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Thread: How is your neighborhood?

  1. #1
    Senior Member awakenedsoul's Avatar
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    How is your neighborhood?

    Are you happy in your neighborhood? Do you feel safe and secure? Do you plan to stay there long term? I'm interested in hearing about where people live, and why they chose their home. What are the positives and negatives? I love my little cottage and mini farm, but the neighborhood is rough. The price was great, $89,500. but there are a lot of problems with drugs, drinking, and undesirables. I'm super close to everything I need: the library, post office, credit union, thrift stores, grocery stores, and drug stores. I can bike everywhere. Our public transportation is excellent. I can grow all my own food, and my utility bills are super low. (average electric bill is between $15.-$20.!) There is a school nearby where I can walk my dogs and use the track. It's fenced in, beautiful, and green. We have 30 miles of bike paths, and an excellent Farmers Market. There are horses across the street, and I have a few really nice neighbors. One of them gives me her horse manure for my compost. I give her my extra organic fruits and vegetables from my garden. I've had some safety issues here, so I am training my German Shepherd to be in the front yard. It's fenced off. Hopefully that will solve the problem. How about you?

  2. #2
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    My neighborhood is considered inner city. It is where I grew up. I hear about so much of the bad, from all the leo's I know. But I know so much of that goes on no matter WHERE you go. (seen expensive homes used as drug labs, prostitution or theft rings in good area's, family abuse issues, etc)
    Doesn't matter WHERE you go, a house is a box, a home is what you make of it, a neighborhood, really isn't any different.
    When I was a kid, more of these houses had clotheslines and elderly people. People knew their neighbors and their dirty laundry (quite literally from laundry to the old days of no a/c and hearing through houses, etc). Now, I don't know a lot of the neighbors, and am not sure I want to, after seeing some of them. That said, over the years, I have helped get drug houses out of here, and some other issues (try to improve the neighborhood).

  3. #3
    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    I live in the best neighborhood in St. Louis.

    http://www.lafayettesquare.org/Photos.aspx

    It's a Victorian village in the inner city. I'm here because of the architecture, and the old houses here are the fabric that binds everyone. Most people here are house huggers. While my immediate neighborhood is beautiful and is also fun with it's centrally located park and business district, nearby neighborhoods include public housing and we get all of the crime that comes with that.

    This is a great community where we have lots of activities. I'm not as active as I once was in neighborhood affairs but I still attend things off and on, and all of our friends are from this neighborhood.

    Safety is a big issue.We've lived here 23 years and had only minor crime--car crimes and minor thefts--until last fall when our house was robbed. Our neighborhoode has a strong safety programs with patrols and cameras and a beloved policeman who is currently assigned here. We all pay attention to crime issues and wtch what is going on around us at all times.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Miss Cellane's Avatar
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    I live in a small city in New Hampshire. Large enough that there are things like the farmer's market, a small theater group, local museums, decent stores within a reasonable distance, close to the coast, easy to get to the larger cities and Boston if you want more things to do. The state university is one town over, so there's a lot of activity there.

    My immediate neighborhood is safe--well, pretty much the entire city is safe. Walking distance to the library, town hall, local bakery and coffee shop, the center of town with small, local businesses. Lots of old Victorian houses, some old factory housing from the city's heyday as a manufacturing center--all those rivers gave a great deal of hydroelectric power.

    It's also large enough that the small-town cliquishness isn't too overpowering--newcomers to town are welcomed, not viewed with suspicion. The big change over the years is that more and more people from Massachusetts are moving to the general area. They are willing to commute for three or four hours a day from Boston to southern NH, for the lower taxes. But they bring different expectations about what government should do and provide, so it makes for some interesting times.

    My immediate neighborhood has lovely old houses, and an old cemetery at the heart of it. The city maintains it like a park, and people push their kids in strollers or go jogging amongst the old graves from the 1700s and 1800s. It seems odd, but the old and the new are intertwined in this old city. I love the sense of history here, and the feeling that there are roots.

  5. #5
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    Our previous house was in a neighborhood that we loved for its proximity to everything, including a university, a great bookstore, restaurants, bakeries, parks. We had the best neighbors there in the adjacent houses - unfortunately, there were many transients who wandered through the neighborhood and often slept in the park. We had an alarm on our house and never left the windows open at night (1-story). We experienced 2 thefts in the 5 years we lived there. My neighbor had an ongoing problem with mail theft.

