Best Areas In GA (Near ATL) To Buy and Hold

52 Replies

Hey BP Family, I am doing some research and am looking at the GA market as a possible expansion. This is in the very early brainstorming phases of my dive into a new market but I waned to reach out and ask what cities you all recommend for Buy & Hold investments in GA, I really do not want to go to far out form Atlanta so maybe cities within 20 miles or a 20-30 min drive from the city.

Also if you have any suggestions on areas you would recommend a few flips would do well.

Thanks in advance!

@Yasmine Bisumber I moved to Atlanta from California after studying the market for 2 solid years and have been successfully closing deals of every type.  All cities are good.  It's just a matter of what your criteria is.  What research are you using?

@Chris Missling Right now I am talking to people in GA asking questions and getting an idea of what people think. I just started reaching out to actual real estate professionals to get their spin on in. I want to get an idea of both the consumers and the professionals in the state. I do know I want to stay closer to ATL so no more than 20 miles out in any direction. 

I am thinking SFH, 3 or more Bed 2 or More Bath. The typical home. I think those make the best rentals and flips, but again I am speaking from the perspective of someone in the South Florida Market. I may be wrong.

Your perspective is pretty correct.  I sourced for a major fund in Tampa in 2012 and was part of every cycle and now doing the same here in Atlanta.  It's very easy to follow their process if you have similar goals which it appears you have.

Originally posted by @Chris Missling:

Your perspective is pretty correct.  I sourced for a major fund in Tampa in 2012 and was part of every cycle and now doing the same here in Atlanta.  It's very easy to follow their process if you have similar goals which it appears you have.

  We should speak in detail, if you have some time in the coming week after the Holiday I would love to touch base. 

@Yasmine Bisumber I'm in the same boat trying to expand to Florida and have almost identical questions about Florida as well as insight into GA from a long term resident's and now investor's perspective. Send me a PM and let's exchange some information and contacts.

Happy 2016!

I am born and raised in Atlanta and can tell you the hot spots very easily.  These are all within a 20 to 30 mile radius of the inner city.

• Cherokee County - cities of Woodstock, Canton, Holly Springs, and Ballground.

• Cobb County - Mostly east Cobb and some parts of northern Cobb county in the Marietta city district.  If you go into west Cobb, stick to Kennesaw and the surrounding area.

• Forsyth County - Anywhere in this county.  It's a great one all around.

• Gwinnett County - I grew up here and there are pockets you now want to stay away from.  Stick to cities of Suwanee, Buford, Sugar Hill, and Lawrenceville.  Parts of Duluth are ok as long as it's closer to Johns Creek.

• North Fulton County - This includes Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.  Sandy Springs has more crime typically while Alpharetta and Johns Creek are family suburban areas.

• Paulding County is up and coming.  While it's slightly further out, it's becoming a hotbed for new development.

• Dekalb County is ripe for seasoned investors in my opinion.  It's got a lot of older properties that need rehabbing, plus there is more crime in that area.  I wouldn't start here as a newbie.  If you stick to properties around or close to Stone Mountain you'll be better off as Stone Mountain is a state park and much of the area around it is kept up fairly well.

• Stay away from south Fulton county.  There are too many pockets of bad neighborhoods that make it difficult to determine if your property will appreciate properly or get the right tenant / cashflow.  If you want to buy in the city of Atlanta you really need to know what you're doing and have some serious cash in the bank as I've seen many houses just sit there for quite some time.  The seasoned investors with lots of cash are the ones that are typically more successful here.

Thanks for writing this up @Dave Felts. 

Absolutely agree that the entire Forsyth County is an excellent place to buy and hold. 95% of my personal investments, including my primary are concentrated in this county. I also like all the cities you mentioned in North Fulton County. As I study the demographics in the area, I would take out Lawrenceville from your Gwinnett County list. I would also take out any homes located within the Lanier HS cluster in Sugar Hill. N. Gwinnett is the best high cluster in Gwinnett County... and buy and hold in this school cluster is a solid choice.

The only areas I would buy and hold in Gwinnett County are in the following HS clusters : Mill Creek, N. Gwinnett (Best), Peachtree Ridge, Collins which covers the following cities: Duluth, Suwanee, & Buford, and Sugar Hill. Paulding is up and coming, but one county I think is really up and coming is Oconee County which is located right next to the University of Georgia in Athens. My gut tells me that there is a lot of profitable opportunities near UGA.  

