This sunny and green city laced with ornate iron work, garden fountains and rich architecture would be enough to draw in any new resident, but Savannah, Georgia has much more than that. Its extensive history with both revolutionary and civil wars give this southern city a unique depth, while its modern reputation for southern hospitality adds to its charm.
Whether you have made the decision to move to Savannah, or are still considering the move, take a look at the following guide for helpful tips and information to make your transition smooth and effortless. If you do decide to relocate, get started with a free moving quote here at Movers.com!
If you're headed this far south, get ready for warm to hot summers that can last approximately eight to nine months out of the year. Generally, temperatures average in the 80s most of the year, but drop to more mild temperatures during the winter (December through February). Summers are also very humid, with a considerable amount of rain and thunderstorms.
Since it is a coastal city, is also at risk for hurricanes, though they have seldom left any significant damage within the last two centuries, except for Hurricane David in 1979.
You will find plenty of diverse neighborhoods in and around the city of Savannah, as there are over 100 of them. The city is broken down into six specific areas: Downtown, Midtown, Southside, Westside and Southwest/West Chatham.
If you're interested in residential areas, Ardsley Park in Midtown is Savannah's first suburb, and is an upscale neighborhood comprised of many four or five bedroom mansions as well as smaller houses, with tree-lined streets. Gordonston is similar to Ardsley, but on a much smaller scale if you're looking for a quiet neighborhood.
There's also the preserved Historic District of the city, spanning approximately 2.5 square miles. This area contains a much more commercial feel, but it is intermingled with blocks of residential areas with many restored homes that are great for new residents.
Registering Your Car
As a new Georgia resident, you will have 30 days to register your car in the state. You will need your driver's license, proof of insurance, proof of residency, a completed Certificate of Inspection, a completed Title/Tag Application, and proof of passed vehicle emissions inspection (if applicable).
You'll need to apply for a Georgia driver's license within 30 days of residency, prior to registering your vehicle. You can do this at any customer service center, and most centers in the metro Atlanta area offer appointments to transfer your out of state license. As long as your out of state license is current and surrendered at the time of your appointment, you will not have to take any written exam.
Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools serves the city for public education, and has an enrollment of approximately 35,000 students in over two dozen elementary schools, nine middle schools, seven K-8 schools and 10 high schools.
The city has four colleges for higher education opportunities. These four schools are: Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Savannah State University and South University. These schools offer bachelor's, master's, professional and doctoral degree programs. In addition to these schools, Georgia Tech Savannah calls the city home, as well as Georgia Southern University's satellite campus downtown.
The main industries that drive the city's economy are the Port of Savannah, manufacturing, the military and tourism. The tourism industry accounts for over 12 million visitors annually and spending of over $2 billion. The unemployment rate in the city is slowly decreasing, and is at approximately 7.8 percent as of February 2013. There have been fewer layoffs and job growth in business services, education and health care, as well as in state and local government.
Some major employers in the city include: Memorial University Medical Center, Wal-Mart, St. Joseph's/Candler, SSA Cooper, Kroger, Marine Terminal Corp., Target, Momentum Resources II and Home Depot.
Living Costs in the City
Depending on the type of city you will be moving from, you will most likely see a decrease in your bills in Savannah. Locals tout the city for being a great place to retire with good health care and affordable housing. The overall cost of living is approximately 9 percent lower than the national average. The average listing price for single family homes in the city is approximately $300,000, whereas the median sales price is around $150,000.
If you're looking to rent an apartment, you will spend somewhere between $700 and $1,100 per month for a one-bedroom, depending on the unit. Some apartment complexes offer included utilities and amenities such as a pool or clubhouse, which may increase your monthly rent.
Monthly utility bills vary considerably depending on the size of your home and the time of year, and can range anywhere from $70 to $300 a month. If you aren't used to the heat, you will probably end up running your air conditioning more often, so keep that in mind when you begin to budget your expenses.
Savannah Moving Resources
Moving and storage companies can service your move to Savannah, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Georgia. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (we recommend at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at Movers.com to get quotes for the following services:
Chatham Area Transit provides public transportation in the metropolitan area of the city, and operates seven days a week offering almost two dozen routes, with most of the stops walking distance from residential areas. The Downtown Transportation (DOT) system provides free-of-charge transportation within the Historic District – mostly by shuttle buses.
Residents can also use Amtrak for transportation from New York City to Miami, Florida. For travel by air, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is located conveniently off of Interstate 95.
If traveling by personal vehicle, major highways that serve the city are: Interstate 95, 16 and 515; U.S. Routes 80 and 17; SR 204, Harry S. Truman Parkway, Veterans Parkway and the Islands Expressway.
Culture & Contemporary Life
Whether you're into movies, restaurants, strolls through quaint downtown streets or hitting the beach, Savannah has a little bit of everything.
The city also has an abundance of cultural activities like the Savannah Dance Theatre, the Savannah Orchestra, the Coastal Jazz Association, Savannah Community Theatre and the Savannah Philharmonic. In addition, visitors often enjoy the Tybee Island Light Station, the first lighthouse on the southern Atlantic coast. There's also the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on Hutchinson Island, Telfair Museum of Art, Ships Museum of the Sea, and the City Market in the Historic District.
For outdoor recreation, try Forsyth Park, a 30-acre park bordered by Gaston Street, that has a cast iron fountain, the Confederate Soldier Monument and the Marine Corps Monument for viewing.
Savannah Relocation Tips
- If you don't own a personal car, you may want to consider that option when moving to this city, as the public transportation is fairly limited.
- There's a lot of tourism going on in the city, as well as close by military bases, so renting a house can be pricey in this area, and traffic can be congested at times – make sure you have the income to support a high rent cost and allot enough time for your daily commute.
- It's hot! Make sure you prepare your belongings and home (and yourself) for warm temperatures. Get a shade for your car windshield and a steering wheel cover. Buy sun block and visit your dermatologist regularly.