NY Stock Exchange relocates family to Atlanta

By Carolyn Crist

For the AJC

Born and raised in New York, Ray Choudhury is used to long commutes, power blackouts and the hectic financial world. In moving to the South, Choudhury initially was concerned about the miles between his immediate family and his relatives still in the New York area. Once he began researching homes and kid-friendly neighborhoods around Atlanta, however, he was thrilled by the possibilities. To create a smooth transition, he looked for a completed home and bought in Lennar Atlanta’s Westpark community in Kennesaw.

Why Atlanta?

When the New York Stock Exchange announced that some of its operations would consolidate and form a hub in Atlanta, Choudhury, 33, knew he would be in charge of moving web operations South. He talked to colleagues who recently moved to Atlanta and heard Donna Hogan (with Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) worked well with transplants. She sent him a questionnaire to understand his family’s priorities in a home. Then Choudhury drove 15 hours in his minivan to view homes in Atlanta.

He had heard of Lennar Atlanta, and Choudhury appreciated the quality and craftsmanship in Westpark, priced from the mid $300,000s to high $400,000s. He put down a deposit and left that weekend with a contract on a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home with 3,300 square feet. It was a short trip for his first time in Atlanta.

“When you’re living in the suburbs in New York, it’s really not the suburbs. I’m an outdoors guy, and I had to drive three hours to hike on a trail,” he said. “But here, I have eight acres of reserve right in my backyard.”

Putting down roots

Choudhury and wife Mariya desired an open floor plan that would emphasize family gatherings. He’s looking forward to finishing the basement with an entertainment area and guest room for New York relatives to visit. They kept their kids in mind — Yamina, 10, Samiha, 9, Amin, 3 and Inayah, 1 — while searching for the right space. A Jack-and-Jill bathroom layout, for example, will benefit oldest daughters Yamina and Samiha as they grow into teenagers.

The Choudhurys, who moved in during August, have enjoyed their new neighborhood, where kids jump on trampolines, play on swing sets and ride bikes. “I bought a bike myself after not riding one for 20 years, and it’s phenomenal to ride with my kids,” he said. “People are so friendly here. It’s great to sit outside and talk and collaborate on work and life.”

Relocation tip

When you have a busy work and family life, a great agent is the key to success, said Choudhury, who has recommended Hogan to six co-workers. “I was in a tight time crunch, and she helped me to make a swift decision,” he said. “It helped to alleviate the stress of buying here while selling in New York.”