Is Mableton, Ga A Good Place To Live?

Dennis Howard
by Dennis Howard

Mableton, GA lies just Northwest of Atlanta, Ga n Cobb County. Since 1843 when Scottish immigrant Robert Mable bought the original 300 acres and set up his plantation, the area has been known as Mableton.

Modern Mableton is an attractive and popular suburban area near Atlanta. Easy access to Interstate 20 and other US and Georgia highways gives residents of Mableton easy commuting access to Atlanta. The unincorporated status is popular with many people because of reduced taxes, fewer zoning restrictions, and a feeling of country living rather than urban existence.

As the largest unincorporated town in Georgia, Mableton has a feeling of relaxed country living. The population density is low for a suburban commuter city. There are problems associated with unincorporated status, but residents who live in Mableton recognize those lacks. Many Mableton inhabitants chose their location for that very reason.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

A Bit of History about Mableton

When the Georgia Pacific Railroad opened a station in 1881, the area began to grow. The USPS established a post office in the same year. Mableton residents incorporated the town in 1912 according to Georgia law. The residents chose to disincorporate in 1916. Mableton remains the largest unincorporated town in Georgia today.

Mableton figured prominently in the US Civil War. Mableton served as a resupply and medical station for the Union Army during Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. Many homes in the historic district have ties to this period.

Today, Mableton is a bustling community of approximately 40,000 people covering an area of twenty square miles. The fifteen miles to Atlanta are an easy commute, and many families move to Mableton to escape to a more rural lifestyle.

Unincorporated Status – Are their Benefits?

There are pros and cons to any situation and being an unincorporated area has them as well. Under Georgia law, an incorporated city has certain legal requirements and responsibilities as a community. These legalities include:

  • The incorporated city or town must elect a city government
  • The elected city government must provide certain minimum service
  • The incorporated area must comply with all Georgia legal requirements for meetings, recordkeeping, and elections.

What do Residents Get by Being Incorporated?

In general, residents in an incorporated city or town get such benefits as:

  • Services such as police, fire protection, water systems, zoning and building requirements, parks, and recreation services, etc.
  • A greater sense of community from having an identifiable and responsive city government to address issues, problems, and planning
  • Recognition to apply for state and federal grants for community improvement

The advantages of living in an incorporated city or town generally make life easier and safer. The cost of enjoying these benefits is the extra property taxes and sales taxes you may pay.

Why Residents Chose Unincorporated Cities or Towns?

Most people who chose to reside in a city or town that is not incorporated cite simplicity as a chief reason. Incorporated cities and towns have fewer regulations, less oversight and allow residents a greater level of freedom on their property than most incorporated areas.

For example, in an unincorporated city or town, you can:

  • Use your property for many more purposes. You can continue to keep livestock or farm on your property. Many incorporated areas have zoning laws that restrict the property to certain uses.
  • Get off the grid. Many people who choose an unincorporated city or town are wanting to be less connected. Being off the grid for many people means being more independent and relying on a well for water or wind for power and raising much of their food. Incorporated towns and cities often restrict these kinds of activities
  • Less intrusion from outside sources. Living in an unincorporated town or city means less local control by a city government. In many cases, the property taxes are lower as well. There is a downside from the lack of a local police department, fire department, and other services we usually expect from a city or town.

Many of those who chose to live in unincorporated towns and cities seek more freedom in their personal lives. The less intrusive and controlling lifestyle allows these individuals to express themselves and their lifestyles much more aggressively.

The Basics of Mableton – What the Numbers Say

Statistically, Mableton is an attractive suburban area. Looking at the information about Mableton gives an overview of this relatively small suburban Atlanta community.

Population (2020 Census Estimate)$41,487
Median Home Value$214,652
Median Household Income$69,197
Cost of Living Compared to the USA103.8 / 100

Overall, despite its unincorporated status, Mableton offers its residents a wide variety of benefits and opportunities. A closer look at life in Mableton points up many of these benefits.

Living in Mableton – Renting and Owning

Almost seventy percent of the residents of Mableton own their homes. In a suburban commuter city, this represents a remarkably high rate of homeownership. Experts point out several reasons for this high homeownership rate.

