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Old 05-22-2008, 09:30 PM
 
26 posts, read 61,964 times
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from Boston. I moved away right after high school, and only come back to see family.

I have some questions about where in Rochester I'd enjoy living.

1. Walkability. Believe it or not, I never got a license. In a big city, you really don't need a car every day. When I was a kid, the whole city of Rochester was walkable, though I know it isn't anymore. Outside of the obvious--Park Avenue--where can you still walk to a few essentials, like one good restaurant/bar, a convenience store, that kind of thing? I'm wondering about Fairport village, Pittsford village, or anywhere else on the east side. (Yes, I'll learn to drive if I move back, but I still want a walkable 'hood.)

2. Crime. Does anyone know of reliable crime maps? Despite what you see in the movies, Boston has very, very low crime outside of a few areas, and those areas do not even ring downtown (unlike Rochester). I could walk outside my door right now, after 11, walk down a wooded path alone to a busy square, go for a drink, come back at 1, and never feel the need to look over my shoulder. And that's in a dense, urban area. That would be hard to give up. So where could I find safety without living way out in a suburban subdivision?

3. Neighborhood stability. Where is a safe long-term investment? You're talking to someone who grew up on a nice city street that is now a war zone, then moved out of East Irondequoit right before it got questionable. So I'm nervous.

3. Taxes. I'm not sure I believe my eyes when I read listings online. There's a fantastic, charming house in Brighton for $400K--cheap by Boston standards. Taxes are $17K a year. I don't understand how people afford that on a Rochester salary. And taxes are still astounding at any price above $200K. (Below that, they're only unbelievable.) I know you know your taxes are high, but I don't think you know how much. Any suggestions on where to find the stuff I like--see numbers 1 and 2--while at least controlling the tax burden a little bit? Am I right that the city has somewhat lower taxes?

I was just back home for a family emergency. I'd forgotten how beautiful the city is, and how nice the people are. I have my own business, and my clients are all over, so I could probably do OK jobwise. But the three issues I've listed here are really holding me back--even more than the weather.

I know my questions are too broad--there's a lot to for me to think about. Thanks for any input!

Last edited by Marcolo; 05-22-2008 at 09:42 PM..
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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Well, I moved to Rochester 23 years ago & to Fairport one year after that from the deep south, Louisiana. I originally was going to stay 2 years max but fell in love with the place (and met my husband). With your price range, you could buy a nice village home in Fairport & be within walking distance of many things, including a new, cute little grocery store in the village, AND have the advantage of Fairport electric to keep your utilities relatively low. Being from the south, I describe Fairport as like Mayberry but with educated, affluent people without the racism. Even if you do "take the plunge" and get a license/car, the traffic around here is nothing compared to other areas. Good luck to you!
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:44 PM
 
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The Elwanger-Barry/Highland neighborhood in the city may meet your needs. The area is aesthetically pleasing, stable to growing in property values, safe by city standards, and within walking distance to soughwedge shops, clubs and other attractions. You also get the relatively lower city tax rate (just unbelievable). I would start by looking at Rockingham, Crawford, Mt. Vernon and Mulberry Streets.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:40 AM
 
Location: (WNY)
5,384 posts, read 9,794,833 times
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Originally Posted by notasmoker View Post
Well, I moved to Rochester 23 years ago & to Fairport one year after that from the deep south, Louisiana. I originally was going to stay 2 years max but fell in love with the place (and met my husband). With your price range, you could buy a nice village home in Fairport & be within walking distance of many things, including a new, cute little grocery store in the village, AND have the advantage of Fairport electric to keep your utilities relatively low. Being from the south, I describe Fairport as like Mayberry but with educated, affluent people without the racism. Even if you do "take the plunge" and get a license/car, the traffic around here is nothing compared to other areas. Good luck to you!
I would not call Fpt Mayberry- and I too have lived in the South. It is not SMALL like Mayberry- for heavens sake my graduating class in HS was over 500 kids! It isn't SMALL- it sits within PERINTON (the actual TOWN of Faiport that surrounds the VILLAGE). It isn't small town ideas like Mayberry... not hicksville....(I have lived in Hicksville down South) Mayberry is a sad misrepresentation. I like the village and have been known to browse the home ads on Saturday in hopes to find a great home (they almost ALL need to be gutted and redone-hard to find a home with a decent kitchen/bath/floorplan/kept up floors in the village)... I would not depend on that over priced grocery store for your groceries... It JUST opened a couple about a month ago and I do not think it is going to last at all... it is cute but grossly overpriced... not gonna make it- I give it a year and a half. Fpt does have a farmers market in the warm weather months... but I like the one in Rochester so much better- better selection and prices. I love Fairport- it is a lovely place to live (spent 20yrs there)- but public transportation from Fpt/Perinton is a royal pain (my sister did it while she was in college) I don't suggest it... I do suggest taking a drivers test and getting your license- it is never too late to learn.

