If you are looking for examplary customer service, you have come to the right place. I strive to focus on each and every customer's needs, providing honest and dependable advice and knowledge to each client. As a member of the CDPE and the Atlanta Board of Realtors, I have the professional knowledge to stay up to date with the trends in the Atlanta real estate market. Since most people shopping for homes in Atlanta are looking for their family's next primary home, it is very important to me that we find a home that will keep your family happy for years to come. With nearly a decade of experience in this area, I have the unique insight into the Atlanta housing market that you are looking for in a real estate agent. My website has up to date listings of the homes for sale in a number of great neighborhoods. Browse this website – or better yet, visit Atlanta – and get an idea of the areas that might be a good fit for your family. Once you have narrowed down your options, contact me by phone or email and I would be happy to help you get better acquainted with Atlanta's great suburban communities.

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If you are looking for examplary customer service, you have come to the right place. I strive to focus on each and every customer's needs, providing honest and dependable advice and knowledge to each client. As a member of the CDPE and the Atlanta Board of Realtors, I have the professional knowledge to stay up to date with the trends in the Atlanta real estate market. Since most people shopping for homes in Atlanta are looking for their family's next primary home, it is very important to me that we find a home that will keep your family happy for years to come. With nearly a decade of experience in this area, I have the unique insight into the Atlanta housing market that you are looking for in a real estate agent.

My website has up to date listings of the homes for sale in a number of great neighborhoods. Browse this website – or better yet, visit Atlanta – and get an idea of the areas that might be a good fit for your family. Once you have narrowed down your options, contact me by phone or email and I would be happy to help you get better acquainted with Atlanta's great suburban communities.

Featured Properties

  • Amy Johnson
    Direct: 770-557-5029 | Fax: 844-733-7288
  • Amy Johnson

I personally have been in the real estate/mortgage industry for 12 years, and can say that I have never been more pleased with anyone more than Amy Johnson. My husband and I chose Amy for our personal home buying experie Read More

Ms. Amy Johnson is a true professional. If she told you she was going to do something, it was done. She was honest and accurate on the value of our home. Because of her market knowledge, we immediately got traffic on our Read More

I can't say enough about Amy Johnson. My family and I started our journey last year in October. We just purchased our 1st home and we couldn't have asked for a more patient and honest realtor. We never were rushed and di Read More

Amy is a great realtor! She has your best interest! She doesn't just sale to make a sale she's totally honest with you! Definitely using her again for my next purchase! Read More

As a first time home buyer I needed a realtor who could guide me through the home buying process with ease, confidence, and care. Amy did all of these things and more. She listened to my expectations for a home and guide Read More

Before we were ready to purchase, Amy did an amazing job finding a rental home for us. We were losing hope and on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend she called us with a home that finally seemed to fit what we wanted. Read More

Amy is awesome. My wife and I are new to the area and Amy treated us like a family. She took us out and showed us multiple homes until we found one that was perfect for our needs. She is very wise in negotiation and does Read More

Memorial Day 2019 in Mableton, GA

Sunday, May 26 The Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre presents Morris Day & the Time along with Sheila E! This is a throwback you don’t want to miss. Get your tickets early.

Venue located at:
5239 Floyd Road
Mableton, GA, 30126

Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta

Atlanta Festivals

There’s nothing like living in a community that has everything you need. Take Midtown Atlanta, for instance.

A bustling metropolitan area, Midtown Atlanta – the city’s second largest business district – offers something for everyone. There are restaurants, theaters, bars, cultural attractions, and parks. Its central location makes it easily accessible through the MARTA system as well as by car, making Midtown Atlanta a convenient recreation destination for everyone in the city.

Here are some things you simply have to experience in Midtown:

Trying different cuisines

From casual to upscale fine-dining places, restaurants serving all kinds of cuisine abound in Midtown Atlanta. Veni Vidi Vici is a well-known Italian restaurant, while nearby Nan serves gourmet Thai food. Bacchanalia’s Southern menu, boasting 8-to-10 course meals, is also a hit among the dinner-jacket crowd.

