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Old 12-07-2011, 09:39 AM
 
7 posts, read 7,294 times
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Default Moving to the Buffalo Area

Hello all,

I've been reading some older threads on different areas of Buffalo but I wanted a more recent update if possible.

My husband and I are planning on moving to the Buffalo area (near Canada border) to start and raise a family. We will be be working in downtown Buffalo so would like the maximum drive to be 45 minutes to work/Canada border. We are moving from the NYC area so we're looking for some restaurants, grocery strores, shopping, parks in a safe near a quiet neighbourhood to raise a family. Basically in a 'burbs neighbourhood but near social side so we don't feel secluded. We're really open to suggestions and we're going to visit some areas in the next few weeks.

Cities we are considering:
-Lewiston
-Grand Island
-West Seneca
-Williamsville
-Amherest

Any recommendations? Thoughts?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:51 PM
 
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Are you going to be working in Canada? If so, where in Canada? There are many quiet neighborhoods in Buffalo that meet your criteria. The Columbus Parkway area puts you right next to the Peace Bridge area. North Buffalo is also nice and there are some very quiet areas (I live near the Carmelite convent so it is pin drop quiet) but very close to some shopping restaurants on Hertel Ave. Many of the burbs will make you more or less dependent on cars and the burbs near Buffalo are fairly plain assemblies of strip plazas (in my opinion).
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Thank you! We're going to be working in downtown Buffalo so we were hoping to be about 20 minutes from Buffalo (i.e. work) and then an additional 20 minutes to where we need to be in Ontario.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Williamsville, East Amherst, Clarence are nice areas. Williamsville schools rated #1 for many years...Clarence also one of the top.

Grand Island has no major grocery stores nearby..and you have to go over a bridge every day to get anywhere............ It's nice there though!

Lewiston is a nice area too...

Do a search on this forum for areas that you want to look at.........there is alot of valuable info here!
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:56 PM
 
18 posts, read 28,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwtmw View Post
Hello all,

I've been reading some older threads on different areas of Buffalo but I wanted a more recent update if possible.

My husband and I are planning on moving to the Buffalo area (near Canada border) to start and raise a family. We will be be working in downtown Buffalo so would like the maximum drive to be 45 minutes to work/Canada border. We are moving from the NYC area so we're looking for some restaurants, grocery strores, shopping, parks in a safe near a quiet neighbourhood to raise a family. Basically in a 'burbs neighbourhood but near social side so we don't feel secluded. We're really open to suggestions and we're going to visit some areas in the next few weeks.

Cities we are considering:
-Lewiston
-Grand Island
-West Seneca
-Williamsville
-Amherest

Any recommendations? Thoughts?

Thanks for your time!
There are no real 'safe' neighborhoods in Buffalo. Some are better than others but ALL are just a few blocks from the ghetto. Car insurance rates say all you need to know about the area you are moving to. Call your car insurance company and ask what the rates are. Compare them to other areas you are considering This is the easiest way to find out the auto crime rate in the area you are moving to. Buffalo auto insurance rates are often DOUBLE the rates of the suburbs. This is a research trick the realtors keep secret .

You really need to drive around the area you are looking at if considering living in Buffalo. Both day and especially NIGHT. Park your car and walk the street after the sun goes down. If you don't feel safe...chances are you are not. Columbus Pkwy area near the Peace Bridge in Buffalo looks real nice with the old mansions priced for low prices. The sad thing is that it's on the edge of the Spanish ghetto and crime is off the charts BAD. I suggest using the website www. spotcrime. com It will show all the police reports for the area you are considering. You don't want to live in this area. Trust me.

Buffalo schools are horrible. Graduation rates under 50% despite spending close to $25K per student! The schools are a total mess. Crime, assaults, teachers being beaten, etc are common. Do a google on Buffalo Teacher Beaten and see what you get. Metal detectors and drug dog searches are the norm in Buffalo high schools. Some high schools like Bennett have police assigned to them full time. They even have an old school off of Fillmore that is used as a holding pen for the daily arrests that occur in the BPS district. A cop station and jail for kids. I'm not making this up.

A better option would be Hamburg, Orchard Park, Amherst, Lancaster etc. That's where all the Buffalo cops, Buffalo firemen, and Buffalo Teachers live as they have no residency requirement. ENJOY!
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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Much appreciated njsocks & solongny.


Solongny - your stories definitely scare me and we don't want to be in Buffalo (esp. Elmwood Village which we keep hearing about). Do you know about Lewiston? and that "village." I also believe the school district is called Lewisto-Porter and it's OUTSIDE of Buffalo. Or we could live in Lewiston and bring our kids to the Willamsville school board as njsocks mentioned.

