stephanie Mc…, Agent, Canton, GA
Sat Feb 28, 2009
you can see a good bit of information on nces.ed.gov.
Welcome to Georgia!
0 votes
Debbie Heaton, Home Seller, Peachtree City, GA
Fri Feb 27, 2009
The best school systems in the state of Georgia is Fayette County

Look at Whitewater district or Stars Mill District

What is the house price you are interested in?
0 votes
Aaron Hofmann, Agent, Marietta, GA
Fri Oct 3, 2008

Schools are always a hot topic here in Atlanta. There are certain pockets known for having good schools and plenty of areas with schools that are not so great. Typically, you'll want to start out by finding the best school districts close to where you'll work. As an example, Alpharetta offers really good schools, but if you're going to be working Downtown, it's really not a lifestyle most people would want to deal with.

We spend a lot of time educating buyers on school options, both public and private. Go to http://www.h2realty.com/schools.html to see schools ranked at the elementary, middle and high school levels as well as combined rankings for the various feeder patterns. It's a great feature as you'll find many good elementary schools may not feed to a great middle school, but using the total feeder pattern rankings provide a great overview to use for the basis of your home search.

Hope that helps.
Web Reference:  http://www.H2realty.com
0 votes
Carlos, , SF/ATL
Sat Sep 27, 2008
Being from the San Francisco I relocated to Atlanta from 99 to 2004 and got to know Atlanta and surrounding areas very well and own investment properties to this day.

You can't get any better information than from this site: http://zipskinny.com/

E.Cobb is definitely known as a good area for schools, there is however a lil charming affluent pocket in Cobb County within the "perimeter" (means no freeway nightmares!) minutes from Downtown and Buckhead called The Vinings, if you can afford the area, I would start there due to the nightmare commutes you would be subjected to being out in E. Cobb. Zip 30339

"Then there's the convenience. Nearby are job centers along I-75, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport via I-285 and Buckhead across the Chattahoochee River.

The private Lovett Academy, Westminster Schools and Pace Academy are all a short drive away, which is particularly important to Vinings' high-achieving, affluent households."

Check out this article from June about the real estate:

I own properties nearby (Smyrna Vinings) and Condos in Lenox area (another pricey neighborhood), midtown is another nice area, not sure about the schools though.

Good luck and feel free to email me if you have any questions. destino_68@yahoo.com

Web Reference:  http://zipskinny.com/
0 votes
Todd, Both Buyer And Seller, 30066
Tue Sep 23, 2008
Greatschools.net has a vested interest. I'd recommend the ajc link someone else mentioned as well as the one I list - Basically you're going to encounter one of 3 scenarios depending on how you want your commute -
Walton/Pope/Lassiter high school (East Cobb) for easy access to 400 and 75
Alpharetta High School for access to 400
Northview / Jones creek high schools for access to 400/85

I picked East Cobb / Lassiter because the houses are a lot more affordable than Walton and I didn't want to live in Fulton county. You're going to wind up paying about twice in property taxes in Fulton. I'm trying to sell my house in Lassiter and get a Walton house since my income has increased by 50% and can afford something nice in Walton.

The drawback (or benefit depending on how you look at it) to living in East Cobb is that Cobb hasn't integrated mass transit with Fulton so you have to jump a lot of buses to get to the Airport or drive into the Alpharetta station (which is nice), so if you have a job that requires travel, I'd probably live within the Alpharetta HS so you can be close to rail -

HERE IS MY MAIN POINT - Right now, people aren't shopping for houses for the school district - It's off season for that. We've really stressed schools in our listing and all we get are cranky old people that say that they can get more square feet in Sprayberry or Wheeler ( yeah good luck with that!), so a lot of sellers in good districts aren't getting nibbles based on school district.

There's some deals to be had!
0 votes
James Dudley, Agent, Suwanee, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008

I'm a relocation specialist here in Atlanta. I've helped many families move here from out of state that have many of the same questions you will. I personally have lived all around the metro Atlanta area including Cobb, Cherokee, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties. I would be happy to give you a honest opinion of the pros and cons of each area you may consider.

I would be happy to assist you with your move to the Atlanta area and use my expertise and experience to make sure you find eveything you are looking for here in Atlanta.

Feel free to contact me anytime so I can get started working for you!

James Dudley
ERA Sunrise Realty
0 votes
Voices Member, , Canton, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
Hi Raquel,

Of course you can find out about test scores by many different websites and sources. I will however boast highly about Cobb County and Cherokee County. I live in Woodstock in Cherokee County, we are about 45 minutes to the airport and downtown. Check out Towne Lake and the schools here...Let me know if I could assist further.

Valerie Corpora-Ellis
0 votes
Solomon Gree…, Agent, Duluth, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
Welcome to Atlanta! You may want to also consider SchoolMatters.com. Incidentally, a list of Georgia Schools with the highest ACT scores was recently published. Being the pack rack that I've been called (unjustified, of course), I happen to have that list available and would be happy to send it if there is any interest. It's interesting that 17 of the schools on that list are in the north metro area.

I can also speak with you about the many first time home buyer programs available here too. Finally, I've come across several new communities in some of Atlanta top performing school clusters with signs posted saying, "Will Consider any offer." Think now's a good time to buy? You betcha!

All my best for a smooth move and if I can be of any assistance, please call on me at (678) 775-2677.
0 votes
Matthew Share, , Marietta, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
In general, there's an area known as East Cobb (a part of Marietta) that is consistently known for the best performing schools. I really specialize in school-centric buyers and would love to be of service to you. I have a school search database on my web site that I find superior to GreatSchools.net as well as other sites because it allows for filtering the list by test scores, etc. Keep in mind, the suburban areas of Atlanta are VERY school driven as far as prices. Therefore, you will pay a premium to be in the best schools. Many select good schools (but not the best) in order to get a nicer house within their budget. Feel free to contact me via my web site if you want to discuss your specific needs further. The link is below.
0 votes
Bee Nguyen, , Atlanta, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
I recommend GreatSchools.net as well--both public and private schools receive a ranking and you can find reviews that are written by parents whose children attend the schools. Recently, three schools in Metro Atlanta have been named Blue Ribbon schools for 2008; read my blog at http://www.trulia.com/blog/bee_nguyen/2008/09/2008_blue_ribb…

There are many options for school in Metro Atlanta, including public, private, charter, and international schools. If you have a specific area in Georgia and can narrow it down, I am sure many people will be able to provide you specific schools.
Web Reference:  http://www.leaveittobee.com
0 votes
David McEach…, Agent, Peachtree Corners, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
The school systems are broken down either by counties or city districts. The metro Atlanta area consists of 17 counties so there are many to look at. A great source to get some ideas is a website called Knowatlanta.com. It has a lot of school information and also on my website in "about the area" you can find links to specific schools in north Atlanta and several school systems. Please call me if I can be anymore assistance.
0 votes
Diane Menard, Agent, Marietta, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008

Well first off let me say welcome, I think you are going to love it here. The best way for you to check out the school system would be to go to http://www.greatschools.net.

If you need further information I would be more than happy to assist you.

Good Luck with the move
0 votes
Tori Lawson,…, , Fayetteville, GA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
Hi Raquel,
What part of Georgia are you looking at? Please check out Fayette county, Peachtree CIty and Fayetteville too.
You can check into schools at http://www.greatschools.net, I would be happy to assist you in finding an area that you prefer as well as showing you some excellent homes. Please contact me at your earliest opportunity to discuss your needs (and of course your wants!).
Tori Lawson
Prudential Georgia Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.torilawson.com
0 votes
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