Casual diners will enjoy making their own stir-fry in Chow Baby, or having a Mexican fiesta at Nuevo Laredo Cantino. There’s also the iconic drive-in restaurant, The Varsity, which has been dishing out delicious comfort food since 1928.

Walking the Red Carpet at Fox Theater

Walk in the footsteps of famous celebrities on the red carpet of Fox Theater on Peachtree Street. A National Historic Landmark, the legendary Fox Theater opened in 1929 and has since been the go-to place for film in Midtown Atlanta. It was saved from demolition in the 1970s and is now a popular venue for live shows and productions, movies, and even weddings and parties.

Going fishing

Yes, you can actually go fishing right in the heart of Midtown. Piedmont Park, one of Atlanta’s historical landmarks, is a 189-acre park that houses tennis facilities, an Aquatic Center, picnic and grilling grounds, and, yes, a lake. Lake Clara Meer is where you can actually go fishing for freshwater bream, catfish, large-mouth bass, and more. Remember to bring your State of Georgia fishing license.

Appreciating the arts

One of the best ways to experience Atlanta’s famous art scene is by visiting Midtown’s High Museum of Art. In it hang the works of masters like Monet, Tiepolo and Ernst, along with thousands of other pieces that include American, European, and African art, photographs, and modern artworks.

Shopping the day away

Upscale Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza in Buckhead are certainly the hallmarks of luxury shopping in Atlanta. If you’re in the mood for a more eclectic mix, however, Midtown’s Atlantic Station is the place to be. Its 50 shops include popular names like H&M, GAP, Dillards, Target and DSW. On the other hand, shopping at the Atlantic Station is a completely different experience with its streetscape setting complete with sidewalk cafes, a central park, and the TWELVE Hotel.

 Brushing up on your Shakespeare

The New American Shakespeare Tavern is the only Shakespeare Tavern in the country. It is the home of the American Shakespeare Society, which stages the great master’s work with an “Original Practice” approach. This means each production is consistent with the way the play would have been staged in Shakespeare’s  time: using, among others, pronunciation, costumes, and instruments as done in the original productions. Bolstering its literary and theatrical roots, the vibe in the Tavern is post-show casual, with cafe-style food served along with Irish ales and brews.

The Benefits of Buying Distressed Property

distressed properties in AtlantaThe Great Recession of the late 2000s led to a large number of distressed properties for sale. While the volume has gone down with the steady recovery of the housing market, many are still available for purchase. And given the dynamics of real estate, there will always be a distressed home for sale somewhere, regardless of the economy’s state. Talk about a silver lining.

Buying a distressed home certainly comes with a few risks, the most notable of which is the amount of work and money that may be needed to make it move-in ready.

In the hands of the right buyer, however, these properties offer great opportunities for profit, with benefits that you can’t get from a regular real estate transaction.

Lower prices

Many distressed homes come at a much lower price than regular properties for sale, often below market value. It may also be easier to negotiate aa price down with sellers – whether homeowners or banks – as they are usually eager to have the property taken off their hands.

Low interest rates

Fixed-mortgage interest rates are still at their lowest, historically. With the low mortgage for a distressed home and a low interest rate, your savings can build up over the years as your equity increases.

High profit potential

With the recent real estate market rebound, home prices have also seen an impressive increase. In major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, home prices are seen to continue rising over the next few years. With the right repairs and maintenance, a distressed home bought at a steal today could be worth much more than its purchase value in a few years.

Investment opportunities

Owning a distressed home offers great investment opportunities. As discussed above, you can “flip” it, that is, renovate it to move-in-ready condition then sell it for a profit.

You can also rent it out. Rentals have become more in-demand lately, partly because lenders have become more stringent with home loan requirements.

The low purchase costs of distressed homes make them more viable for a secondary or rental property investment.

