Cost of Living Forum

AlpharettaResident @alpharettaresident
Joined: 3 months ago

What are the typical living costs in Alpharetta, GA?

I’ve been living in Alpharetta for over 15 years now, but I’m starting to wonder if the cost of living here is getting out of hand. Housing costs seem to keep climbing, and everyday expenses for things like groceries, utilities, and entertainment are adding up. I’m a single professional, so I have a decent income, but I’m wondering if others who live here are feeling the same cost-of-living squeeze.

Can some of my fellow Alpharetta residents shed some light on what they’re paying for major expenses like:

– Rent/mortgage for a typical 1-2 bedroom apartment/home
– Utilities (electric, internet, etc.)
– Groceries and dining out
– Transportation costs (gas, car maintenance, public transit passes)
– Healthcare premiums and costs
– Entertainment, gym memberships, etc.

I’m just trying to get a sense of whether my costs are in line with others, or if I need to seriously revisit my budget. Any insights would be appreciated!

Posts: 18

10 Replies

FiscallyFitFran @fiscallyfitfran
Joined: 2 years ago

As someone who’s lived in Alpharetta for years, I can definitely say the cost of living here is on the higher side, but not outrageous compared to other affluent Atlanta suburbs. Housing is probably the biggest expense – expect to pay around $1,800-$2,000 for a decent 1-bedroom apartment, and $2,500+ for a 3-bedroom house or townhome outside the city center.

Utilities seem reasonable – my combined electric, internet, and cable/streaming services run about $250 per month for a 2-bedroom place. Groceries can add up quickly if you shop at places like Whole Foods, but places like Aldi, Lidl, and Publix can be more affordable.

My biggest tips would be to avoid a huge commute (Atlanta traffic is brutal and gas is pricey), take advantage of Alpharetta’s great parks and rec facilities instead of a pricey gym, and look into affordable healthcare options through your employer. The cost of living here is high, but the quality of life in Alpharetta is hard to beat if you’re smart about your expenses.

Posts: 10
BudgetBuzzard @budgetbuzzard
Joined: 2 years ago

I have to disagree with the previous poster – I think Alpharetta is getting ridiculously expensive, even for a family on a solid dual income. We’re paying almost $3,000 for a decent 3-bedroom rental house in a regular neighborhood. Add in utilities, gas for my long commute, healthcare costs for a family of 4, groceries, activites for the kids, and it’s just unsustainable.

Eating out is a luxury we rarely do anymore besides grabbing the occasional fast food. We don’t have room in the budget for entertainment expenses like movies, concerts, etc. It almost makes the high Alpharetta taxes not seem worth it when we can barely make ends meet.

My advice would be to look at more affordable areas like Cumming or Woodstock if you’re looking to have kids and a decent quality of life. Alpharetta has great schools and amenities, but it’s becoming a playground just for the wealthy at this point.

Posts: 23
ATLSoccerMom @atlsoccermom
Joined: 4 months ago

Having lived here for over 5 years, I’d say the cost of living in Alpharetta is manageable if you’re smart about your expenses and live a relatively simple lifestyle. We pay about $2,200 for a nice 3-bedroom apartment. Utilities (electric, internet, etc.) run us another $300 or so. Groceries for our family of 4 are probably $600-800 per month if we stick to Publix, Aldi and Costco.

The biggest costs are gas (with my husband’s commute) and activites for our kids. Between frequent gas fill-ups, teen driving costs, youth sports fees, and occasionally treating ourselves to a movie night or dinner out, we probably spend $500+ per month on transportation and entertainment. Healthcare premiums through my employer are also pretty steep.

But overall, the quality of life here is hard to beat if you make some trade-offs. We rarely eat out at super expensive places, drive reliable used cars, and take advantage of Alpharetta’s amazing parks and rec amenities instead of a pricey gym membership. The schools are top-notch too. While not cheap, I still think it’s very livable for solid middle-class families.