  • Many investors who typically build large multi-family apartment complexes don’t want to invest in unincorporated areas when many services such as fire departments and police departments are not available. Typically, unincorporated areas have higher insurance rates than incorporated cities and towns.
  • The people who chose to live in unincorporated areas are typically looking for fewer regulations and oversight. Owning the land on which they live is a big part of this attitude.
  • Land developers who are the usual drivers of residential neighborhoods shy away from unincorporated areas due to the additional costs. Having to install septic systems, wells, and other basic functional needs drives up the initial cost of the development.

Real Estate in Mableton

Overall, the median housing expenses in Mableton are low. The median home price in Mableton is about $270,000. Comparing this median home price to the national average shows that housing costs in Mableton are as much as twenty-three percent less. This lower housing cost can be an attractive reason to re-locate to Mableton.

If renting is your option, you will typically save money as well. A two-bedroom home or apartment in Mableton averages between $850 and $1,000 per month. In Atlanta, you should expect to pay approximately $1,150 per month for a comparable space.

The Cost of Living – A Broader View

Overall, the cost of living is close to the national average. Utility costs are typically below the national average, while food costs are slightly above. Transportation costs are in the same range as are health and medical expenses.

If you are moving to Mableton, you probably will not notice much difference in the cost of living from where you live now. If you are moving from a densely populated metropolitan area with a high cost of living index, you will be pleasantly surprised at the difference.

Opportunities About for Culture, Education, and Entertainment

Living within 30 minutes of Atlanta offers many possibilities. A few of the many attractions and opportunities include:

  • Georgia High Museum of Art is one of the premier art museums in the country. This facility features galleries, roving exhibitions, and educational programs for all ages.
  • Tellus Science Museum and The Bentley planetarium offer a wide variety of visual and hands-on exhibits that will get the attention of all ages.
  • Visiting the College Football Hall of Fame is a must for any football fan.
  • If thrilling rides and adventure are your things, a visit to Six Flags over Georgia makes the bucket list. This theme park overflows with thrilling rides, fun games, and delicious eateries for the whole family.
  • Don’t forget the Atlanta Zoo. This facility is a state-of-the-art zoological installation that allows visitors to see exotic animals in their natural habitats and boasts world-class educational, research, and biological facilities.
  • Music and film are a huge part of the Atlanta metropolitan scene. You can enjoy symphony, ballet, and first-run movies. If live music is your choice, the Atlanta area is rich in live music venues where well-known acts and up-and-coming bands play almost nightly.

Mableton’s location so close to Atlanta makes this small rural city a great place to base your life. No matter your cultural, educational, or recreational aims, you won’t miss the mark by choosing Mableton as your headquarters.

The Downsides of Living in Mableton

Life in Mableton is not without its problems. Perhaps the greatest of these is the crime rate. The proximity of Atlanta is one reason for this, but every city in the US, no matter the size, is suffering its crime problems.

Higher Crime in the Neighborhood

Living in Mableton exposes you to a rather high crime rate. The number of violent crimes in Mableton is a little over 3 per 1,000 residents. These figures make Mableton safer than only twenty-one percent of all other cities in the US.

Nearby Atlanta contributes to these problems, as does the lack of a local police force. The Cobb County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement protection to the Mableton area. While the Cobb County Sheriff’s office is a fine organization, the limitations of manpower and a large geographic area to patrol are a concern.

Lack of Services – The Price of Freedom

Living in an unincorporated area means giving up what many people take for granted. Local police protection, fire, and EMS services are limited. Nearby medical facilities may be sparse as well.

You may find yourself with a neighbor whose ideas of style may conflict with yours with no zoning or building requirements. This lack of zoning control can result in finding your new home just across the road from a newly built commercial property or a poultry production facility.

Freedom does come with a price and anyone choosing to live in an unincorporated area must understand the costs they may pay.

Do You Need to Hire Movers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Mableton – Metropolitan Advantages with a Rural Lifestyle

All in all, Mableton is an attractive place to locate in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Moving to Mableton makes sense if you are seeking a rural lifestyle with fewer controls, rules, and regulations.

On the other hand, you may miss the amenities and protections that living in an incorporated city provides. The services available may be a good exchange for the freedom of a rural lifestyle. It is a choice that requires careful consideration.

Related Articles

Dennis Howard
Dennis Howard

Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.

More by Dennis Howard