Empty nesters - moving to Atlanta

zen4dJanuary 24, 2014


This post was edited by zen4d on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 9:10

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Coming from NYC I would recommend exploring areas like Inman Park, Ansley Park, Midtown and Grant Park. Those areas are filled with gracious historic homes -- Midtown and Grant Park are a little more artsy and edgy, whereas Ansley and Inman are somewhat more well-heeled. Morningside and Virginia Highlands are also very nice areas and unlike most other areas in Atlanta, quite walkable. Decatur is also up and coming and has a nice downtown area - it's east of the city, but close enough to commute to downtown.

Some people like Buckhead, but it's not that walkable and is a bit more stuffy.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 12:28AM
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You did not mention if you plan to work, if you are retired or how close you would like to live to the city, cultural area, hospitals, universities, theater, restaurants, etc., but West Paces Ferry Road area (Buckhead) is very nice and convenient. I mention this area because (I am not a real estate person but my sister has property in this area) I know the area is nice. Sister is living abroad and someone else is handling her property. She mentioned there are several homes for sale in the area.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 2:01AM
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I moved to and lived in Atlanta for eight years. We lived near Virginia Highlands and Emory. It was a lovely area. I think Pip summed it up quite well. We took our time and drove around to find an area we really liked.

Good luck! Look forward to hearing more about what you decide.

BTW I have added a link to a home in a lovely area you might want to explore. Hope this helps!

The MLS is 5239985

Here is a link that might be useful: Home in Atlanta

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 6:13AM
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I'm not from Atlanta, so I have no housing suggestions. My one suggestion is homemade potato chips with blue cheese crumbles at the Buckhead Diner. [SWOON!]

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:30AM
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This post was edited by zen4d on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 9:11

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:14AM
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We've lived in Atlanta for 17 years, but are retired senior empty-nesters and live in the north Fulton County suburbs. We're past the urban city life style and my husband has to be on or near a golf curse. LOL. But if we were young with no children and enjoyed urban life I totally concur with the advise of the other Atlanta posters. Explore Grant Park, Inman Park, Virginia Highlands, the Emory area, West Paces Ferry- all convenient to the best the city has to offer and lots of young people.. Take your time and then find a good realtor who sells in the Midtown area. You'll love Atlanta. Lots of Yankees, including myself. And, yes, try the potato chips and the Buckhead Diner.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:36AM
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zen4d, volunteer to chase small children around; volunteer to pace someone in a marathon; volunteer to do whatever it takes to burn some calories for those blue cheese potato chips! Luckily, I only get to Atlanta every 2 years or so. :-)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:43AM
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I do have rose society friends who live in Alpharetta. There are some lovely homes in Alpharetta also, newer area. Our former Chamber of Commerce president moved to that area, and they, too, have a lovely home in Alpharetta.

I lived in Atlanta for 8 years but that was many, many moons ago. I actually lived in Newman and worked in the Greater Atlanta area and Callaway Gardens, quite a commute.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:46AM
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Forgive my ignorance but can anyone tell me what is the nicest suburban area closest to Alpharetta? We love our suburban community in CT and are not looking for an urban area - yet would prefer a short commute and easy access to urban areas. (ps - I'll try those chips and workout double duty that week but i'm not all that disciplined when it comes to delicious food). Thank you all, again for your help.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:24AM
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I'd say Roswell. It is so charming and lovely. I highly recommend it!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:41AM
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Alpharetta and Roswell are the closest suburbs to Alpharetta, but there are newer areas such as John's Creek. However, there is no "easy commute" to downtown from those areas. In fact, Atlanta traffic is positively toxic. I grew up in Atlanta and my mother still lives in Buckhead, as does DD (a few miles from Mother). Last Thursday night they were going to a play at the Alliance Theatre in midtown at the Woodruff Performing Arts Center that also houses the High Museum and the Atlanta Symphony and Atlanta Ballet. The trip, including parking, would normally take 20 minutes from my mother's house to the door of the theatre inside the arts complex, including parking in the underground garage. After ONE HOUR on the road they arrived 20 minutes late, and the box office exchanged the tickets to another performance as DM is a season ticket holder. There is the best and the worst of Atlanta--the gracious exchange of her tickets by the lovely people working in the box office, and the absolutely horrendous traffic. Everywhere, always!

