Valdosta, Georgia, is located in south-central Georgia, about 15 miles from the Florida border. The metropolitan area of Valdosta has a population of 140,000. It has numerous manufacturing industries, including turpentine, pulpwood, lumber, and tobacco. It also has a large college population and a military base, making it an interesting, diverse city. Many of the homes in Valdosta are medium-sized, single-family residences. It also has some larger, newer homes and some apartments. Valdosta is a solidly middle-class city, home to young singles, retirees, and those looking to raise a family.
Nicknamed the Azalea City for its large numbers of the beautiful plant, Valdosta was named one of the "Best Small Places for Business and Careers" by Forbes in 2010. In 2003, Valdosta was named one of the "Top 100 U.S. Small Towns" by Site Selection magazine. Valdosta has 20 constituent neighborhoods, each with its own unique characteristics. The areas of Bemiss Road, Skipper Bridge Road, Mellow Drive/Lamplighter Road, and East Hill Avenue in the north end of town have more military families than most neighborhoods in the United States. These neighborhoods have predominantly owner-occupied, medium-sized, single-family homes built in the late 20th century. East Hill is the exception; it has more newer homes than older ones, many built after 2000 and larger than those found in the other neighborhoods. At an average price of $136,000.00, they are also more expensive than those in the surrounding neighborhoods.
As you travel southward into central Valdosta, the neighborhoods become more diverse. Lake Laurie, still with a high percentage of military families, also has the most high-rise apartments of any neighborhood in Valdosta. The central neighborhoods of Five Points and Baytree contain a mix of military and lower income families and have mostly older, medium-sized houses. Just a few blocks away are the Ashley Street and City Center areas, known largely for their college communities. Housing costs in these neighborhoods are low and vacancy rates are high, partly because of the transitory college population. These neighborhoods are a mix of single-family homes and apartment buildings, as well as a mix of owner-occupied and rental properties. Nearby are the more upscale neighborhoods around East Park Drive, Deerbrook Drive, Pebblewood Drive and Woodrow Wilson Drive. These areas have a mix of established and newer homes, primarily owner-occupied. The Woodrow Wilson area is known for its many executive homes and is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. These upscale neighborhoods are also home to many retirees, which help make Valdosta the diverse city it is.