What to watch out for

Despite the financial benefits you can get from buying a distressed property, you cannot disregard the warnings. Here are some considerations you must not overlook:

  • Make sure you know how much is involved in fixing up or renovating a distressed property. Have a general contractor look it over and give you an accurate assessment, so there are no surprise expenses later on. Your real estate agent can refer you to a contractor if you don’t know one personally. Remember to keep costs within your budget.
  • Buy only into an area with growth potential. If most homes in a location are distressed, it might take a longer time for that market to recover.
  • Make sure you have the right financing. Getting a mortgage for a distressed property may be more complicated as not all lenders offer it.
  • Look into the property’s paperwork. It’s not unusual for one to have a double mortgage, so tracing its ownership could be complicated.

Make sure that you are aware of any lien attached to a property before purchasing it. Your real estate agent can provide valuable assistance in this matter.

Save the Dates for Atlanta’s Best Summer Ever

Atlanta Festivals

Summers in Atlanta are hot, hot, hot! Temperatures soar to almost 90 degrees in the afternoon, and offer just a little respite at night. It is the perfect season for outdoor activities and family fun.

This year’s summer promises to sizzle even more with these exciting events.

Atlanta Summer Beer Fest

There are beer festivals in Atlanta throughout the year, but the biggest ones are the Summer and Winter Beer Fests. This year’s Summer Beer Fest is tentatively scheduled on June 18th. You can expect a great time just “helping Atlanta celebrate beer,” with more than a hundred beers from local and national breweries. Adding to the fun are live musical performances, food booths, and a dance party.

Tunes from the Tombs

Held at Historic Oakland Cemetery, this annual music festival features local bands playing various genres of music while standing amidst the cemetery’s tombs, statues, mausoleums, and gardens. Drinks and food trucks are available to lift spirits even higher. This year’s event is scheduled on June 18th.

Virginia-Highland Summerfest

An event for the entire family, Virginia-Highland Summerfest is loaded with food, parades, movies, an artist market, live musical performances, and a 5k Road Race for both kids and adults. Children get their own dose of fun with Kidsfest, where they can enjoy various games and activities. This two-day event kicks off on June 4th.

Fourth of July – at the Malls

There are Fourth of July celebrations all over Atlanta, but if you’re a shopaholic, you’ll love Fourth of July – at the malls.

Over at Lenox Square Mall, families are treated to live music, all kinds of food, and kids’ activities starting at 6 p.m. Fireworks light up at 9:40 p.m.

The Mall of Georgia also hosts its own Fabulous Fourth with live musical performances, family activities, a free movie, and fireworks at dusk. The festivities start at 5 p.m.

Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

What better way to beat the heat than an ice cream feast? This July festival is held at Piedmont Park. Scoop up some ice cream, available in a wide range of flavors, from local and national makers. This festival also has live music as well as fitness activities to burn the calories away.

Atlanta Back 2 School Food Festival

Held annually by the non-profit Inside Out Center, this event raises funds through donations to provide needy children with school supplies. It is an alcohol-free family occasion chock-full of kid-friendly activities, complete with inflatables, a climbing wall, and water slides. For the grown-ups, there’s live music, clothing booths, and information on health, the arts and after-school programs. The event takes place July 30th.

Decatur BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival

Slated on August 20th, this annual event plays blues and bluegrass music for six solid hours, while giving you your fill of classic southern BBQ and beer from Atlanta favorites. The festival also has a kids’ zone, so you can bring the entire family.

Cool Dads Rock Soap Derby

Staged by the non-profit Cool Dads Rock, this event is the perfect father-and-child activity. It’s a friendly competition where teams – each made up of a father and his kid – design, build, and race their own soapbox. On the sidelines, there are food trucks and live music. This year, it will be held on August 6th at Hurt Park, its perennial venue.

Atlanta’s Best Colleges and Universities

University of Georgia

Atlanta residents have the advantage of having some of the country’s top universities and colleges within or near the city’s borders. This gives them opportunities for quality higher education at a lower cost. Not only do the locals have to pay less as in-state or resident students; but they may also choose to live at home while studying, and avoid high dorm or apartment rentals.

