As with any big metropolis, the city planners have deliberately made relocating to North Atlanta a pretty streamlined process. After all, there are plenty of international corporations here that are only too happy to welcome all those employees coming in from across the country. Make sure you have all of your financial statements (including a record of your credit and employment history) in a handy place where you can get them at a bank managers or prospective landlords notice. This means investing in a few old fashioned supplies such as notebooks, folders, and perhaps a handy satchel or two. After this, its time to go apartment hunting.
The good news is that Atlanta apartments currently have a 6 percent vacancy rate, which means that there’s some selection available in even the most desirable areas. The bad news: bargains are increasingly hard to find. Be prepared for sticker shock. Apartment rental prices in North Atlanta are much higher than the rest of the state. In addition, you won’t find many apartments for rent with paid utilities in North Atlanta, but thanks to the temperate climate, at least you won’t have to deal high heating bills caused by harsh winters.
Overall, Atlanta has a total of 242 neighborhoods and subdivisions. Geographically speaking, North Atlanta encompasses the northern fifth or so of the city, which includes areas north of I-75 and I-85; but after this, it gets confusing. Locals consider areas along the Georgia 400 corridor, such as Alpharetta and Roswell, to be part of North Atlanta, even though they’re cities in their own right. On the downside, if you work in midtown or downtown Atlanta, then moving to these areas will involve a commute on Georgia 400, which can be clogged with traffic during rush hour. That half hour trip can take an hour or more in traffic. For many people, however, this often dastardly commute is well worth it because of the quality of life that these residential havens provide not to mention the large, lovely homes that cost a fraction of the price of Buckhead homes.
Here are some of the most popular neighborhoods in the North Atlanta area:
Buckhead:Considered the residential gem of Atlanta, Buckhead offers a fascinating, eclectic mix of high-rise apartments, luxury condos for rent, stately homes, and vibrant entertainment venues. Buckhead boasts a wealth of magnificently landscaped historic homes, yet is also home to Lenox Square, one of the premier shopping malls in the southeast. In the center of Buckhead is world-famous Peachtree Street, which is lined with luxury penthouse apartments and the city’s most glamorous nightclubs and restaurants. Urban diversity, however, doesn’t come easy; Buckhead is the most expensive area in Atlanta, so be prepared to pay for living the high life. If youre hankering to live in the heart of Buckhead, expect to dish out some serious cash.
Brookhaven:Just outside Buckhead you’ll find trendy Brookhaven, which has a personality all its own thanks to the local bars that seem to pop up at every street corner. You’ll also find a residential area with attractive homes, apartments, and plenty of duplexes for rent, all of which are much more affordable than their Buckhead counterparts. Note: we said "more affordable," not inexpensive. Your wallet will still feel pretty empty when renting here.
Mount Paran/Northside:Just down the expressway from Buckhead, the Northside/Mount Paran neighborhood offers its share of beautifully landscaped lawns and expansive muti-room homes, with prices just a bit less than youd pay in Buckhead.
Vinings:If youre looking for urban amenities in a small-town locale, check out Vinings. It’s just minutes from Buckhead, yet offers affordably priced homes and apartments. If youre into vintage, youll enjoy the retro vibe provided by the historic post-antebellum homes of the area, many of which are on the state’s historic registers. $$$
Alpharetta:Considered by most locals to be part of the North Atlanta district, Alpharetta is actually a city on its own. In recent years, however, this suburb has undergone a population explosion from people who want to enjoy all the amenities of Atlanta living without the high Buckhead prices. Rents are actually affordable in this area, well, at least compared to Brookhaven.
Roswell:Like Alpharetta, the city of Roswell is considered to be a suburb of North Atlanta, and its a popular destination for urban professionals and families who want a bit more bang for their housing buck. If you do a little searching you can find a bargain here.
Atlanta’s "something-for-everyone" dynamic has served it well over the years. If you love sports, you’ll find two top-notch teams in baseball’s Atlanta Braves and football’s Atlanta Falcons. If culture’s your bag, Atlanta is home to the world-famous Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, as well as the internationally-acclaimed Atlanta Ballet. If you love rustic scenery, you’ll find plenty of nearby rural byways to explore, especially in areas of extreme North Atlanta, which rests in the foothills of the beautiful North Georgia mountains.
Even though it boasts a temperate climate, Atlanta does have seasons so don’t expect to wear your shorts and sandals past Labor Day -- besides isn't that a fashion problem? Average highs in July are officially charted at 89, but you can expect temperatures well into the 90s throughout the summer, with lows in the low 70s. Likewise, average highs in January are 52, with average lows at around 34. You can also expect an ice storm or two every January or February. Mild by northern standards, these can paralyze the city because of its lack of ice/snow melting equipment, so stock up on batteries and expect to take a few days off from work.
If youre relocating because of a job, consider this: commuting is no picnic in Atlanta, despite the city’s awesome expressway system -- you may be stuck in a traffic jam long enough to eat a sandwich or two. Before you choose a place to live, check out commute times and look at traffic demographics online; this may greatly influence your decision. On the plus side, Atlantas comprehensive rail transportation system (MARTA) includes large portions of North Atlanta, so you’ll definitely want to live near a MARTA station if you plan on commuting to the downtown or midtown area.
If you love the night life, then you won’t be missing out on anything. North Atlanta has a huge selection of ultra-trendy nightclubs and restaurants. North Atlanta is considered to be ultra-chic even by Atlanta’s most hardened partygoers, so don’t picture yourself out in the boondocks waiting for the sun to set every night. But, if you aren't into cool, we're sure you can find a non-cool hole in the wall to visit if you want.
Whether you prefer highbrow evenings in a concert hall or lowbrow evenings in a western bar riding a mechanical bronco, you’ll find all of these and everything in between within minutes of your North Atlanta apartment.