Life is a Highway, and in Atlanta, that highway is I-285. I’m pretty sure the letters “ITP” and “OTP” have little to no meaning outside of Atlanta. However, these three little letters that we say on a daily basis have some of the strongest impact on Atlanta’s real estate and you NEED to know the difference.
When I meet with buyers relocating to Atlanta, the first thing I do is whip out a map and draw a big circle that traces around I-285 – also known as The Perimeter. I then explain that there are essentially two main areas of Atlanta – they are not north, south, east or west, but rather “Inside the Perimeter” and “Outside the Perimeter.” This distinction that probably shouldn’t mean much, actually does, and in a big way.
So what’s the big deal? Well, for one, ITP and OTP aren’t just locations – they are a way of life. Generally speaking, ITP is considered the “cool, hip” area of town. Brookhaven, Buckhead, Midtown, Vinings and Decatur are all ITP, so it makes sense that the area would be seen as very urban, or as one of our buyer’s specialists likes to say, “jivey!” You will find many areas of walkability, attached housing, and an overall city feel.
OTP consists of the major Atlanta suburbs such as Kennesaw, Roswell, Cumming, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Peachtree Corners, Tucker, Smyrna, etc. Of course, the suburbs of any city are usually known for their more low-key and family centered lifestyles, and that’s no different for Atlanta. The city’s sprawling OTP area is highly sought out for its laid-back feel and great schools.
Another huge difference that one will notice when comparing ITP vs. OTP are the prices and overall value of real estate located either inside or outside of The Perimeter. Homes ITP tend to be more expensive – especially when it comes to price per square footage while homes OTP offer a better value (and usually a larger yard!). However, the payoff comes each morning and afternoon when you make your commute to work. Living OTP and commuting into the city each day via the Perimeter (or any other major interstate in Atlanta) will make you strongly consider purchasing a helicopter to get to the office.
While native Atlantans will tell you that The Perimeter will always be a major defining line for the city, the truth is that you can actually find the great features of each on either side of the road. Downtown Roswell and Smyrna Market Village certainly capture the “in-town” vibe of live-work-play areas outside The Perimeter and great ITP neighborhoods like Virginia Highlands and Brookhaven offer single-family housing in a very family-friendly atmospheres. Truly, there is something for everyone. And with Atlanta being one of the top 10 relocation destinations in the country, ITP or OTP you can’t go wrong!
Inside or outside the Perimeter, let The Peters Company’s expert agents help you find the perfect place to call home. We would love to be your most trusted source for information on Atlanta real estate, and we’ll even share this important tip: Once you’re on I-285 you’ll eventually get right back where you started, so enjoy the ride!
Written by Jennie Moshure, Lead Buyer Specialist
Whether you are looking to buy ITP or OTP, you can easily find what you need with our easy-to-use map view of properties here!