Tthree schools in or near Atlanta have made it to the 2015 Forbes list of the top 150 institutions in the country, as well as to many industry experts’ lists of the best universities and colleges in Georgia.

Here are the top higher-learning schools in Atlanta:

Emory University

Founded in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, Emory College became Emory University in 1915, thanks mainly to the contributions of The Coca-Cola Company founders, who were also graduates of the school.

Today, Emory University is ranked 21st in the U.S. News and World Report’s top 100 U.S. institutions for 2016, retaining the spot it held the previous year.

Niche.com, a website that features school reviews and rankings, among other information, also named Emory University the best college in Georgia for 2016. Niche also ranked the university 32nd in its 2016 Best Colleges Ranking.

Emory prides itself on annually generating more than $572 million in research funding. The university is also proud of its traditional methods of teaching.

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is the first state-supported university in the country. Established in 1801, it is now under the jurisdiction of the University System of Georgia along with 29 other institutions.

It is a land-grant and sea-grant university that offers its undergraduate and post-graduate students degrees encompassing a  wide range of disciplines. Outside campus, it also plays an active role in the economic, social, and community development of the state.
While the main campus is located in Athens (just a little over an hour from Atlanta), it also has a presence in Buckhead, Atlanta with the Terry College of Business.

For 2016, the University of Georgia has earned the following rankings:

  • 61st in the U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 National Universities
  • 21st in the U.S. News and World Report’s Top Public Schools (National Universities)
  • 41st in Niche’s Best Colleges in America ranking
  • 3rd in Niche’s Best Colleges in Georgia ranking

Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech was founded in 1885, and as stated in the school’s website, this “signaled the beginning of the transformation of the agrarian South to an industrial economy.”

As a technological university, Georgia Tech offers undergraduate and graduate programs in such disciplines as Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics, and the Sciences.

The university’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and Scheller College of Business offer degrees in other fields such as Economics, International Affairs, Literature and Business Administration.

Georgia Tech’s 2016 rankings include:

  • 36th in the U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 National Universities
  • 7th in the U.S. News and World Report’s Top Public Schools (National Universities)
  • 35th in Niche’s Best Colleges in America ranking
  • 2nd in Niche’s Best Colleges in Georgia ranking

More Colleges and Universities

Other top-ranked higher-education institutions in Atlanta include:

  • Georgia State University
  • Oglethorpe University
  • Clark Atlanta University

The Best Careers to Pursue in the Gate City of the South

Careers in Gate City of The South

Atlanta today is one of the country’s major business hubs, along with other large metropolitan areas such as Dallas, New York, and Houston.

Forbes Magazine ranked Atlanta 5th in its 2015 list of the Best Places for Business and Careers. In its profile of Atlanta, Forbes cites, among other factors: the impressive number of top corporations that keep their headquarters in the city, Atlanta’s diverse culture, and the presence of several higher-education institutions.

What, then, are the best career choices for you in the historic Gate City?

The answer mostly boils down to personal preference. But if you want to know which fields have great potential career growth and opportunities, an excellent reference is the joint Atlanta Regional Commission and Bureau of Labor Statistics. It released a list of job fields with the highest projected growth and salary rates in Atlanta by the year 2040.

Here are some of the top entries on that list:


With the country’s aging population, healthcare fields are expected to grow by 103.6% in 2040.

Currently, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at SRMC leads the list of the top 25 large workplaces in Atlanta, as surveyed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC). The study measures employees’ satisfaction, and notes that these Centers’ employees generally feel that they have a stake in the company’s success.

There are seven other healthcare-related companies in the AJC list, implying that healthcare employees are generally satisfied with their careers.


Second on the list is Education, including training, teaching, and library services. The continuous rise of the city’s population, ensures that the education sector remains one of the top priorities.

Atlanta is known for its highly rated schools. It is also home to prestigious higher-learning institutions like Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Social Services

Community and non-profit services cover substance abuse counseling, marriage therapy, rehabilitation counseling, child, family and healthcare social workers, and health educators.

Even more impressive, this field is also among the 22 highest-paying jobs in the city.


