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Old January 27th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Default Georgia, Miami

I currently live in Upstate NY. My husband and I have been thinking about moving south. Our daughter is in her 2nd year of highschool and is not objecting a move. Her only input is that she wants to be able to attend a division 1 soccer school and being a resident of that state would help with tuition costs. I received a call from Atlanta on a job but they were offering a little less than I wanted to start at. My question is this - does anyone here live in Atlanta or Miami and if so what is the cost of living like?
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Old January 27th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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I know Dorothy lives in Atlanta. You can PM her.

I once lived in Atlanta back in the 80's and it's a great town but there are so many transplants from around the country it has lost it's southern city charm it once had. By comparison, it is a new city since it's growth was phenomenal in the last couple of decades.

There are some fine Universities in the area for your daughter to attend. The climate is moderate but the summers are humid. It is large enough to attract the top shows, concerts, and sporting events. It has an international airport and is only a 5 hour drive to Florida or South Carolina beaches. And a short drive to the mountains of North Carolina.

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Thomas
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Old January 28th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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What Thomas said!

Atlanta is pretty much the way he described it. We've gotten a new interest in the downtown area lately and lots and lots of money has been spent in that area. The new Georgia Aquarium is downtown (they have 2 whalesharks - amazing creatures), as well as Centenial Olympic Park.

Of course we have all sports teams - the Braves, the Hawks (yuck), the Falcons and even a professional soccer team!

It's a beautiful city, but Thomas is right - its lost a lot of its southern charm. Native Atlantans, of which I am one, are few and far between.

Close to the coast, close to the beautiful mountains and a world class airport - now the busiest in the world. Atlanta in the spring when the dogwoods and azalaes are blooming is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Email me off the loop if you have any specific questions.

dorothy
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Old January 28th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Hi, I live just outside of Alanta,and work in the Cobb County area...a suburb of Atlanta.Nothing beats Atlanta (Buckhead) night life.Also keep in mind Georgia offers FREE!! College(Hope Scholarship) to residents of Georgia.
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Old January 28th, 2006, 07:39 PM
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Scholarships don't pay for everything, but sure help with tuition! They are students with a B average and can only be used in Georgia.

Atlanta's High Museum is a wonderful museum, too.

dorothy
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Old January 28th, 2006, 09:06 PM
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I'd also add that Atlanta was a magnet for corporate headquarters relocations for 25 years. The job market was strong and labor supply sufficient to attract top employers. It's a benefit for your daughter once she hits the job market.

Georgia Tech, Emory, and Univ. of Georgia are all top notch schools. I'm sure I'm missing a couple as well.

One thing to consider though, if you are on the north side of Atlanta and need to get to the south side of Atlanta............pack a lunch!

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Old January 29th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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You are definately right about that Thomas.You can usually start unwrapping a sandwich around Wade Green...something about that area seems to cause people to try new driving techniques.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 11:02 PM
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Atlanta was voted longest commute in the country and one of the worst....explains why so many folks are starting to move back intown and why my little ranch is worth waaaaaay more than it should be - it's inside the "perimeter" (I-285) and close to intown.

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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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thank you for all the information. Could you tell me a little more about the free tuition in Georgia. I understand it is for B students which is not a problem because currently my daughter is in regents classes here in NY. I don't know if the education level is higher or lower in Georgia.

Is the scholarship for only a certain amount of money? Do you have to use it for only certain colleges in Georgia?
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Old January 30th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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We live in Douglasville, 20 minutes from downtown (without traff...ick). Hope scholarship is accepted in almost all schools. We are looking into if available for Tech schools also.

I believe there is a site on the web....Hope scholarship.

We are West Coasters turned Southerner. Been in Lanta bout 10 yrs. Luv it and plan to stay 4ever. Own a business and Blessed beyond belief.

Boys are in a Private Christian Prep School. 90% of the kids go to college. My oldest will be one of the 10% that won't go. He wants to work now. Can't blame him for that.

Come visit. You'll love it. Get ready for diversity. You will have a half million dollar house sitting across the street from a trailer. Traffic is terrible, just work close to home as I do.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Sadly, Georgia consistently ranks last, or next to last (Mississippi and Georgia pass the "honor" back and forth) in education, test scores, just about ANYTHING to do with education.

That doesn't mean there aren't a handful of good public schools around, just do your homework (no pun intended...).

dorothy
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Old January 30th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Atlanta is a neighbor of ours as it is a little over 2 hours east of Birmingham. I have some knowledge of the city. I also do a lot of business in Miami and travel there frequently.
First the negative on both.... Traffic... They are both horrible. It is enough to make you cry to try and get around these cities and Atlanta is probably worse than Miami.
Other than that Atlanta is a wonderful city and I would highly recommend it. It has wonderful business opportunities and many cultural, social, and sporting events. It has world class restaurants and beautiful neighborhoods. I love to visit there and I am glad it is close by but I find my own community more user friendly to get around in.
I find Miami to be a strange city and in many cases you feel like a stranger in your own city and it feels like the official language is Spanish rather than English. It does have great weather and beautiful scenery.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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I have loved raising my children in Atlanta. I really feel, at least in my area, the pressures for drugs and drinkig are small compared to where I came from in the North. Despite the fact that a lot of schools in Georgia are not making the grade, there are some very good schools that consistently receive awards from Newsweek, etc. My two boys go to Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta (public school). It is in the top 4% of schools in the country. Everyone, 99%, are college bound and a large portion to very good schools including Princeton, Vanderbilt, Ga Tech (4th in engineering and in-state tuition), Emory, Harvard, etc. You must be careful when selecting the area and talk to parents who have lived in other regions of the country to get a good comparison. Also, if your child is in honors classes, make certain she will transfer into honors classes in the new school. I have heard some bad stories about kids coming into the area and being told they have to wait a year and prove themselves. There is a county near mine where the talented-and-gifted is full and they won't accept anymore - so as someone else said, do your homework and actually visit the school.
The Hope scholarship is for anyone who maintains a B average and goes to a state school in Georgia. If you decide to go to a private school in Georgia, you get some $'s but not complete tuition. Keep in mind that room and board in the South is not as high as other regions of the country. I know this because my son is now selecting his univeristy.

