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Old 05-15-2012, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Long Island/Suburban Buffalo
1,114 posts, read 1,359,109 times
Reputation: 952

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vienluna View Post
No, Allentown & EV are affordable to middle-middle class married people and upper-middle class singles. Someone who makes less than $50k a year and is single couldn't afford a house in Allentown or EV (most wouldn't even be approved for a loan high enough to buy many of those houses, without perfect credit and a large cash downpayment) without sacrificing a serious amount from their bills and recreation. The average income for a single person in Buffalo, when last I checked, hovered around $25-27k. Good luck being a blue collar worker and living in these areas. That said, I think it is silly people slavishly obsess about only being able to buy in those places, like nowhere else in the city is worth living, even when they can't really afford it. You can buy a very nice house in a safe, clean neighborhood in North Buffalo, much closer to practical shopping AND still have the Hertel strip for more botique-y/restaurant entertainment for a fraction of the price (and you don't have to be surrounded by hipster renters and aging yuppies endlessly yarning to you about how "ghetto" Allentown was when they bought their Victorian - yes, I'm being a little sarcastic here, but you get my gist).

But on the main point of this thread -

I get where the author is coming from in that I don't want to see older, working-class and retired people who have managed to maintain what good the area still has forced out by high taxes, knit-picky snob neighbors who turn them into the city for every little thing, overpriced shopping, etc. They make the character of the neighborhood. I also don't like the "hip man's burden" attitude a lot of the local "trendy" media outlets are taking towards this - like every person who lives in BR already is a scumbag or moron who doesn't know the "gold" they are sitting on; we (the residents of BR) all need to be herded out so the next crop of "bright" young folks can move in. Please. Most of the people who live here now work and take care of their houses, they just don't have "cool" jobs and can't afford to make their places look like Days Park. That doesn't mean they need to be "replaced."

I HATE the author's attitude that if you look a certain way you must be some young punk (not the counterculture, in the old-fashioned sense of the word). I usually have dyed hair, dress unusually, have tattoos, etc, but I'm super friendly and non-pretentious. My parents are farmers, my brother is a truck driver - I love salt of the earth people and I can't stand douchey hipsters. Also, I have two college degrees and a good job - I'm not some bum living off their parents money just because I'm under 30 and don't dress like Roseanne Barr.

At the same time, no 20 somethings are clamoring to move to Black Rock (except me and my friends, but more on that later) unless they have five kids, no job or a very low paying one, and just need a cheap, big apartment. If a few hipsters want to venture in just based on people saying it is the "up and coming place" let them. The kids of the people who grew up here don't even stay here - if it takes some pretentious stores and galleries to get interest in the neighborhood, hurrah! I own my house and it's in super good shape, so no one is going to force me out any time soon, no matter how knitpicky the place becomes (and I don't buy all this hype anyway, I don't see it becoming "the new Elmwood" for 10 years minimum, if ever - there are too many vacant and run-down buildings, the petty crime is high, and there are serious drug-dealing issues). I would love to see SOME artsy (but not douchey) folks move in, just because I would love to see ANYONE with a full-time job, willing to buy a house or a business, move in and take care of the property (regardless of how hip or non-hip they may be by greater Buffalonian standards) and help elevate the neighborhood. I moved to Black Rock because I got the best, most updated house for my money of any area I looked in (that wasn't extreme ghetto nearby or absurdly far from work/practial shopping), my neighbors on my old street in Black Rock were super nice (sadly the ones by my house not as much) and the area is very quiet, tree-lined and has access to N. Buffalo shopping, Delaware & Riverside Park, the 190 and 198 - way more convenient than Delaware near North, Elmwood Village or Allentown (places my friends - who are buying the house across the street from me after I paved the way - or I have lived). BR is very much a live and let live place - if you don't get in other people's business and don't hang out with scumbags you will be left alone.
I agree with most of what you have to say. It's just living downstate my idea of rich is different than in Buffalo. A combined salary of $125K is very middle class downstate, while in Buffalo that would be upper middle class. Just a difference in perspective.

People making below 50K may not be able to buy a home in Elmwood Village but they can easily rent there. In super gentrified neighborhoods in NYC even 100K is not enough to rent a place. I'm talking about gentrification on a level not known in Buffalo.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:55 PM
 
3,977 posts, read 5,716,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Port North View Post
I agree with most of what you have to say. It's just living downstate my idea of rich is different than in Buffalo. A combined salary of $125K is very middle class downstate, while in Buffalo that would be upper middle class. Just a difference in perspective.

People making below 50K may not be able to buy a home in Elmwood Village but they can easily rent there. In super gentrified neighborhoods in NYC even 100K is not enough to rent a place. I'm talking about gentrification on a level not known in Buffalo.
You forget, up here people have no true clue on the cost in NYC/LI. I do not know how my family there can handle it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Long Island/Suburban Buffalo
1,114 posts, read 1,359,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffaloTransplant View Post
You forget, up here people have no true clue on the cost in NYC/LI. I do not know how my family there can handle it.
They stay until they advance careerwise to have their incomes meet the cost of living in NYC, or they go broke and move! I will be approaching that point in the next year or two as I just can't make enough to stay. Thank god I have my house to bail me out when I sell it. Once I do though I will be in good shape financially wherever I move to (hopefully back to WNY).

People don't know how good they have it in WNY from a cost perspective.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Buffalo
694 posts, read 741,894 times
Reputation: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Port North View Post
They stay until they advance careerwise to have their incomes meet the cost of living in NYC, or they go broke and move! I will be approaching that point in the next year or two as I just can't make enough to stay. Thank god I have my house to bail me out when I sell it. Once I do though I will be in good shape financially wherever I move to (hopefully back to WNY).