Only Oconee and Forsyth County has an unemployment rate less 5%. Johns Creek has the lowest unemployment rate as a city within Georgia state limits at 3.8%. One of the top high schools that rivals Johns Creek's flagship school Northview is Walton HS located in east Cobb. East Cobb is at least 20 years older than North Fulton and South Forsyth. 

All Good stuff for those who are in love with Georgia.

Originally posted by @Dave Felts:

I am born and raised in Atlanta and can tell you the hot spots very easily.  These are all within a 20 to 30 mile radius of the inner city.

• Cherokee County - cities of Woodstock, Canton, Holly Springs, and Ballground.

• Cobb County - Mostly east Cobb and some parts of northern Cobb county in the Marietta city district.  If you go into west Cobb, stick to Kennesaw and the surrounding area.

• Forsyth County - Anywhere in this county.  It's a great one all around.

• Gwinnett County - I grew up here and there are pockets you now want to stay away from.  Stick to cities of Suwanee, Buford, Sugar Hill, and Lawrenceville.  Parts of Duluth are ok as long as it's closer to Johns Creek.

• North Fulton County - This includes Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs.  Sandy Springs has more crime typically while Alpharetta and Johns Creek are family suburban areas.

• Paulding County is up and coming.  While it's slightly further out, it's becoming a hotbed for new development.

• Dekalb County is ripe for seasoned investors in my opinion.  It's got a lot of older properties that need rehabbing, plus there is more crime in that area.  I wouldn't start here as a newbie.  If you stick to properties around or close to Stone Mountain you'll be better off as Stone Mountain is a state park and much of the area around it is kept up fairly well.

• Stay away from south Fulton county.  There are too many pockets of bad neighborhoods that make it difficult to determine if your property will appreciate properly or get the right tenant / cashflow.  If you want to buy in the city of Atlanta you really need to know what you're doing and have some serious cash in the bank as I've seen many houses just sit there for quite some time.  The seasoned investors with lots of cash are the ones that are typically more successful here.

@James Park Thanks for your thoughts, and yes I mostly agree with your assessment.  The area around UGA and Athens in general is doing very well - great point to be made.  I do think that Lawrenceville still has potential though especially closer to the downtown area where they've been revitalizing it.  The city's been doing a lot to make that part of town more attractive over the past few years.  Plus Gwinnett Medical has expanded into some of the abandoned shopping centers to help bring some life back into the area.

@Account Closed , I really hope you are right about the future of Lawrenceville. I analyze my real estate data by school clusters. I do believe that the homes with the Lawrenceville addresses within the Peachtree Ridge HS cluster is okay near the Sugarloaf area, but I am not very optimistic with buying any Lawrenceville homes located within the Duluth HS cluster as my data shows me that this high school headed south in the future.

Originally posted by Account Closed:

@James Park Thanks for your thoughts, and yes I mostly agree with your assessment.  The area around UGA and Athens in general is doing very well - great point to be made.  I do think that Lawrenceville still has potential though especially closer to the downtown area where they've been revitalizing it.  The city's been doing a lot to make that part of town more attractive over the past few years.  Plus Gwinnett Medical has expanded into some of the abandoned shopping centers to help bring some life back into the area.

This is absolutely wonderful as I literally just posted a topic in The Buy and Sell forum of BP about help/advise about my portfolio here in Dayton. I am literally looking to do the exact same thing as the originator of this post. I live in Dayton,Ohio but we absolutely LOVE Atlanta and the surrounding areas of the ATL... We literally own 40 properties in Dayton,Ohio but want to sell everything we have here and invest all of our proceeds in GA. We DONOT want to be long distance landlords with our portfolio and want to move and continue our lives in Georgia worst case Sunny Florida not that Florida is bad but we have spent many many hours,days,and weeks researching just houses in general. The problem that we were having was where to purchase due to ATL and surrounding being so HUGE. You all have helped tremendously.I am also a real estate agent here in Dayton,Ohio and even took the time to get my license in GA as A goal I set for myself in hopes I would get even more motivated to get the wheels turning. I have yet to utilize or find a broker to work under as I am trying to figure out away to make the transition. I really look forward to speaking to some of you about ideas,knowledge and more understanding. Thanks, Frank

Hi all,

First post here! Looks like a great community here...I'm hoping to learn a lot and get started on investing this year.

I am looking for any good rental investment opportunities in the Atlanta area. I have around $300k to play with for both of these goals, but I would like to start small as I've never done any real estate investing before.