Posts: 15
YoungProvessionalYP @youngprovessionalyp
Joined: 2 years ago

As a recent grad working my first job in Alpharetta, I was definitely stunned by the costs here compared to my college town! Even with a decent entry-level salary, a LOT of my paycheck goes towards rent and living expenses.

I pay $1,600 for a basic 1-bed apartment (not even in the nicest part of town), and probably another $150 or so for utilities. Groceries for just me run around $300 per month if I’m being fairly frugal. Gas is so expensive here too – probably $200+ per month with my commute.

I have to be super careful about dining out, which is hard with Alpharetta’s awesome restaurants. A casual meal can easily cost $20+ after tax and tip. Don’t even get me started on how expensive gyms, entertainment, etc. are!

Alpharetta definitely has an awesome lifestyle for young professionals, but it comes at a steep cost. You really have to stick to a strict budget and probably get roommates if you want to save much. I may have to move closer to Atlanta eventually if staying long-term.

Posts: 10
AlpharettaEmpty-Nester @alpharettaempty-nester
Joined: 2 years ago

My wife and I are solidly in our empty-nester years now, and I have to say, the costs in Alpharetta as retirees are pretty manageable, all things considered. Our mortgage is just under $2,000 for a 3-bed ranch home we bought years ago. Utilities seem to run us $300-400 per month tops.

We probably spend $400 or so per month on groceries from places like Publix, Sprouts, Costco. That’s for two people eating mostly at home these days. Healthcare is a big one – our Medicare supplemental insurance runs about $600 per month for the two of us.

Gas isn’t too crazy since we don’t commute, and maybe $100 per month in misc. entertainment like dining out, movies, etc. All in all, our total monthly expenses are probably in the $4,000-5,000 range. Not cheap, but certainly affordable on our retirement income and Home Town Alpharetta is such a nice place to spend these years.

Posts: 20
AlpharetttaTechBro @alpharetttatechbro
Joined: 2 years ago

Alpharetta’s cost of living definitely caught me off guard when I moved here for a tech job after graduating. Housing costs are absolutely through the roof – I pay a whopping $2,100 for a modern 1-bed apartment right in the thick of it. God forbid I ever want to buy anything here – even small condos seem to be $500k+.

At least some other costs aren’t too crazy. My company covers solid health insurance, and I stick to an Aldi/Costco grocery rotation to keep food costs around $300 per month for just me. $50 or so for utilities. Car costs are pretty brutal though with an expensive lease, gas, etc. I easily spend $500+ per month on transportation.

I try to take advantage of Alpharetta’s nightlife and breweries when I can, but even just going out for drinks/dinner a few times a month really adds up quickly. $100+ for a single night out around here is pretty standard between Uber, drinks, dinner, etc.

Don’t get me wrong – Alpharetta is a blast and has an awesome semi-urban vibe. But you better be making a tech salary to really afford living here long-term. Or have a few roommates to split costs. The price of admission for the “alpha” lifestyle is real!

Posts: 18
AlpharettaMilitaryFam @alpharettamilitaryfam
Joined: 6 months ago

We’re a military family that recently got stationed at Dobbins ARB, and I have to say, the cost of living in Alpharetta has been a serious challenge on our household budget compared to our last few duty stations. Housing has been the biggest shock – we’re paying $2,800 per month to rent a modest 3-bedroom house a few miles outside the center of town. The rental market here is just insane.

Utilities seem relatively normal at $250-300 per month. Groceries are quite expensive though, probably $1,000+ per month for our family of 4 unless we really stick to places like Aldi and stop indulging in Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s runs so often.

We rarely go out anymore due to the costs of dining/entertainment. My husband’s 30-mile commute is also a killer with these gas prices. Easily $400+ per month, not to mention eventually having to replace our aging family cars.

Overall, Alpharetta is a beautiful area and we love the parks/amenities. But it will be a serious challenge to avoid going broke here over the next few years on our single military income. We may need to look for housing in a nearby area with lower costs.

