Wednesday, June 3, 2009

what makes a bad neighborhood?

now that we're moving to an apartment that's sometimes purported to be in one, i'm curious.

people keep telling me to drive through as dark's falling, to trust my instincts. i hate to say it, but i really don't have much in the way of instincts about this sort of thing. abandoned-looking houses with busted out windows everywhere spook me, but the upkeep in the couple blocks around us looks fine. i've been tracking on, and i can't really see much difference in the number of incidents between where we're moving and the supposedly "good" neighborhoods -- car break-ins and occasional robberies seem to be pretty standard for the city. people seem to cite folks standing around outside as a telltale... but it's summertime, and i tend to take that as neighbors being much more likely to have an idea what's going on in the area. and not being too afraid to be out -- that's good too.

we've committed now, so it's too late to back out... ok, we did insist on adding an early termination clause to the lease, just in case it's too good to be true. but what do YOU look for when scoping out a neighborhood?


Breanna said...

Well, I guess I'm not exactly one to talk, since there are several known drug dealers in my complex and the police are there at least 3 times a month...

But, I love my apartment. I have a great landlord who lets me do pretty much whatever I want as long as I pay the rent, I have pretty good laminate wood floors and plenty of closet space, I've got some good natural light and a great top-floor, corner location. And then the rent that I pay is some of the cheapest in the city, especially for a 1BD/1BA. Is that because of the surroundings? Yeah, but just outside of my complex is suburban ranchhouse-ville. I think it basically comes down to whether you feel safe or not. If you feel okay, that's all you really need, even if you have to be extra-vigilant on a regular basis (I, for example, always have my house key in my hand from the second I get out of my car, and I always lock my doors). Good neighbors help a lot, too--for me, it's the guy next door, who always has an eye out for me and my apartment. So if you feel comfortable in the place and you can find at least that one person that will be an extra set of eyes for you, you're fine. PLUS you get cheaper rent! Woo!

kait said...

yay better rent for cute apartment!

i'm mostly just frustrated because i keep getting shocked reactions when i tell people where i'm moving... and i really can't tell much difference from the pricier "good" neighborhood, and i want to know if i just lack a proper instinct for safety or if the reputation's unjust.

hoping the discrepancy's somewhat due to area history... wikipedia seems to indicate that it WAS a lot worse.