Finding short-term housing in Atlanta

Marjorie on

city skylineMoving to Atlanta? The first thing you should probably know about your soon-to-be home is that in just about any ranking of US cities with the most sprawl, Atlanta takes the top slot. That means that one of the top considerations when you’re looking for short-term housing (and long-term as well) is your commute. Luckily, here at Moveline, we’ve overseen our fair share of local and long-distance moves, and we’ve got tips for all sorts of places and living situations, including temporary housing in Atlanta.

First up: a tip on getting from point A to point B. Roone Unger, a contractor and owner of Exovations, a home improvement company in Atlanta, knows the unofficial capital of the south well. “If you can cut down on your commute time,” he says, “you’ll be happier and have more time to explore beautiful Atlanta. Keep in mind there is one major Interstate that runs through the city. It seems that no matter what part of 85 you are on or at what time of day, there is always some sort of delay. If you are able to take public transportation, look into that. If you don’t have a car, look for a place near a MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) station; trains run through the city and there are buses that connect some suburbs to downtown.”

Get an overview of Atlanta neighborhoods

Before you begin your search for a place to stay, get familiar with Atlanta by checking out Curbed’s Atlanta page. Covering the city’s real estate market, it gives a feel for some of the city’s neighborhoods. A recently-posted, decidedly politically incorrect, annotated neighborhood map which originally appeared anonymously on Reddit gives a no-holds-barred glimpse at the city’s neighborhood stereotypes. For its part, Curbed warns that it’s guaranteed to offend just about everyone.

Two other, more tonally straightforward sites to help orient newcomers to Atlanta are Trover and CoEverywhere. Trover lets you see photos of what people who live in a particular neighborhood like best -- galleries, food shops, parks, etc. CoEverywhere lets you draw a circle around the area you want to explore and connects you to its real-time social media activity, including tweets, facebook posts, photos and more.

Reach out to friends (and friends of friends)

Speaking of social networks, they’re a vital part of any relocation. Telling all your contacts that you’re moving to Atlanta and looking for short-term housing can often cut out a lot of extra work. If you’ve got serendipity on your side, your search might go as smoothly as Thomas Nitzsche’s: he relocated to Atlanta from St. Louis for a job in early 2014. After checking out three places he’d found on Craigslist.com that ultimately weren’t what he wanted, he took a lunch break. The person he had lunch with -- someone he’d met through a social app -- turned out to have a home with a detached furnished carriage house in the Virginia Highland neighborhood, and he’d just decided to rent out. “It’s one of the best areas of the city,” Nitzsche says. “A few weeks later, I moved into it.”

Use online short-term stay resources

If you come up empty from your word-of-mouth campaign, you can always lean on those two old standbys, Craigslist and airbnb. A recent Craigslist search came up with a share in a recently renovated 900-square-foot two-bedroom condo near Peachtree Center for $500 per month. On airbnb, a 925-square-foot one bedroom plus sunroom sublet furnished in mid-century modern style and located across the street from Georgia State runs $2137 per month as of this posting.

If you’re unable (or too creeped out) to check out listings for yourself, you can get the folks at golook.com to scope out possibilities for you. Services, including a full report, start at $59.

The national site sublet.com is also worth a look. Two recent Atlanta listings included a one-bedroom in midtown near Piedmont park for $1220 including utilities and a totally renovated two-bedroom house in Buckhead with a big backyard or $4200 a month.

Other good places to look: atlanta.apartmenthomeliving.com, ListLux and Uloop (which specializes in properties near colleges and universities). And for sublets available primarily to academics, take a look at Sabbatical Homes, a site founded in 2000 by Nadege Conger, a professor’s wife who now runs the growing operation with the help of a multi-national team.

Find a roommate

Need help finding a roommate? Three nationwide sites that can help are roomster.com, roommates.com and roomiematch.com, and Atlanta’s own Roommate Locator can too. ListLux and Uloop, listed above, also offer listings with roommates from time to time.