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Should I Live ITP or OTP?

One of the more common questions you’ll need to answer for yourself if you’re relocating to Atlanta is this: should you live ITP or OTP? (That’s Atlantan for “Inside the Perimeter or Outside the Perimeter.”)

The “Perimeter,” as the locals define it, is Interstate-285, which forms a loop around the city. Anything within the Perimeter (ITP) is considered Atlanta proper, while areas outside the loop (OTP) is considered the suburbs.

There is definitely a different vibe between ITP and OTP, as well as a bit of friendly banter among the residents as to which is best. The truth is, it really depends on you—what your values and preferences are, as well as your budget—as to what side of the Perimeter you choose.

Which is best for you? Here are a few tips to help you decide…

You should consider living ITP if:

  • You love the urban lifestyle. If you’re into the hustle and bustle of the city, nightlife, shopping, etc., then you’ll probably enjoy the ITP vibe.
  • You enjoy pedestrian living. ITP is loaded with neighborhoods where you can walk to most of the places you need to go. If you like the idea of stepping out of your home and walking to work, school, shopping, dining, or the nearby park, you’re more likely to find these things inside the Perimeter.
  • You love culture and diversity more than peace and quiet. If you want to be closer to the artistic/cultural areas, and if you don’t mind crowds, ITP living might just be for you. (Of course, there are quieter neighborhoods inside the Perimeter as well, and your real estate agent can guide you to those.)

You might prefer living OTP if:

  • You like the quieter, suburban lifestyle. There are obviously higher-traffic areas OTP, as well as plenty of shopping and dining, but more of the quieter outlying neighborhoods can be found here.
  • You’re more family-oriented. There are certainly plenty of family-friendly neighborhoods inside the Perimiter, but lots of families with smaller children prefer OTP neighborhoods, and several suburban areas are recognized as great places to raise children. (Some people also choose OTP homes particularly to get into one of several highly-rated school districts.)
  • You don’t mind driving to places. Understandably, there are fewer pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods OTP, as things are a bit more spread out. Many OTP residences have jobs inside the Perimeter, and they don’t mind commuting.
  • You want a more economical option. OTP rents and house payments tend to be cheaper than ITP, offering a higher standard of living for the price.

For Atlanta residents, choosing to live ITP or OTP is frequently considered a statement about who you are and what’s important to you—and while there is much conversation surrounding the choice, there is plenty of room in Atlanta for both!

So if you’re moving to Atlanta, you need to ask yourself: are you ITP or OTP? The choice is yours.

Tom Anderson

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