Friday, October 23, 2015

Lafayette, GA: A Home Buyer's Guide

     Lafayette was originally founded as Chattooga in 1835, named after a French nobleman who fought in the Revolutionary War. The town itself is bordered by Foster Mill Rd, Broomtown Rd, and Hwy 193. It’s located about thirty miles from Chattanooga and main thoroughfares in the metro area, including I59, I24, and I75. Aside from its close proximity to Chattanooga, the city is only about two hours away from larger cities like Nashville, Atlanta, and Birmingham. Lafayette is a great community to consider for commuters to and from Chattanooga. It offers great schools, relatively low cost of living, and a shorter commute with less traffic than Ooltewah, a comparable Tennessee suburb of Chattanooga.

View of the courthouse
Lafayette is the seat of Walker County
     The town’s rich history also sets the tone for the housing inventory available in the area, and antebellum landmarks are a common site. Chattanooga Academy is one notable landmark, which is an antebellum plantation home constructed in 1836. Another notable structure is the Marsh House, which sits on the National Register of Historic Places. Lafayette hosts a notable historic district, with a sizeable amount of homes constructed at least one hundred years ago. In the city limits and county areas, you will find a variety of vernacular farmhouses, folk Victorians, and turn of the century Craftsman-style bungalows. Even though these old homes are scattered throughout the Lafayette area, you can find a concentration of older homes within the city limits—especially on E. Villanow St, North and South Chattanooga streets, and areas around Walnut Grove Road. If older homes aren’t your cup of tea, Lafayette has plenty of newer construction and mid-century ranch style homes in older established neighborhoods. Many of these homes come with a fair share of acreage, as Walker County is one of the least densely populated counties in the Chattanooga area.   
 
     Lafayette is also working to revitalize its main street image, which began in 1997 with the Georgia Department of County Affairs. The main street community focuses on small business initiatives, building improvements, and historic preservation. The program has been nationally accredited since 2006, and the town even has an airport for small business jets. The program has boosted economic development in the area through historic district research, hosting downtown events, and promoting tourism. These activities encourage economic re-investment, and the director works closely with the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority by assisting expansion plans regarding financing, training, building, and land acquisition.

A view of Main Street surrounded by historic buildings

     This town is also a perfect match for any outdoor enthusiast. National parks in the area include Chattahoochee National Forest and Chickamauga Military Park, and Lookout Mountain is nearby—hosting a variety of outdoor activities and hiking trails. If you are seeking more family friendly venues, Lafayette offers plenty of outdoor recreation areas. A municipal park center is located on Main Street, which contains a gym, game room, four ball fields, and picnic shelters equipped with grills. The area also contains a playground, and a walking track. Other facilities include Ross Abney Complex, which contains a football stadium, practice field, and a walking track. The Max Stoker center is located on Glenn Street, and the facility offers dance classes, soccer fields, and a walking track. Simmons Memorial Park is located on Mill Street beside the Marsh House, which contains an outdoor basketball court. Other recreation options include Joe Stock Memorial, which is a passive park with a gazebo and a play fountain. The park serves as a site for many seasonal events, including Christmas lights, an Easter egg hunt, a Fourth of July Freedom Fest, and Scare on the Square for the Halloween season. All picnics and meeting rooms in listed facilities are rentable.

     Aside from parks and sports centers, Lafayette has a city pool that offers swim lessons, lap swimming, party rentals, and public swim hours. The pool also has a one mile fitness trail behind it, and has a parafitness course. The recreation department also offers fitness and drama courses. Another outdoor gym is Queen City Lake off Round Pond Road past Lafayette High School. The lake offers fishing with no gas powered boats allowed. There are also numerous hiking trails and camping sites in the beautiful surrounding countryside, and you will never fall short of outdoor activities. Cloudland Canyon State Park is a short drive up Lookout Mountain, and Chattahoochee National Forest is only minutes away.
If you are interested in viewing homes in this area, don’t hesitate to contact us to set up your personalized buyer consultation!