Best Student Friendly Neighborhoods of Atlanta

Best Student Friendly Neighborhoods of Atlanta for Real Estate Investors

Atlanta, Georgia, is home to dozens of universities and colleges and has the country’s 7th-largest student population, according to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Among Atlanta’s schools is Georgia State University with a student population of 51,000; Georgia Institute of Technology with a student population of 36,489; and Emory University with a student population of 7,000.

If you’re a real estate investor thinking about targeting Atlanta’s student population, here are the best student friendly neighborhoods in Atlanta for landlords.

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1. Edgewood

  • Median home price: $521,500
  • Median price per square foot: $343
  • Rental vacancy rate: 5.3%
  • Closest College: Georgia State University
  • Distance to GSU: 2.8 miles
  • Public transportation in area: MARTA Rail Blue Line
  • Median rental income: $1,573/month

A few miles east of Downtown Atlanta, Edgewood is primarily made up of single-family homes, with a few apartments and townhouses mixed in. At the neighborhood’s northwest corner is a retail district populated with big box stores, grocery options including Kroger and Target, and a handful of chain restaurants.

Students like Edgewood for its proximity to public transit. The Georgia State University campus is less than a 10-minute ride via the MARTA Blue Line, and a quick transfer at Five Points can have Edgewood residents at Georgia Tech in about 25 minutes.

As an investor, you’ll like Edgewood for the variety of housing options, including some 2-bedroom options with a lower purchase price. You’ll also appreciate the neighborhood’s large lot sizes, which, combined with its proximity to Downtown may offer some potential for redevelopment.

2. Kirkwood

  • Median home price: $525,000
  • Median price per square foot: $343
  • Rental vacancy rate: 2.9%
  • Closest College: Georgia State University
  • Distance to GSU: 4.4 miles
  • Public transportation in area: MARTA Rail Blue Line
  • Median rental income: $1,704/month

Immediately east of Edgewood is Kirkwood, a suburban neighborhood almost entirely made up of single-family homes with a small main street featuring independent restaurants and personal services.

Students are attracted to Kirkwood because it offers a chance to have a larger home with affordable rent. Taking the MARTA train, students can get to GSU in about 15 minutes or Georgia Tech in about half an hour. Emory students can get to school in roughly 45 minutes by combining the MARTA train with Emory’s CCTMA shuttle.

Being a bit farther from Downtown, Kirkwood has somewhat larger homes with plenty of 3-, 4-, and even 5-bedroom houses on the market. Because of this, the neighborhood commands slightly higher rent than Edgewood despite the additional travel time to universities.

3. Midtown

  • Median home price: $448,500
  • Median price per square foot: $394
  • Rental vacancy rate: 5.8%
  • Closest College: Georgia Tech
  • Distance to GSU: 2.5 miles
  • Public transportation in area: MARTA Rail Red & Orange Lines
  • Median rental income: $1,895/month

Midtown Atlanta is a vibrant commercial area filled with bars, restaurants, shopping, and high-rise condo buildings. You’ll find everything here, from chain restaurants to independent shops and corporate offices.

Students are attracted to Midtown for its abundance of things to do and high level of walkability. Georgia Tech students can walk to campus, while GSU students are less than 10 minutes from school via the MARTA train. Many students and their families also like the sense of safety and security that comes with condo living, which is more commonly found in Midtown than in other parts of the city.

You’ll like Midtown for the low-maintenance property options and relatively high rents. Just west of the commercial district, you’ll also find a medium-density residential area with some multi-unit properties that could be the right addition to your portfolio.

4. Home Park

  • Median home price: $679,900
  • Median price per square foot: $358
  • Rental vacancy rate: 7.8%
  • Closest College: Georgia Tech
  • Distance to GSU: 2.5 miles
  • Public transportation in area: MARTA Bus, Stinger Green Route
  • Median rental income: $1,788/month

Immediately north of the Georgia Tech campus and separated from Midtown by I85, Home Park was practically built for students. The neighborhood combines medium-density single-family homes with a trendy commercial area filled with shopping, restaurants, bars, and rooftop patios with great views of Downtown.

Thanks to its location, Home Park is a long-time favorite for off-campus housing. The neighborhood is walking distance from Georgia Tech and is also served by the school’s Stinger bus shuttle. Downtown Atlanta and GSU are easily accessible by bus or the MARTA Train.

As an investor, you’ll like Home Park for its in-demand location. Its proximity to Midtown and Georgia Tech keep property values high and rents higher. While there aren’t many multi-unit properties in the neighborhood, the many 3- and 4-bedroom homes are likely to attract students who don’t mind sharing a great place to live.

5. Decatur

  • Median home price: $322,000
  • Median price per square foot: $204
  • Rental vacancy rate: 2.5%
  • Closest College: Emory University
  • Distance to GSU: 3.7 miles
  • Public transportation in area: MARTA Rail Blue Line, Emory CCTMA Shuttle
  • Median rental income: $1,450/month

While technically not in Atlanta, Decatur is a student friendly suburb immediately northeast of the city. At its heart, Downtown Decatur has walkable streets with lots of amenities to appeal to a younger demographic. Single-family homes of all shapes and sizes can be found encircling the core in every direction.

For students, Decatur is an affordable alternative to Atlanta that still has excellent transit options. Emory students can use the CCTMA Shuttle to be on campus within 20 minutes from Downtown. GSU and Georgia Tech students can take the MARTA train to school in 15 and 30 minutes, respectively. For daily living, Decatur has walkable streets and everything a student could need.

As an investor, you’ll like Decatur because while the rent is slightly lower than areas to the west, house prices are much lower. The median home price in Decatur is just $322,000, the lowest of any neighborhood on this list by far. Three- and 4-bedroom homes can be had for less than $250,000, and affordable condos are plentiful as well.

FAQs
How many students attend college in Atlanta?

Atlanta’s three largest institutions, Georgia State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Emory University, have a combined student population of approximately 94,000.

Is Atlanta a landlord friendly city?

Atlanta is considered to be a very landlord friendly city. There are no licensing or inspection requirements for rental properties. State law prohibits any form of rent control, and there are no limits on late fees or security deposits. And there are few barriers to eviction compared with other big cities around the country.

What should I look for when investing in off-campus housing?

Student housing is all about location affordability. Look for investment properties that are a short commute to campus and are within walking distance to public transit, grocery stores, and restaurants. Favor multi-bedroom homes that can be made affordable by sharing with roommates. And avoid renovated and upgraded homes that will suffer outsized depreciation from vigorous wear and tear.

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