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A Comprehensive Guide to Moving to Atlanta

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Atlanta Georgia GA Drone Skyline Aerial.

Moving to Atlanta? You couldn’t have made a wiser decision. This bustling metropolis is one of the most dynamic in the US, offering plenty of diverse opportunities for jobs and recreation.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to what you can expect when you move to The Big Peach.

Quick Facts

  • The city of Atlanta makes up the core of the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Area, or Metro Atlanta.
  • Metro Atlanta is the ninth largest metropolitan area in the US, with an estimated population of over 5.9 million as of 2018.
  • The city of Atlanta has an estimated population of 498,044 as of 2018 and is the most populous city and the capital of the state of Georgia.
  • Atlanta was incorporated on December 29, 1847
  • Metro Atlanta was the second fastest growing economy in the US in 2016, with a GDP of $308.7 billion. In 2018, GDP rose to $369.81 billion.

Inside the Perimeter and Outside the Perimeter

When looking at the best places to live in Atlanta, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether to live Inside the Perimeter or ITP, or Outside the Perimeter or OTP.

ITP refers to the area around Downtown Atlanta, the city’s commercial and cultural center. It’s perfectly defined by I-285, which makes up the city limits. Homes in this area are a mix of high-rise condos and apartments, as well as single-family homes in a wide range of prices and sizes.

If you’re looking to live near the best urban amenities in the metro, ITP communities are your best bets. In addition to Downtown, the most popular areas and neighborhoods include Midtown, Decatur, Morningside, Inman Park, and more.

OTP is Metro Atlanta’s suburban area. It includes some of the most desirable cities and communities in Georgia, including Marietta, Sandy Springs, and Woodstock. This is also where you’ll find many of the state’s top-rated schools, as well as expansive parks and larger homes with spacious yards.

Cost of living in Atlanta

Based on this report, the cost of living in Atlanta is 1% lower than the national average. Housing costs in the metro are about 6% lower than the national average, and the average home price is lower than other major metros in the country, such as New York, Washington, DC, Jacksonville, and Charlotte.

Utilities costs in Atlanta are also about 15% lower than the national average. However, groceries and transportation costs are slightly higher.

Getting around

Traffic is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face in the metro area. The neighborhoods here are connected by several interstates, which can get congested because of the sheer volume of cars. Unfortunately, you will likely need a car to get around the area.

There are some bright spots, though. Atlanta is served by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA, which includes a number of bus routes and a rapid transport system that connect major areas in Fulton, Clayton, and DeKalb counties.

In addition, the recent opening of the Atlanta BeltLine has considerably improved walkability in the metro. Set to be completed in 2022, the Atlanta Beltline includes 33 miles of urban trails for walking, biking, and jogging. It will also include 22 miles of pedestrian-friendly rail transit.

Atlanta is home to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, or ATL, one of the busiest airports in the world. As a gateway to hundreds of destinations across the globe, the airport allows you to easily hop on a plane and travel to any country or city of your choice.

Employment opportunities

Work is one of the top reasons people move to Atlanta. The metro is home to some of the world’s top corporations, including iconic businesses like CNN and Coca-Cola.

In August 2019, the metro registered a job growth rate of 1.5%, higher than the nationwide job growth rate of 1.4%. The biggest employers in Atlanta are the leisure and hospitality industry, construction, education and health services, and professional and business services.

Major attractions

No matter where your interests lie, you’ll never run out of things to do in Atlanta. The metro boasts a number of world class attractions, ranging from the ultra-modern like The World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, and CNN Headquarters, to tranquil places that reflect the area’s Southern roots, such as the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Piedmont Park, and Oakland Cemetery.

The most historic events in Atlanta are also commemorated in attractions like Atlanta History Center, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Olympic Centennial Park.

Atlanta is also a culturally rich city with numerous museums, galleries, theaters, and live performance venues. It’s one of the few cities in the US with resident companies in ballet, orchestra, theater, and opera.

Looking for the perfect home in Atlanta? I’m one of the top realtors in the metro and I will be happy to help you. Call me today at 404.550.5113 or send an email to Natalie(dotted)Gregory(at)Compass(dotted)com.