U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Tennessee > Knoxville
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-15-2010, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
6 posts, read 18,017 times
Reputation: 11

Advertisements

Hi there,

My husband are considering buying a beautifully restored home in the Parkridge area.

However, we are house-hunting from a distance, and my husband just got his first look at the neighborhood this morning. He didn't like it. He felt it was run-down. There were too many homes in need of work, dogs tied up in front yards, unkempt front yards. And he was concerned about our safety.

We are from Southern California, so I am afraid that some of my husband's reaction is based upon years of manicured lawns, constant greenery, and a general sense of 'richness.' I was under the impression that the general attitude in Knoxville towards 'curbside appeal' is somewhat different.

The home we are looking at is at 2032 Jefferson Avenue. Can anyone weigh in on this neighborhood? It is a very beautiful house, and I am not daunted by the location.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-15-2010, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Eastern TN
408 posts, read 1,325,020 times
Reputation: 191
Hi-

I understand the appeal of the Parkridge area. It is coming up, but it is also a neighborhood very much in transition. There are some folks who have bought cheap and done some substantial renovation work (and may be selling now to folks like you). There are long time residents. And there are abandoned/derelict houses, too. It does not resemble SoCal working class-middle income mid century suburbs AT ALL. It is much rougher in appearance and feel.

We have lived in some transitional and even less nice urban areas before, so my DH and I actually did consider buying in this area when we were having trouble finding a suitable farm. We figured that we could buy cheap, live there few years and then rent out the property, as it is an appealing area for UT grad students/younger folks in the area. And as you noted, prices are very very modest. We ended up finding a farm instead.

So---it really depends on what you want. I'm not someone who is very into high end home security or having super expensive stuff in my home. That said, I did plan on installing a security system and a privacy fence if we bought in that neighborhood. I also have large, serious dogs and would have counted on them to help me keep a heads up. I am not trying to freak you out---just give you a perspective. It really depends on your expectations and comfort in various settings.

I think one of the things that was most depressing to me was the amount of broken glass on the sidewalk.

That said, I need to go put in some hours cleaning up our hollow. Folks in TN still litter a tremendous amount compared to what you'll see in other states.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 14,179,483 times
Reputation: 2772
This isn't the most desirable historic area in Knoxville. You may have to settle for a less manicured version of a neighborhood than what you'd find in SoCal, but this doesn't have to be it. Don't get me wrong, I wish tons of people like you guys would move into east Knoxville, but the truth is that that area needs a lot of cleanup. Not just from residents, but from the city as well - and the city has its attention turned collectively towards north and south Knoxville for the next 10 years or so.

I live in a fairly rough neighborhood and I would still feel uncomfortable there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 10:43 AM
 
11,874 posts, read 32,904,313 times
Reputation: 8616
You'll find that things work a little more slowly around here, and that includes the speed at which inner-city neighborhoods are being gentrified. The gentrification of Parkridge has been going on for years, and your husband is witness that there's still an enormous amount of work to be done. Not that I want anything even remotely California-esque, but it'll likely be a long, long time before there are no more boarded-up homes and abandoned cars in that neighborhood.

There are some nice homes in the Parkridge neighborhood, but I wouldn't want to live there. Since I travel a lot, I would not want to leave my house unattended for very long if I lived in that neighborhood.

Having said that, I would not fear for my life in Parkridge. Instead I think you'd see a lot more petty crime and burglaries, but nothing even remotely resembling the gang warfare of some big-city neighborhoods.

There is a really cool condo in Parkridge. It's an old Gothic high school that has been converted into luxury condos. I'd live there in a heartbeat (if I didn't have 3 dogs) largely because not only are they really cool, but it's surrounded by a big huge iron fence and has a great security system.

Any neighborhood brings a certain risk, and very few neighborhoods are totally crime-free. But I would think long and hard before living in Parkridge.

If you give us some parameters of what you're looking for, maybe we can help you find something in a different neighborhood?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Eastern TN
408 posts, read 1,325,020 times
Reputation: 191
JMT, I agree that the school-turned condo is a very cool building!

I also totally agree that petty crime would be the biggest concern in the area. It is nothing like a gritty urban section of a large east coast or midwestern city (my reference points), but it also is not anywhere near as gentrified as the 4th and Gil neighborhood nearby (where prices are higher and frankly it still doesn't resemble a SoCal tidy working class neighborhood!). If you husband has time to check out that neighborhood/Old North Knox + Fountain City, that could be helpful.

OP, since you are a pet owner, you may want to think about very walkable neighborhoods that are more convenient to a greenway (where the sidewalks are less likely to be glass strewn). See City of Knoxville - Greenways for more info.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 14,179,483 times
Reputation: 2772
Combining the greenways idea with your SoCal background (which usually includes a larger budget), I would suggest Sequoyah Hills. At least check it out, anyway.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,554 posts, read 47,336,711 times
Reputation: 13392
Wonderful, wonderful posts. (I sound like Lawrence Welk. Remember him?)

