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Old 11-08-2014, 04:33 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,346 times
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I live in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn with my wife and two-year-old child. We love some things about it here, but are not New Yorkers and are looking to move in the next 2-5 years. I am an artist and she is a teacher and there is no way we could afford to buy what we want here. For those of you unfamiliar with the neighborhood, Ditmas Park is an island of freestanding mostly Victorian homes extending out from the south side of Prospect Park. It in many ways does not feel like you are in New York, more of a suburban Connecticut feel.

The houses, many of them totally unrenovated, are full of character and boast some great architecture but are absurdly expensive (but what isn't in New York?). A ramshackle 5-bedroom Victorian that might have been a former rooming house goes for 900k while it would go for 50k anywhere else. We'd actually love the challenge of a fixer-upper but not for 900k.

Things we really want/need to have:

--extensive historic housing stock, preferably Victorians/Four Square/Craftsman homes with yards
--walkability/bikeability (ie, there are sidewalks and bike lanes)
--good schools, whether public or private
--educated, engaged neighbors
--a little bit of an edge; we don't want a white-washed enclave of homogenous Patagonia-wearing, Starbucks-drinking clones

Oh, and we'd like to stay in a coastal state (east, west or gulf). We're super flexible on climate.

Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2014, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Who Cares, USA
2,343 posts, read 2,752,754 times
Reputation: 2258
The Northeast/BosWash corridor is obviously going to dominate this thread.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:14 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,346 times
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Why? we certainly aren't beholden to the Northeast/BosWash corridor....

oh...and I guess the last part of this is that we would love to buy/renovate in an area that is forecasted to appreciate significantly. People who bought crap around here 10 years ago have seen their home values quadruple.
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:25 PM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,952,685 times
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Nyack NY comes to mind immediately, as it fits most of what you are looking for.

If you don't mind Upstate NY, a community like Cohoes outside of Albany may work. Cohoes, NY Directory | Tourist Attractions | Shopping | Dining | Entertainment | Albany | Cohoes | New York | NY

Brockport outside of Rochester also comes to mind: Village of Brockport NY - Home Page (check the video out)

Perhaps smaller stand alone cities that aren't too far from a bigger city like Glens Falls, Plattsburgh, Owego, Corning, Auburn, Geneva, etc.

You may like this thread too: Municipal videos
You really have a lot of options up here in terms of villages, small cities or even parts of the bigger cities up here.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 11-08-2014 at 05:55 PM..
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Old 11-08-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: The Pacific Northwest
6,015 posts, read 6,372,235 times
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Pasadena, CA. Public schools are meh but there are some good private ones. Otherwise appears to fit your criteria except may be a bit on the high end housing-wise, though that will likely come with the territory on either coast. Evanston, IL also comes to mind except for the coastal thing.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,513,264 times
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Lakewood, Ohio (actually, the most densely-populated city in Ohio) fits your criteria to a tee. Check it out; you'll be surprised. Give it up for the North Coast!

My second choice would be Oak Park, Illinois.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:33 AM
 
31 posts, read 36,015 times
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What is your price range? I think that would help folks make recommendations. Also, what size community?
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:02 AM
 
3 posts, read 4,346 times
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Price range: We could probably swing 400k on a house in 5 years (which would eliminate Pasadena) but as I said before we would like to find something cheaper and fix it up. We want to have more kids so something in 3+ bedroom range as well

Community size: We're city people but we are not New Yorkers. So let's say any city of 250,000 to 8 million

The most important thing is for the neighborhood to have an energy, old houses, yards and a diversity of people. We know, nowhere has energy like Brooklyn, but something close to this.

The Midwest is s dealbreaker (Lakewood does look cool though). My wife is from there and doesn't want to go back.
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:02 AM
 
56,637 posts, read 80,952,685 times
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Kenmore, a very dense village of about 15,000 people within 1.4 square miles just north of Buffalo, may work as well. Welcome to the Village of Kenmore

Property Search Results

Some results for some of the other communities I mentioned at 250k and less: Property Search Results

Property Search Results

Property Search Results

Property Search Results

Here are results for Upstate NY from 250k and under: Property Search Results

100k and less: Property Search Results

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 11-09-2014 at 07:31 AM..
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
3,145 posts, read 2,828,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riversroads69 View Post

The Midwest is s dealbreaker (Lakewood does look cool though). My wife is from there and doesn't want to go back.
That's odd because the Midwest offers everything you are asking for. You aren't going to find a city with old houses and non-clones in another region. I would have suggested a Southern coastal city 10 years ago but those have become so cookie cutter with gentrification.

Move to the suburbs of a dying or lagging city. It is where you will find the most character and fewest yuppie clones. Buffalo might fit. It isn't too far in the Midwest.
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