Everything You Need to Know When Moving to or Around Atlanta, GA
Recent migration patterns are trending south, and Americans of all walks of life are moving to this side of the country. There's one city that never misses the headlines, Atlanta.
Have you been considering making the city of peaches and pines your home? You've probably been craving that sweet tea, served with southern hospitality with an accent that lingers in mind for a moment.
Well then, we're heading down south to Atlanta, GA.
Why You Should Move To Atlanta GA
Metro Atlanta added 730,000 more people in the last decade, and behind such massive migration ought to be plenty of reasons. People move to Atlanta because of its:
One of Atlanta's nicknames is "Hotlanta", which is testament to the nation's perception of the city as hot and humid.
However, contrary to popular belief there is more to Atlanta weather than humidity and sunshine. Atlanta has moderate weather with four clear-cut seasons. The summers are hot and humid. Then there's a mild fall, moderately chilly winter, and a picturesque spring.
Atlanta's booming economy is one reason you may want to move there. It's one of the best cities for recent college grads. As other cities spent the last decade declaring war on entrepreneurship, Atlanta was building an enabling environment.
There's Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Home Depot, and many other Fortune 500 companies that call Atlanta home. In addition, there's a huge film scene (think Stranger Things, Ozark, Walking Dead) and a growing tech scene.
Atlanta's culture is a sight to behold, and that's why many move there. This predominantly southern conservative city, with lots of history, became the second home of popular culture.
This "Hollywood in the South" is a proud home of many celebrities like Migos, T.I, Elton John, Cardi B, Kenny Rogers, and the various forms of entertainment they make.
Cost of Living
Most of the South is more affordable, and Atlanta is no exception. The median price for a home in Atlanta is $390,000, which will get you far less in higher-priced markets like San Francisco or LA.
The relatively low rent has been on the rise. Today a 975 sq. feet apartment will set you back $1,645, a 12% increase from last year.
Atlanta is one of the major cities that is majority black. Above that, Atlanta also has one of the highest concentrations of LGBTQ people right behind New York and Los Angeles. This makes Atlanta a destination for minorities who want to feel at home.
What You Need To Know About Atlanta
There's a lot to unpack about the ATL. Some of the things you know about Atlanta before you settle on it as a destination include its:
- Black or African American- 51.0%
- White - 40.9%
- Asian - 4.4%
- Hispanic/Latino - 4.3%
Atlanta's metro is the fourth largest growing metro area in America. With a population of 5,911,000, it's the 9th largest metro area in America. Atlanta's population density is about 3,861 people per square mile. It's the sprawling nature that defines most Southern cities that has Atlanta's population of 524,067 spread across 137 square miles.
However, Atlanta residents manage to make their community warm and close-knit regardless of where they are. As they say in Atlanta, "everybody knows everybody."
What Is Living In Atlanta Like?
You're probably wondering what your life will be like in this green Southern city. Atlanta strikes a delicate balance between that small town simplicity and complex city feel.
Many cities die once the sun goes down, not Atlanta. That's when the party begins. You could hit the many bars and clubs in Atlanta, roof-top pool parties overlooking the skyline, live music at the Fox Theater, or just a simple dinner at one of the many restaurants that the darkness brings to life.
There isn't a lot to write about public transit in Atlanta. Apart from MARTA, the city's mass transit network, you'll probably need a car to get around the city.
Only 10% of metro Atlanta residents who use public transit can get to work within half an hour. Atlanta has a lot of good things. Public transit isn't one of them.
Museums and Other Attractions
If you want to relive some of the defining moments of our history, then Atlanta is the place to be. That said, Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Memorial and many other civil rights museums and memorials.
Be sure to stop by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta History Center, Jimmy Carter Library & Museum, and the College Football Hall Of Fame. All but the last one is free.
There is room for improvement as far as public education in Atlanta is concerned. However, Atlanta offers a blend of public, private, and charter schools to educate its young population.
Then there are famed colleges such as the Georgia State University, Georgia Institute Of Technology, and Spelman college, all that come with great campus leagues and small beautiful college towns.
Atlanta is a green city with a moderate climate and streets beneath the canopies. This can only mean one thing, outdoors.
Bring with you a bucket list and a pen. You can be cycling beneath the canopies of the Eastside trail, or you could drive a few minutes and hike Stone Mountain, explore the waterfalls and the famed Chattahoochee national park.
Public Parks and Libraries
Some of Atlanta's most beloved and notable parks include the botanical gardens of Piedmont Park, the downtown Centennial Olympic Park that hosted the Olympics, and Stone Mountain. All are a brief drive and within reach of city residents.
Many people come to Southern cities like Atlanta for the economy; they stay for the food. Point at any Atlanta street, and I'll show you fine dining, delicious delicacies, and breathtaking cuisines.
Atlanta is dotted by decade-old restaurants rich in tradition, new arrivals, and a diverse menu. It's a culinary experiment that unfolds in foodie districts like West Midtown, Bacchanalia, Canoe, and Casual Fare.
