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6 Things You Have to Know Before Moving to Atlanta

Have you decided to relocate, and moving to Atlanta sounds like an exciting option? We can confirm that it is. You probably knew that this place is the birthplace of Coca Cola, but did you know that it’s also the home of the world’s busiest airport? Besides, ATL is the only city in North America that has been burnt to the ground and rebuilt – that’s why the city symbol is a phoenix. The City in a Forest is home to history, culture, and so much more. If you wish to find out what it’s like to live in ATL, check out our guide, and be prepared.

What’s Living in ATL Like?

Well, it’s like living in the largest and most populous city in Georgia, with a metro area that counts 5.9 million people and a booming economy with a GDP of nearly $400 billion. It covers 135 square miles, and it had once been populated by Cherokee and Creek Indians before becoming a major transportation and commercial hub of the “New South” in the 19th century. In the past century, it evolved into a center of the emerging civil rights movement, led by one of its most famous residents – Dr. Martin Luther King.

As for the geography, it’s in a perfect position – only a three-hour flight from many major American cities and at the intersection of more than a few major US highways. The climate is humid subtropical, with more or less defined seasons. Winters are mild and short, while summers can be hot and wet.  Today, there are almost half a million people from various backgrounds in the city proper. More than 50% are Black, or African Americans, about 40% are white, and the rest belong are Asians and other racial groups.

Now that we’ve gone over the basic facts about the Georgia capital, it’s time to move on to the six things you need to know before moving there that might end up as your reasons to move.

ATL has seventy-one streets that have "Peachtree" in its name, even though there's not even one peach tree there.

#1 Is ATL Expensive? A Short Guide to the Cost of Living

First of all, if you plan on moving to a big city, you should know how much money you need for everyday things. That is why we did a quick research on the cost of living in Atlanta for you. We gathered the info from the Best Places website, which has data on the cost of living in many cities and neighborhoods. It shows that the prices in A-Town are a bit below the US average. As expected, it’s one of the pricier cities in the state of Georgia, but groceries, health care, and goods and services are cheaper than the American average.

Based on data from Numbeo, a website that compares the costs of living, a family of four will spend around $3,500 for a month without rent. Single-person costs are $975 monthly, excluding rent. When comparing A-Town to Charlotte, NC, a city of similar size and importance, only consumer and restaurant prices were higher in Charlotte. The rent, groceries, and local purchasing power are higher in ATL.

But keep in mind that the people of A-Town also have good salaries so that they can afford the somewhat pricey living. There are a lot of job opportunities as well since the job market is pretty developed. We recommend you to try to find a job before moving to another state. The median household income is around $65,000, which is higher than the national median.

Meet Atlanta’s Tax System

Georgia is known as a tax-friendly state. Based on the data from five months ago from the Kiplinger’s tax map, the rate is bound to drop even further, from 6% to 5.5%. There are no inheritance and estate taxes; the average combined rate of sales tax is 7.33%, and the local authorities can tax grocery food sales even though the state doesn’t. Vehicle taxes are 7% at registration, and people who live in Georgia have to pay approximately $1,000 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed home value.

Turn on the calculator and check if you are going to be able to pay for all the expenses waiting for you.

#2 List of the Best Neighborhoods in A-Town

Now that you’re familiar with the expected costs, the next step is house-hunting for a suitable place to live in. Whether you’re relocating to the suburbs or central locations, options are endless. ATL is divided into 25 planning units, and if you’re wondering what the best places to live in Atlanta are, we’ve got you covered in that regard as well.

When you decide where to move, know that you picked an excellent spot because this is one of the best cities to raise a family in the US. According to the data provided by Niche, communities with the most highly-rated public schools and high levels of the general safety of the neighborhood that are great if you’re relocating with a family that includes kids are:

  • Peachtree Heights East
  • Brookwood Hills
  • Sherwood Forest
  • Druid Hills
  • Chastain Park

Other highly rated communities in ATL, but with slightly lower grades than the ones above, are:

  • Peachtree Park
  • Decatur
  • Buckhead Heights
  • Atlantic Station
  • Colonial Homes

Where to Rent the Best Apartments?

If you’re looking to rent a spot or move into a smaller home, know that the usual price for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $1,600, and for the same sized place outside of the center, you’ll pay about $600 less. For a bigger residence, let’s say a three-bedroom flat in the center, it will cost you $2,800 and as much as $1k less if you rent outside of the center.

Having the price in mind, the leading and most affordable neighborhoods you can check out for renting would be the following:

According to the residents, ATL is a lovely place to live in

#3 You Can Find Work in Many Companies

Before changing the address, it’s good to know that Atlanta’s metropolitan economy is the tenth-largest in the country and among the top twenty in the world. It has the third-largest concentration of companies from the prestigious Fortune 500 list, with the headquarters of corporations like Coca Cola, UPS, and Home Depot located right there. It’s also where the media houses like CNN – Cable News Network and TBS – Turner Broadcasting System are.

Besides working for the previously mentioned corporate giants, there are many other job opportunities depending on your skills and aspirations – you can find a job at Habitat For Humanity, Delta Air Lines, Chick-fil-A, or with one of the many other employers that are drawn to the city by its well-educated workforce. The average salary here is almost $4,700 after taxes, and the state is proud to call itself the economic engine of Southeast America.