Posts: 23
SingleMamaInAlpharetta @singlemamainalpharetta
Joined: 7 months ago

As a single mom, Alpharetta is a constant juggling act between giving my kids access to the great schools/amenities here and staying afloat financially. We live pretty frugally overall, but costs just keep rising.

I pay $1,700 for a basic 2-bed apartment. Utilities (electric, internet, etc.) are about $250 on average. Groceries/household items are probably $600 or so per month for two of us – Aldi is a lifesaver. Gas is quite costly with my commute – maybe $300 per month.

Childcare is where it really gets brutal. My daycare costs are $1,200 per month for a toddler! Once my son starts kindergarten, I’ll be paying hefty fees for after-school activities through Alpharetta’s parks/rec too. Healthcare premiums through my employer are another $400-500 per month.

It’s worth it for now to give my kids these opportunities in a nice community and top-notch Alpharetta schools. But I’m not sure how sustainable it will be long-term on a single income. I may end up needing to move elsewhere once they’re older to escape the insane costs here.

Posts: 14
HPBathroomBooks @hpbathroombooks
Joined: 2 months ago

As someone who’s lived in Alpharetta for over 20 years, I’ve seen the cost of living here skyrocket from a relatively affordable Atlanta suburb to a pricey enclave for the upper middle class and wealthy.

Even on a good dual income, my spouse and I are paying $4,500 per month for our 4 bed, 3 bath home in a nice neighborhood near downtown Alpharetta. It’s absolutely wild seeing $1 million+ prices for new construction around here now.

Other costs add up too – probably $600+ per month for groceries shopping at Publix/Kroger, $300 in utilities, another $400-500 in gas with our commutes, $100 or so in misc. weekly activities like golf, movies, dining out. Healthcare is also crazy – our premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are well over $1,000 per month even with employer insurance.

Don’t get me wrong, Alpharetta has incredible amenities, schools, parks, dining and an overall wonderful quality of life. It’s a great place to raise a family. But you definitely need a solidly upper middle class household income of $150-200K+ to live really comfortably here these days without pinching pennies all the time. The costs add up FAST.

Posts: 1
RetiredInAlpharettaLakesLife @retiredinalpharettalakeslife
Joined: 4 months ago

My wife and I retired to the Alpharetta area about 5 years ago, and while the costs aren’t cheap, we’ve found it very affordable compared to other affluent Atlanta suburbs on a fixed retirement income.

We bought our 3 bed, 2 bath ranch-style home for around $450,000 a few years back, so no mortgage now. Other housing costs like taxes, HOA fees, etc. are probably $500 per month. Utilities like electric, water, internet, etc. tend to be $300 or less.

My biggest costs are probably healthcare-related – Medicare/supplemental insurance premiums of $600+ per month, plus medications and other out-of-pocket costs. Groceries for two of us are $400-600 per month shopping at Publix, Costco, Sprouts, etc. Entertainment is minimal besides the occasional dinner out ($50-80 for two people seems common).

All in all, our total monthly costs are probably in the $3,000-4,000 range living a relatively comfortable retirement lifestyle in Alpharetta. The residential amenities, low crime, and easy access to Atlanta attractions make it worth it for us. You can definitely live reasonably here on a retirement income if you’re smart with expenses.

Posts: 13

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 18.50 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 60.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 9.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 6.25 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 7.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.75 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.75 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.00 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.92 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.58 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 4.68 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 5.15 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 15.43 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 12.89 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 17.69 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.50 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.71 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 4.45 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.33 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 3.67 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 3.38 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.78 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 2.71 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 15.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 1.57 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 4.90 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 2.25 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 95.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 2.40 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 40.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.89 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 32,405.50 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 26,729.00 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 283.33 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 45.33 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 71.25 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 29.99 $
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) – 15.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 17.33 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,033.33 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 30,000.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 49.22 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 39.50 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 75.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 132.50 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,892.50 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,850.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 3,266.67 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 2,500.00 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 2,960.08 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 2,368.06 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 6,306.08 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.61
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