The Best Place To Live In Georgia

Are you thinking of moving to Georgia? There are many pleasant cities and towns to consider, including the Peach State's humming capital of Atlanta. Recently, A-town has been replaced in popularity by some outer-lying suburbs like Alpharetta, Canton, and Johns Creek, yet there's one that continuously outranks all competitors. A trendy Atlanta community like Alpharetta may offer space and a family-friendly urban environment. Yet, the town's cost of living is quite high at 26% above the national average, with Johns Creek being even less affordable at 30% above the U.S. average (per HomeiA). 

So, where's the best place to live in Georgia? One beautiful northeastern suburb of Atlanta is located about 8 miles from the downtown area and offers affordable housing, top-tiered schools, a spirited nightlife, and a little something for everyone. Over the years, this city has been repeatedly named a top choice for families and young professionals to reside in.

With charming historic neighborhoods like Oakhurst or Winnona Park, there's plenty to explore, including parks, museums, shops, eateries, and breweries. Full of character, keep reading to discover why "everything is greater in Decatur!"

A low cost of living is an investment

Decatur features an urban residential vibe and is very close to Atlanta but still gives you a little room to breathe. Aside from the benefits of living on the perimeter of a major city, like finding peaceful solitude or dealing with manageable traffic patterns, Decatur also comes with a lower cost of living than the national average (per PayScale). With housing expenses 12% lower than average and utility prices 16% cheaper than average, residents are typically able to become homeowners, as Decatur claims more than half of its residents own their homes compared to renting (via HomeiA).

With the town's growing popularity, the median home price has risen to around $522,000. Although housing may currently be slightly higher in Decatur than in other up-and-coming areas around Atlanta, the low cost of living presents the potential for a homeowner's property to be a lucrative investment (via Get Rich Slowly). Over time, paying more for groceries, shopping, and recreation in a city with a higher cost of living may inevitably squander your budget.

A place to grow roots

Amidst Decatur's diverse social scene and culture, many industries offer potential employment opportunities (per Curbed Atlanta) making the city ideal for working-age residents. From restaurants and breweries on College Avenue to the fashionable boutiques, cafes, and artisanal shops of Decatur Square, including the notable Kudzu Antiques on Ponce de Leon Avenue, there's plenty to consider as a local merchant. Other independent businesses present include healthcare services, wellness centers, and local government opportunities. Unsurprisingly, Decatur's job scene receives high scores based on employment rates and business growth (via Niche).

The tight-knit town also rates highly for families with children due to its excellent public schools (per Niche). Overall, there are a handful of solid, 5-star schools to choose from within the areas of North Decatur, Oakhurst, and Winnona Park. Additionally, with many schools centralized within the hub of Decatur, you can take advantage of a short commute, depending on your school district and the location of your residence.

Sprawling recreation, community, and culture

Known for its charming brick buildings and walkable streets, downtown Decatur caters to leisure, culture, and community. From local craft breweries to farmers markets, book fairs, and museums, there's certainly no shortage of fun activities to enjoy when you live in this city. Unsurprisingly, Decatur scores high marks from its community, with some noting its diversity and development as key factors that set the city apart (per Niche).

However, when you need a break from the city's invigorating nightlife, numerous parks and green spaces await (per City of Decatur). Nature lovers can explore Decatur's many parks and preserves like Hidden Cove, Oakhurst Dog Park, and Dearborn Park Wildlife Preserve. For parents, there are also plenty of playgrounds that your children will love. You can also pick fresh flowers and produce every Wednesday at the Decatur Farmers Market (per Community Farmers Markets), which is open for business from March to November. Located on Clairemont Avenue, the open-air marketplace thrives as an outlet for local vendors and sustainable food enthusiasts.