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Old 07-23-2007, 07:29 AM
 
18 posts, read 98,509 times
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Hello,

I am interested in relocating to Niagra falls New York from the midwest. There is the university there and there is a place there where I believe I am more than qualified to work. I am just wondering about a few things though:

How is the current crime rate, more importantly violent crime? How is the cost of living? I want to live in a very safe area. We are an interracial couple so, racism is a bit of a concern as well. We do not have any children, so schools are not on our list of things to make or break our decision. Can someone please help with some input? Thank you in advance and have a great week!
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:30 AM
 
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I lived in Buffalo and in nearby Orleans county briefly and spent a little time in the Falls. In addition I've spent some time researching NF's as a potential relocation site.

Violent crime is too high for a city of less than 60,000 people. Housing is cheap and yes, there are a few areas of the that city that I'd concede as fairly safe. The Town of Niagara might be a better place in that respect.

Housing in the city is dirt cheap. You can find homes for less than $20,000 and work up from there. Property taxes are low compared to nearby Lockport.

Not sure about the racial situation there though. I didn't see too much of a problem while in Buffalo or Medina though. Just be thankful you are not in the Kansas City area. Most of these folks, regardless of race, seem to have a bug up their rear end and like to claim "racism" at the drop of a hat. Most definitely the KC area does have racial problems. But no, I have not heard much about that being a problem in the Buffalo metro area except perhaps in an isolated neighborhood here and there in some communities.
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Old 07-23-2007, 11:15 AM
 
18 posts, read 98,509 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WILWRadio View Post
I lived in Buffalo and in nearby Orleans county briefly and spent a little time in the Falls. In addition I've spent some time researching NF's as a potential relocation site.

Violent crime is too high for a city of less than 60,000 people. Housing is cheap and yes, there are a few areas of the that city that I'd concede as fairly safe. The Town of Niagara might be a better place in that respect.

Housing in the city is dirt cheap. You can find homes for less than $20,000 and work up from there. Property taxes are low compared to nearby Lockport.

Not sure about the racial situation there though. I didn't see too much of a problem while in Buffalo or Medina though. Just be thankful you are not in the Kansas City area. Most of these folks, regardless of race, seem to have a bug up their rear end and like to claim "racism" at the drop of a hat. Most definitely the KC area does have racial problems. But no, I have not heard much about that being a problem in the Buffalo metro area except perhaps in an isolated neighborhood here and there in some communities.
Guess what? I AM in the Kansas City area! Lawrence to be exact! Small world, huh? Can you compare Buffalo to Kansas city for me? Also how is the crime rate compared to Lawrence/ kansas city/ topeka? Thanks for your input. I saw that the city had a lot of cheap hotels and stuff too...that's too bad about the crime rate. I am really trying to relocate to the northeast, but do not want to move somewhere dangerous. Are there any surrounding areas that are safer? Maybe I can commute to the job in Niagra falls?
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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Mystery Buff. Buffalo is safer than Kansas City. Overall crime rates have dropped some in Kansas City over the last five years but are still very high. Buffalo has seen a rise in crime over the last five years but it is still safer than KC. Both are well above the national average. Crime in Lawrence is below the national average and still a pretty safe city. Topeka's crime rates are lower than Buffalo but above the national average. It is about on par with Niagara Falls.

People wise you will be better off in the Northeast. A friend in OK (originally from Alabama) married a full blooded Indian woman from Nebraska. They've experienced a lot of racial issues in this part of the country over the years. They too have indicated they'd like to live in the Northeast to escape this environment. People in western NY by and large are pretty friendly, at least in the immediate Buffalo area. More so than in Kansas City. Chautauqua County people also seem cordial at worst and friendly at best. Some of the other adjacent and more rural counties people are not as friendly but certainly not rude. But I'd call them reserved around strangers.

The economy in western NY is struggling though it does seem to have finally seen the worst of times in the rear view mirror. Buffalo is slowly seeing some positive growth in the high tech sector and office support services (Call Centers) and in the service industries. Property taxes in the city are not that awful though many city residents complain about their taxes. If you move into an Erie County suburb then you will see a very high property tax bill.

Buffalo has some pretty decent restaurans and prices are reasonable and portions will usually be heaping by KC standards. In contrast, the prices in restaurants out here are high and portions are skimpy except at the BBQ joints. Buffalo is a city of culture and architecture and you won't be disappointed in what this metro area of a mere 1.2 million people has to offer. Toronto is an hour and a half away to the North and Rochester is a little over an hour away to the Northeast.

