The Best Places to Live in Georgia

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Excellent schools, low cost of living, and affordable home prices make cities like Alpharetta, Blue Ridge, and Marietta among the best places to live in Georgia.
According to U.S. News, Georgia is one of the best states to live in based on its economy, infrastructure, and opportunities. With job growth above the national average and a low cost of living, Georgia is a great place to call home—but choosing the right place among the Peach State’s 535 incorporated communities is a challenge. 
That’s where Jerry comes in. Jerry’s not just the No. 1 rated insurance app and your key to affordable homeowners insurance—we’re also here to help you find the best places to live in Georgia, based on your circumstances and priorities. 
Ready to put a pin in the map and find your future Georgia home? Let’s take a closer look. 
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What makes a good place to live? 

When it comes to picking a place to live, it can be hard to know where to start. After all, so much goes into making a home livable, from grocery and gas prices to the climate and local attractions. Then there’s personal preference: after all, the perfect small town won’t be a good place for a city lover to settle down. 
To help you out, we’ve rounded up the facts on eight Georgia towns: Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Athens, Gainesville, Blue Ridge, Warner Robins, Watkinsville, and Marietta. We’ve included both cities and small towns on our list, and we’ve tracked the following factors for all eight places: 
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • Cost of living
  • Quality of schools 
  • Crime rates
  • Healthcare
  • Average commute times
  • FEMA risk index ratings 
Using those metrics, we’ve narrowed down the best places to live in Georgia in three categories: the best places for families, the most affordable places, and the best places to buy a house and put down permanent roots. 

The best places for families to live in Georgia

Education, crime rates, and community life top the list of factors for families to keep in mind when looking for a place to settle. Putting those variables front and center, three Georgia towns jump to the front of the pack. 

Alpharetta

Location: Fulton County
Population: 67,213
Median household income: $136,047
Median home price: $528,000
Just 25 miles up the Chattahoochee River from Atlanta is Alpharetta, the ideal Georgia city for families. Alpharetta is home to some of the best schools in the state, including Chattahoochee High School, which boasts a 98% graduation rate. Out of Alpharetta’s 123 local schools, 23 get an above-average rating from GreatSchools.org. 
When it comes to safety, you’ll be relieved to learn that Alpharetta’s crime rate is well below the US average, and it’s been falling further in recent years. Proximity to the state capital raises Fulton County’s crime index, but Alpharetta is a safe haven outside of the big city. 
Whether your family is outdoorsy, artistic, or musically inclined, you’ll find your community in Alpharetta. The 12,000-seat Ameris Bank Amphitheater draws big-name musical acts (think Tim McGraw, REO Speedwagon, Doobie Brothers, and Backstreet Boys big) throughout the year. The Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural services oversees numerous community gardens, parks, and farmers markets, and the Alpharetta Arts Center offers classes and workshops to adults and kids alike! 

Johns Creek 

Location: Fulton County
Population: 82,453
Median household income: $122,514
Median home price: $540,000
Located just east of Alpharetta is Johns Creek, one of Georgia’s most diverse cities and a perfect place to raise kids. Every year, the town hosts the Johns Creek International Festival to celebrate the rich mosaic of cultures, foodways, and traditions that brings Johns Creek together. 
Leading the list of reasons for families to live in Johns Creek is an extremely low crime rate. Overall, Georgia’s crime rate is above the national average, but Johns Creek is safer than 79% of US cities. Your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Johns Creek are just 1 in 1,918—making it an ideal location for families. 
Johns Creek also has great schools, including Johns Creek High School, which is among the best Georgia high schools and one of the best STEM schools in the country. 

The most affordable places to live in Georgia

Cost of living is one of the biggest factors in finding a good place to live. Georgia’s overall cost of living is slightly below the national average, but that number spikes in some cities—including some of the places with the best schools and lowest crime rates. 
That’s why we’ve singled out these towns as the best affordable places to live in Georgia. We’re basing affordability on two main factors: overall cost of living and average commute times (which determine fuel costs). 

Athens 

Location: Clarke County
Population: 127,315
Median household income: $34,970
Median home price: $283,000
The home of alt-rock music since the 1980s, this college town is officially known as Athens—Clarke County. The biggest city on our list, it’s also one of the most affordable, with an overall cost of living of 87.2 according to BestPlaces.net, compared to the US average of 100 and the Georgia average of 93.4
Car-related expenses are especially low in Athens. An average commute time of 17.4 minutes means you’ll spend less money on fuel each month. Although the average cost of car insurance in Athens is above the state average at $293 a month, you can bring that rate down with help from Jerry
Although Athens is one of Georgia’s most affordable places to live, you’ll still have access to best-in-class healthcare. Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center ranks at #12 on U.S. News's list of the best hospitals in Georgia. 