On the average, legal jobs pay the highest salaries among all employment fields and are expected to continue to do so. Aside from lawyers and judges, legal workers include paralegals, title examiners, abstractors and searchers, and legal support workers.


Not surprisingly, management jobs come second to legal jobs in the income scale. With the growing number of Fortune 1000 companies and large and small businesses in Atlanta, management jobs will continue to increase. These include top executive positions as well as managers and directors in various sectors such as financial, IT, human resources, construction, and food service.


Constituting a major job growth sector, tech jobs are the third-highest paying jobs in the city. These jobs include positions in computer and IT research and analysis, computer programming, software development, and computer user support.

Included in this industry are occupations in Architecture and Engineering; specifically, positions in the biomedical, marine, and health and safety engineering fields.

Life, Physical, and Social Science

Animal scientists, food scientists and technologists, microbiologists, and conservation scientists are part of this growing industry. It is the sixth-fastest growing industry, as well as the fourth highest-paying in Atlanta.

Atlanta’s One-of-a-Kind Attractions

attractions in Atlatan, GAAtlanta is a booming metropolis with excellent economic prospects. At the same time, it is a great place for family living, with wide open green spaces, highly rated schools, and relaxed Southern culture.

Even more interesting, the city hosts one-of-a-kind attractions that are equally fun and educational. Here are some of them:

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

See life-size replicas of the world’s largest dinosaurs, marvel at the stars in the planetarium, or get inside a virtual red oak tree. You can experience all these and more at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Surrounded by the 65-acre Fernbank Forest, the museum offers everyone the chance to explore and discover the natural world in a fun and fascinating way.

Zoo Atlanta

If you adore giant pandas, you’re in for a treat. The only pair of cubs born in the United States live in Zoo Atlanta, along with a few other pandas.

These adorable animals are not the Zoo’s only attractions, however. The “African savanna” sprawls over a five-acre spread of land that has become the habitat of giraffe, lions, meerkats, zebras, rhinos and other amazing creatures. The Zoo is also well-known for its care and study of gorillas. Five groups of these gentle apes also live in the zoo.

Younger kids will particularly enjoy the petting zoo, interactive wildlife shows, and the Zoo train.

MLK Historic Site

Atlanta has a reputation for ethnic diversity mainly because of  the legacy of one of its greatest heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s no wonder, then, that MLK landmarks are everywhere in the city. You and your kids can learn more about the life and work of Dr. King as well as the history of the Civil Rights Movement at the 35-acre Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site. From downtown to midtown Atlanta, you will find other historic attractions such as Dr. King’s gravesite, Fire Station No. 6 (the oldest standing fire station in Atlanta) and Ebenezer Baptist Church (where Dr. King served as co-pastor), as well as present-day monuments.

Inside CNN Studio Tour

Enter the fascinating world of broadcast news through the Inside CNN Studio Tour, a 50-minute guided walking tour of CNN’s global headquarters. In the tour, you will get to visit the newsroom and control room, see how the weather map and teleprompter work, and experience the action in Studio 7, CNN’s largest studio.

The Georgia Aquarium

Using more than 10 million gallons of water, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the world’s largest. It is home to 500 animal species distributed over the 60-plus habitats created within the complex. Imagine getting the rare chance to see Beluga whales and other deep sea creatures up close without needing a diving license. If you prefer smaller animals, you can have a fun encounter with dolphins, penguins and sea otters. You’ll also get the opportunity to scuba dive or swim in the aquarium.

Historic Oakland Cemetery

If you want to relive Atlanta’s entire history in one place, visit Historic Oakland Cemetery. Founded in 1850, Oakland is the final resting place of Atlanta’s earliest settlers, Civil War soldiers, industrial pioneers, and Civil Rights heroes. It is also a stunning showcase of 19th-century garden cemeteries, featuring a wealth of historic art and architecture. But that’s not all. With its brick-laden paths, old trees, flowers and shrubs, Oakland is also one of Atlanta’s most famous parks and protected green spaces.