I personally recommend Chautauqua County. I am looking at the Dunkirk-Fredonia area myself. Gave up on Jamestown though because what I am planning to do small business wise will have too much local competition. Dunkirk-Fredonia is predominantly Polish, Irish, Italian and Hispanic (probably Cubans and Puerto Ricans) along with a few people of German decent and some Black people. Enough of a mix that I don't believe you would experience any racial issues. It is also home to the State Univ. of NY at Fredonia. It has around 5,000 students there and enrollment is slowly growing as is the population of Fredonia. Dunkirk is a bit dumpier but not an awful place by any stretch. Housing is very cheap and property taxes will be lower than most of Erie County. Crime rates aren't that bad at all in either community.

If you already have a job lined up in NF's then I am not sure what to tell you. I don't recommend adjacent Orleans County at all. I lived there for a year (owned a home) and found the local government to be too corrupt and debilitating. I'd look at some of the smaller towns in Niagara County before even considering Orleans County.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Theres people who commute all over the Buffalo-Niagara area... so it can be done. Because upstate cities have all sprawled heavily, there is lots of intersuburb commuting. Like people will live in one town and drive through a few to get to their job.

Crime, for all intents and purposes in the suburbs is pretty non-existant. It'll be petty stuff. Perpetrated by high school kids messing around. IOW, very safe. I wouldn't feel threatened by anything walking around any of the suburban or surrounding towns (Hamburg, Orchard Park, Lancaster, West Seneca, Amherst etc)

The suburban areas of Buffalo and Niagara Falls are like 99% white but an interracial couple I don't think anyone would really care. Worst case, people will just not interact with you as much - no one would really get up in your face about it. If you are definitely moving here, I would just secure a job, then just drive around the different areas and see what places you like. Niagara Falls I don't know too much about just Buffalo and its suburbs I know more of. Elmwood Village in the city of Buffalo would probably be the most accepting area, Allentown also (not that other places wouldn't be). The only place I would say to absolutely avoid being an interracial couple in is the Lovejoy area in Buffalo. Its a poor white enclave in the middle of the entirely black and poor East Side neighborhood of Buffalo (its between Buffalo and Cheektowaga). And they've had severe race-related issues in the past, and its still kinda going on. But its a small area and not even that easy to get to so its not likely you'd end up shopping for an apartment or house there anyway.
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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Mouse is right about Elmwood. I lived there for a while. He's also right about Lovejoy. I just could not recall the name of that particular neighborhood. And yes, crime in the suburban areas of both Erie and Niagara counties is all but non-existent.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:53 AM
 
18 posts, read 98,509 times
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Thank you all so much for your responses. WILWRADIO, you are VERY informative! This has been very helpful.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:10 AM
 
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You're welcome Myster Buff. Another option to consider.

If your potential employment in Niagara Falls does not pan out you may want to consider the Syracuse area. That area has the strongest economy in the central and western parts of NY. The Albany area south to NYC is the strongest but also has a much higher cost of living, especially housing.

Housing in Syracuse is still affordable and it has an ample amount of entertainment and cultural facilities to satisfy most people. It is still only an hour drive to Rochester and a two and a half hour drive to Buffalo.

Some of the areas surrounding Syracuse might also appeal to you. Cayuga County and Oswego County have a couple of small cities with affordable housing and they both have colleges. Auburn has a community college of some size and another State Univ. of NY is located in Oswego. I myself will likely move to Oswego provided I can find a suitable property to house myself and my proprietorship. The Rome-Utica area might also be worth a look. Both Auburn and Oswego have fairly low crime rates and violent crime is not all that common. Rome is even safer and rarely sees a violent crime incident which is unusual for a city of 35,000 people.

If you have any additional questions don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
131 posts, read 685,721 times
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Poor, economically depressed, Niagara Falls - nobody wants to live there, although there are a couple of nice pockets still valiantly holding on to their dignity.

Everyone seems to recommend the burbs of Buffalo - Amherst, Orchard Park, Clarence, etc. Personally, I prefer rural communities without the urban sprawl. Lewiston & Youngstown, north of Niagara Falls, are picturesque small towns on the Niagara River - crime would be insignificant. Wilson, on Lake Ontario, is also a lovely small town.

For some reason, WILW posted above that Orleans County is not the place to be. I know nothing of any political corruption or debilitation there, and wonder what all of that means. Maybe he had a bad experience. I, however, LOVE Orleans County - it's full of small, rural communities with gracious old buildings that can be purchased for next to nothing. Medina, my personal favourite (we have a second home there) is a lovely historic town, that is slowly on the mend. Crime here would also be insignificant. The towns and villages along the Erie Canal are treasures waiting to be rediscovered.

Come visit and see for yourself. Niagara, Erie & Orleans counties have a lot to offer.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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Parts of it resemble Gary IN and Flint MI. Pretty close to Websters definition of "Hell on Earth". Truly depressing place.
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