Author Topic: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent  (Read 3540 times)

SofiaBourbon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« on: January 17, 2014, 06:50:09 AM »
Hi All,

 I live in a rented apartment in a good area with amazing schools (all rated ten) . I live here mainly because while it may be a bit more pricey, my son gets to walk to school, if I am sick or too busy to take him and he gets to be in an area that is not so dangerous. For this year, he wants to move in with his father. That means that for this year I could cut my expenses by moving into a cheaper place by myself.  We also have two lab dogs, 5 months and almost 40 pounds each (early Christmas gift from my sister) this increased our rent rate by $30 and came with $600 fee $200 deposit for having them here. The area that I am looking at is closer to work but more dangerous. I am planning to keep my valuables at my sisters storage or sell them. Rent for a house with a yard is less than what I pay now and it will reduce my gas cost.  I have no martial arts experience( 5'2 and 128 lbs) and do not own a gun plus my son will come to visit on weekends. What would you consider if you were planning to do something like this, safety is important., our dogs are active and growing fast. I have thought about installing and alarm system, this will still be cheaper than where I am currently. I am also planning to get a list of the average break ins in the area, assaults and so on ... This will help me make my decision. What are your thoughts?don't even try? Waste of time? Have you ever moved to an area that was considered a transitioning area?

Thank you

Melody

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1087
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Australia
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 07:13:34 AM »
It's hard to quantify the risk from the information although here in Australia, by the time something is described as transitioning, it's usually ok. I think getting hard statistics as well as spending time in the neighborhood is important. Also every neighborhood has better and worse parts. For example I am considering buying an IP in a very rough neighborhood because of the bad reputation houses on one side of the street are $100K lower than on the other side (a very popular family orientated neighborhood) [Both houses are in the same school zone, so it's not that, it's seriously just snobbery]. It's only a matter of time before people realise the madness!

I have lived in a transitioning area, and it was generally ok. The main problem was MMM advocates walking and biking, but you do less of that and more driving to stay safe. But once your are in your (secure) house, it's no big deal. I'd do it again if the savings were significant (as they were at the time - rents in the area have since caught up). I don't weigh much more than you and am also female if this helps. I also spent very little time in my 'hood, choosing to drive to a nearby area for shopping, the park, excersising etc so you may want to factor this time/money cost in. For a small saving it's not worth the hassle and lack of pride (not from snobbery, but just having to be surrounded by ugliness and chao - unlike the area where I want to buy the IP, this area was not very pretty unlike the nearby richer area. The IP area is pretty with nice streetscapes.) But if the numbers are significant, why not. At the end of the day it's who is/what is inside your home that matters :)

MissStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 711
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 07:22:18 AM »
What do you mean more dangerous?  Are people being raped and mugged and murdered out your front door?  It is unsafe to walk around at night?

Just out of college I lived in an "unsafe" neighboorhood in Charleston, SC, which of course meant that black people lived there and all the rich old biddies I worked for would clutch their pearls and gasp when they found out where I lived, telling me that I had to move somewhere "more appropriate."

I didn't wander around by myself outside at midnight, but I never felt unsafe.  I loved that apartment!

Elaine

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 467
  • Age: 30
  • Location: NYC
    • Small Things Good
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 07:49:43 AM »
I've lived in some really rough areas in NYC and Boston. I have a few ways now of telling if an area is too dangerous for me (I'm also about your height and weigh around 105)

1. Visit the area alone at night- after 9:00 at least. Walk around and see how you feel. In my opinion, large groups of people standing around doing nothing on corners is usually a bad sign. If you're going to get verbally harassed it'll probably happen in the evening- so you'll get a sense.

2. Visit the area on a Saturday or Sunday morning. You'll see what the population is like that lives there and works standard hours. Are lots of people out grocery shopping with kids in tow? Is it totally empty? Go to the grocery stores, are they filthy? Is there fresh produce? Are there homeless people just wandering in the stores?

