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Renter's Guide to Atlanta
Cosmopolitan and diverse, Atlanta is a major Southeastern US cultural center and business hub. It serves as the capital city of Georgia and the seat for Fulton County. Notably, Atlanta was the chosen location of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, an achievement that solidified its position as a global city.
Since its beginning, Atlanta has had a mixture of European and African American culture, with recent contributions from Latin American and Asian heritage. The city is also remarkably modern for being located in one of the original 13 colonies. Atlanta was founded around 1847 but was razed during the Civil War, losing many of its antebellum landmarks in the process. The city had to rebuild itself from the ground up and grew into a large municipality.
Atlanta is the largest city in Georgia and among the largest metropolitan areas in the entire Southeastern United States. Atlanta has about half the population of Indianapolis and is roughly equal in population to Colorado Springs. Chicago is approximately six times larger than Atlanta.
Atlanta is located 150 miles from Augusta and 250 miles from Savannah. Birmingham, AL is 150 miles away from Atlanta and Miami lies about 675 miles away. Atlanta and New Orleans are separated by a distance of 475 miles.
The weather in Atlanta is usually hot and humid and its climate is subtropical. Summer temperatures average 80ºF with highs reaching the 90s. In winter, temperatures hover around 44ºF, although Atlanta does see temperatures drop below freezing about 45 days every year.
The seasons are distinct in Atlanta, with winter occurring from December to January, spring from March to May, summer is comprised of June through August, and autumn is from September to November. Rain is plentiful and distributed pretty evenly throughout all 12 months. Snowfall typically doesn’t exceed 2.5 inches in a year. Although the city is too far inland to face many problems from hurricanes, tornadoes are a frequent danger.
Atlanta, GA Demographics
- Total Population465,230
Female 228,038Male 237,192
- Median Age33.5
Cost of Living in Atlanta, GA
The MARTA system is the most popular form of public transportation in Atlanta and consists of a bus/rail combination. A regular adult fare is $2.50, but seniors and the disabled pay $1.00. Up to two children can ride free with a paying adult, provided the kids are less than 46 inches tall. A 30-day unlimited MARTA pass costs $95, but is reduced to $68.50 for students.
Both Yellow Cab Company and the Atlanta Checker Cab Company operate in Atlanta, making it simple to find a taxi. The average commute time is 30 minutes, a bit longer than the national average of 26 minutes.
A three-course meal for two at a mid-priced restaurant runs from $45 to $70. The average price of a regular cappuccino is $3.72.
A 915-square-foot apartment in Atlanta requires $161 per month on average for utilities such as electricity, heating, water, and garbage. This is more than the US average of $147.
Average Rent in Atlanta, GA
- Atlanta, GA Average Rental Price, December 2019 $1,477 /mo
Atlanta, GA Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,00012%
Atlanta, GA Rent Trends
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Living in Atlanta
Just like anywhere else in the world, there are pros and cons to living in Atlanta as well. Some of the benefits of living in Atlanta include its abundance of gorgeous parks and its proximity to wilderness activities, like the Smoky Mountains and Appalachian Trail. Although the summer heat can be intense, many appreciate the low snowfall and balmy winters.
On the other hand, Atlanta traffic is often dense and the city has problems with smog and air pollution. Navigating the city can be difficult and is exacerbated by the many streets with variations of the name “Peachtree.”
Atlanta has a lot to offer for new graduates and young adults. In 2010, Forbes ranked the city as the best place in the South for young professionals. More recently, MarketWatch.com awarded Atlanta the 2014 top spot for best cities for recent college graduates. Additionally, Atlanta was announced as the second best US city for millennials in 2015 by Money.com, based on the city’s economic opportunities and many fun attractions.
Things to do in Atlanta
Atlanta is full of things to do. For example, watching the Atlanta Falcons play is always fun. Other things to do with kids are catching an Atlanta Braves game or watching the city’s NBA team, the Atlanta Hawks, play at Philips Arena.
Attractions & points of interest include The World of Coke, but the Atlanta Zoo, Six Flags Theme Park, and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens also offer plenty of fun things to do. Still, for family weekends, visiting the Georgia Aquarium is arguably one of the top things to do. Built in 2005, the facility features over 11,000 aquatic species.
You can also go beneath the earth and escape the heat while shopping in Underground Atlanta. Buckhead, an upscale and trendy neighborhood, features great boutique shopping opportunities, and art devotees will love the Little 5 Points area with its craft and clothing stores. It’s no wonder that in 2014 Atlanta was named as the number one city for artists in the US.
Couples can catch a concert at The Tabernacle, an over 100-year-old venue. For a more intimate setting, the Starlight Drive-In Theatre is a great place to spend a romantic evening with your significant other. If you’re looking for some free things to do in Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is a very popular destination, and the city center is home to Piedmont Park—Atlanta’s most popular park. Other walking and dog parks include Lullwater, Grant, and Chastain Parks. Tours of the Georgia State Capital and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site are also accessible free of charge.
Atlanta history and culture is represented by The Center for Civil and Human Rights. For visual arts, the High Museum of Art is a great choice. Also, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra provides experiences for all music lovers.
Another music event is the annual Atlanta Jazz Festival. Dragon Con, aimed towards comic and games enthusiasts, is also held yearly.
Employment & Economy
The transportation and service industries have a strong presence in Atlanta. Several food and beverage companies, like Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, and Coca-Cola, operate their headquarters in the city. Additionally, Home Depot and Delta Airlines are based in Atlanta. AT&T is also a top employer in the Atlanta metro.
Besides the many university jobs available, one of the city’s major employers is the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport. There are numerous opportunities for pilots, mechanics, security, and support staff at ATL.
Atlanta, GA Households
- Total Number of Households192,929
Family 81,820Non-family 111,109
Children 40,418No Children 152,511
- Average People Per Household2.24
- Median Household Income$51,701
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,145
Top Colleges in Atlanta
The top colleges in Atlanta are Georgia Tech, known for an outstanding engineering program, and Emory University and its school of medicine. The city is also home to Georgia State University, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Morehouse College.
Atlanta, GA Education Statistics
- No High School2%
- Some High School28%
- Some College19%
- Associate Degree5%
- Bachelor Degree27%
- Graduate Degree19%
Tips for Renting in Atlanta
Renters moving to Atlanta should be aware that renters’ rights in GA include the return of a security deposit no later than one month from moving out. However, there is no set limit on the amount that a landlord may charge as a security deposit.
Although Georgia has no specific laws regarding mold damage to apartments, this may fall under the landlord’s legal responsibility to maintain a habitable dwelling.
Finally, Atlanta has no rent-controlled apartments, but reasonably-priced dwellings are still available. Be careful, however, because Georgia law allows a landlord to initiate eviction proceedings after a single missed payment in a 12-month period.
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