You may not know it, but if you've ever seen the movie "Footloose" (2011) or "Joyful Noise" (2012), then you not only already know a bit about what Dallas, Georgia, looks like, but you've seen some of the local city-folk too. Both movies had several of their interior and exterior scenes shot in and around the city and many of the local residents appeared as extras in certain scenes.
Dallas is the county seat for Paulding County, which holds the distinction as being considered one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. While the county is referred to as part of the greater Atlanta area, the 11,544 residents of Dallas might not quite agree. Although the city of Atlanta is a mere 41 minutes away, Dallas still manages to maintain its small-city charm and generous Southern hospitality.
Moving to Dallas
The first thing you'll learn about Dallas is that there is the actual city of Dallas, which is the heart of Paulding County, and then there is what is considered the rest of Dallas, which is a combination of both suburban and rural communities that expand several miles across Paulding County. Before you start looking for property rentals in Dallas, however, you'll need to learn the difference.
Location, Location, Location
Since Dallas is both a city as well as a community, figuring out which part of Dallas you want to search for property rentals in can be kind of tricky. Fortunately, the United States Post Office has made it a little easier for those trying to learn what is what by dividing Dallas into two distinct zip codes. Almost all of the parts of Dallas that are north of Highway 278 are in zip code area 30132, while almost all of the Dallas that is south of Highway 278 is in zip code area 30157. It's the 30132 zip code area that you'll want to concentrate on since that is where the city of Dallas actually is.
House Versus Apartment
Whether you are looking for a house or apartment to rent, Dallas has something for everyone. Rental home prices in the area do tend to vary somewhat and go from moderately low to a bit on the higher side, so it's worth doing your homework. During the real estate market collapse, many real estate investors took advantage of the rock bottom prices, so happily there's a variety of neighborhoods to choose from. If you're looking for an apartment, there's a nice array of options for you too.
Finding Your New Residence
The rental business is booming in Dallas. This means that there's a variety of homes to choose from, but it's not uncommon for landlords and realtors to have multiple showings of the same rental property on the same day. It's best to start looking about a month ahead of time and then move quickly when you discover one available in the neighborhood you want to live in.
Signing the Contract
Most landlords usually perform a credit and background check before they will lease to a prospective tenant. It is not uncommon for them to call around to previous landlords to ask about your rental history. If you have a credit issue due to a layoff or illness, and you're renting from an individual now, you may still be able to explain your previous situation. He or she may overlook the indiscretion on your credit report and rent to you anyway. Plan to pay one month's rent and a deposit, or what is known as first and last months' rent, meaning that the landlord gets to keep the money you pay up front.
The city encompasses 4.5 square miles, but not all areas are created equally. Head out north on Highway 61 toward the community known as Burnt Hickory and you will discover that Dallas has a stretch of historical homes lining Confederate Avenue. Drive a short distance west on Highway 278 toward the Paulding Airport and there are newer home rentals. Whether you want a refurbished home from the 1950s, a pad in an apartment complex or a more modern home from the early 2000s, it's your choice to decide.
Watson Drive: The Paulding Museum, Georgia Highlands College and Courthouse Square are within easy walking distance from this neighborhood. A quiet neighborhood with lots of classic charm, these 1960s homes may remind you of an episode of "Mad Men" or "The Brady Bunch."
Silver Comet Crossing: If you enjoy hiking, walking and cycling, then this is the place for you. Its close proximity with direct neighborhood access to the paved 61.5 mile multifunctional trail known as the Silver Comet makes this the perfect neighborhood for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities while getting back to nature.
Atcheson Park: Although this neighborhood sits just off the historic district on Confederate Avenue, the houses here have that more modern vibe since most of the houses were built between 2005 and 2008. Turn left coming out of the neighborhood for a short trip to The Hickory Hut for some BBQ or turn right and enjoy a scenic drive out to High Shoals Falls.
Living in Dallas
Although the city is considered the heart of Dallas, you'll want to drive into the nearby city of Hiram for most of your shopping, movies and a larger selection of restaurants. If antique shopping and boutiques are to your liking, however, a stroll through downtown Dallas might be just the ticket. Dallas also has its own old-time theater, and patrons attending shows there may see anything from an Elvis impersonator to a magician or the Oak Ridge Boys. Plan to stop at the local Waffle House after the performance though, since the local restaurants and shops typically close around 5 p.m. and don't open at all on Sundays.