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Is Atlanta a Good Place to Live? 6 Things to Know Before Moving

The vibrant and verdant city of Atlanta in the South has captivated a diverse range of individuals, from families and creative professionals to budding entrepreneurs and filmmakers. Its wealth of green expanses, acclaimed dining establishments, and extensive historical background make it an enchanting urban hub. Most people ask, is Atlanta a good place to live?

With its flourishing business landscape, remarkable employment expansion, and a selection of family-friendly communities, relocating to Atlanta emerges as a highly rewarding choice. 

Let’s discuss what makes Atlanta a truly desirable place for residence..

Getting to Know Atlanta, Georgia

Founded in 1837, Atlanta became a vital transportation hub linked to the Western and Atlantic railroad line’s end. It’s the biggest city and the capital of Georgia. The city holds a significant place in American history. During the Civil War, Atlanta was almost entirely destroyed. It was rebuilt and became important during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr. was born here, and many other important historical figures have connections to the city.

Today, Atlanta is famous for being a big center of business and culture in the South. It’s also a place with really good restaurants, fun things to do, and exciting nightlife. Atlanta has a strong affinity for festivals that foster community unity. Embracing open-air music, savoring exceptional cuisine, indulging in local beverages, and appreciating art collectively constitute the essence of the city’s cultural vibe. 

Atlanta thrives on the charm of Southern hospitality. People of Atlanta are just known for being warm and welcoming. You might get a friendly wave from a stranger as you walk down the street, so don’t be surprised if someone you don’t know starts a conversation. This city has a reputation for its easygoing attitude, where judgment is rarely swift. Going back to our question: is Atlanta a good place to live? If you want a spot to enjoy tasty food, live music, and friendly Southern vibes, Atlanta is the spot for you.

What Homebuyers Must Know Before Living in Atlanta

Before making the move to ATL, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here’s a heads-up on what you should know before relocating to Atlanta, Georgia!

ITP vs. OTP Classification

Referring to “inside the perimeter” and “outside the perimeter,” these city classifications differentiate two distinct regions. Depending on where you choose to live, your city experience can be quite different. The position of Interstate 285 is key to the distinction. OTP residents are in the suburban areas or outskirts of town, while those who choose the ITP option are “in town.”

If you go for ITP, you’re right in the middle of all the city action. You’ll find the best restaurants, entertainment, and a mix of cultures. This is great for young professionals and city lovers, but houses here are more expensive and harder to get. On the other hand, if you choose OTP, you’re in the outskirts or suburbs in Atlanta. It’s more family-friendly with bigger yards and better schools. Houses are often cheaper, but you might have a longer commute.

So, when you’re looking for a house for sale in Atlanta, think about what kind of lifestyle you want and what’s important to you and that will define whether to live ITP or OTP.

Reasonable Cost of Living

In the aspect of cost of living, deciding is Atlanta a good place to live is easy. Living in Atlanta is slightly higher than the national average but remains reasonably affordable. Monthly expenses average around $2,035. To enjoy a comfortable life in this bustling city, estimates suggest an annual income of $80,000 to $100,000 for downtown living. While it might seem like a significant amount, the average earnings in Atlanta are higher compared to many other places.

According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2020-2021, the average income in Atlanta before taxes is at $91,387 as compared to the national average income of $85,906.Largest expenditure for residents of Atlanta is in their housing which that accounted for 35.9% of the area’s household budget. This is close to the 34.3% U.S. average. A portion of Atlanta’s household budget is spent on food which makes up 13.9%. This is significantly higher than the 12.2% U.S. Average. 15.4% of their budget is spent on transportation whereas the national average is at 16.2%.

Outdoor Recreation

One of the reasons why Atlanta is a good place to live is their outdoor recreation. Known for its active lifestyle, Atlanta’s residents are passionate about their green spaces and outdoor activities. If you’re someone who enjoys basking in the warm, humid weather, you’ll have no shortage of options with numerous parks, playgrounds, dog parks, and scenic walking and biking trails. Don’t miss out on Midtown’s Piedmont Park, a sprawling 189-acre urban oasis downtown, perfect for picnics and staying fit. For a more adventurous experience, explore The Beltline, a trail encircling the entire city, offering an excellent way to see Atlanta while walking, running, or biking. Along The Beltline, you’ll discover an array of shops and restaurants, making it a dynamic destination to enjoy a bike ride and a delicious dinner. And if you’re a dedicated hiker, a short 45-minute drive east to Stone Mountain rewards you with stunning city views and century-old carvings that offer glimpses into the past.

Great Millennial City

Indeed, Atlanta has gained a reputation as a city with strong appeal for millennials. A quarter of its residents are millenials and the numbers are still on the rise. This prompted businesses to take notice and has undergone a profound shift, evolving into a city tailored to cater to millennials’ preferences and priorities. Furthermore, with millennials inclined toward favoring local and small businesses over large chains, the city has witnessed a surge in small shops as well.

Diverse Population

Living in Atlanta offers the incredible advantage of embracing a wealth of diversity within its boundaries. With roughly 51% of residents identifying as black, the city boasts the second largest majority black metropolitan area in the nation. It also stands as a welcoming hub for the LGBTQ+ community, ranking among the top 19 cities with the highest LGBTQ+ populations per capita (around 4.2% of Atlanta’s population identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual). Remarkably, Atlanta secures the position of the second most gay-friendly city in the United States.

Stable Job Market

With 16 Fortune 500 companies nestled in different cities in Atlanta, Georgia, it boasts one of the most concentrated clusters of such companies nationwide.he city’s diverse economy extends beyond corporations and includes major employers like hospitals, universities, and essential infrastructure. This dynamic blend of industries ensures a plethora of career prospects for those who choose to call Atlanta home.

