Author Topic: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?  (Read 1460 times)

DaddedOut

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« on: July 10, 2018, 06:34:04 PM »
First post here on the forum for me.

Here’s what’s going on:

- My wife and I are looking at buying a home in South Tacoma, WA. FTHBs!
- 2 bed, 1 bath, newly remodeled bungalow with spacious backyard, fully fenced, and detached shed.
- Our friends who own the home are offering to sell it to us off market for $245k.
- We love the home and the price seems fair, and the monthly mortgage would be lower than our current rent (moving from Seattle).

BUT
- The neighborhood is a little rough (even though we think it would get better), and we have two little girls both under the age of 2.
- There are 9 registered sex offenders within a .5 mile radius of the house.
- The public schools in the area are also terrible/sketchy. Which means we’d have to move in 3yrs anyway when our first girl starts kindergarten, or we could possibly homeschool, or shell out for private school.

My primary concern as a father to two little girls  is the density of sex offenders in the immediate area.

Should this automatically disqualify the home? Especially interested in advice from mustachians with families who moved to a rougher area to save on the cost of a home.

Thanks for your help!

Dadded Out


MrUpwardlyMobile

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
    • The Upwardly Mobile Life
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 06:48:20 PM »
First post here on the forum for me.

Here’s what’s going on:

- My wife and I are looking at buying a home in South Tacoma, WA. FTHBs!
- 2 bed, 1 bath, newly remodeled bungalow with spacious backyard, fully fenced, and detached shed.
- Our friends who own the home are offering to sell it to us off market for $245k.
- We love the home and the price seems fair, and the monthly mortgage would be lower than our current rent (moving from Seattle).

BUT
- The neighborhood is a little rough (even though we think it would get better), and we have two little girls both under the age of 2.
- There are 9 registered sex offenders within a .5 mile radius of the house.
- The public schools in the area are also terrible/sketchy. Which means we’d have to move in 3yrs anyway when our first girl starts kindergarten, or we could possibly homeschool, or shell out for private school.

My primary concern as a father to two little girls  is the density of sex offenders in the immediate area.

Should this automatically disqualify the home? Especially interested in advice from mustachians with families who moved to a rougher area to save on the cost of a home.

Thanks for your help!

Dadded Out

Why would you buy if you know you’d have to move within 3 years? That’s a dense sex offender area.  I wouldn’t voluntarily move baby upward to an area like that

CowboyAndIndian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1277
  • Location: NJ, USA
    • KOWines: Deep discount wine/spirits store.
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 06:51:49 PM »

- The public schools in the area are also terrible/sketchy. Which means we’d have to move in 3yrs anyway when our first girl starts kindergarten, or we could possibly homeschool, or shell out for private school.


That would be a real deal breaker for me!!

You need to stay in a house for atleast 4-5 years (rule of thumb), otherwise the closing costs mean that you end up at a loss.

joonifloofeefloo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5806
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 06:55:06 PM »
That may well be the same number of nonregistered sex offenders as other areas. It just means these ones were caught + charged + convicted + jailed + lost earning capacity thus landed in a cheaper area. Offenders in better circumstances would have had different outcomes. So, I would say assume that many offenders anywhere and parent accordingly.

The terrible schools concern me more. What tells you that the schools are this awful?

In most cases, homeschooling has the cost of at least one parent staying home. Private school costs are obvious, too. So, if you'd be taking one of these tacks *only* because the local school is awful, the house isn't really offering savings.

If you're committed to homeschooling for other reasons, the cost is the same regardless of the home's location. But homeschooling, you'll still want to be in a healthy community with healthy programs and healthy neighbours available to your kids, so this one might fail in terms of that workaround idea.

If the other viable option is to move in three years, then you're usually advised not to buy, just on the buying/selling/moving costs alone (not to mention the stress of big changes, loss of community, etc).

peeps_be_peeping

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 49
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 06:58:55 PM »
I'm neither a parent nor a girl under the age of 2 (though I used to be one) but I wouldn't buy that house. 9 sex offenders nearby is 9 too many. Peace of mind is worth more than reduced housing costs.

The above was my first reaction. Then I went and looked at how many sex offenders live within .5 miles of my house and found... 9. So maybe it's not so bad if they are all compliant with the registration requirements??? I don't know how I would feel about my neighborhood if I had little kids.

But if you are only planning to stay there 3 years it doesn't seem worth it.

