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  1. #1
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    Way Off Topic: Relocate to Georgia?

    Sorry to post this here, but my wife and I have been going nuts about how expensive it is to live in NY and how we'll pretty much never be able to own a house here. Some of her family (including our daughter's cousin who happens to be her best friend) are thinking about moving outside of Atlanta in McDonough, GA. My wife cousin's family happens to live there. They all rave about how great it is and it would definitely help if we didn't have to TOTALLY uproot our kid.

    Just wondering how anyone here feels about this area - looking on the rails to trails website, it seems pretty bike-friendly, which is a bonus. Atlanta's supposed to be a pretty excellent city, as I understand. And I have to live somewhere near a commercial/industrial center since I'm an environmental engineer.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    As the songwriter said

    I love the south.
    Its the home of the free.
    We lost the only war we ever fought in historeeeeeee.

    I love the south.
    Its the land for me.
    Its the land of hush yo' mouth, Joe South, and its home to me.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

  3. #3
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    Don't come. We already have enough Yankees telling us how they do it up north.

  4. #4
    Member crazygreenbiker's Avatar
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    You're going to be sorry you asked my advice; and yes it is way off topic. Worst case scenario:

    If you are a city person moving to a suburb, any suburb you will go nuts! No more walking to the corner store, bar or movie house. You will be driving everywhere and forget the bike. Buy an SUV and put a bike rack on it so you can remember how life used to be.

    I don't know rural or suburban Georgia and I'm sure the people there are just the most lovely people who ever walked the face of the earth. Trouble is; it's not urban. you must drive everywhere, there are rarely downtowns to these places but a space of strip malls and fast food joints along a highway.

    Try and ride your bike and you'll be stuck on the sidewalk. The semi's and SUVs will crowd you out and I'm sure there will not be any space for bikes on these roads. Add to the fact that after 9:00pm assume that everyone is driving drunk and won't see you anyway.

    To those people who are offended by what I have to say I would like to impress upon you that this is the worst case (and I've been there). There are many rural areas with highways with wide shoulders, bike paths and lanes and sober considerate drivers. Other towns have active downtown areas with shops and services.

    Choose your area well. Ask a realtor:It's location, location, location."

    Quote Originally Posted by rodfrank
    Don't come. We already have enough Yankees telling us how they do it up north.
    Also, no matter where you go you will meet rude, bigoted people.
    Last edited by crazygreenbiker; 09-13-06 at 04:16 PM.

  5. #5
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Your NY acccent will certainly endear you to your new friends in GA. Georgians are renown for their open-minded, tolerant attitudes.

    Beyond Atlanta, housing is relatively cheap due to a. land prices b. materials manufactured in the area c. lower labor costs. I bought a new house for 125K (2000sq ft 3bdrm/2ba) that would have cost 200k in the area I had moved from, which was a more normal cost area. Downside is these houses seem to fall apart quicker, although this may be a phenomena of newer housing material / construction practices in general.

    Georgia consistently ranks at the bottom of the 50 states along with SC AL MS LA education-wise. I've known a number of GA college-degreed professionals who can't seem to spell or write well. Again, this may be a "sign of the times" rather than the GA education system. The state has administered a lottery-funded, need-based college scholarship program for over 10 years, the Hope scholarship (so named because you HOPE you're gonna hit the lottery? ha!).

    Although manufacturing jobs were once migrating from, say NY to GA/sunbelt states, it has/is moved to China. So, service economy is growing in GA, with its lower wages (so I guess the lower housing cost is more of a moot point, except that maybe the entire country is trending towards service economy and its associated lower wages). Big employers in my area are healthcare and military - a synergistic relationship.

    Fuel/energy costs are below average in GA. Check gas prices here:

    http://autos.msn.com/everyday/GasSta...10101&x=19&y=7

    Spectator (prof & college) sports, golf, boating, hunting (deer, turkey), fishing, nascar, shopping, dining are popular - yes all the Southern Extreme Sports. Yee haa. Bicycling is not a big deal in most places but popular in the larger cities - shop/club rides. Like most places in the world, bicycles are not welcome on the roads - just ask any pickup truck/SUV operator (about 1/2 the vehicles you'll be "sharing" the road with).

    Georgia seems to be populated by generally obese folks who are NOT interested in high exertion activity. GA & other states in the Southeast lead the nation in heart disease. I think this is a combination of diet and sedentary lifestyle. The 3 months of the year when the average daytime temperature is 90F and relative humidity is 50-70% have a lot to do with this.

    Weather is warm compared to other places I have lived (which is nice way of saying its hot - humidity is brutal in August). You can ride year round, coldest weather you'll get is 25-30f. Forget about snow and related lifestyle activities. Instead of snow you get thunderstorms and hurricanes. Most of the state is flat, <300 feet above sea level. But there are hills/mtns in NW, starting in Atlanta area.

    Atlanta and its 1000 feeder cities is a huge sprawl that runs 80x60 miles. I'm not fond of large urban areas personally - you probably will love it coming from Long Island. Atlanta has far more cultural diversity than the rural areas of GA. Benefits include better air travel / low fares and brain overloading shopping/dining choices.

    The population pressure in the Atlanta area means higher real estate prices, water shortages, and more air pollution - most of it blowing my way. I had sinus problems for a few years following my move here - it may be unrelated but I think not. Maybe you can work on that.

