There are plenty of reasons you may be drawn to move to Atlanta, GA, from a job offer, to living close to family and friends, and the fact that the city itself is filled with all kinds of wonderful shops, dining venues, entertainment, and personality. As a first-time home buyer in Atlanta, you may want to rent an apartment first to be sure you find something that meets your needs and wants, but that can be easier said than done. When you are new in town you may want to rent before buying but it’s not always easy to know where to look for a good rental, what to expect as far as pricing goes, and the type of amenities you may want.
Here we will take a look at some tips that will help those new to Atlanta find that ideal place to rent. Now, obviously each person’s criteria and priorities will be different, so these tips are meant as a guideline or starting point.
Familiarize Yourself with Pricing
Often people set a budget and then head out in search of that perfect apartment, but this isn’t always the realistic way to go about it, especially in a new town or city. Instead, it can be wise to spend time checking out the rental prices so you start to get a feel for what the average rent would be as well as what is considered the bottom and top ends.
To help you do just that, this Atlanta apartment guide will provide you with all kinds of insights and be that definitive apartment guide to Atlanta rental prices. Powered by Apartment Guide, you can do a very specific search of Atlanta apartments currently for rent and narrow it down by the number of bedrooms, the price range, the number of bathrooms, interior apartment features, if pets are allowed, and even what kind of lifestyle it would offer. You will very quickly start to form an idea of what a realistic budget will be for the apartment you’re looking for.
This tool will also start to make it clear what neighborhoods best match your budget and expectations, which will help narrow down the search process. Some properties even feature a rating and review so that you can get more details. If you find something you are interested in, you can follow up through the site for more information.
What About Utilities and Food Costs?
While on the topic of budget, it can also be helpful to do a little research on utility and food costs. The utility bills can vary greatly depending on the apartment you rent in Atlanta. These bills will include water, heating, and electricity. Then you have things such as cable TV, landline telephone service, and the Internet that can all be extras.
As for food pricing, because Atlanta is a fairly large and populous city, grocery store prices tend to be a little bit higher than the average. It’s not a huge increase, but it’s still something you should be aware of. If you’re moving from another big city, it may be on par with what you’re used to, but if you are moving from a smaller town then it may come as a bit of a surprise.
Explore Atlanta by Foot and Car
Another tip that can help you find that perfect apartment is to spend some time actually exploring the city and getting to know the different neighborhoods. It’s a good idea to do this by foot and car because they will offer two totally different perspectives. Also, you will probably want to explore during the day and at night so you get a sense of what both conditions would be like. Perhaps you like to live in a well-lit neighborhood with plenty of foot traffic and people around, in which case the only way to know for sure is to check it out in person.
Factor in Your Commute
A big part of what makes an apartment “perfect” for someone is the location relative to their job. What kind of commute are you comfortable with, and what is the maximum amount of time you are prepared to spend commuting? Not only that, but how will you commute? If you plan on using public transportation, then you will obviously want to be located near a train station or bus stop. If you have your own car, then you need to think about where you will park when at home e.g. does the apartment include a parking spot?
Now with all of that said, even though Atlanta is a big city and does offer a public transit system, many people describe it as a car city. The fact is that it is easier and usually faster to get around by car versus public transportation. So, if you hadn’t planned on owning a car while living in Atlanta, it may be something you want to think twice about.
What Amenities are Offered?
The great thing about apartments is that they really range in the type of lifestyle they offer to residents. Some people are happy with just their own apartment space and nothing more, whereas others want outdoor space and on-site facilities like a gym, pool, and storage lockers. This comes down to personal preference and is something that you can give thought to before you start hunting around. It can be helpful to jot down your “must-have” list so you can quickly see if a property meets all your criteria.
Proximity to Entertainment, Dining, and Shopping
The perfect apartment for some is one that is located within walking distance to an array of entertainment, dining, and shopping options, and if that sounds like you then, again, you want to start looking at what the various neighborhoods in the city offer.
Atlanta is actually split up into more than 240 different neighborhoods, which means there are a whole lot of options out there. Some of the more popular areas for those looking to rent include the Old Fourth Ward, Buckhead, Atlantic Station, Midtown, Little Five Points, Castleberry Hill, Buckhead Forest, and Lenox Park/Morningside.
Each one has its own personality as well as its own list of pros and cons. For example, if you’re a fan of historic places and architecture, then Castleberry Hill could be a wonderful option, meanwhile Buckhead Forest is ideal for those who want to feel as though they are surrounded by nature yet still in a city.
Get the Inside Scoop from Locals
The final tip is to chat with any local you may know, whether it be family or friends, or even a co-worker at your new job. Ask them for input on the best areas to rent, areas to stay away from, and any other tips or information they may have to share. As long as they have lived in Atlanta for a substantial amount of time, they will probably have the inside scoop that you may not be able to form on your own.
Ready to Make the Jump
By using these tips and taking the time to do some research, exploring, and chatting with locals, you’ll be able to form a pretty specific picture of what it is you’re looking for, and the area that is best for you to buy a new home in the future.