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Mr.Marc

Best places to live in Atlanta for young professionals?

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Where are the best places to live in the DT area for young professionals or recent college grads (18-25 yrs old)? When I say best places, I mean in terms of low cost, because we all know that most recent college grads do not land jobs paying 50k or more? Also a place that's safe, convenient to shops, transit, etc.

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A lot of young people like the older apartments around Colonial Homes and Biscayne, and in the Ardmore neighborhood at Collier & Peachtree. There are a zillion older apartments around the southern part of Buckhead Village, and some cool modernist apartments in Peachtree Hills. These are all in the Buckhead area and most of them have the hardwood floors, porches, tall ceilings, etc., that were standard in earlier times. They're good neighborhoods and are pretty close to most everything.

If it were me I'd also look at some of the new stuff in Inman Park and along DeKalb Avenue/Candler Park. Cabbagetown is very cool but I don't know if there are many places for rent there.

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A few "young professionals" in Atlanta I know now reside in suburban areas (Alpharetta, Gwinnett County, etc.) but are seriously considering downtown. Now what areas of downtown, I'm not sure. Gwinnett is affordable, but from an urban perspective, it's a mess.

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My best advice is simply to live near where you work or live near MARTA if your job is MARTA-accessible. Midtown has plenty apartments available (and somewhat a surplus since the colleges have been building more of their own housing), so there is often room for negotiation. Some of the larger buildings have even been offering a period of free rent the first year with a year lease.

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Hammettm - what is going on with you? Are you serious about a move? Sorry if that is the case, but I understand - I had to get out of SC. Nothing against SC, but I think most people that grow up in any part of the country for too long eventually regret not moving out - at least for a change of scenery.

But you'll find there are plenty of sandlappers in Atlanta, in fact where I work I even work with someone from my home town of rock hill.

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Your best bet will probably be either Buckhead or the Highlands. I'm not sure if you have any friends from college that live here, but if your looking to meet new people, those areas will be what you are looking for. The Highlands remind me more like a college town (more bars), while Buckhead is a little more bumping (more clubs). Also, the traffic in Buckhead can be a little rediculous at times, while the Higlands offer more walkable areas. Plus you'll be closer to Piedmont park in the Highlands. I'm not sure how familiar you are with Atlanta, but I would find a place close to your work and start form there. After about a year, you should have a better feel for the city and what areas are best suited for you. I recently went through a similar experience when I moved to Chicago about a year ago.

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Hammettm - what is going on with you? Are you serious about a move? Sorry if that is the case, but I understand - I had to get out of SC. Nothing against SC, but I think most people that grow up in any part of the country for too long eventually regret not moving out - at least for a change of scenery.

God knows I'm in DIRE need of a change of scenery right now; grad school has me stuck in "da Rock" in the meantime. I'll eventually move back to my beloved home state, but right about now, I could stand to live about five years or so in Atlanta, DC, or Los Angeles.

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Yeah, I'm looking for a change in scenery. However, with an IT degree, it's hard to find something here in Columbia. I think Atlanta is the perfect place; it's not too far away from home, it has plenty of opportunities, it's a big city but feels like a small town and I could go on and on.

I have a few friends that live in Atlanta or should I say metro Atlanta. I do want to live near where I work, but I have always wanted to live in the middle of a downtown area (which is why I'm trying to get a job DT). That brings me to another question, If I did live in DT but my job was out in the burbs wouldn't my commute be the opposite of most Atlantans? What I mean is while everyone is headed toward DT in heavy traffic, wouldn't my commute to the burbs be free flowing?

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^ Just don't be surprised if you interview for a job that is nowhere near downtown. In the Atlanta metro, edge cities are very dominant - you have to be very particular about jobs. With several years of experience, I do have that luxory - but starting out I didn't. So just a warning - especially in the IT field - most jobs are in the suburbs.

Regarding cross-commuting, it depends. My wife cross-commutes to Cumberland edge city from Atlanta, & at least the downtown connector is packed. Mainly due to Buckhead being considered the geographic center of population & employment in the Atlanta metro.

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^ Just don't be surprised if you interview for a job that is nowhere near downtown. In the Atlanta metro, edge cities are very dominant - you have to be very particular about jobs. With several years of experience, I do have that luxory - but starting out I didn't. So just a warning - especially in the IT field - most jobs are in the suburbs.

Regarding cross-commuting, it depends. My wife cross-commutes to Cumberland edge city from Atlanta, & at least the downtown connector is packed. Mainly due to Buckhead being considered the geographic center of population & employment in the Atlanta metro.

Thanks for that info. What did you mean when you said: "You have to be very particular about jobs?".

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what area of IT are you looking to work in?

I basically wanted to start out as a LAN tech and then move my way up to a server admin. However, when I found UrbanPlanet online last year, I really became interested in urban planning. I was thinking that if I found being a LAN tech or server admin uninteresting, I could somehow incorporate IT with Urban Planning and maybe work with the city council.

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^ Well, I'm not sure it really works that way. But you can always get an IT job for any municipality or regional planning organization. As for being 'particular', I'm just suggesting there will be jobs in various locales, so depending on what is most important to you - realize many of the best IT jobs will be in the northern suburbs of Alpharetta / Sandy Springs / Norcross. But if you want to work in the city, it will require combing through the job ads more & if you go through a contracting agency (not a bad idea) you need to specify that.

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^ Well, I'm not sure it really works that way. But you can always get an IT job for any municipality or regional planning organization. As for being 'particular', I'm just suggesting there will be jobs in various locales, so depending on what is most important to you - realize many of the best IT jobs will be in the northern suburbs of Alpharetta / Sandy Springs / Norcross. But if you want to work in the city, it will require combing through the job ads more & if you go through a contracting agency (not a bad idea) you need to specify that.

Thanks for all of your help Tesh. I knew that a lot of Atlanta's IT jobs were located in North Atlanta. I wouldn't mind living in Gwinnett Co., as I ventured around and saw two or three Technology Parks there.

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