What You Need to Know Before Moving to Atlanta

What You Need to Know Before Moving to Atlanta

Real Estate By

Atlanta, the bustling capital city of Georgia, is known for its rich history, thriving arts scene, and dynamic cultural diversity. Often dubbed “The ATL,” the city marries its historic Southern charm with a modern urban vibe. Its impressive skyline is punctuated by the iconic Bank of America Plaza and SunTrust Plaza, which illuminate the city at night with their neon hues. The city’s diverse districts offer a slice of life for everyone—from the chic, upscale shops and galleries of Buckhead, perfect for active and fashionable Gen Zs, to the bohemian ripples of Little Five Points.

Atlanta also serves as a central hub for transportation in the southeastern U.S., making it a central destination for both business and leisure travel. The city’s vibrant mix of entertainment, dining, and professional opportunities seamlessly blends with its deep-rooted history and commitment to cultural enrichment, embodying a dynamic metropolis that continuously attracts new residents and visitors alike.

If you’re considering a move to Atlanta, this article covers several key aspects you should consider when preparing for life in your new home city.

1. Climate and Environment

Atlanta experiences a humid subtropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, but occasionally chilly winters. Spring and autumn are pleasant and the best times to enjoy the city’s abundant green spaces, such as Piedmont Park. Atlanta is also known for its dense tree coverage which not only beautifies the city but also improves air quality. 

However, be prepared for the pollen which can be particularly heavy in the spring. Due to its location, Atlanta is also prone to experiencing occasional severe weather, including thunderstorms and tornadoes in the spring and summer months. Understanding the local weather patterns and preparing for potential severe weather is an important part of living safely in the region.

2. Cost of Living

The cost of living in Atlanta is generally reasonable compared to other major cities like New York or San Francisco, but it has been rising due to its growing popularity. Housing costs vary significantly between neighborhoods. Areas like Midtown and Buckhead are among the more expensive ones, while suburbs like Smyrna offer more affordable options for Atlanta rental apartments. Utilities and transportation costs are generally in line with the national average. 

Additionally, while Atlanta offers a range of grocery and shopping options that can fit any budget, dining out and entertainment can quickly become expensive, especially in trendier neighborhoods. Budgeting for these expenses will help you enjoy what the city has to offer without overspending.

3. Transportation

Atlanta is served by the MARTA public transportation system, which includes buses and a subway system. However, the city is known for its heavy traffic, as many residents prefer to drive. If you’re planning to commute by car, expect significant rush-hour delays. Investing in a reliable vehicle and considering proximity to your workplace can greatly affect your daily life due to the sprawling nature of the city. 

Additionally, Atlanta is increasingly focusing on improving its biking infrastructure and walkability, especially in more urban areas. This growing network of bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly streets provides a greener alternative to driving, particularly for those living and working in central areas.

4. Employment Opportunities

Atlanta’s economy is robust, with strong sectors in media, technology, and healthcare. It’s home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Delta Air Lines. The city also has a growing tech industry, often referred to as the “Silicon Peach,” offering numerous opportunities for professionals in this sector. 

Moreover, Atlanta’s economic growth has spurred development in niche markets and startups, particularly in fintech and digital media. The city’s supportive environment for entrepreneurship includes various incubators and coworking spaces designed to help innovators thrive.

5. Education and Schools

Atlanta boasts a variety of educational institutions, from public schools to prestigious universities like Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The quality of public schools can vary widely by district, which is a critical consideration for families moving to the area. 

Additionally, there are numerous private schools offering various educational philosophies and specializations. For those interested in continuous professional development, Atlanta also offers a plethora of seminars, workshops, and classes across various industries, enhancing skills and providing networking opportunities.

6. Culture and Recreation

Atlanta is a cultural hotspot. You can enjoy world-class performances at the Fox Theatre, visit numerous museums like the High Museum of Art, and explore the history of the civil rights movement. The city is also famous for its food scene, which includes everything from traditional Southern cuisine to international dishes. Music is a big part of the city’s identity, encompassing a wide range of genres, with a particular emphasis on hip hop, R&B, and gospel. 

Atlanta is also home to a vibrant sports culture, hosting professional teams like the Falcons (NFL), the Braves (MLB), and Atlanta United (MLS), which offers sports enthusiasts plenty of opportunities to catch live games and immerse themselves in the local fanbase.

7. Safety and Crime

Like any major city, Atlanta has areas with higher crime rates, which is something to consider when choosing where to live. It is advisable to research different neighborhoods thoroughly and consider factors such as community safety initiatives and local crime statistics. 

Participating in neighborhood watch programs and staying informed about the local community’s efforts can enhance your safety and well-being. Moreover, engaging with local community services and events not only helps in building safer neighborhoods but also in creating a sense of belonging and community solidarity.

Tips for Relocating to Atlanta

Relocating to a new city like Atlanta can be a smooth and exciting process with the right preparation. Start by visiting the city if possible, to get a feel for different neighborhoods and find the one that best fits your lifestyle and budget. Utilize online resources to research the housing market and connect with local real estate agents who can provide insights and assistance. When packing and planning the move, consider the timing; avoiding peak traffic times and planning around the city’s major events can save you a lot of hassle. 

Additionally, it’s beneficial to connect with local social groups or online forums prior to your move. This can provide you with valuable local knowledge and begin building your social network. Lastly, make sure to update your address in advance for services such as utilities, internet, and other essentials to ensure a seamless transition to your new home in Atlanta.


Moving to Atlanta is an exciting opportunity to experience a diverse and dynamic city with a lot to offer in terms of culture, employment, and quality of life. It’s important to consider the city’s cost of living, transportation options, and educational facilities when planning your move. By doing thorough research and preparing accordingly, you can ensure a smooth transition to this vibrant Southern metropolis.