Athens is a vibrant, moderately-sized city, but if you plan to move here, these are 9 things to know before moving to Athens.Athens is a vibrant, moderately-sized city, but if you plan to move here, these are 9 things to know before moving to Athens.Local Guide

9 Things to Know Before Moving to Athens, GA

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Living in Athens, Georgia: A Great Place to Live

In Northeast Georgia, you’ll find a vibrant, moderately-sized city called Athens with a population of around 210,000. It’s a cultural hub that provides plenty to see and do and is less than 100 miles away from Atlanta, the state's capital. Athens is a place with rich history, full of iconic antebellum architecture and preserved historic buildings. You can just feel this city’s Southern charm and energy when you walk through its streets. Whether you’re looking for somewhere exciting to live or explore, Athens will provide plenty of refreshment for your curiosity. But if you plan to move to Athens, these are 9 things to know before moving to Athens.

1. It’s a College Town

Athens is the site of the main campus of the University of Georgia and Athens Technical College. Therefore, you can expect all the excitement of a college town here. You will notice that during the academic year, there will be more traffic and a higher local population. There will also be more public events held between August and May compared to the winter and summer months. You will see businesses and housing complexes that cater to college students, as well as plenty of late-night hangouts to keep up with the student lifestyle.

2. The Housing Market is Healthy

According to real estate experts, Athens currently offers a healthy balance of real estate selection. While other markets are more competitive, Athens has maintained a reasonable inventory and affordable prices. This helps buyers not get taken advantage of by a seller’s market. Even in 2020, Athens ranked among WalletHub’s top 100 list of “Best Real-Estate Markets”.

3. Its Arts Scene is on Point

Athens isn’t just known for its rich history, but it’s also known for its influential arts scene. The connection to the University of Georgia only strengthens the city’s arts opportunities. For instance, theGeorgia Museum of Art is on the University of Georgia’s main campus, offering an evolving collection of new exhibits.

4. The Local Economy is Strong

While a city’s fun factor is a strong point, you need to know if you can find a job to live in the area. Thankfully, Athens has one of the strongest economies in Georgia. In January 2021, Athens had an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent — far lower than the national average. The city also continues to rank high among other small cities in terms of job stability and economic performance, even making The Milken Institute’s top 10 list of Best-Performing Small Cities.

5. Don’t Expect Much Snow

Athens is in the south, so expect hot, humid summers. Winters are short and typically rainy. You’ll rarely see snow, but this is also good for people who don’t like to drive on snow or deal with the frequent school closures that occur in the central United States due to unpredictable winters. June, July, and August are the hottest months when temps above 90 degrees are common. So, come prepared to invest in a good air conditioner unit and perhaps an above-ground swimming pool. Overall, if you don’t like to be cold, this is an excellent place to call home.

6. You’ll be Surrounded by Natural Beauty

Athens’s Parks and Recreation Department makes sure that there are plenty of green spots in the city to maintain the area’s natural beauty. Feel free to come and enjoy a book or walk your dog in the many beautiful parks on your time off. Also, places like theState Botanical Garden of Georgia attracts thousands of visitors annually for its pristinely preserved environments where native plants and animals thrive.

7. There Is An Outstanding Music Scene

Athens has been a launching pad for bands to make a name for themselves. It has a rich history in pop, alternative rock, new wave, and other music trends. In fact, R.E.M. started in this city and later became internationally famous. You’ll see Athens’s love for music everywhere, from the local bar with a live acoustic duo to big band musical performances that are held around the year.

8. The Cost of Living is Average

The cost of living index in Athens is 100.6, which makes it only a fragment of a percentage higher than the U.S. average. If you need to relocate and buy a home, you can have peace of mind that you won’t be given too much “sticker shock” at the prices. The average cost of detached residential units in Athens is $249,298, while condos and other attached units average $157,195. On top of this, home prices in the city have appreciated by 10% over the past 10 years.

9. The Food is Great

Even if you like to cook at home, going out to eat and drink is a treat that makes the city life more attractive. Thankfully, Athens excels in this area, offering many highly-rated restaurants, entertainment venues, and bars to keep responsible adults busy. In fact, Athens made the 2018 list of “South’s Best Food City” in the popular Southern Living magazine. But you won’t just find delicious Southern comfort food, but you’ll find all types of cuisine that originate from around the world, including Mexican, Thai, New American farm to table, and more.

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