Ocinfo

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 303
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 07:17:38 PM »
I’d say not worth it due to your 3 year timeline unless you intend to become a landlord.

As far as the sex offenders go, you really need to look into what they were convicted of. In a similar neighborhood, I had the same reaction to the number but nearly every one of them were for low level offenses. There was 1 that was of a higher level of criminality but it was hard to actually find him in the background noise.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8559
  • Location: Seattle
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 10:06:33 PM »
I remember being similarly surprised at the number in my neighborhood -- but then I searched other addresses of family and friends and found they were all pretty similar. 

The school issue is more serious, because that will potentially both increase your own costs (if you don't feel comfortable putting your kids in the public schools) and be a drag on the appreciation of the house (because other families would have the same concerns).

245k for a small 2 br 1 ba in a sketchy neighborhood doesn't sound like that great of a deal to me.  What are the comps like?  @Tami1982 lives in that general area and has her eye on the market and may have advice.

DaddedOut

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 09:59:07 AM »
Thank you all for the very helpful input.

Main takeaway I’m getting is NOT to buy, not only because of rough neighborhood/sex offenders, but because we’re on a short 3 year timeline.

My idea was not to sell at 3 years, but rent it out and start landlording.

My wife and are I just itching to get out of Sea. We want a change of scenery and we have a good community of friends down in Tacoma. And the homes are much more aftordable. And yes even in the rough neighborhoods the going rate for homes right now is around 220-250 (if you don’t want a big fixer upper).

We could shell out $300k to get into a nicer part of town,, but that mortgage  would exceed my target debt-to-income ratio of 25-30%. Plus we only have about 15k saved for a downpayment.

joonifloofeefloo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5806
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 10:03:38 AM »
It would be worth discussing the landlording idea. i.e.,

What is the vacancy rate in that area?
What would it get for rent?
What would its costs be when you're not living in it (mortgage, insurance, property taxes, water/sewer/garbage, etc)?
What is the age and condition of the house, thus estimated maintenance costs?
What are the landlord-tenant laws in WA? Do they favour landlords or tenants? What would your responsibilities and liabilities be?
Do lovely (responsible, peaceful) renters move in to that neighbourhood?

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3873
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 10:23:53 AM »
First, enough of this NIMBY pearl clutching!

Here's a Scientific American article relevant to the subject matter. If they're on an offender registry, it means they've done their time for the crime and likely in treatment or had treatment. Recidivism rates are what matters. And as Joon has so thoughtfully pointed out, this stuff gets low report rates, and means nothing on the grander scale. Those numbers only reflect those who have been caught, and most of the serious offenders abused people they knew - frequently family.

Second, if you've got three years before school age... here's a thought, be a proactive parent and do some good. Is it a funding issue, or something far uglier with regards to personal bias? Work to improve the school in the neighborhood for all the kids, including your own. If it's funding issues, guess what? Buying the house, paying property taxes and being active in the community will help fix that! If it's not funding, perhaps some challenges to your cognitive dissonance with your current thinking is exactly what is needed in your life. Nobody deserves a crappy education. Nobody.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 10:31:54 AM by Daley »

ematicic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 101
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Virginia
  • Money Enthusiast
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 10:28:08 AM »
https://www.dea.gov/clan-lab/clan-lab.shtml

http://klaaskids.org/megans-law/washington/

Anytime I move to a new area I check these. The first is the DEA registered Meth lab houses, the second is the Megan's law. 9 is too much for that radius but this site does help because it shows you the perps and most states display the nature of their offenses. The poor schools would be a nogo for me if they are rated that badly, and would also make a hard pitch for a rental to a family.

Tami1982

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 935
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 11:51:43 AM »
@lhamo, @DaddedOut

I'm in Tacoma as well, and yes, the market is through the roof here.  I don't see buying in this area as a great value at this time unless you are coming from an even higher cost area.   Just to give you an idea - six years ago I bought my 520sq ft house with 10,000 sq ft lot for $62,000.  I could sell it now for about $150,000.  There is simply almost nothing on the market for under $225,000, and what is below that is going to need huge amounts of work.  I'm seeing houses on lots half the size of mine, with 750-850sq ft homes going for $250,000.   It's killing me not to sell because of the equity I could pull out, but I couldn't afford anything else in the area.  I'm in what is considered a decent area of Tacoma between Tacoma/Puyallup.   So not the worst parts, and definitely not the high end, North Tacoma area. 