People don't know how good they have it in WNY from a cost perspective.
Spot on.
Tried to "rep you" but have to spread more love around first
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Upstate New York
64 posts, read 75,523 times
Reputation: 168
After the hipsters fill out Black Rock? Kaisertown.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:47 AM
 
341 posts, read 312,487 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
After the hipsters fill out Black Rock? Kaisertown.
I think I'm already filling that out lol. Albeit, I don't consider myself a "hipster" per se, but more "off beat".

I'll help shake Kaisertown up a bit. I wonder what people will think about the urban farm as it becomes fleshed out
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:26 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,065,061 times
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High rent in Elmwood and Allentown?! Please. $500 a month for a studio is not considered high rent anywhere. And I live in Pittsburgh.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:30 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,065,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Port North View Post
I'm against gentrification in NYC because it forces middle class people out to make room for the rich, while in WNY it merely brings in enough middle class people to make a poor neighborhood stable.
This does seem to be the case. However, I will note that in Pittsburgh currently (which isn't that much different than Buffalo in terms of population decline and industrial history), the "hip" neighborhoods in the city are becoming quite pricey. Allentown and Elmwood Village still seem very affordable compared to Pittsburgh's affluent areas. Hopefully, Buffalo's nice neighborhoods remain affordable.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: City of McKeesport
3,933 posts, read 4,065,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Port North View Post
People making below 50K may not be able to buy a home in Elmwood Village but they can easily rent there. In super gentrified neighborhoods in NYC even 100K is not enough to rent a place. I'm talking about gentrification on a level not known in Buffalo.
You can still find VERY tiny studio apartments (with shared bathrooms) in some of the nicer areas of Manhattan for under $1000, but they are not too common.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:39 AM
 
29 posts, read 27,404 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Port North View Post
I agree with most of what you have to say. It's just living downstate my idea of rich is different than in Buffalo. A combined salary of $125K is very middle class downstate, while in Buffalo that would be upper middle class. Just a difference in perspective.

People making below 50K may not be able to buy a home in Elmwood Village but they can easily rent there. In super gentrified neighborhoods in NYC even 100K is not enough to rent a place. I'm talking about gentrification on a level not known in Buffalo.

Let's just ASSUME someone wants to spend the rest of their life renting (because once you are paying the high rents in those areas you aren't saving much to buy) and look at some of the prices. I was just apartment hunting for a friend - looking for a two bedroom in North Buffalo, Allentown or Elmwood Village - and I found like two that would be less than $850 by the time you payed utilities; they were both tiny and severely outdated. In many instances you were looking at over $750 before you paid heat or electric. The apartment I rented in EV in 2008 is over $200 more than when I rented it, even though no renovations have been done (hello 70's drop ceiling in every room, rundown cabinets and fixtures, 80's carpet and linoleum), pushing it to $825 despite it having only one real bedroom (the second "bedroom" is off the real bedroom and has no closet, good luck getting a roomate to pay for that). I'm not sure what average person this would be affordable to in this area if they were single or if they and their significant other were both blue collar workers (Buffalo has something like 30% of its population living at or below poverty level, and another 15-20% who are lower middle class). My house payment in Black Rock for a very nice, super updated house with the original hardwood floors, huge kitchen, and a garage is $438 (includes taxes, PMI, house insurance and actual mortgage payment). My friends just bought across the street from me. Their payment is less than $400 for a fairly updated 1400 sq foot house with a newly updated kitchen, two bathrooms and a giant two car garage with a loft. They were paying $600 a month in JUST RENT plus about $250 in utilities in Allentown for something less than 800 square feet that was incredibly energy inefficient; their landlord did no cleaning for common areas, didn't have their snow removed or garbage taken out etc, (which are the things you pay rent for - why not own if you have to do everything yourself?). The only reason it was even that cheap is because they lived ten feet from a bad part of the West Side and had their cars broken into (four break-ins in six months) and their neighbors robbed.

On the note of a "$500 studio not being expensive:" a) you'd be hard pressed to even find one in Allentown or EV that cheap. You are looking at $600-700 usually now, sometimes more, if utilities and cable are included (which they typically are). Also, who the hell would pay $500 (let alone $700) to live in A ROOM with a bathroom attached when you could pay a house payment for that in a very nice, but less hip, area? Considering the price of a studio as somehow reresentative of a neighborhood is silly. It's not an apartment or a house; it's a glorified closet with cable. If you are willing to severely compromise your standard of living like this just to live in a more "hip" area yay for you, but most people aren't. Further more, I would love to see you tell some construction worker that his family can afford EV because he, his wife and their three kids could squeeze into a studio apartment.

I get so SICK of people bringing up New York City in conversations about Buffalo; we're not like NYC in this, we're not like NYC in that way, we don't know how good we have it because of how much NYC costs. I have lots of friends who grew up in NYC so I know how exepensive it is compared to here, but it is comparing apples and oranges to even bring up their real estate market in reference to Buffalo's. Their pay scales are nothing like ours; you are paid considerably more down there to make up for the inflation. You aren't going to quit a $50k job down there and move here to find the same type of job that pays the same amount, except on very rare occasions. You are looking at a $10k to 20k deduction in salary. For instance, my friend made $15 an hour at the airport to hail cabs for people in NYC but if Buffalo had a service like this they'd get minimum wage, no question; $15/hr is pocket change in NYC. She couldn't even afford to move out of her parents' house or have a car. I make a tad more than that and I own my house, my car and all my furniture/appliances (no rent-a-center, baby). NYC is a different universe.

BIG UP TO BLACK ROCK! The End.

Last edited by vienluna; 05-24-2012 at 12:15 PM.. Reason: add more
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