We have about 3100 sq. ft of house on 1/3 acre for about 290K. Of course, our house is about 16 years old, but has been well cared for. Utilities are expensive though. My gas bill was about $650 this past month and the weather was mild.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 08:47 PM
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Luanne you know you are reading this thread about Georgia.Come back and answer this lady....We miss you
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Old January 30th, 2006, 08:58 PM
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A little for the Florida side now...

I know that Florida has an IB (International Baccalaureate) program. It is for students to take advanced courses and if they pass their classes and then pass a series tests covering 6 subjects at the end, get a full scholarship (tuition, fees, books) to any state school. Students can get up to 30 hours of college credit doing this. The credits still count even if the tests for the tuition isn't passed. My nephew is in the program and only a few of the high schools offer it, but even if you aren't in the district your child will get to attend the school closest to them with the program. Florida has one of the highest percentages of IB students, so the program is very prominent here. So if any of the Florida state schools have a soccer program that your daughter is interested in, this may be an option.

You can probably expect the cost of living to be very similar in both cities. They both are very popular areas and home prices are pretty even.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 12:05 AM
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We have IB programs here in Georgia, too, but I don't think they are quite as good. I'm pretty sure ours are just about the college credit and NOT about any kind of scholarships, but this makes me want to look into it a bit more.

Although I have never lived in Miami, I could make a case for Florida, that's for sure!

First off, the weather! This has been a mild winter in Atlanta, but sometimes we aren't quite so lucky.

I hope you'll be happy wherever you wind up!

dorothy
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:13 AM
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thank you everyone. I can tell you that after doing some research my husband and I have decided that Miami is not the place for US. We have now narrowed it down to 2 states - Georgia and North Carolina. I have applied for a job at Duke University. My husband works for Waste Management as a commercial driver (been there 17 years) so hopefully he can find a position with them where ever we decide to go. It will be nice for him not to have to loose his time invested, retirement, etc.

Everyone was great with the input on Georgia so can I get some comparisons of anyone that lives in North Carolina.

Just to let everyone know I didn't fall onto this message board and I'm not new to cruising either. My family has been on 5 cruises so far. Our next one is this April on the Carnival Glory.
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:35 AM
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Okay, I chimed in about Atlanta, now it is my turn about North Carolina. I spent my first years 1-8 in Fairfax county schools in VA(just outside of Washington). When we moved to the Western part of North Carolina, it was not good for me. We went to the high school in my district and the principal said that I had already taken all there was to take at the school. I ended up in a public school in a nearby city by paying a fee each year. This school wasn't that great either. No calculus books because they spent that money on reseading the football field. When I went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I was behind and the first year was a struggle to catch up. If you are around Durham and Cary, you will be fine. But, if you choose another part of the state (Charlotte is also good) be careful.

An added bonus of living in North Carolina is UNC-Chapel Hill. Kiplinger's Finance just rated UNC-Chapel Hill as the best value in a public university. It is ranked I believe in the top 25 of all universities and I will personally vouch for a wonderful experience there. It is very hard to get in out-of-state, but in state, your child should be able to get in if they are a good student.

Another great thing about living in the Durham area is the close access to South Carolina beaches. We used to travel for about 3 - 3 1/2 hours to get to the beach. With the proximity of UNC, Duke, NC State and Research Triangle Park, you have a very educated community. You also have a beautiful lake nearby. You also have the Angus Barn - mmmmm - good steaks.

It would be tough for me to pick between Durham and Atlanta. Atlanta has more access to pro sports, better shopping, better nightlife and entertainment, but more traffic headaches and less access to the beach.
I think that the main issue here is whether you want to live in a larger city or a smaller city because you will find good schools in the Durham area and the Atlanta area. Think about whether your child is more engineering focused (GA Tech good with in state tuition) or liberal arts focused (UNC).
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:58 AM
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I can also give some input on North Carolina since I grew up there and still have family there. Two sisters in Asheville and two brothers in Wilmington.

Culturally, N.C. is a diverse state. Appalachia in the west, high tech centrally, and coastal openess in the east. Charlotte is Atlanta 30 years ago. It is growing at an enormous rate and attracting a lot of business.

Higer education in the state is good. A lot of high tech firms are located in Research Triangle Park (Durham/Greensboro/Raleigh) near the universities.

The climate is mild with the mountains being cool in the summer and the plains being hot and humid. There is not a lot of snowfall but it is normal in the winter. There are ski resorts in the mountains. The coast does not see snow very often.

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Thomas
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Old February 1st, 2006, 12:14 AM
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And you didn't mention how absolutely beautiful North Carolina is for the most part. Maybe not good for allergy sufferers because it is ever so green, but beautiful.

I thought of another plus for Atlanta. Only 5 hours from the coast (St. Simons Island is a favorite vacation spot of ours) and (ready? this is important.....) CLOSE TO A NUMBER OF CRUISE PORTS!!

We always drive for our cruises and that saves a ton of money. Tampa is only about 8 hours away, Port C. not too much further. Jacksonville ever so much closer (6 hours, maybe? 7?) and New Orleans is in the 8 hour range also. Mobile isn't out of the question, but we've never sailed from that port.

There!

dorothy
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