Rome : Georgia

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What it's Like to Retire in Rome

Rome is the largest city in northwest Georgia. Like its namesake in Italy, Rome is built on 7 hills with a river running through it.  It has 34,000 residents and is home to four colleges including Floyd College and Shorter University. Berry College, just north of town, is famous for having the world's largest campus (26,000 acres). Rome has a long history with more than a dozen sites on the National Register of Historic Places. The downtown is quite extensive and lively - on a recent visit Topretirements was very pleasantly surprised at how vital and upbeat the town seems to be. We entered a coffee shop and almost of the customers appeared to college students or that age. It was nice to see families walking around downtown on a Saturday afternoon.
 

Where to Retire in Rome and Home Prices

There is at least 1 active adult community in Rome.
The Zillow Home Value Index was $116,000 in mid 2018, about half the national index. Home values went up 9% in the last year. There are some very nice residential areas in the hills overlooking the town center. There are some active adult communities in the area as well, including one associated with Berry College.

 

What is special about Rome

Having 4 colleges in town is unusual. It is the commercial center of northern Georgia. Rome has the largest college campus in the world (Berry College).  Being an historic town in the foothills of the Appalachians is another distinction. The downtown is quite lively and extensive with an interesting array of shops and restaurants set along wide streets. Many young people are out and about.
 

What is not special about Rome

This corner of Georgia is off by itself, although Atlanta is not that far away. Through the 1970's Rome was home to a nationally famous house of prostitution, Peggy's. The crime rate is higher than average. If Rome were closer to Atlanta or Savannah we think it would be even more successful, but for people from outside the south this part of Georgia is a bit unknown.
 

Who will like retirement in Rome

People looking for an inexpensive place to retire in a moderate climate with good scenery and in a college town will probably like Rome. People from the north or midwest will find this town, because of its size and colleges, easier to adapt to than some smaller towns in Georgia or Alabama. But if you are not from the south, it might take some adjusting. Politically speaking, this part of Georgia is extremely red; the city voted 70% Republican in 2016. Racially, Rome is about 51% white, 28% African-American, 17% Hispanic, and the remaining other races. About half the population identifies as evangelical christian.
 

Local economy is driven by

Formerly agricultural, Rome has several large companies in addition to the colleges and being the county seat.
 

Climate and Physical Environment

Rome is in the foothills of the Appalachians, and is almost equidistant to Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Birmingham. The average July high temp is 88 and the average Jan low is 29.  March is the wettest month with almost 7" of precip. The curve of the river through the town and the hills above make for a very pleasant physical setting.
 

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Rome has many restaurants. There are museums and a film festival. The colleges also provide local culture. There are frequent fairs and festivals, in addition to a minor league baseball team.
 

Crime

Crime is over a third higher than the national average.
 

Medical facilities

There are at least 3 hospitals including Floyd Medical Center.
 

Transportation

Atlanta and its international airport is just over 50 miles away. No interstate highways are close to Rome.
 

Valuable Links

Rome Visitors and Convention Bureau
 

What people are saying about Rome

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