Anyway that's my advice, best of luck. I've had it go both ways. In my experience if I can't walk home at 9:00 in a knee length skirt without getting harassed it's not worth the money saved.
Check out my frugality/minimalism blog http://smallthingsgood.com/

SunshineGirl

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 732
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 08:06:24 AM »
Good advice on visiting the neighborhood.

Personally, the feeling of safety -- while intangible -- is important. Things can and do happen in really good neighborhoods, too, but I would not trade a feeling of safety over saving money unless I was in dire straits.

Is there a compromise solution?

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2396
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 08:09:12 AM »
Would you move back to a good area next year when you might have your son again?  Take into consideration the cost of moving twice - both financially (movers?  moving truck?  packing material?) and stress (time to pack, set up utilities).  Would you worry about him visiting you in an area where you considerd it somewhat dangerous?

Thegoblinchief

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7231
  • Age: 33
  • Location: SE WI
  • Lunatic urban homesteader
    • The Goblin Chief
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 08:23:16 AM »
Comes down to just how dangerous this area is. I think Elaine gave you really good advice.

To my mind, unless we're talking $200 or more a month, it's not worth it if you currently like where you live. Even if the dangerous area is NOT actually dangerous, YOU certainly think it is, and stress like that can really wear on you. It really did for us a year or more after our house was robbed in a "safe" neighborhood. We still live in the same neighborhood and no longer worry as much, even though it seems about the same as before.
Rabbit: it's what's for dinner.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 09:42:40 AM »
We also have two lab dogs, 5 months and almost 40 pounds each (early Christmas gift from my sister) this increased our rent rate by $30 and came with $600 fee $200 deposit for having them here.

Why doesn't your sister like you?

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3649
  • Location: On my bike
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 01:00:39 PM »
I find there's a big difference when you live there as opposed to when you're just visiting.  Everything seems scarier when it's strange.  When it's familiar, it packs a lot less of a punch.

I can't advise moving into the heart of the ghetto where you'll hear gunshots on a daily basis, but working class neighborhoods are generally just as safe as any other, despite their more rundown appearance.

What city/neighborhood are you looking at?  There's enough people around here, I bet we can find someone who already lives there and can give specific guidance.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe."  -- Einstein

projekt

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 282
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 02:15:38 PM »
Of course, the bad becomes the new normal after you've lived there a while. Examples from my experience in Oakland, Pittsburgh:

"Yeah, there was a kid killed last year outside his apartment. They were apparently mugging him for beer money."
- oh, ok. hmm. a little nervous.

a few months later:

"So C. answered his door and there was a girl with a gun. She told him to get her a beer. He was like, um... ok. He gave her a beer and she left."
- that's weird. just a beer?

a few months later:

"So, last night I heard loud bangs and thought, oh I hope that's a car backfiring. Then I heard 'OH MY GOD THEY SHOT HIM!' "
- you don't say? how'd it turn out?

Melody

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1087
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Australia
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 04:11:34 PM »
I can't advise moving into the heart of the ghetto where you'll hear gunshots on a daily basis, but working class neighborhoods are generally just as safe as any other, despite their more rundown appearance.

This! I wouldn't necessarily agree "as safe as any other" but there is an MMM post around "doubling your risk" of problems by living in a less safe hood close to work, should actually improve your overall odds of survival due to less time participating in the dangerous activity of commuting.

I guess the question is, is it somewhere poor/run-down/higher burglary rate or is it somewhere where there are drug deals happening in the open, gun shots, etc etc. One is manageable, the other isn't. Also factor in what will happen to your insurance costs as this could eat up some of the savings.

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Moving to a bad area for $575 rent
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 05:04:06 PM »
It's hard to tell whether or not someone actually knows what a "bad" area is when they ask this question. Where exactly are we talking about? I've lived in places (including right now) that are considered by many (especially white) people to be "bad" neighborhoods, but they've never actually been a problem for me. Oddly enough, though, my parents have each had their "safe" suburban houses robbed.

I would try to get in touch with someone who actually lives where you're thinking of moving and ask them about it. You might also be able to get some quantifiable data from local law enforcement to ponder.