I live more than an hour away in a rural area and go up at least once a week, and have encountered the kind of traffic that occasionally has the federal department of transportation threaten (and once, act) to cut off the city's access to federal transportation funds.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 10:50AM
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Now you're talking my neck of the woods. We are in Roswell, right on the Roswell/Alpharetta boundary line. Both cities intertwine and are indistinguishable really. The city of Johns Creek has been carved out of this area recently also, so if you see that name it is also where you are interested. If you are looking for a larger home there are so many lovely areas along Old Alabama Road. Too many individual neighborhoods to list, but Country Club of the South is probably the most exclusive in this area for larger homes. You haven't mentioned budget, so it is hard to know which areas to recommend. I love the 'Old Roswell' area for both older homes and some newer neighborhoods, too. More info would really help. A good realtor is probably your best bet to zero in on your needs and wants. The whole Alpharetta/Roswell area has had so much building going on the last 20 years or so your choices are limitless. I personally wouldn't go out further than Exit 10 or 11 on GA 400. We are at Exit 8 and think it's the perfect location for enjoying the suburbs and city..

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:01AM
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kswf, that's great information to have. p.s. Can't believe they gave away the tickets!

This post was edited by zen4d on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 12:19

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:02AM
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If you would prefer to live in the suburbs and your husband will work in Alpharetta, my advice would be to make sure you look at neighborhoods in Alpharetta before you make a final decision.

I am a die hard suburban girl, strictly Outside The Perimeter, but if I were moving closer to Atlanta I'd chose Decatur or Virginia Highlands.

I hope you enjoy your new home in Atlanta, whatever you choose.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 11:28AM
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I lived in a neighborhood next to Inverness in Roswell. I always loved the neighborhood as it is tucked away and right by the river.

Here is a listing just so you can get a feel for the location.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inverness Home in Roswell

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:13AM
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I am pasting a link from Coldwell Banker on homes with three car garages and a pool in Roswell. You can do the same with Alpharetta or any other area you want.

Hope this helps! I always liked this site when I liked in Atlanta and we were looking for a new home.

Here is a link that might be useful: Listings in Roswell with your requirements

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:28AM
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You should also check out the city-data forums. There is a forum for every state and within another forum for each major area.
Here is the forum for Atlanta:

Here is a link that might be useful: Atlanta Forum

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 8:00AM
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I am finding that most homes are in gated communities. During the summer we spend most of our time by the pool but most homes in Atlanta do not have private pools; rather, they are part of the gated community.

This post was edited by zen4d on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 12:22

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 9:22AM
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Gated communities and private pools are not mutually exclusive. A neighborhood being 'gated' is for security reasons so that there as to be a reason for a stranger to be driving through the area. It's to protect the residents and has nothing to do with home amenities. Many homes have private pools especially in the higher price neighborhoods which are also the areas most likely to be gated. I am familiar with your CT area and know you will find a similar life style here with no problem. I think you are taking bits and pieces of info and making some faulty assumptions. I'm originally from your area and understand what you are looking for. You will find it here, but you really need to come down and see the area and homes for yourself.

And yes, there have been some coyotes but any sightings have been few and far between. Not something to worry about at all. Can happen anywhere in any state. A gated community is not fenced in, btw, only a security guard at the entrance who checks your reason for wanting to enter- you live there, you are a guest of a resident, or a service person going to a resident's home.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Atlanta has a massive swath of suburbs that surround the city and a lot of swim/tennis communities -- unlike other cities, it has no natural boundaries (ocean, mountains, etc) to prevent the spread of suburbs outward, so these communities keep sprouting up everywhere. We had friends that lived in a swim/tennis community in Kennesaw. In these types of communities, they raze all the mature trees to build a giant community with sometimes up to 100 homes. The homes in the community all looked very similar -- there were like 4 or 5 models you could choose from. I think their house was built in like 7 weeks. They told us their home was poorly constructed -- they had all kinds of problems after a few years and ended up moving.

You may also want to consider Dunwoody if you are looking for a home with a private pool. My in laws had a home there with a large lot and private pool. We have some friends that live off Brandon Hall Road, near Spalding Drive. It's a drive up the 400 to Alpharetta, but you're going against the flow of traffic.

On the plus side it's very affordable compared to other areas!

This post was edited by pipdog on Mon, Jan 27, 14 at 10:50

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:16AM
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patty0315, feeling more relaxed now; thank you. Since you are familiar with this lifestyle, can you suggest a town that is most similar and yet close to Alpharetta? Thank you, also pipdog; I will look into that right away.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 10:58AM
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No specific Atlanta advice but a friend moved to Houston and rented a house first. That way they could investigate neighborhoods, see how they lived in the new setting, what services needed to be convenient, etc before they committed. Maybe that could be an option for you, once you narrow down an area, so that you don't make a rushed, and potentially wrong, decision.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:14AM
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I will second hhireno's advise. When we moved from the northeast to CA we rented first. We found a house after six months and having the rental also made it easy to do some remodeling before we moved into our new house. Since you don't have school aged kids you don't have to worry about renting in one town and then deciding to buy in another. Why rush such a big purchase with so little knowledge of the area?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:38AM
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You could maybe even rent a furnished month-to-month place for just a few months, putting your stuff in storage, until you figure out what area you want to be in and find a place...then you don't have to move twice. These places are usually nice and cater to corporate transfers.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:18PM
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I grew up in, and still live in, Buckhead. It's not that stuffy!

