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A Guide to Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah, & Other Southern Natural Gems

A Guide to Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah, & Other Southern Natural Gems

When you consider what your forever home should be, be sure to remember the surprising southern charms, diversity, city life, countryside, and plentiful benefits of living in Georgia. This is the state that marries culture with easy living, blending stunning landscapes with cityscapes while always offering a pleasant smile and friendly welcome.

Moving to Georgia will save you money on your home, offer you peace of mind, and give you a wealth of things to do in your spare time. It's a dynamic place for anyone looking to build a career and yet laid-back enough for retirees who want to live without the daily hassles of an expensive, loud neighborhood. Your kids will receive a high-quality education, and if you move to Georgia, you're a just hop and skip away from some of the most wonderful vacation spots on the globe.

If you have Georgia on your mind, look no further for a deep dive into why moving to Georgia is a phenomenal idea. The state of Georgia is a beautiful and dynamic place to call home, and when you add in its southern hospitality, you'll be convinced to pack your bags. Think historic, artistic qualities ensconced in modern-day sensibilities, and you’ll start to get an appropriate appreciation for the Peach State.

Georgia is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, packed with culture, robust businesses such as Coca Cola and CNN, friendly tax rates, top schools, healthy living, and much more. From the charms of the classic Georgia dishes to the affordable housing and mind-blowing cityscape plus countryside, you will never get bored.

Hello, Peach State!

From Atlanta to Savannah, pictured here, you’ll always be up close and personal with nature!

As this photo shows, Savannah, Georgia, is the epitome of graceful southern living.

A Guide to Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah, & Other Southern Natural Gems

Before you move to Georgia, let's get you acquainted with the state that is nicknamed the "Peach State." Founded in 1732, Georgia is bordered by five states, including Tennessee and North Carolina to the north, South Carolina and Florida to the south, and Alabama to the west. This geographical location further enhances the idea of calling Georgia your new home, since your options for vacations in other beautiful states surround you at every turn.

Moving to Georgia will expose you to some of the most diverse landscapes of the United States, from the awe-inspiring Appalachian Mountains to the gorgeous marshes of the Atlantic coast. Magnificent waterways abound in Georgia, including the Savannah and Chattahoochee Rivers. Fertile farms produce the state's world-famous peaches, but did you know the state also is famous for sweet potatoes, pecans, and cotton? If you want to live near local farms and farmers' markets, there’s no place like Georgia.

Though Atlanta is revered for its cityscape, complete with a famous Ferris wheel, there are smaller towns for you to put your roots down in, too.

One of the most genteel, historic, and gorgeous towns in the entire United States is Savannah.

Savannah, Georgia, is brimming with history and culture, offering a never-ending wealth of riches for the young and old alike. The city sits on magnificent coastal land and offers famous original architecture plus a rich history. Nicknamed the "Hostess City of the South," Savannah is also called the friendliest city in the world. The cost of living in this charming town is 6 percent lower than the national average, and the median house price is $145,000. Add in its 22 squares and parks, the amazing school system, and its famous food spots, and you’ve got a perfect place to call home!

When you move to Georgia, the locals will be sure to direct you to Jekyll Island, a beach-rich beauty that you probably dream of discovering! This oasis is a national treasure, offering southern charms such as Ranger Walks, a Georgia sea turtle center, and the historic Jekyll Island Club House, all nestled among ten miles of natural, extraordinary shoreline. As always, the public is invited!

Some of the most dynamic, tree-lined suburbs in the United States are located in Georgia. With an easy commute to downtown Atlanta, you can relax in your gorgeous neighborhood and still keep that cushy job.

Some of our other favorite go-to metro area spots in Atlanta include Athens, Peachtree, Sandy Springs, and Alpharetta. Check your local real estate listings to compare each neighborhood.

One of the most vital historic events in the nation was born in Georgia, courtesy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Civil Rights movement is honored in Atlanta, and you will see firsthand how an entire movement that changed the world was launched from this city.