Is it safe to move to Atlanta, GA?

Atlanta is often thought of as a dangerous place to live, so is Atlanta safe for new residents? Contrary to its reputation, there are cities in Atlanta, Georgia which boast an array of secure neighborhoods. As the city’s public safety measures have strengthened, the well-being of its inhabitants has also increased. Notably, the MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) public transportation network, comprising trains and buses, is exceptionally well-maintained and secure.

The most popular metropolitan area –  the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta County have the following counties that have relatively low index crimes as provided by Georgia Bureau of Information on their 2021 Crime Statistics Report.

  • Rockdale county with 79 total index crimes.
  • Morgan county with 113 total index crimes.
  • Lamar county with 116 total index crimes.

Majority of the crimes contributing to the total crime index rates in Atlanta are non-violent crimes. Non-metropolitan counties like Johnson, Miller, Quitman, Randolph, Warren, Wayne, Webster have zero index crimes.

Tips When Buying a House in Atlanta

Acquiring a home is a substantial task regardless of the location, and in the energetic city of Atlanta, this journey is elevated to a new level of excitement. The process of finding your place in this dynamic metropolis is as thrilling as it is rewarding. Here are a few tips when buying a house in Atlanta to help you in your first step of moving to Atlanta.

  1. Save for a down payment. The first big step in buying a home is saving up for a downpayment. This is the money you need to pay upfront when you buy a house. The size of the down payment depends on the type of loan you choose, but it’s usually between 3-20% of the price. If you put down more money at the start, you can enjoy benefits like lower monthly payments and not needing private mortgage insurance (PMI).
  2. Pick a local real estate agent. When you’re starting the journey of buying a home, the initial person to reach out to should be a real estate agent. This professional will be your expert companion throughout the process, so it’s crucial to have someone you trust and feel at ease with. It’s a good idea to meet the best Georgia Realtors in the area  and decide who among them aligns with your requirements.
  3. Pick a suitable neighborhood. Finding the best places to live in Atlanta is one thing, but choosing where to live is another big decision. Atlanta is a diverse city with different types of neighborhoods like suburbs, city areas, and countryside spots. When you’re thinking about neighborhoods, think about what’s important to you, like good schools, being able to walk around, how far you’ll have to travel for work, and what things are nearby. You can also look up neighborhoods that many people like and see what they offer. Each neighborhood has its own special things that can make you like it or not, and the prices of homes can also be different in each place.
  4. Look for a house for sale. After you’ve established your budget and what you’re looking for, the exciting part begins: searching for your perfect home. Your real estate agent can organize visits to properties for you to see in person. If you prefer to browse from the convenience of your own space., you can use online home listing services to look for houses for sale.
  5. Conduct a home inspection and appraisal. A thorough home inspection is crucial for buyers, as it uncovers potential defects and safety issues. Employing a professional inspector is a wise investment that can prevent costly surprises later on. Similarly, an appraiser’s role is vital to determine accurate property value. This satisfies lenders by ensuring fair market pricing.
  6. Negotiate and close the deal. After discovering a suitable property within your preferences and financial limits, it’s time to submit an offer. Your real estate agent will assist in negotiating with the current owner and managing any necessary legal documentation for the transaction’s completion. Remaining receptive to counteroffers is important in negotiations, as sellers might be willing to adjust their price. Once mutual agreement is reached, you’ll finalize the process by signing the closing documents, officially becoming a homeowner in Atlanta, GA.


Living in Atlanta FAQs

Do I need to own a car when moving to Atlanta?

Certainly, having a car is essential for your time in Atlanta, so it’s crucial to factor it into your budget. Atlanta heavily relies on driving and has only limited public transit options. While MARTA is a viable choice, its coverage doesn’t extend to most of Metro Atlanta, and commutes can be lengthy due to widely spaced stations.

How much should my income be so I can live comfortably in Atlanta, Georgia?

Homeowners within the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA metropolitan region had an average annual expenditure of $66,620 in the 2020-21 period, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Based on this, it’s reasonable to conclude that a yearly income of $80,000 to $100,000 would provide a comfortable standard of living in Atlanta.

What is the climate like in Atlanta?

Similar to numerous places in the American South, Georgia is renowned for its humid summers. Nevertheless, the remaining seasons offer delightfully moderate temperatures. Atlanta maintains an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, experiencing rainfall during spring and fall, along with sporadic light snowfall in the winter.

The temperate climate in Atlanta renders it an ideal urban center for open-air festivals, sports events, and communal green spaces. Numerous inhabitants of Atlanta capitalize on the agreeable weather by cultivating vegetable gardens, nurturing tropical flora, and engaging in a variety of outdoor activities on their premises.

Is Atlanta a good place to live?

Atlanta offers a vibrant blend of urban amenities, cultural diversity, and economic opportunities. So, to answer, is Atlanta a good place to live in? Yes, it is a compelling place to call home for many. The city’s robust job market, particularly in industries like technology, healthcare, and finance, provides a promising landscape for career growth. Its diverse neighborhoods cater to various lifestyles, from historic districts to modern urban centers. While traffic congestion and limited public transit options can be drawbacks, Atlanta’s cultural scene, including theaters, museums, and sports events, offers a rich array of entertainment options. The city’s warm climate and Southern charm add to its appeal.

So, step into Atlanta’s world of urban comforts, cultural richness, and a horizon full of economic possibilities. Our Realtors at Hummel Group are always prepared to assist you. Contact us now and let’s turn your Atlanta dream into reality!