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How much does it cost to live in Atlanta?

Relocating to a different city requires a lot of research. Aside from exploring your housing options and the career opportunities available, you also need to consider whether you can afford living in that city.

Atlanta is one of the largest metro areas in the country, and it keeps growing day by day. It’s also one of the best places to live in the region. To find out whether this Southern capital is right for you, let’s take a closer look at the city’s overall cost of living.


If you’re buying

Atlanta real estate is one of the hottest in the market, and home prices are continuously increasing. That said, home ownership is pretty high in the city. More importantly, Atlanta home prices are still affordable compared to other major cities like Boston and Chicago.

The median list price for homes in Atlanta is $330,000, while the median home value is $217,000. Of course, prices and home values will be much higher in more affluent parts of the city, such as Buckhead.

If you’re renting

Rental costs in Atlanta vary depending on the size of the property and the location. That said, renting is a great option if buying a home is not yet feasible or if you’d like to test the waters of a particular neighborhood before buying.

On average, renting an apartment in Atlanta can set you back by $1,608 every month. A 3-bedroom apartment in a desirable location can cost you more than $2,500, however.

With demand for rentals in the city relatively high, vacancy rates have been consistently low. This may be the primary driver behind the increase in rental price in Atlanta.


Basic utilities for an 915-square foot apartment can cost you about $163 every month. That includes services such as water, electricity, garbage disposal, and heating/cooling. Expect to pay more than $200 if you’re a home owner.

Getting around

If you have a private vehicle

Driving around the city is a big part of living in Atlanta, despite the numerous public transportation options available. As with any other major city, expect to be stuck in traffic during rush hours. Long commutes are also inevitable, especially if you live outside the perimeter (OTP).

If you’re commuting

Atlanta offers several modes of public transportation. You’ll need to get yourself acquainted with MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). MARTA oversees Atlanta’s bus routes and train tracks, operating in Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton counties.

A one-way MARTA ticket will cost you $2.50. But if you’re always on the go, getting the 30-day MARTA pass is a cheaper and more convenient option. You can get it for $95.


Sales tax rates vary in different parts of Atlanta. The regular rate in Atlanta is almost 9 percent, but you pay less in DeKalb and Fulton counties (the sales tax rate in these areas is only 7 percent.)

As a Georgia resident, you also must pay a state income tax of 6 percent.

Other expenses

Living in Atlanta isn’t just about housing, taxes, and utilities. Here are some other (averaged) expenses you might incur should you decide to live in the city.

  • A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant: $25 ($50 if the meal is for two.)
  • Meal for one at an affordable restaurant: $15
  • Recommended budget for one person for food in Atlanta per month: $334
  • A regular cappuccino: $4
  • A 0.33-liter bottle of water: $1.62
  • 1 lb of boneless and skinless chicken breasts: $7.76
  • 1 lb of beef round: $14.04
  • A dozen regular eggs: $2
  • 1 lb of local cheese: $10.20
  • Monthly fee at a fitness club: $33.74
  • A movie ticket for one: $13
  • Monthly tuition fee at a private pre-school or kindergarten: $856
  • Annual tuition fee at an international primary school: $16,922

Source: Numbeo

Is it expensive to live in Atlanta?

Although home prices and property taxes are rising in Atlanta, the city is still relatively affordable than other major cities.

Some neighborhoods have housing options that are pricy but inexpensive options can still be found throughout the metro area. All it takes to find these types of properties is to work with a local real estate expert!

Get in touch with me today at 404-550-5113 or Natalie(dotted)Gregory(at)Compass(dotted)com for more information about Atlanta homes for sale.

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