    Georgia is not the best place I've lived, and it's not the worst.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Ok, here's the deal straight from the city of Atlanta.
    The good:
    Mild winters, it's easy to ride year round.
    Cheap compared to the tristate area. (My wife's parents were able to pay cash for their house here because of the equity from their NJ house.
    Great college football

    The Bad
    Smog alerts nearly everyday in the summer.
    Traffic, imagine trying to get into NYC without the LIRR. I can't stress how bad it is, a coworker spent an hour and a half to travel 16 miles today.
    This may or may not matter to you but you can't buy beer or wine on Sunday at the grocery.
    Summer heat and smog can make riding tough

    McDonough used be a nice little town. Now it's definitely suburban. They have half million dollar homes sprouting up everywhere. Georgia's not bad but if I didn't live here I wouldn't move here.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  7. #7
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    hmm, the outlook seems overly not-good. On Long Island, I pretty much have to drive everywhere, and there's tons of SUV drivers (myself being one of them). So that seems a wash. I've heard that the traffic is really horrible down there, possibly worse than NYC commuter traffic. Since there is no commuter rail line option, I really don't like the sound of that. Poor education is pretty much a deal-breaker.

    I'm sure there has to be some great things about the Atlanta area.

    The fact of the matter is there really isn't a middle class in New York anymore. There's got to be someplace where one can live the American dream.

  8. #8
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    In Alabama property taxes are cheap. Your house payments will be lower than property taxes up north. Houses can be had at substantially lower costs as well. Public transportation is non-existent so you will be driving your vehicle unless you live close to work. Buying a house close to your job will be easy. You can make half your current income and have more money in your pocket. Your Wife won't need to work unless she just wants too.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute
    hmm, the outlook seems overly not-good. On Long Island, I pretty much have to drive everywhere, and there's tons of SUV drivers (myself being one of them). So that seems a wash. I've heard that the traffic is really horrible down there, possibly worse than NYC commuter traffic. Since there is no commuter rail line option, I really don't like the sound of that. Poor education is pretty much a deal-breaker.

    I'm sure there has to be some great things about the Atlanta area.

    The fact of the matter is there really isn't a middle class in New York anymore. There's got to be someplace where one can live the American dream.
    I'm currently talking to my wife (read begging) about moving to Minnesota. I was shocked to find out how much cheaper housing was even compared to metro-Atlanta. And I hear the twin-cities has a pretty good cycling scene.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    I just moved to Atlanta from Southern California. One by one my family had made the move and after we realized we could never afford a house in CA we moved as well. I've been here 8 or 9 months, it's pretty nice. I kept my CA job and just work from home.

    I'm about 30 minutes away from Atlanta in a suburb called Lawrenceville. The roads suck for cycling (narrow, pot holes, road kill) but the people are very nice. Almost everyone goes into the other lane to pass. It wasn't until just last month that I finally had someone yell "get on the sidewalk". Of course, there are no sidewalks here.

  11. #11
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute
    hmm, the outlook seems overly not-good. On Long Island, I pretty much have to drive everywhere, and there's tons of SUV drivers (myself being one of them). So that seems a wash. I've heard that the traffic is really horrible down there, possibly worse than NYC commuter traffic. Since there is no commuter rail line option, I really don't like the sound of that. Poor education is pretty much a deal-breaker.

    I'm sure there has to be some great things about the Atlanta area.

    The fact of the matter is there really isn't a middle class in New York anymore. There's got to be someplace where one can live the American dream.
    I'm a L.I. Native (Valley Stream,Garden City, Huntington) I now reside in the Wichita Ks. area. Why would one want to live in Kansas you might ask...My House cost 23.5k,My payments are $184.47 a month(Built in 1920, 980 sq ft,Two bedroom,one bath,porch on the west and south sides,a pair of hundred year old elm trees in front on a 78x147 foot corner lot)we don't get the snow like you do in the winter (Bicycles and Motorcycles are ridden all year) the economy is not too bad (It has its ups and downs, Lots of aircraft and manufacturing factorys) reasonable schools (Tho not perfect) and as an added benifit we don't have "Traffic"problems much at all.
    It is not Utopia,But find me an urban area that is,If you can call this "Urban" as it in no way compares to the idea of "Urban" like someone from L.I. might be used to.
    Move to the Alanta area...Oh Hell Nooo!!! Way too much traffic,Too crowed,too violent,poor schools ect and the five counties around Alanta are SOOOO Suburban and over developed. Here in Ks. it takes me twentey minuets to ride my bike out into the country lots of riding here!!
    In fact I put less than ten miles a week on my car!

  12. #12
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Mcdonough, GA is about 25 miles south of Atlanta on I-75. Mcdonough is still fairly rural with good access to the interstate. There is a daily traffic jam on the Hudson Bridge Road exit northbound on I-75. If you are commuting to the city everyday that could be a bother. There is a new bicycle shop in Mcdonough that sells Bianchi and Scott bicycles. Most other larger LBS are in the city of Atlanta. I have several friends who live in Mcdonough and they are all happy living there. I don't cycle in Henry county but I know of some rides there. The area features alot of two-lane roads with a town square in Mcdonough and Jackson, GA. It's a small town feel, definitely not a big city.
    Would you like a dream with that?

  13. #13
    I am not a car Map tester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute
    I'm sure there has to be some great things about the Atlanta area.

    The fact of the matter is there really isn't a middle class in New York anymore. There's got to be someplace where one can live the American dream.
    As a native of Atlanta, I guess I'm as qualified as the next person.

    Atlanta does have problems, like most places. For the most part, the public school systems are not the best, but there are alternatives, such as the Decatur (small city to the east of Atlanta) school system and many outstanding private schools. I also think that if you choose to live in the suburbs outside of I-285, you are making a choice to live a car-centered life. Living in-town does have its costs (higher housing costs and property taxes) but it is possible to own your home, bike to work, and use rapid transit (MARTA). And although it earns its nickname Hotlanta for its summers, you can easily ride all winter here.

    Of course, there are already 4,112,198 of us here.
    "Bad facts make bad laws." FZ

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