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8 Reasons Why You Should Consider Moving to Atlanta



Susie Chow, Tomo’s Lead Writer & Atlanta resident, combines exclusive on the ground local insights with real estate expertise and economic data from Greg Schwartz, Tomo CEO & former Zillow President; Emanuel Santa-Donato, Head of Capital Markets & Interest Rate Forecaster; and Joel Monge, Head of Digital Production.


Welcome, prospective Atlantans! If you’re mulling over a move and wondering if Atlanta is a good place to live, you’ve found your informational hub. Affectionately known as “The A”, Atlanta is a vibrant metropolis that combines the warmth of Southern charm, a fun cosmopolitan vibe, and an ever-thriving job market. In this article, we’ll embark on a journey to uncover what makes living in Atlanta so appealing to many, and give you a glimpse into some of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta and their eclectic Southern vibes.


Southern Charm Meets an Urban Pulse

First things first, let’s talk about that undeniable Southern charm. The “City Too Busy to Hate”, Atlanta is famous for its warm and welcoming locals who know how to make you feel right at home. But don’t let that Southern hospitality fool you into thinking Atlanta is a sleepy town. Quite the opposite! This city is a bustling hub with world-class restaurants (and a hot-off-the-press Michelin guide), art galleries such as The High Museum of Art, and renowned festivals like Music Midtown, Shaky Knees, and Dragoncon.



Best Place for Jobs

If you’re considering moving to Atlanta, you’re in luck when it comes to jobs. A major economic hub, a recent report by the Atlanta Regional Commission showed 66,730 people moved to metro Atlanta between April 2022 and April 2023. Employment growth continues to outpace the nation with levels ahead of where they were three years ago for every sector, including government and hospitality. According to Visual Capitalist, Atlanta is the 11th highest GDP-ranking city at $474B. It’s home to 15 Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and UPS, making it the 3rd highest city with the most Fortune 500 HQs, after New York and Houston. Alpharetta, considered one of the best suburbs in Atlanta, has a thriving tech scene and a booming startup ecosystem, earning Atlanta its “Silicon Peach” nickname. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a recent graduate, Atlanta has something to offer. And, with its lower cost of living compared to cities like NY and SF, you’ll find your paycheck stretches further in The ATL.


Best Place for Education

Is Atlanta a good place to live for families? Absolutely! Atlanta is home to an excellent selection of K-12 educational institutions, with the Atlanta Public Schools system showing significant improvements in recent years, as well as a stellar selection of private and charter schools. For higher education, some of the nation’s most sought-after universities call Atlanta home including Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Georgia State University. These colleges not only provide world-class education but also contribute to the city’s vibrant cultural and thriving intellectual scene.


Best Place for Foodies

For the foodies among us who might be wondering, “is Atlanta a good place to live?” — you’re in major luck! Atlanta is a culinary haven that mirrors its international and cosmopolitan population. From soul food joints serving up shrimp and grits to upscale Michelin-starred restaurants and a bevy of authentic international restaurants, from Japanese to Ethiopian to Greek, Atlanta truly has it all. And let’s not forget the culinary pride and joy of ATLiens — the incredible Southern BBQ scene featuring long-standing establishments like Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Community Q, and Heirloom Market BBQ that give locals a deep sense of hometown pride.


Green Spaces Galore

Nicknamed the “City in a Forest”, one of the best things about living in Atlanta is the abundance of trees and green open spaces. Piedmont Park, located in the heart of Atlanta, is where locals flock to jog, bike, picnic, or simply relax with a book amidst the urban sprawl. For a bit of adventure, Sweetwater Creek State Park lets you hike along scenic trails and even go kayaking. And if you’re into botany, the centrally located Atlanta Botanical Garden is open year round with captivating displays of local and exotic plants and flowers.


Traffic Woes? Not Always!

Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room – Atlanta’s traffic reputation! While it’s true the city can get congested during rush hour, it’s not all doom and gloom. Atlanta’s extensive public transportation system, MARTA, can be a lifesaver for daily commuters. Plus, the city is continually working to improve its infrastructure to ease traffic woes.Be sure to research the best neighborhoods in Atlanta for commuting, and consider living closer to your workplace and adopting flexible work hours. With a little planning, you can minimize the headaches of Atlanta’s infamous traffic.


A Cultural Hotspot

Atlanta isn’t just a great place for work, it’s a cultural playground too. The city boasts an impressive array of world-class museums, theaters, and cultural institutions like The High Museum of Art, The Atlanta History Center, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. For theater buffs, the historic Fox Theatre is a stunning venue that hosts regular Broadway shows, concerts, live performances, and more.


Best Neighborhoods in Atlanta

Atlanta features a wide range of neighborhoods, each with their distinct character and charm. Whether you’re drawn to Inman Park‘s historic beauty, the trendy atmosphere of Virginia-Highlands, or the suburban calm of Sandy Springs, there’s a neighborhood to match your lifestyle. For young professionals, Midtown’s high-rise condos and cultural and culinary attractions make it a top pick, while many families tend to gravitate towards Decatur for its excellent schools and close-knit community. Those seeking a laid-back vibe might explore East Atlanta Village or Cabbagetown with their eclectic and artsy atmospheres. For more information, check out Tomo’s guides to Atlanta neighborhoods and suburbs to find the best places to live in Atlanta. 


Atlanta Cost of Living

The cost of living in Atlanta is generally lower than in several other major cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, and Seattle. To match the purchasing power of $100,000 in Atlanta, one would need a higher income in cities like Miami and Los Angeles, where the cost of housing, in particular, is significantly more expensive. On the other hand, cities like Hartford and Charlotte have relatively similar costs of living to Atlanta. It’s worth noting that the specific cost differences vary across categories, with housing costs being a key factor in determining the overall affordability of Atlanta compared to other cities.


Cost Of Basics in Atlanta vs. Leading US Cities



Charlotte

Miami

Dallas

LA

Seattle

Income required to match $100k of buying power in Atlanta:

$96,154

$116,000

$103,000

$134,000

$134,000




Atlanta Housing Costs

While the Atlanta real estate market may not be as booming as previous years, the trend of rising home prices continues. According to Forbes, in May and June 2022, the median sale price for homes in the greater Atlanta metro area surged to an impressive $400,000. Although there’s been a subtle dip, with the median sale price settling at $390,000 in May 2023, the market retains its resilience. Notably, within the city of Atlanta, median home prices soared to an all-time peak of $457,856 in May 2022 and have maintained stability since. 

To provide further context, here’s a glimpse at how Atlanta’s median listing price compares to other major U.S. cities, along with the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in each respective location.

City

Median Listing Price

Average Rent for a 2 Bedroom Apartment

Atlanta

$430,000

$2,199

Hartford CT

$223,000

$1,350

Charlotte  

$420,000

$1,863

Miami  

$699,000

$3,500

Dallas  

$477,000

$1,929

Los Angeles

$1,200,000

$3,365

Seattle  

$800,000

$2,620



What’s Next?

If you’re looking to buy a home in Atlanta, Tomo.com provides free access to the most up-to-date real estate listings and can connect you with a home search advisor by phone or text today!

Moving to Atlanta? Check out our other popular guides: 7 Best Places in Atlanta for Commuting & Discovering the Safest Neighborhoods in Atlanta


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