Bars And Clubs
Atlanta residents never shy away from a good time. That noted, you will never be far from a good time once you move into this city.
Then there's the hip and classy bars that dot the suburbs, pubs lining the street corners, and the Western honkytonks that punctuate the downtown.
The Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport, at the heart of Atlanta, is one of the world's largest international airports. From here you can travel to the rest of America, and almost anywhere else in the world.
How Does Atlanta Compare To The Rest Of The Nation?
Anybody can say that their city is good, but compared to what? To put a city's performance into context, you have to make comparisons. You're probably wondering how Atlanta stacks against the rest of the nation.
Cost of Living
Atlanta's cost of living is more reasonable than other large metropolitan cities in the US. Studies show that Atlanta's housing is 6% below the national average, utilities are 15% more affordable, and its groceries are 5% above the national average.
Median Household Income
According to Census.gov, Atlanta's median household income is $59,948. This is $1,000 more than the state's median household income and $10,000 less than the median national income of $68,703.
Pre-pandemic, Atlanta's economy was in overdrive. It was 3.4% in 2019, which was on par with the nation's 3.68% unemployment rate.
However, the pandemic hit Atlanta pretty hard, bringing its revving economy to a stop. Under recovery, Atlanta's unemployment rate at the beginning of 2021 was 5.6% which is a point lower than the nation's 6.7%. However, it continues to improve; Atlanta's unemployment rate was 3.9% in May 2021.
Sadly, that Southern hospitality ends the moment one enters a vehicle. The average commute time in Atlanta by public car is 35 minutes, which is the fourth worst in the nation.
By bus, it takes an average of 53 minutes to travel in Atlanta, which is pretty bad, second only to Los Angeles.
Parking in Atlanta
The City of Atlanta designates different rules for different parking areas. There's a Business/Government zone, Mixed Use Zone, School/University Zone, and an Entertainment Zone.
That said, parking in Atlanta is the third cheapest in the nation, and Atlanta has nine parking spaces for each car.
The median home price in metro Atlanta was $390,000 in January 2021. This is an 18% increase compared to a year ago, primarily caused by an increase in demand, low supply and low interest rates.
This amount is a few thousand bucks above America's median home price of $347,500 during Q1 2021. Remember that these averages are comparisons between Metro Atlanta and the rest of America, including home prices in rural Mississippi.
According to Census.gov, 90.9% of people in Atlanta have a high school diploma. Furthermore, 50.5% of adults above the age of 25 in the Atlanta area have a college degree.
This is higher than the national average of 33% of Americans above 25 with a college degree, making it one of the most educated cities in America.
Where Should You Move To In Atlanta?
Hottest Neighborhoods In Atlanta
There's a place for everyone in Atlanta. You want a quaint Victorian-style home with a wealth of history. Fine. Or is a hip modern townhouse your heart's desire, Done. Or maybe you want the good old suburban lifestyle. It's yours to have. Some of the hottest neighborhoods in Atlanta are:
- Buckhead Village
- Castleberry Hill
These are those neighborhoods that everybody wants to move to. They are a blend of everything people ever wished for in a community. They offer security, diversity, scenery, and affordability as a cherry on top. These neighborhoods are:
- Piedmont Heights
- Fourth Ward District
- Atlantic Station
- West Midtown
Upsides Of Living In Atlanta
Those who beat the fear of moving and make their dream of living in Atlanta a reality do not go unrewarded. There are several benefits of living in Atlanta, including:
- Moderate climate - Atlanta's mild climate is excellent for outdoors
- Hospitable People - People are kind, and it's easy to make friends
- Lower Taxes - Georgia has no state income taxes and low sales taxes
- Family Values - The family values in Atlanta make it a good place to raise kids
- Lower Cost of Living - Even for a large city, Atlanta is cheap
Things To Note Before Making That Move
Atlanta has a lot going for it, but before you pack like a pro and move there, there are a few not-so-great things you should be aware of:
- Crime - Some parts of Atlanta have a notorious crime problem, especially robberies and carjacking
- Traffic - Atlanta's public transportation is inefficient, and a car is mandatory to live comfortably in the city
Considerations For Cross-Town Relocations
If you're moving within Georgia or the city itself, the only thing to consider is the cost which varies from place to place.
Considerations For Out-of-State Relocations
If you're moving across state lines to Atlanta, there's a lot more to consider outside the cost. These include:
- Changing Of Address - First, you will need to undergo an official change of address at the Georgia DMV if you're moving to Atlanta from another state.
- Vehicle Registration - All new Georgia residents are required to register their vehicles within 30 days. You will have to go to the DMV in person, but you can also fill this form online.
- Apply For A Georgia Driver's License - If you're moving to Georgia from another state, you will need a Georgia driver's license. You will have to visit the Department of Driver Services office in person to apply.
Make Your Move to Atlanta Stress-Free with the Help of College HUNKS
College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving can make your move to Atlanta effortless. Our moving professionals have the expertise and experience to move you safer and quicker at affordable rates. Contact us for a free estimate for any of our services.