How to take advantage of Atlanta’s economic and housing market trends in 2016

Atlanta housing market trendAll indications point to a very healthy Atlanta housing market for 2016 and beyond.

The biggest driving factor for growth in the housing sector is the city’s expanding economy, which has spurred job growth.

Here are some highlights of the city’s economic situation:

  • There has been significant expansion in the professional and business services sector.
  • National businesses have been relocating to the city.
  • Unemployment rate dropped to 5% in 2015, the city’s lowest in 10 years.
  • Falling gas prices are increasing residents’ buying power without negatively affecting the economy.
  • Metro Atlanta’s median household income is now 10% higher than the national average.
  • More workers from other states have been coming to Atlanta for job opportunities.
  • One-third of Atlanta’s population are millennials, higher than the national average of 1/4 of the population.
  • With a younger and highly qualified workforce, more businesses are likely to transfer to or open in the city.

The following characterize Atlanta’s housing market at present:

  • Home prices have been steadily increasing as demand from a growing workforce increases.
  • Despite rising prices, housing costs remain affordable. Median home price is 1.4 times more than median income, which is lower than the national average of 1.7 times more than the median income.
  • High demand has led to reduced inventory, particularly in foreclosed properties, but improvements in construction will improve supply.
  • Home price increase will continue but at a slower rate, thanks to new construction.
  • In the longer term, demand for housing is seen to continue rising as the city’s population and income continue to grow. This could lead to above-average appreciation of home prices.

How can you take advantage of the current favorable conditions in Atlanta’s housing market? Here are some tips to consider:

Sell your home

Now would be a great time to sell while demand is high. Essentially, Atlanta has become a seller’s market, but it’s predicted to eventually balance out as supply catches up with demand.

With home prices expected to continue rising, more people are eager to buy now while costs are still relatively lower. You can expect excellent offers for your home.

Buy a home

With Atlanta’s rosy economic prospects, making the city your home may just be one of the best decisions you can make in life. While home prices are currently increasing, keep in mind that they are likely to rise even more in the coming months. You will want to invest in an Atlanta home now while home affordability rates are still lower than the national average.

In particular, consider buying in Metro Atlanta suburbs like Marietta, Woodstock, Kennesaw and Douglasville where the prices are generally lower than downtown Atlanta, but the quality of life is remarkably high.

Invest in a rental property

With more millennials and fresh graduates coming to Atlanta for employment, rental properties are proving to be highly profitable investments. Many in this age group are looking to rent rather than buy as they still have not saved enough for a down payment. Additionally, the convenience and non-permanence of renting are major draws for millennials.

Rental prices in Atlanta are at least 50% more than mortgage payments, giving rental properties an excellent profit potential.

5 things to remember before moving to a new home

Moving to your new home

Moving to a new home can be very exciting. However, it can also be a highly stressful experience, particularly without the right preparations.

To minimize the chaos and confusion that often come with moving, it’s best to plan weeks in advance. Here are 5 things to remember before moving day.

Prepare the old home

If you’re renting an apartment or a home, check the terms and conditions of your lease, particularly the guidelines on moving out. Remember that your landlord will be doing a final inspection of the property and will be watching out for areas that need fixing.

Additionally, find out who’s responsible for cleaning up the place at the end of the lease. If you want to get your deposit intact, you might want to arrange for the necessary repairs and clean-up before the landlord’s inspection.

If you’re leaving a home that you owned, make sure to notify all utility companies about the move and give them a date on when to discontinue services. Provide your new address where they can send your bills and other mail.

Sort and pack your belongings

Ideally, you should start packing no later than three weeks before the move.

Moving out presents the best time to sort out your belongings and determine which ones to keep and which ones to discard. Have separate containers for “must keep” and “must discard” items.

You should also consider how to dispose of unwanted stuff.  You might want to donate them to charity, give them away to friends, or hold a garage sale.

Be as organized as possible in packing your belongings. Label all boxes with their content and where they should go in your new home.