    Our current house, we chose for its construction year - after lead paint and asbestos, as we had a toddler - and for the ample green space around us due to wetlands. It is in a very safe suburb with an excellent school district, and we have a great yard for growing food. When we moved here, we weren't certain how long we would be here, for job reasons; but now we intend to stay for the long term, unless the job situation changes. We have many friends in our neighborhood and I love that DD is growing up with her friends - something I did not do as we moved many times.

    I agree that a home is what you make of it. Any house you move into, is just a house. It takes a few years for it to really be home, in my experience. And anything can become a home... the 80s split-level we moved into 8 years ago was pretty generic, but now it is ours and despite the general lack of space and storage, we are all comfortable and "at home" here. It is where we want to be.

    IrisLily, that is a beautiful neighborhood! Thanks for sharing the photos.

  6. #6
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    I live in a city of approx. 86,500 in Southern NH. My neighborhood is considered inner city, though we are just outside of the "rough" part of town. To be honest, I don't think much of it. My neighborhood is fairly transient (lots of apartments surround us and we are the only actual house on the block (all others are apartment buildings) so I don't know my neighbors. The house is a bit big for dh and myself but is fine when my college aged son is home. It's 964 sq ft on the main floor. Three bedrooms (one is dh's office). I also have a 300 sq ft fininished space in the basement that is my art studio. We have a good sized level lot and the back yard allows for line drying, gardens and relaxing. When it's quiet and you are in the back yard you forget you are in the city. We also have a two car detatched garage with attic storage above. Price wise we are overhoused now that dh is no longer working as a software developer, but rents for a one bedroom, plus separate studio rental would be very close to what we are paying for our mortgage (within $300 a month).... so we stay. I'm on a dead end that backs onto a Rail Trail that goes all the way downtown (empty's at city hall). I can bike to the library, post office, dinning and shopping from the rail trail. One street over and in the opposite direction is a trail head to 325 acres of state park land that is all wooded biking and hiking trails. This will take me to dinning, shopping, the movie theather, grocery store, my family doctor and the gym. I'm within 3 miles of everything.

    I will say I miss living in Lowell Ma. I was born there, dh and I both attended college there and lived there for 10 years following graduation. The city was rough and it had it's crime ,but it also has a history and culture that you just don't find here in NH. The art community is alive and active and wonderful. The moto of the city is "art is the handmade of human good". This statement is even on the police cars. From sports, to concerts, dance, fine arts, cultural events etc... The city has a heartbeat. Dh and I are considering moving back to Lowell when he retires.

  7. #7
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    Iris, your neighborhood is very beautiful. We enjoyed our visit with you a few years ago immensely. The architecture in your neighborhood is stunning.

    I love my neighborhood. I live in the neighborhood I grew up in. It's a first ring suburb. The city of Minneapolis is within walking distance of my house and it's a short drive to either downtown Minneapolis or St Paul and the University of MN, but it's very small town. The school district here, to give you some idea, has 1700 kids from K-12 and almost half of those are open enrollment kids.

    My neighborhood is like a resort. It was built in the 1960s as an experiment in how landscape design can promote a sense of community. It has walking paths, gardens, two ponds, two swimming pools, tennis courts, a basketball court, a volleyball court and a giant sandbox. Across the street we have a regional park on a lake. Their focus is on arts and the environment. They have walking paths by a lake, a picnic area on an island, an organic coffee shop with a dining space where you are allowed to bring your own food, a patio with a fireplace overlooking the lake, a woodfired oven, a ceramics studio, art classes, nature walks, canoe rentals and a dyer's garden with plants that can be used for dying fabric and fibers. We are also within walking distance of an area with a lot of shops and restaurants, including a grocery store and our bank.

    We are very community oriented here. We have neighborhood book clubs, gardening clubs, a walking club, a Resiliency group that brings meals to those who are ill or post-partum, a Women Who Cook group that I belong to, a monthly mens gathering at local ethnic restaurants followed by ping pong and lots of potlucks. We even have a neighbor starting a prayer group for those of us who are interested.
    My blog: www.sunnysideuplife.blogspot.com

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  8. #8
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    I live in a town of 10,000 in central Massachusetts. I'm on a dirt road that connects to the back of a state park, and has 11 houses on it (were 7 when we bought this house). I bought it because we had lived in a condo for 10 years- the market had dropped out so it was unsellable. We sold it after 10 years at about 60% of what we paid for it, and the prices have still not recovered after 25 years. We had been on top of people, and as the units were unsellable, the neighborhood became all rentals, and many of the renters were from environments where "sharing" your loud music was the norm, as well as having loud and late night parties. I just wanted to be as far away from people as I could, without making any work commute too awful, so we bought this house on 3 acres.