We are taking a drive down to Lewiston, Williamsville, Amherst during the Christmas holidays to try to get a feel for the areas.

Great idea about calling your auto insurance. We aren't even considering any towns that are unsafe.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
8,791 posts, read 4,381,389 times
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Originally Posted by kwtmw View Post
Much appreciated njsocks & solongny.


Solongny - your stories definitely scare me and we don't want to be in Buffalo (esp. Elmwood Village which we keep hearing about). Do you know about Lewiston? and that "village." I also believe the school district is called Lewisto-Porter and it's OUTSIDE of Buffalo. Or we could live in Lewiston and bring our kids to the Willamsville school board as njsocks mentioned.

We are taking a drive down to Lewiston, Williamsville, Amherst during the Christmas holidays to try to get a feel for the areas.

Great idea about calling your auto insurance. We aren't even considering any towns that are unsafe.

Thanks again.
Well , you can't get to Ontario any faster than you can from Lewiston. Queenston is on the other side of the bridge and it's just beautiful. I love Lewiston too. It's such a nice little town. RE prices are less than half they are on the Canadian side!
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:13 PM
Status: "Game recognized game from the start" (set 5 days ago)
 
30,055 posts, read 34,510,561 times
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Another area to look into is the Niagara-Wheatfield area. Wheatfield I believe is a town that is growing. It is a suburban area just outside of Niagara Falls and has much of the things you are looking for. Mailing addresses will have either have Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda or Sanborn listed.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:14 PM
 
18 posts, read 28,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwtmw View Post
Much appreciated njsocks & solongny.


Solongny - your stories definitely scare me and we don't want to be in Buffalo (esp. Elmwood Village which we keep hearing about). Do you know about Lewiston? and that "village." I also believe the school district is called Lewisto-Porter and it's OUTSIDE of Buffalo. Or we could live in Lewiston and bring our kids to the Willamsville school board as njsocks mentioned.

We are taking a drive down to Lewiston, Williamsville, Amherst during the Christmas holidays to try to get a feel for the areas.

Great idea about calling your auto insurance. We aren't even considering any towns that are unsafe.

Thanks again.
Lewiston is real nice but note that Niagara County has some on the highest property-school taxes of any county in the entire USA. I think they were the highest in the whole country back in 2009. I know people who pay close to $5000 a year in combined school/property taxes on a 1300 sq ft house in Niagara County. It's sick. Of course being from NYC, the home prices might seem like a steal. Hope the move works out for you. Lewsiton is not too bad a drive from Buffalo and most of the after work traffic is heading out of the city going the other way as in south and east. The city of Buffalo is a vast wasteland after dark except for a few oasis areas like N-Buffalo, Elmwood (freak area) and such. The Buffalo News just did a story about the rising car break-ins and robberies in the Elmwood area. They said it was considered a "tax" to live in such a diverse area or some garbage like that. Tell that to your insurance company when they double your auto insurance rates.

Median real estate taxes as a percentage of median home value for Niagara County, NY (2.87%). I doubt this includes school taxes which are off the charts high so maybe double this number? $5000 in taxes on a $130K house sounds about right to me. A house is a home in WNY, not an investment or nest egg for retirement. You'll never make any money off the sale due to the taxes.

Last edited by solongny; 12-07-2011 at 09:23 PM..
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:42 AM
 
660 posts, read 486,314 times
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Originally Posted by kwtmw View Post
Thank you! We're going to be working in downtown Buffalo so we were hoping to be about 20 minutes from Buffalo (i.e. work) and then an additional 20 minutes to where we need to be in Ontario.
I would disregard the information that there are no safe neighborhoods in Buffalo. However the school district can be lacking (very heavy emphasis on test prep but this also applies to many suburban districts who are witnessing a slide in numbers). If you want decent quality of life (i.e. low commute times), and if you want to be near Fort Erie then Columbus Parkway is a nice area and North Buffalo has much to offer. Because the housing is less expensive in Buffalo and taxes are significantly lower with the savings on mortgage + taxes you could send your kid(s) to any number of excellent private schools. The top Buffalo schools also compare with what is in the suburbs. It all depends on where in Ontario you will be working. If you are headed to St. Catherine's area or N. Falls then you ought to be in the Northtown areas (Niag-Wheatfield, Lockport, Lewiston, etc). If you are headed to Ft. Erie and the likes I would suggest Buffalo's nicer neighborhoods. I have lived in Buffalo for 20+ years and have never had any problems. The Elmwood village is a decent area (not my personal taste) and there are many professionals who live there comfortably.
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