If your DH is going to be working in Alpharetta, it really makes sense to look at houses in Roswell and Alpharetta. Of the two, I think Roswell is going to be the most similar to the towns you mentioned in Fairfeild County. (My DH is fom Westport.)

If you live in town (inside the perimter/I285) the commute will be against traffic, but it's still something to consider. Neighborhoods in Buckhead (a part of town in Atlanta) Sandy Springs (separate city), and Dunwoody (separate city) that are close to GA 400 will make the commute easier.

Good luck with your search! I agree that renting until you get a better feel for the city and its suburbs would be a good idea.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 12:38PM
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porkandham, I hope I didn't sound negative -- Buckhead is a very nice area with some beautiful grand estates. Perhaps it's more accurate to say it's a little more buttoned up and old money than some of the other more artsy areas like Va Highlands, Midtown or Decatur. I think that's what I was trying to convey but didn't say it so eloquently.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 1:12PM
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I remember visiting friends in Dunwoody years ago and what a beautiful wooded area it was. I believe it's on the north side of Atlanta but don't know how far it is from the city.

I would definitely rent first to get a feel for the different areas and the traffic pattern, as well as 'hunting' for short cuts to where you would be spending the majority of your time. The freeways are every bit as crazy as those in San Diego, but being a New Yorker, you may have the tolerance. ;)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 4:03PM
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Welcome to Atlanta! Pipdog and others have given you some very good advice. There are many, many wonderful areas to live in the Atlanta area. Since your husband is going to be working in Alpharetta, you might start your search in the Alpharetta, John's Creek and Roswell area if being close to his office is a priority. There are lots of great restaurants and homes up there. We lived on the Alpharetta/Roswell border near GA 400 for about 8 years, but decided to move closer in because of the traffic (we were commuting to Buckhead). We have lived in Sandy Springs for about 15 years. The nice thing about this area is that I can get to Buckhead or Midtown in 15-20 minutes and get to my office in Alpharetta (yeah, my job is now there!) in 25 (reverse commute in traffic).

Take your time--you'll find you have lots of options, and as you visit different areas some will feel "right".

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 8:14PM
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You're all so kind. I believe we will have a corporate apt while transitioning and I will follow that good advice - thank you. In the meantime, I have to start getting this house ready to sell!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:29PM
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Sorry I didn't get back with you yesterday; busy day. I keep mentioning GA 400 which is the main traffic artery from Atlanta into north Fulton county. For ease of travel and the best of amenities/neighborhoods I would concentrate my home search from the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs area (Exit 5) north through Roswell and Alpharetta, to Windward Parkway (Exit 11). I wouldn't want to be further north than Windward Pkwy. All have lovely neighborhoods with many style and size homes which would meet your needs. Travel in, out, and through the city is quite easy, especially for someone used to the CT/NYC metropolitan area, no matter how much you hear people complaining about the traffic! If your husband will be working in Alpharetta he will miss the daily flood of cars into and out of Atlanta which is the worst of the traffic problem.

All the suburban amenities you would enjoy are up in this area, from major malls (which I hate) and lovely smaller neighborhood shops, great restaurants, and entertainment venues have moved out to the north Fulton suburbs. We rarely go into Midtown Atlanta anymore for anything except maybe the High Museum or the Fox Theater occasionally. Health care is terrific out here if that is of interest to you. The major hospitals have facilities in north Fulton and the affiliated doctors/specialists have offices and treatment centers in the Alpharetta area, too. Other than major surgery you have the best of health care very close by. I have been on a breast cancer journey this past year and all my treatment has been within 10 minutes from my Roswell home with the best doctors Atlanta has to offer.

If you are concerned about coming 'south' you will find the Atlanta area to be very cosmopolitan. In north Fulton it sometimes is hard to even meet a GA native! I'll be anxious to follow your home search and hope you will keep us informed on your impressions and eventual decisions.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 8:48AM
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Oh, Patty, that was so kind of you. I'm so sorry about your cancer and will keep you in my thoughts. Such great information and reassuring. I was thinking about doctors and hospitals, and the like. God Bless!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 2:02PM
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Assuming you have seen the tv or print pictures and stories of what happened here yesterday with traffic which continues today, what was I saying to you about ease of travel around here on 400??! LOL. My son spent the night in the lobby of the Westin Hotel miles from his Marietta home after going only a couple of miles in 6+ hours. And he was one of the lucky ones! Still stuck there this morning..

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:54AM
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