But just in case that's not enough to convince you, there's much more appeal to this southern state to share with you. You may be wondering: is it affordable to live in Georgia? Yes, and here is why!

A House that Will Become Your Home

A Guide to Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah, & Other Southern Natural Gems

If you live outside of Georgia, you may be sitting in the 1,500-square-foot city house that cost you $500,000. Or you may reside in the suburbs outside a major urban city, where your rent soars at $2,500 a month for a two-bedroom apartment.

Moving to Georgia will free you from the smaller, cluttered spaces and high overhead of a big city or its nearby suburbs. Instead, with less money, you can plant stakes in your forever home!

Whether you’re a city-dweller or lover of nature, Georgia has it all for you! Once you choose the town that sets your heart on fire, be sure to review the taxes and the school system. This is one Southern state that offers wonderful tax benefits to its homeowners, employees, and employers. In Georiga, southern hospitality extends to your wallet!

Ever wonder what an average house in Georgia looks like? Look no further!

In Georgia, the average listing price for a  house is $265,000. For this price, you will get a house with an average of 2,244 square and three bedrooms and two bathrooms. That's a pretty great deal!

Before you move, it’s important to consider the school system. Even if you don’t have children, remember that the value of your house appreciates if you live within an area with a highly ranked school system.

There are 181 school districts in this state, offering more than 2,200 schools, with over 114,800 educators and about 1.6 million students.

Georgia schools are highly rated and also offer transparency. You can even review the report cards of every school in the state to see this for yourself. The schools are diverse, highly rated, and if you purchase a home nearby, your kids can walk to their classes daily. Every school has a website offering transparency about school programs and offers special pages for students of all ages.

Once you realize you can live like a king or queen in your affordable new Georgia home, you need to also understand the benefits of Georgia taxes and how the friendly corporate tax landscape will positively impact your career if you move to Georgia.

With such great house prices and affordable living, you can live comfortably in Georgia with less than you'd imagine. And when you discover the tax benefits, you'll be packing your bags!

Tax Cuts & Hot Careers in Georgia

Georgia uses a very simple progressive style of tax reform, which means your rates will range between 1.00 percent to 5.75 percent. As expected, the highest earners will see higher taxes. The combined state and local sales taxes average about 7.31 percent. Georgia is noted for having one the lowest sales taxes in the US, with Atlanta weighing in at 1.0 percent and each county offering its own rate.

Before you move to Georgia, click here to use this handy Georgia state tax calculator to figure out your specific tax rate.

While Georgia has one of the lowest statewide sales taxes in the country (among states that have a sales tax), Atlanta has its own city sales tax of 1%, and counties can assess their own sales taxes of up to 4.9%.

Since you're considering moving to Georgia, you should also familiarize yourself with property taxes. Georgia's average effective tax rate is less than the US national average, with a property tax rate at 0.87 percent. Each county offers different property tax rates, so if you're looking for a very low property tax rate of only 1.0 percent, check out Fulton County.

When it comes to estate taxes, Georgia ranks as the lowest it can be: at zero percent. If you want to pass along your estate with no tax, this is the state to do it in!

When it comes to working in Georgia, you will be thrilled to discover some of the hot careers at Fortune 500 companies and other businesses that call the Peach State their home. Here's a shortlist of some of the most dynamic firms you'll find in Georgia and more in-depth info on the taxes you'll pay as an employee or a business owner.

A Guide to Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah, & Other Southern Natural Gems

Some of the top companies that call Georgia home include:

  • CNN
  • The Home Depot
  • United Parcel Service
  • Randstad USA
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Arby's
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Hansen Beverage
  • Cox Media Group

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was enacted in Georgia in 2017 and dramatically changed how Georgians and businesses calculate income taxes.  One of the main benefits of TCJA is that it cut federal revenue taxes paid by Georgians by over $43 billion.