I will say that I have a keen eye on Parkridge. Change starts with a few and that has already begun.

I do have a 10-year-old but also a husband and a protective dog and Knoxville's crime is nothing compared to most cities. Nothing.

The first time I drove through the alleged "rough" area I thought, that's it?

But it doesn't mean it is for everyone, and that is understandable.

Maybe that gives you some added perspective.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
6 posts, read 18,017 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you for all of the replies!

I understand it is a neighborhood in transition. I guess I am trying to get an idea of how much interest there is in revitalization. I also wonder if the buzz I've heard that this area has its share of graduate students / professionals / younger people with families is true.

Now, I've lived in Worcester (industrial city in central Massachusetts), Somerville (urban college area outside of Boston) and my husband grew up in Queens and went to school in downtown NYC. Both of us are streetwise and no shrinking violets. We've been living in Pasadena, CA one block from the Rose Parade route for the last 8 years. However, our home has been broken into twice, once when we were both at home! I would hesitate to walk several blocks in any direction after dark, even in the City of Roses, because of the robberies and vagrants and gang activity in the area. I only really feel safe in broad daylight, or when I am walking my pit bull and my doberman.

My attitude is similar to yours, Hiknapster. When my husband started sending me photos this morning of the neighborhood, I was like: is that all? Many homes are not in tip-top shape, but the vicinity around the house we were looking at were alright. I had done lots of research online prior to scheduling a viewing of the house.

So I was prepared for Parkridge. On the other hand, with my husband having had urban experience, I was surprised at how negatively he described the neighborhood. I wonder if that's because it's really bad, or because he had high expectations.

That said, what we are interested in is an older home that has been restored. Something with character - old mantlepieces, wood floors, fixtures - but which has a modern kitchen and bath as well. I don't like ranches or capes; I tend more towards homes that were built 80-100+ years ago. I would like to live in a more urban neighborhood where I can walk my dogs and have something to look at, even if it is the local vagrants and disabused architecture. I don't want to have a box in the suburbs.

Hiknapster, what in particular makes you keen on Parkridge? Can you tell me a little about why you, personally, feel confident going through alleged rough areas? Is there a good resource on the internet that I can use to research crime rates in the area?

Thank you all very much, again!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,486 posts, read 14,179,483 times
Reputation: 2772
Parkridge, or anywhere in Knoxville, isn't going to be all that dangerous, like hik said. We just don't have the same sort of urban problems that cities in the northeast, midwest and west coast do. I doubt anyone would ever break into your house. But it is very gritty, and if you need to sell/move quickly it could be difficult. The sidewalks are broken and overgrown, the streets are patched and dirty. Lots of people don't mow their yards, if they have grass, and their homes aren't kept up - at all. There will probably be neighborhood gangs -- of cats.

If that sounds like something you're okay with, then full steam ahead. I still say you should heavily consider Fourth and Gill/Old North and Sequoyah Hills. There are lots of restored Victorians in Fourth and Gill.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-15-2010, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Eastern TN
408 posts, read 1,325,020 times
Reputation: 191
OP: Compared to your description of Pasadena, Parkridge is quiet and mild IMO.

Looking at crime stats is always a good idea when property shopping. jabogitlu makes a good point that the "value" of Parkridge is still kind of unknown in a way, so if you wanted to sell in 5 years I wouldn't be counting on the great NE knox renaissance having already happened. But if you think you might want to own a rental property, that could make sense. Parkridge is the kind of place that can attract urban pioneer sorts. From what I've learned, revitalization in the area is not moving at a rapid pace. But that also reflects the pace of Knoxville in general.

Maybe this will help give perspective: I lived in Durham NC for several years--a similar sized southern city. About 20 years ago, there were similar revitalization efforts going on in a few neighborhoods near Duke in Durham. Now, one of those neighborhoods is truly gentrified---it would be hard to find a home for sale for under 500k and many houses are occupied by Duke faculty. The other---well, it's a bit farther from Duke and a bit more in its own world. It is a much more stable place than it was 20 years ago (where I avoided it at night), but it is still not exactly peaceful. Parkridge will probably (in another 10-20 years!) be more like the later Durham neighborhood IMHO. But--it might also go through a transition period where it becomes a young person's rental zone. It really depends.

I am familiar with Worcester, Somerville, Queens and Manhattan. The general street smarts one might have in any of these areas is greater than what seems to be required in Knoxville. It's really a small city. That said, will you freak out if you have a condom thrown on your lawn (or other paraphernalia)? As far as walking there at night, I don't know the area well enough but I have walked nearby areas and felt comfortable---and would be even more so with a dog.

There is a small but apparently active neighborhood association. It makes sense to get in touch with them for more perspectives. There is also an association for Fourth and Gil. See Parkridge Community > Home and Fourth & Gill: A Historic Knoxville Neighborhood
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Tennessee > Knoxville
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top