Do you have any advice for me? Since I'm very new I would also love to hear about any deals you've done and what the economics looked like. If you have any excel models I'd love to see them and understand what kind of assumptions you use when evaluating deals in the Atlanta area.

I majored in Finance at Wharton so I know a thing or two about investment evaluation, but I have no experience with real estate so I'm just looking to learn the ropes of what a good deal vs. a bad deal might look like. Thanks in advance all!

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :

If you already have a bunch of money stay away from the crap hole areas. Good money doesn't need to invest in bad areas.

With lot's of money you can take less yield for better quality areas and not have the headache.

That's my .02 

 I agree Joel, the goal is to build capital over time. For me, my beginnings are humble as an investor. That is one of the reasons I am attracted to the GA market and areas surrounding Atlanta. It seems as though my buck can be stretched a lot more than it will down here in FL.

Originally posted by @Raj Gokal :

Hi all,

First post here! Looks like a great community here...I'm hoping to learn a lot and get started on investing this year.

I am looking for any good rental investment opportunities in the Atlanta area. I have around $300k to play with for both of these goals, but I would like to start small as I've never done any real estate investing before.

Do you have any advice for me? Since I'm very new I would also love to hear about any deals you've done and what the economics looked like. If you have any excel models I'd love to see them and understand what kind of assumptions you use when evaluating deals in the Atlanta area.

I majored in Finance at Wharton so I know a thing or two about investment evaluation, but I have no experience with real estate so I'm just looking to learn the ropes of what a good deal vs. a bad deal might look like. Thanks in advance all!

 Hi Raj, although I am in the beginning stages of exploring the Atlanta market myself and can't give much insight there. I can help buy giving a few pointers on the general investor guidelines. And if you're interested in hearing more about South Florida. In any case I would love to help in anyway. Welcome to BP by the way. 

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

This is absolutely wonderful as I literally just posted a topic in The Buy and Sell forum of BP about help/advise about my portfolio here in Dayton. I am literally looking to do the exact same thing as the originator of this post. I live in Dayton,Ohio but we absolutely LOVE Atlanta and the surrounding areas of the ATL... We literally own 40 properties in Dayton,Ohio but want to sell everything we have here and invest all of our proceeds in GA. We DONOT want to be long distance landlords with our portfolio and want to move and continue our lives in Georgia worst case Sunny Florida not that Florida is bad but we have spent many many hours,days,and weeks researching just houses in general. The problem that we were having was where to purchase due to ATL and surrounding being so HUGE. You all have helped tremendously.I am also a real estate agent here in Dayton,Ohio and even took the time to get my license in GA as A goal I set for myself in hopes I would get even more motivated to get the wheels turning. I have yet to utilize or find a broker to work under as I am trying to figure out away to make the transition. I really look forward to speaking to some of you about ideas,knowledge and more understanding. Thanks, Frank

 Frank, I to am considering getting my license in GA as well. I hold one here in FL at the moment. I feel the same about the large areas surrounding Atlanta but I have an over all good feeling about GA and where it is going as far as growth and how it will affect the real estate market. I figured I better get in now before there is no more room. It's growing pretty fast from what I can see. Please feel free to reach out with questions or if you feel I can be of assistance here in FL or possibly down the road in GA. 

@Account Closed Greetings!  I've studied Atlanta for 2 years vigorously prior to moving here and was able to scale quickly with the right partners.  I can assist in every aspect and give some recommendations.  

I live in a school district that is in the top tier ..past blue ribbon winner, etc. but we just got redisricted to newly built elementary and middle schools for next yr.  I would guess the elem. will be a Title 1 school with mostly hispanics in demographics.  I have 2 questions.  1) How will a Title 1 school effect the rental ability?  That is where a pocket of 100k houses are located.  2)  Does close proximity to the schools increase rental value/demand? (<1/2 mi. away)

@Holly Saxby , what elementary, middle, and high school is current primary residence at? What middle school and elementary school will you be redistricting to? I would be able to better assist once I get this information.

thanks

Originally posted by @Holly Saxby:

I live in a school district that is in the top tier ..past blue ribbon winner, etc. but we just got redisricted to newly built elementary and middle schools for next yr.  I would guess the elem. will be a Title 1 school with mostly hispanics in demographics.  I have 2 questions.  1) How will a Title 1 school effect the rental ability?  That is where a pocket of 100k houses are located.  2)  Does close proximity to the schools increase rental value/demand? (<1/2 mi. away)