    While I love the rural nature of my particular house, my town is kind of a desert for anything cultural or even things like farmers markets. Most people commute elsewhere for work.

    But they bring different expectations about what government should do and provide, so it makes for some interesting times.
    I'm experiencing this as well. There have been 4 new houses built in the last 7 or 8 years. For a few years, we didn't have a building inspector in place and some houses were given occupancy permits that really shouldn't have: one was too big a house for the lot which as a result had to be built up more than 10 feet from the surrounding property, another has a steeply sloped dirt driveway without adequate swales on each side. As a result, we started to have some road erosion. The new people who have moved in are all from cities and are petitioning the town to widen and pave our road, ie destroying every reason for why I bought this house in this location. We had meeting of the residents about this the other night, and it got really ugly and heated. One of the proponents got really angry about there being a public hearing open to rest of the town next month about whether we should spend 1/2 the town's paving budget on a road that services 10 families, she thinks it should be done just because she demands it.
    Last edited by herbgeek; 7-6-12 at 9:25am.

  9. #9
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I'm rural and 6 miles out of town (sort of - hilly/curvy roads, if I could fly straight it'd be more like 3). Town is two towns with a river lake (dammed at both ends) dividing the towns. One is a population of 5000 and the other may have reached 10,000....but we get millions of tourists a year.

    Our 'neighborhood' use to have a big empty field and woods that you'd drive through before getting to our 1/2 mile loop which had 6 houses on it. That field and wood is now full of 23 houses and we now have 13 additional houses on our loop. But it seems like less of a neighborhood because people aren't real chatty. And some of the new people drive way too fast on our road. I'm glad my house sits back from the road and that I've got 1 acre of woods on my left and 4 on my right and 60 acres behind me. The owners of those properties show no interest in building or sub-dividing.........yet.

    I'm ready to move further out and have more land to myself (we only have 1/2 acre). I've never lived in town except when I was in college in a small town of 5,000 (+ 2,000 college students) and when I worked in Memphis, TN and Alexandria, VA.
    Last edited by Float On; 7-6-12 at 11:08am.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  10. #10
    Helper Gregg's Avatar
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    We live in a university town of about 280,000. This is by far the biggest town I've ever lived in and so its a nice compromise between the prairie that I would probably choose and mid-town Manhattan that would be DW's preference. It's very midwestern, genereally conservative (politically and otherwise), family oriented. The university adds enough diversity, social liberalism and cultural activity to the mix to make this white bread town (homogenous beyond imagination) bareable for us.

    We are closing on a new-to-us house in less than two weeks. It's a bit of an experiment for us both in terms of size (small) and neighborhood (inner suburb). We have met a few of the neighbors when we were at the house measuring and lining up bids for the renovation we will be doing. So far so good. This house is in what they call the "bungalow district". It's an area of small houses that borders an area of the grand old houses.

    Our new street is one of those transitional streets. All the houses are smaller: I can't think of one in the area that would beat the national average size and most are half that. It is centrally located. All necessary goods and services are within easy biking distance, most within a moderate walk. Public transportation is average at best, but at least available. Lots of bike paths and parks in the area.

    Until recently it has been a mix of elderly folks that have been there for many years and rental housing. There are a few houses that have been renovated and are very well done. There are a few that still have chain link fences and a collection of well used furniture/auto parts in the front yard. Many are still well maintained by long term residents. A realtor friend of ours, who is very successful because he is very good at identifying trends early on, said this is THE place to be right now. He believes, as do we, that the multiple trends of empty nesters downsizing, couples choosing to have small families or none at all, people choosing to remain single for the duration and young families looking for smaller, more efficient homes are all going to converge in neighborhoods like ours. The sales activity seems to confirm that. The average days on market for homes in this area is less than half of what it is in the rest of town, and we actually have a very strong real estate market here. Can't wait to see what the next 5 years will bring!

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