Prepare your new home

One of the most important things to remember is to change your utilities services, including electricity, gas, water, telephone and internet providers. If possible, arrange for these to be turned on before you move in.

Below is a list of other things to do to prepare your new home.

  • Change all the locks to ensure only you and people you know have the keys.
  • Clean up the house, whether by yourself or through a cleaning service.
  • Install new switches, outlets, air vent covers and other devices.
  • Get the heating and cooling systems inspected and serviced.
  • If needed, have the walls and ceilings painted.
  • Organize closet spaces. You might want to add shelves, racks, hooks and others.

Arrange for a moving company or transportation

Determine how you will do the move. You might simply ask for help from friends, or you might want to hire a moving company.

If you’re using a professional moving service, make sure you understand all their policies and procedures in advance. Additionally, get the necessary parking permits for the moving vehicles.

Set aside essentials for moving day

You will want to have certain supplies at hand on the day of your move. These include cleaning supplies, personal care products like toothbrushes, bath soaps and towels, toilet paper and similar items.

You may also want to set aside a few cooking utensils as well as disposable paper plates, cups, etc. Make sure you can easily find, unpack and use these items during your first few days in your new home.

Top 10 reasons to buy a home in Atlanta

autumn creekFrom 2011 to 2015, Atlanta topped Penske Truck Rentals’ list of “Top Moving Destinations” in the country. Clearly, more than a few people have come to the conclusion that this vibrant city is a great place to live and work.

Still on the fence? In no particular order, here are the top ten reasons why you should buy a home in Atlanta:

Affordable housing

Compared to other major cities in the country, housing costs in Atlanta are very affordable. Home prices have been climbing since 2010, but at a slow and steady pace, keeping them within reach of many homebuyers and investors.

Homes in Atlanta are an interesting combination of historical and modern properties, and they come in a wide range of prices. This gives you plenty of options and opportunities to find the home of your dreams.

High rental returns

Atlanta offers high returns on rentals. In 2014, rental prices were more than 150% of mortgage payments, making rental properties highly viable investments.

Healthy job market

Atlanta is the headquarters of 16 Fortune 500 companies, and 27 Fortune 1000 companies. It is also the home of many other corporations and a wide range of businesses.

A 2014 study by Marketwatch.com showed Atlanta as the top city for new graduates, with an average salary for fresh graduates that was 21% higher than the national average.

Steady growth

Metro Atlanta is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Its population currently stands at more than 5 million, and is expected to continue growing until 2025. This means greater demand for housing, and consequently, a significant increase in home values.

Numerous open spaces

Atlanta is an ideal place to live and raise a family, with 343 parks, gardens, nature preserves and other open areas. Communities boast pools, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds and golf courses.

Excellent schools

Atlanta has plenty of private and public schools, many of which consistently get high rankings in surveys and studies. It is also the home of prestigious Georgia State University and many other colleges, giving residents opportunities for affordable, top-notch higher education.

Warmer weather

Atlanta has a mild climate, with an annual average of 217 sunny days and zero inches of snow. Generally pleasant weather all-year-round allows plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun and adventure.

Plenty of live performances

Theater and music enthusiasts are regularly treated to Broadway shows and other stage productions as well as live performances by popular music artists and free concerts in venues like The Fox Theater, Atlantic Civic Center and Chastain Park Amphitheater.

Diverse attractions and events

There’s no lack of things to do in Atlanta. Annual events and festivals like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Dragon Con and the Summer Shade Festival bring families out for a day of fun.

Popular attractions like the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Atlanta Zoo and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History are always great places to visit. And as a baseball-loving city, a Braves game at Turner Field is a major treat.

Vibrant culture

Atlanta is well-known for its arts and culture scene. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art bring classical music and the fine arts closer to residents’ consciousness. Families are encouraged to engage in art activities through programs like CREATE ATL.

Finally, the lifestyle in Atlanta is unmistakably Southern. People are typically hospitable and polite, and families and communities close-knit. The timeless graciousness of the South lives on here, and that could be the best reason yet to buy a home in Atlanta.