I get so frustrated trying to figure out a way to hustle/hack/take advantage of this opportunity, but at this point there is just nothing I can come up with. 

Best of luck!  I'm glad to help if I can. 

(PS!  LHAMO!  YOU CAN TAG PEOPLE ON HERE NOW!  LOL, I just figured this out.)

FIRE@50

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 330
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maryland
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 12:12:14 PM »
I recommend that everyone(that cares about a child in their life) get themselves some child sexual abuse training. The most important thing that sticks in my mind is empowering your child. It is imperative for them to understand as early as possible that their body is theirs and that NO ONE has the right to touch them without their permission. That includes parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, etc. NO ONE. Your children should have the expectation that a "No" from them will be respected by everyone(even you). If that is not respected, they should immediately tell a trusted adult. If that doesn't get the desired result, they should be instructed to tell someone else until they do get the desired response.

Living in a 'safe' neighborhood will not protect you or your child from this. Education is the key.

Darkness to Light is an amazing resource.
https://www.d2l.org/

jpdx

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 196
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2018, 11:15:19 PM »
I'd be less worried about the sex offenders (just assume they could be in any neighborhood) and more worried about the bad schools and needing to sell your house after only three years.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3206
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2018, 10:32:18 AM »
There's a guy elsewhere on this forum who is a registered sex offender and trying to figure out how to get employed. His offense? Streaking while drunk 10+ years ago. I would take ANYTHING coming out of the sex offender registry with a large grain of salt, because they're tracking a bunch of people who are not dangerous. They're also tracking people who are dangerous. And you can't tell the difference.

That said, the poor schools is the biggest concern. Are you sure they're actually bad schools? Or just test as bad? Because if the teachers are actually effective, but are just dealing with highly disadvantaged kids, then the test scores will be bad but the school itself could be just fine. Local knowledge is going to matter there.

If you're buying a house, planning on living in it 3 years then selling, then no. That's not enough time. If you want to move there, rent. Regardless, I would advocate renting for a year regardless, so you have time to get to know the area and figure out where you want to be.

RangerOne

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 686
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2018, 04:06:14 PM »
I totally get the concern over sex offenders given I also have 2 daughters under 3 years old.

But my first overall concern would be local crime rates and demographics mostly with concern for incomes and professions of local home owners. This is not at all to be snobbish but in general the relative safety with regard to violent crime is far lower in a area with more professional families, higher incomes and better schools.

It sounds like you think the area is gentrifying. So concerns of crime and offense like rape could all go down and make that a very nice neighborhood. But for that to be worth it to you it would have to happen in time for your daughters to start grade school.

As long is crime is not frequent and you have a low risk of getting assaulted, home invasion or robbery it may be worth it to stick it out for 3-5 years and trade up to something in an area you are more comfortable raising kids in.

You are however a little late I think on the curve to own a home in an area you don't want to raise your kids. A lot of people do this when they are just starting out to build equity in a less overpriced area. And possibly come out the other side with a good sale or rental.

But once you have kids your time table to move to your ideal neighborhood is shorter.

To my mind neighborhood sex offenders are only really an issue if the overall neighborhood is high risk for various forms of crime.

Also 3 years is a very short window to own a home unless it is a good deal to flip or rent out right upon purchase. Which it very well may be given its off market through a friend.

Lmoot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 639
    • Journal
Re: FTHB - How Many Sex Offenders Is Too Many Sex Offenders?
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2018, 01:54:12 AM »

But my first overall concern would be local crime rates and demographics mostly with concern for incomes and professions of local home owners. This is not at all to be snobbish but in general the relative safety with regard to violent crime is far lower in a area with more professional families, higher incomes and better schools.


This is highly localized, and doesn’t really apply to non gated communities that are in dense areas where the income levels change from block to block.  I live in a lower middle income area of a larger city with mostly hs education, yet the high income, good school, historic neighborhood blocks away, with some of the highest property values, also has one of the highest crime rates. I’ve had friends who just bought or rented homes there get bikes stolen, doors kicked down and burglarized, cars broken into. They had a serial killer recently, which specifically targeted people in that neighborhood.

When I moved in I asked my neighbors about crime. They said on our block they are aware of only two instances in 30 years, someone got a kayak stolen from their yard, and someone else got broken into by a coworker who knew they were out of town.