Moving OTP

Atlanta OTP vs. ITP​

Anyone familiar with Atlanta understands the acronyms ITP and OTP. Inside the Perimeter (ITP) and Outside the Perimeter (OTP) refer to the areas inside and outside the loop that is created by I-285… the literal circle that surrounds metro Atlanta.

Historically, the areas were considered very different. ITP was categorized as urban city life, rich with business, entertainment, shopping, dining, culture and a wide variety of high-end residential real estate options for homebuyers.

OTP was once considered strictly suburban with large homes and lots in swim, tennis and golf course communities that attracted families.

The Evolution of OTP and The New Urbanism​

Enter Avalon, Halycon, Vickery and Downtown Alpharetta to name the most recent to dot the North Atlanta OTP landscape. They are gorgeous high-end residential real estate options that are shining examples of live/work/play communities. They offer a balanced mix of townhomes, condos and single family homes surrounded by business, entertainment, shopping, dining, and culture.

These modern, mixed use developments are just one example of how OTP in Atlanta has evolved into what is being called the New Urbanism. The great news is that you don’t have to live in one of these to take full advantage of their offerings. Their businesses, entertainment, shopping and dining are available to everyone OTP. Essentially, OTP has evolved to offer everything to homebuyers that was previously sacrificed by a move to OTP.


In some cases, there are areas also now being referred to as exurban (an area known as a region beyond the suburbs, where not many homes are built). This movement is typically motivated by the desire for a larger home with more undeveloped surrounding space. Shopping, dining are available but not outside the front door, and that’s what is preferred.

We have worked with several clients making the exurban move. Expect this trend to continue as remote work remains popular.

Bonnie's Story

I believe, first and foremost, that Atlanta is one of the greatest places to live in our country. Easy access to mountains, and beaches, and the busiest airport in the US offering direct flights EVERYWHERE (and cheaply, what with the competition) so close by.

I am often asked, “Where is the BEST place to live in Atlanta?” It’s hard to answer that question, as Atlanta is so diverse, and there truly are areas, and “things” for everyone! There is no BEST area – only what may currently be “best” for you, and your family. Additionally, as the family goals of Atlanta residents change, Atlanta is large enough, and diverse enough to “change” along with them.

I myself grew up inside the perimeter (ITP) in the Chastain Park area and, after a short stint post-college renting in Virginia Highlands, bought my first studio condo in a high rise building in the heart of Buckhead which was perfect as I could walk to shops and restaurants. After I got married, our first home was a 1970’s renovated ranch in Sandy Springs (built like a tank!).

As our family started to grow, we began to consider a move OTP (outside the perimeter). To be honest, I was unsure about our decision at the time. It felt like moving to a completely different city! But that was over 16 years ago and we haven’t looked back since.

North Atlanta, (specifically the Milton/Alpharetta area), has been such an amazing place for our family… ALL FOUR OF US love it for different reasons. Among those reasons, and benefits are the ease of access to all the shopping and restaurants that I enjoyed while living intown, the proximity to the North Georgia mountains for hiking and fishing, the prevailing friendly/welcoming community feel, the vast range of options for children/teens (including local sports, theater, art, equestrian and whatever else you can dream up for your kids), access to great public education (as well as private schools), and room to breathe luxuriously amidst such beautiful landscapes, and settings.

Suffice it to say that the northern ‘burbs have been the “BEST” for us at this stage of our lives but having “been there, done that” in many area of Atlanta throughout my lifetime here, I feel confident that I can help you find your own BEST in Atlanta. It would be an honor, and privilege to help uncover that with you.

It's Your Move!

Whether you are buying, selling, need advice, or have questions, the Bonnie Smith Group would love to help you!