Gainesville

Location: Hall County
Population: 43,232
Median household income: $55,187
Median home price: $322,000
Gainesville is known to some as the “Poultry Capital of the World.” The poultry farming industry runs this small northern Georgia city, and it’s commemorated with a chicken monument just outside town.  
Whether or not you work in the poultry industry, you’ll find a low cost of living in Gainesville at 89.6. Housing and transportation are particularly affordable in Gainesville, so you can look forward to low rents and car expenses. 
Unfortunately, high area crime rates can drive up your car insurance rate, but you’ll enjoy a 23-minute commute on average. And, like Athens, Gainesville has great healthcare, thanks to Northeast Georgia Medical Center (ranked #6 in the state!). 

Blue Ridge

Location: Fannin County
Population: 1,461
Median household income: $31,879
Median home price: $640,000
The smallest town on our list is also one of the most affordable. Blue Ridge is named for the mountains it’s nestled in along the northern border of the state, and its cost of living is 92.5, just below the state average. 
One of the biggest factors in that low cost of living? Car insurance. The average rate in Blue Ridge is just $1,423 a year—nearly two thousand dollars below the state average! Add that to the 23-minute average commute time, and Blue Ridge is one of the most affordable places to live and drive in Georgia. 
It’s also one of the most beautiful places in the Peach State, as demonstrated by the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, and in recent years it’s gained a reputation as one of the most LGBT-friendly towns in the state. 
“When we added a new car to our family, we were shocked at how high our current insurer was going to hike our rates. We used Jerry for some comparison shopping and are now saving around $1000 a year. Thank you, Jerry!” —Darius P.

Best places to buy a house in Georgia

If you’re looking for a place to really put down roots, you’ll have to consider the housing market and climate in your future city. To pin down those factors, we looked at Realtor.com’s summaries of housing markets and the FEMA Risk Index.  

Warner Robins

Location: Houston/Peach Counties
Population: 77,617
Median household income: $51,289
Median home price: $190,200
Founded in 1942, Warner Robins grew exponentially during and after World War II thanks to the nearby Robins Air Force Base. Today, it’s home to the Museum of Aviation and some of the country’s best Little League softball teams. 
It’s also one of the best places in Georgia to buy a house, with a low median home price and a buyer’s market that makes finding a deal easier than in the competitive housing markets of nearby cities. 
It’s not just about the market. Warner Robins is also one of the few cities in Georgia with a low FEMA risk index—8.12 vs. the national average of 10.60. That number indicates that Warner Robins has a low risk of damage from natural disasters and severe weather. For homeowners, that means fewer repairs and fewer premium-inflating insurance claims. 

Watkinsville

Location: Oconee County
Population: 2,936
Median household income: $76,551
Median home price: $395,000
Just outside of Athens lies Watkinsville, a small town with affordable home prices and an unusually low risk of severe weather and natural disasters. Oconee County’s FEMA risk index rating is just 3.04, and the county gets relatively high marks for community resilience, indicating that building back after a disaster is easier than in most places
Maybe that’s due to Watkinsville’s active cultural life. The Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation and Harris Shoals Park are just two of the institutions that make Watkinsville an attractive place to own a home. 

Marietta

Location: Cobb County
Population: 60,867
Median household income: $58,682
Median home price: $380,100
Atlanta suburb Marietta is alive with history, culture, and arts. Its six historic districts and numerous art and history museums, including the “Scarlett on the Square” Gone With the Wind Museum, make Marietta a great place to live—and to buy a house. 
Although Marietta is currently a seller’s market, most homes end up selling for slightly below asking price, so you’ve got a chance of a good deal. What’s more, Marietta has some of the best schools in the state, including four with gold College Success Awards from GreatSchools.org. That’s good news for homeowners with or without kids, since quality education will increase area home values
Tornadoes are the major risk to homeowners in Marietta, raising Cobb County’s FEMA risk index to 15.54. However, Marietta is also home to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, one of the best hospitals in the state and a nationally ranked rehabilitation center. You’ll also enjoy a low car insurance rate, saving $277 or more every month compared to the state average. 
Finally, let’s not forget the most important factor: Marietta comes in just behind Atlanta as the US city with the second highest number of Waffle Houses. Enough said. 

How to find affordable homeowners and car insurance in Georgia 

No matter where you hang your hat, Jerry has your back with the lowest rates on homeowners and car insurance. 
Using Jerry is simple: download the app, enter your information, and Jerry will search for rates from 50+ top insurance providers, like Allstate, Nationwide, and Progressive. You’ll get quotes in as little as 45 seconds, and Jerry’s team of insurance rockstars will help you switch over to your new low rate—they’ll even help you cancel your old policy! 
On average, Jerry users save $887 a year on car insurance just by using the app. That’s nearly one third of the average annual cost of insurance in Georgia! 
Jerry is a great product with great customer service! The quote comparison found me lots of options being in Georgia.” —Gregory K.
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