The new tax and jobs act also doubles the standard deduction for individuals to $2,600 and for married couples to $6,000. And, the TCJA reduced the top income tax from 6 to 5.75 percent.

The city of Savannah even announced that it would give $2,000 to people who relocated there. The Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Savannah Economic Development Authority launched the give-back program and said the cost of doing business index in Savanah is 82.6, well below the national average!

If you're looking to move your business, Georgia may be the right choice for you. The TCJA "permanently reduces the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and makes changes to business deductions and international tax provisions ($1.8 billion).”

With fellow international business owners such as Coca Cola, CNN, and many others, your firm will always experience the umbrella effect of having the 'big guys' fighting for your taxes and more.

As per renting a spot in Georgia for your business, the prices are more affordable than most of the nation. In the bustling, world-class city of Atlanta, you can easily rent in a modern office building that offers loft-like spaces, with ample room for your team plus opportunities to collaborate with colleagues. These spaces can. costa as little as $197 per month!

How much you need to earn to live comfortably in Georgia ranges depending on whether you live in a big city like Atlanta or one of the many charming small towns. For Atlanta, a family should bring in about $78,717 per year, and for a town in the country, much less!

Atlanta also boasts a cost of living that is two percent lower than the national average. With gentle tax rates, affordable homes, and a bustling city near local great neighborhoods, Georgia is a southern gem.

With the bustling city, plus amazing local neighborhoods and suburbs to live in, it's a great idea to move to Atlanta!

Georgia Is a State of Mind: National Treasures in Georgia

A Guide to Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah, & Other Southern Natural Gems

In Georgia, what you do in your spare time will transform your weekends into stay-at-home vacations. Whatever your passion, there is something for you in  Georgia.  Since there is a major city featuring cutting-edge art, entertainment, and happenings year-round, you will always have something new to discover.

Working and playing in Georgia will never get boring. You can take a hike in the rolling trails of the ample country or head out to one of the many fishing streams to catch your dinner. Love the arts? Head over to Atlanta for theatre or to Savannah for local art shows or plays.

Love gourmet food? There are thousands of restaurants waiting to serve you, and don't forget all the little hole-in-the-wall spots your new neighbors will tell you to visit.

What you need to know before moving to Georgia is that you will elevate your entire life by planting your stakes in this fair southern state's ground!

We created our top five list of the best attractions in Georgia that you should visit when you move to your new hometown:

  1. Georgia Aquarium - This is the world’s largest aquarium, holding over 100,000 aquatic creatures! Don’t forget to wear your most comfortable walking shoes, and be sure to check out the 100-foot see-through acrylic tunnel where you will be surrounded by fish!
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site - Civil rights are proudly supported throughout Georgia, and there is no better way to learn more than at the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site. This is Atlanta’s top tourist destination for good reason.
  3.  Okefenokee Swamp - This is the natural home of many species of amphibians and reptiles, including toads, frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, and many American alligators.
  4. City of Atlanta - This is the most cosmopolitan yet friendliest city in the world! From amazing foodie-finds to laid-back parks to little neighborhoods that each wear their own adorable character, you will never tire of this city.
  5.  Chattahoochee National Forest - This is a magnificent natural park, featuring 867,000 acres that cross 26 Georgia counties, thousands of miles of gorgeous streams and rivers, 850 miles of trails, campgrounds, and more.

Your adventure in moving to Georgia will begin from the day you unpack your belongings and wander outside to check out your new hometown. There is a place for everyone in lovely Georgia, from the die-hard shopper to the apple picker to the country-road biker who wants to discover a new local restaurant off the beaten path.

For retirees, living is easy. For children, there is never a dull moment. Wherever your dreams lead you, you can be sure Georgis will not disappoint. Georgia a hospitable place filled with friendly, diverse people from all walks of life.

We're sure you will fall in love with Georgia, and as you end your first delicious meal at one of the state's famous new or historic restaurants, we're sure you will enjoy every last bite of your sweet rewards: Georgia peach pie!

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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