Atlanta is a big, sprawling city. When chatting with long distance friends, or even locals, I always find myself explaining the interstates or drawing an air map. I wanted to explain it all to you guys too, so I needed a fancy map! I asked the lovely Natalie, of Natty Michelle Paperie, to illustrate a map of our Atlanta. Here’s a little bit about the neighborhoods in Atlanta, our house hunting journey, and how we make this big city work for us.
Since the sprawl and the traffic in Atlanta is so, so awful, and Allen (and I spent the majority of the past four years commuting), our first priority was live close to work. Not because we’re workaholics, but because we value a better quality of life than two hours in a car everyday. We based our search on that priority and worked our way around the map. Read on for a little detail about where we looked and where we ended up. Disclaimer: There are a lot of awesome neighborhoods in Atlanta. These are just a few (mostly West) that we looked at! East Atlanta is super hip and cool, but too far away from the area where we work.
Where we work: Allen and I got lucky, when I started my job at Home Depot, because our offices are super close to each other. We work in an area of Atlanta called Vinings, and it was easy to base our search off one area, rather than our offices being spread between Vinings & Downtown or Vinings & Roswell.
Roswell: Most of you know, we lived in the cute little suburb of Roswell for four years. Allen grew up in Roswell, worked in Roswell at the time we bought our first house, and it made sense for us. Unfortunately, if you take a look at our handy map, it takes a long time to drive from Roswell to Where We Work!
Peachtree Hills: Peachtree Hills is a fabulous little neighborhood in the middle of Buckhead. The homes are old and charming, 2-3 bedrooms, perfect for small families. Peachtree Hills would have been about a 20-30 minute, non-interstate drive from Vinings. We looked at a few beautiful options, but nothing was the perfect fit and the area was a little higher than our ideal budget, so we moved on.
West Side: Switching to the other side of Atlanta, there’s an area south of Where We Work called the West Side. It is super hip and cool, lots of great restaurants, old houses and some new urban construction. We looked in two neighborhoods around here: Underwood Hills and Whittier Mill Village. It would have been about a 20 minute interstate ride to work. We wanted this area to work out, but alas, we had to move on.
Brookhaven: Brookhaven is an up and coming area for young families, to the east of Peachtree Hills. We were adding a few minutes to our commute, but if it was really as precious and friendly as everyone said, it was worth a look! We looked at one house and tested the commute. We tested a morning commute together, and it took 45 minutes. Brookhaven quickly became a no.
Marietta: Hooray! Marietta. To be totally honest with you, I never wanted to live in Marietta. The only areas I knew of Marietta I did not like. But! As our neighborhood options dwindled and we got discouraged, my sweet husband realized that Marietta would be close to Where We Work and the historic, downtown area is charming and exactly what we were looking for. He culled through Marietta listings online (when I was at Alt) and had a hunch about one particular house. We hopped to it – saw the house, tested the commute, read about the great school district and fell in love.
Getting to know the neighborhoods in Atlanta is hard. We learned that you have to know your priorities and be willing to explore lots of options. And we are so thankful we ended up close enough to our offices, in a beautiful house, and a friendly neighborhood.