It would be a good idea to start applying for jobs before you come to the Georgia capital

#4 Costs and Quality of Transportation

Whether you’re interested to learn how car shipping work because you want to transport your car across the country and book auto shipping services, or you prefer public transportation, you should know how commuting works in ATL. The average commute time is 35 minutes, which is neither great nor terrible. You can use MARTA, Streetcar, bus, or a cab, but the Georgia capital is primarily known as a driver’s city with a strong car culture.

MARTA is Atlanta’s rapid transit rail system that serves and connects almost every part of the city, while, Streetcar operates on a 2.7-mile route from the convention and entertainment district to the Sweet Auburn area.

The so-called City in a Forest is also highly walkable and you can take a stroll or ride a bike anywhere you want. That’s also a healthier way of commuting since traffic jams are not an unknown phenomenon here. This place is also home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport serving about 110 million passengers a year.

How Much Do You Need to Pay to Get Around This City?

Based on the data from Numbeo, the regular price of a monthly pass is $95, and a one-way ticket is $2.5. Gasoline is $2.65 per gallon, and if you want to call a cab, the start will cost you $3.75. One mile of the ride would be around $1.4.

MARTA is the eighth busiest subway system in the US

#5 What Are the Finest Restaurants?

People from ATL are known for having a love for a good bite and many excellent Atlanta eateries prove that. There is a vast number of restaurants, and the choices are limitless, no matter if you are moving during the holidays or any other time of the year there will always be places where you can grab a bite. ATL was even named one of the top foodie cities in the country by WalletHub. Here you will find different places where you can celebrate moving in together with your significant other, getting a promotion, or having a birthday party. Must-eats in this place (according to TripAdvisor) are specialties from the following restaurants:

  • Aviva by Kameel
  • Babette’s Cafe
  • Eight Sushi Lounge
  • Bone’s Restaurant
  • Herban Fix – Vegan Kitchen
  • La Grotta Ristorante Italiano
  • The Capital Grille

Atlanta’s food scene is best known for fried chicken, barbecue, waffles, sweet potato pie, and pimento cheese. Now that’s proper comfort food for avoiding relocation depression. Once you unpack after the move, you’ll surely have some tasty bites, we guarantee, but have in mind that it might be pricey in upscale restaurants. For example, a three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant is around $50.

Living in this city will mean that you'll always be able to find something good to eat

#6 What Can You Do for Fun?

Attractions, things to do, and places to visit are numerous in ATL, both for kids and adults. But we’ll make no difference based on age because we’re sure that we all know people who are over thirty and who still love and enjoy Disneyland and zoos.

When you move to ATL, you’ll never be bored. For your kid or the kid in you, go and visit Legoland in Buckhead, where you can see a model of ATL and surrounding landmarks made entirely of Legos. The same neighborhood is home to Atlanta History Center, where history, knowledge, and adventure intertwine on a 33-acre space. Going to the Zoo and Aquarium is always a fun way to spend your weekend, while the Center for Puppetry Arts in Midtown offers amazing shows if you’re into this kind of art.

What Should You See Once You’re Here?

Get ready because the list of landmarks is so long. Except for the History Center for exploring Georgia’s past through exhibitions, other sightseeing spots are Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the famous Fox Theatre, and Fernbank Museum of Natural History with a giant movie screen, great food, music, and a full bar. There’s also the Piedmont Park where you can play fetch if you are moving with your dog, and in its northwest corner is Atlanta Botanical Garden. Don’t miss out on the College Football Hall of Fame, the World of Coca Cola, and the famous High Museum of Art. CNN also does Studio Tours, and you can visit president Jimmy Carter’s Library and Museum. The Centennial Olympic Park, the centerpiece of Atlanta’s Olympic legacy is close to CNN Center and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

If you love outdoor activities, we have some fantastic news – hiking, biking, recreation, and sports are all available at the remarkable Stone Mountain Park and Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Coca Cola sculpture.
A large number of tourists and visitors come each year to see all of these astonishing parks, museums and sculptures.

Some Final Relocation Tips for Moving to Atlanta

If you like what you’ve just read, the best time of the year to move here is now, and it’s time to go through some final details and moving day tips. Your relocation process will be that much different depending on whether you are moving to another state alone, with children, or relocating with your pets. It will determine the kind of place you’ll stay at, the job you’ll have, and the lifestyle you’ll lead. If you’re moving for a loved one who is already there, that will require that both of you already have a plan of what you will do once you relocate. And don’t forget to donate unwanted items or stuff you both have. Relocation, and especially a long-distance one, isn’t simple, but don’t make it harder for yourself and find out how to deal with moving stress.

Is Moving to Atlanta Expensive?

It depends on where you are relocating from and what the size of your move is. Some relocation companies base their prices on the weight or volume of your things, so you have no control over the price since they’re the ones who decide how much something costs but if you declutter in advance that will reduce your relocation expenses. The smartest move would be to avoid choosing the cheapest way to move out of state and go with a company that can guarantee you a fixed rate based on the list of the items you move. That way, you’ll know that there are no hidden charges or fees, and the price of the move won’t change until you change the item list. Plan your moving budget to reduce the costs of moving and get moving services from highly recommended and reliable Atlanta movers that earned your trust. Create a photo inventory, box up your clothes, furniture, and other belongings with the help of tips and tricks for packing to avoid common moving mistakes, or have someone do that for you by purchasing packing services, and move to ATL. One thing is for sure – you’ll love this city.