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Moving to Atlanta - What You Need to Know

Moving to Atlanta – What You Need to Know

So you’ve decided on moving to Atlanta? Great, you won’t make a mistake! Our city has beautiful scenery, great food, rich culture, excellent sports teams, an amazing music scene, and much more to offer. On top of everything, Atlanta is very affordable to live in and offers a high quality of life. 

You already know how wonderful Atlanta is once you decided to move here, right? But a lot of questions are popping into your head right now and you don’t know how much living costs should you expect, how’s the traffic like, and what are all the things you should keep in mind. That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to help you make a checklist and keep track of everything prior to your move to Atlanta. 

Why Relocate to Atlanta?

You have your unique reasons for relocating to Atlanta but we wanted to add more to the list. Let’s get you even more excited about your move! Lots of people move to Atlanta because of:

  • Job opportunities. People are moving to Atlanta to seek job opportunities, from the tech niche to the film industry. The city’s economy is growing so it will be easy for you to get a job you’re satisfied with and advance your career.
  • Affordable housing. Whether you’re renting or looking to buy a home, you have a lot of affordable options in Atlanta. You can also choose to relocate to the wider circle of the Atlanta metropolitan area and find an amazing and even more affordable house in, for example, Newnan, the seat of Coweta County. 
  • Low cost of living. It’s 2% lower than the national average so the rent is around $1200, utilities around $130, and a dinner for two in a restaurant is less than $50. 
  • Friendly neighborhood. All around Atlanta, you can find lovely and friendly neighborhoods with small-town vibes. There’s something unique in every corner of Atlanta. 
  • Food scene. Atlanta offers delicious food choices in every neighborhood. Some of the top dining (and drinking) districts are West Midtown, Inman Park, the Old Fourth Ward, and Decatur with lots of restaurants and bars. So whatever your culinary taste is, there’s something for everyone here!
  • Quality education. From primary education to university, Atlanta is the home of the country’s best institutions. Emory University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, to name a few. 
  • The weather. Atlanta has mild weather. Although it has typical four seasons, winters aren’t especially cold (from 20 to even 60 degrees). Spring has an average of 70-80 degrees just like autumn and in the summer the temperature is around 90 degrees. 
  • Nearby Nature. Whether you want to take a 90 minute drive from Atlanta to enjoy and rest in the North Georgia mountains or “just” enjoy the nature of Piedmont Park in Midtown, you’ll have easy access to Georgia’s beauty.
Moving to Atlanta - What You Need to Know

Things to Keep in Mind When Moving to Atlanta

First of all, keep in mind that Atlanta is enormous! It’s a metropolitan area that spans across 14 counties and 50 miles in all directions. You have the “city” and many, many suburbs (including the beautiful Peachtree City) that are separated by Interstate 285. 

That’s why you should choose your new home very carefully. Luckily, the hack to pick the best location for your home is quite simple: just circle the locations that are important to you (places you and your partner might work, future schools for your kid, locations important to your hobbies, etc) and choose between houses in that perimeter. 

Will you live Inside the Perimeter (ITP) or Outside the Perimeter (OTP) is completely up to you. This is actually the choice between living in the town or the suburbs. The ITP offers an urban lifestyle with a lot of friendly neighborhoods. The public transport is decent but Atlantans mostly rely on cars. If you don’t live close to your office, commuting to work won’t be short. The OTP provides a lot more peaceful lifestyle options. You’ll be a part of loving communities that are excellent for raising children. 

The next thing you should consider is your mode of transport. While the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is a decent public transport system, safe and affordable, it can be better. For starters, it doesn’t cover enough places. Atlanta isn’t very bike-friendly either so a lot of people choose cars for their commute, which makes traffic a bit hard to handle. 
You should also get to know the neighborhood to find the one most fitting for you. Sure the city has more than 200 neighborhoods but you can use the hack to comb through the locations. You might want to visit a city before moving. One place might look good on paper but you need to see it and make sure it’s right for you. You can take a walk around the neighborhood and check out the traffic, community activities, schools, restaurants, etc.

Moving to Atlanta - What You Need to Know

Pros and Cons of Moving to Atlanta

We already listed a lot of reasons why people move to the capital of Georgia, but let’s reconsider the following and compare it to the downsides. 


  • Growing economy. Atlanta has a steady job market with a rising number of companies choosing this town for the headquarters. With great career opportunities and low cost of living, it’s no wonder more and more people are moving to this city.
  • Nice neighborhoods. If you find a house in a great neighborhood in which you can walk to most places, you might even save yourself from the traffic problems every large city has. 
  • Beautiful scenery. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll have no problems adapting to this beautiful city. From large parks to the surrounding mountains, the green spaces aren’t lacking.
  • Lots of opportunities for going out, whether you want to have a fine dinner in a killer restaurant or you want to enjoy great music. Atlanta has everything, from live music to comedy acts. 
  • Sports Paradise. If you’re a fan of professional baseball, football, basketball, soccer, or tennis, you’ll definitely have a team to cheer for. Atlantans are very invested in local sports teams and host a ton of events that you’ll enjoy. 


  • The traffic is tricky. As we said, Atlanta isn’t very bike-friendly so most people rely on cars for their commutes. Although public transport is decent, a traffic jam during rush hours can be a nightmare. However, traffic is not great in most big cities so your best bet to avoid this is to move close to your work location or opt for living in the suburbs
  • Hot summers. While the average temperature in the summer is 90, it can reach 100 degrees. If you can take hot and humid days, you’ll be rewarded with mild winters, and the perfect spring & autumn temperatures. 
Moving to Atlanta - What You Need to Know

How to Prepare Your Move to Atlanta? 

If you think the pros outweigh the cons, let’s move on to preparations. You should carefully plan your move. This part is the most tedious, we know. You need to keep track of every logistics detail and make sure everything goes smoothly. Try to label your items while you pack so they’re more accessible to you when you need them. You can create categories such as clothes, household items (with subcategories kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc), everyday necessities, food, and other categories you need. Be sure to use quality boxes and start on time (at least 5 days prior to the move). 

The next thing you should keep in order is the state of your finances. You need to have enough money saved (for 3-6 months) so you can cover living costs but also have enough in case something doesn’t go as planned. Being prepared for emergencies is always necessary, right? If you’re moving from across the country, you’ll want to hire moving experts to help you plan your long-distance move. Contact moving companies to compare prices so you can plan your budget in detail. 

If you’re moving to Atlanta for work, make sure to go earlier than you need so you have enough time to set up and make you feel at home. If you don’t have a job in Atlanta yet, start setting initial interviews as soon as you arrive. Then, you’ll have enough time to adapt both to the new living situation and a new professional setting. 

Naturally, if you’re moving to Atlanta from outside of the United States, you’ll also need a residence permit. You can apply for a work visa in the United States embassy in your country with a passport and other required documents. 

Speaking of documents, you should also check your documentation. You might want to make a list of all institutions that need to be notified about your address change. For example, if you have a driver’s license, you'll need to register it one month after your move. 

And, of course, you need to buy (or rent) a house in advance. Once you carefully consider the location of your new home, transport links, and an overall community, call us to help you find the perfect house. Let us make your relocation to Atlanta easier by finding your new home in the city.

Tim Stout

Tim Stout is the leader of My Brokerage, a group of realtors in Fayette county that have one goal in mind – give back to the community. These real estate professionals help people find their dream house, sell their homes, or acquire lucrative investment properties.

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