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Interested in North Georgia

Riverview, FL
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Interested in North Georgia

My wife and I regularly go up to the Smoky Mountains in the Fall. Being in Florida, we can experience the beauty of autumn and return to the warmth of Florida for the winter. We have become very interested in the northern Georgia area as a place to relocate to in a few years, but we are not real familiar with the area. We have been in Helen briefly and love the area. We have heard about Dahlonega and Ellijay and hoping someone can provide us with some insight as to the living conditions in either, or both of these towns (i.e. property prices, access to job market, winters, access to medical care, etc.) If anyone knows this area, your information will be of great assistance. We plan to head up that way in October/November this year, perhaps sooner if opportunity avails.

Atlanta, GA
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1. Re: Interested in North Georgia

Three years ago, my wife and I built a home on 5 acres in the Applachian foothills in Banks country not far from the city of Baldwin. It is a custom built 2700 sq. foot home with nice natural landscaping, that costs us under $200,000 to build. Now three years later, with more and more Atlantans seeking to escape the traffic congestion and the metro area's 4,500,000 residents our home recently was assessed at $265,000 to $270,000 and we now can see a neighbor's house, which we couldn't before. The areas around Ellijay and Dahlonega are stunning, but if you want a scenic mountain home at a prime location in those areas, you will pay for it, starting at about $450,000 and going into the $millions. If you just want a nice home in a nice mountain community, not on one of the numerous scenic rivers or lakes in the area or not with some breathtaking panoramic view, their are also plenty of homes to be found in those areas, with more reasonable prices. My wife and I just enjoy the small town, Appalachian mountain atmosphere and play to stay where we are for th duration, unless it gets too crowded and we can see 3 or 4 neighbors from our porch.

Check this website. Scroll down to the cities, i.e. Dahlonega or Ellijay or click on the map for north georgia areas. I found 136 listings in the Dahlonega area between $200K and $270K.

I'm sure there can be many listings to find for even less.

Its http://www.atlantahomeview.com/

Atlanta, GA
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2. Re: Interested in North Georgia

P.S. We love living where we do, but we both commute to Atlanta or work because we both make good money doing work we enjoy. My commute is about an hour, twenty minutes each way, but is mostly interstate (depending on if someone does something really stupid on I-85, which they do frequently) could communte as tens of thousands of others do to the Atlanta area from Dahlonega, driving down GA 400 (otherwise know at times as the Alpharetta Autobahn and at other times as the Forty Mile Long Parking Lot). The commutes to the Atlanta area would be more problematic, being further north and not being really close to major highways. At any rate, jobs are something that Atlanta has plenty of. And you could probably find something up the GA 400 corridor which is becoming increasingly developed.

Atlanta, GA
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3. Re: Interested in North Georgia

I meant to say that the commutes from Helen and Ellijay would be more problematic.

Georgia
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4. Re: Interested in North Georgia

SCFW, let me suggest that you visit Gainesville, GA. It has a little bit of everything - good arts offered through local artists and theatre and Brenau University. Fairly decent restaurants and shopping.

You're right near I-985, which makes Atlanta a quick 45 min to hour trip and Mall of Georgia can be reached in 30 min.

You also have Lake Lanier, which is the place that so many of the retirees in the area are moving to. You're 30 minutes from Dahlonega, 40 minutes to Helen as well.

Real estate prices are reasonable and you can find homes in most any price range you might be looking for.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center is a good hospital with a new Heart wing that is excellent. Many of the doctors came from Emory in Atlanta.

Winters are generally mild for this part of the country. Snow or a little ice usually once a year for a day or two - but it's part of the excitement up here.

You don't give your age, but you do say that you're thinking mountains for summer, Fla for winter. If you 're interested in education, Brenau has a lifelong learning program that offers a variety of classes on many subjects at a very reasonable price. The program is also a great way to meet people in the area (They have over 350 people participating in the program)

Dahlonega is a very quiet little town with not a lot going on. Very picturesque, but most folks have to come to Gainesville for any real shopping.

Ellijay hasn't much to offer except it's also very laid back./Blue Ridge is an artsy community catching on with the moneyed crowd in Atlanta. Property is skyrocketing in both Elljay and Blue Ridge, so if you want to get in, now's the time.

What else do you want to know?

Atlanta, GA
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5. Re: Interested in North Georgia

Actually my family, on my dad's side, goes back in the Gainesville area to the 18th century. (You know any Barretts?) Both of my parents were survivors of the April 6, 1936 tornados, where a F4 and a F3 tornado met over the center of town, combined together, and destroyed it, killing 220 people. My dad was one of the last ones found alive, after being dug out of the building where he worked, days after the storms.

I was kind of sad to see the old homeplace on Washington street turned into a mall, but that's been years ago. I'm still mad about the Army Corps of Engineers claiming imminent domain over the family farm, about 400 acres north/northwest of town, back in the late '40s to build Lake Lanier. Like with so many others, what the Corps considered a fair price, really wasn't. Ironically only about 120 acres of the farm actually went below the surface of the lake. The remaining 280+/- acres were resold by the corps and now is covered with million lake mansions.

Oh well. I guess I enjoyed Lake Lanier enough over the years. We recently built our retirement home in the mountains north of Gainesville, after I spent my first 18 years living in Atlanta where my mom moved during WWII while my dad was overseas. I then spent 27 years gone from Georgia in the military myself, including 23 years overseas, and then another 9 years in Atlanta, before retiring for good. (Dang. How the heck did this happen? Last thing I remember I was ten years old, skinny dipping in the Chattahoochee.) It's good to be home. Nothing quite like the smell of Georgia pines and magnolias. Yeah I could recommend Gainesville, even though I actually liked old Gainesville better. It does have it's advantages and easy access to Atlanta, about 45 minutes. But I think I'd prefer to commute from the mountains than actually live in Gainesville itself. I've all the time to commute, I need.

Atlanta, GA
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6. Re: Interested in North Georgia

P.S. My wife is mad at me for retiring this past Monday at only 54 years of age. There were some health issues but I still get around just fine. She says it's no fair, but she still has at least 7 more years before she can retire with her full benefits package. I told her to go ahead and retire now but she still loves her work, at least for now and so we'll probably downsize to a condo or townhouse in Atlanta for now and enjoy the mountains on the weekends. I'll just have to make an effort not to look too comfortable when she leaves for work in the mornings.

USA
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7. Re: Interested in North Georgia

Dahlonega is becomming a hot residental location. Buy from a local resident rather than from a developer to get a good price.

Dawsonville is nice, relative inexpensive, but really not in the cool mountains. It is an easy drive on GA 400.

8. Re: Interested in North Georgia

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