Taxes are insane here. Brighton has some of the worst... my hubby and I had a house in Brighton about 8 years ago- our starter home ($110K, 1400 sqft, 50 years old, SMALL LOT) and we were paying about $5K... Now we have a newer 2000sqft home we built five years ago that is assessed at $190K and we pay $7K in the Penfield School District... Fairport does have lower taxes, my parents home is 2400sqft and they pay around $5K... but it is an older home built in the 60s they had to gut and put a new kitchen, bath, floors in, knock down walls, add a room... Brighton was a VERY walkable town when we lived there though- we would even trek out to Park/Monroe/East and sometimes down to Alexander on weekend by foot... I loved Brighton- but I wanted more house for my money...

Last edited by skbs; 05-24-2008 at 06:51 AM.. Reason: taxes
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Old 05-25-2008, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
897 posts, read 2,252,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcolo View Post
1. Walkability. Believe it or not, I never got a license. In a big city, you really don't need a car every day. When I was a kid, the whole city of Rochester was walkable, though I know it isn't anymore. Outside of the obvious--Park Avenue--where can you still walk to a few essentials, like one good restaurant/bar, a convenience store, that kind of thing? I'm wondering about Fairport village, Pittsford village, or anywhere else on the east side. (Yes, I'll learn to drive if I move back, but I still want a walkable 'hood.)
Some area's are ok to walk around just watch out for the hit and runs. I lived in Albany and did not have a license but when I got to Rochester I need to get a license because the bus system to the suburbs was very unreliable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcolo View Post
2. Crime. Does anyone know of reliable crime maps? Despite what you see in the movies, Boston has very, very low crime outside of a few areas, and those areas do not even ring downtown (unlike Rochester). I could walk outside my door right now, after 11, walk down a wooded path alone to a busy square, go for a drink, come back at 1, and never feel the need to look over my shoulder. And that's in a dense, urban area. That would be hard to give up. So where could I find safety without living way out in a suburban subdivision?
Murders are mostly in the northern part of the city. Rochester D and C has a pretty good map on the crime. Crime is pretty high for this size of a city. The suburb crime is hard to tell because some crimes usually go unreported because their are less cops than the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcolo View Post
3. Neighborhood stability. Where is a safe long-term investment? You're talking to someone who grew up on a nice city street that is now a war zone, then moved out of East Irondequoit right before it got questionable. So I'm nervous.
The outer suburbs that are not directly touching the cities boarders are ok. Some parts of greece,gates,Irondequoit,and Henrietta closes to the city have seen a lot of change in the past 5 years due to the cities Gentrification.
Best advise on owning a home is own one because you need shelter to live in because most of the areas houses do not retain much value. Most of rochester area homes are on average 40-60 years old. Do not expect to sell your house for a profit.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcolo View Post
3. Taxes. I'm not sure I believe my eyes when I read listings online. There's a fantastic, charming house in Brighton for $400K--cheap by Boston standards. Taxes are $17K a year. I don't understand how people afford that on a Rochester salary. And taxes are still astounding at any price above $200K. (Below that, they're only unbelievable.) I know you know your taxes are high, but I don't think you know how much. Any suggestions on where to find the stuff I like--see numbers 1 and 2--while at least controlling the tax burden a little bit? Am I right that the city has somewhat lower taxes?
Taxes, I do not know where to begin but to say this, Monroe county is in the top 10 in the Nation for the highest tax rates. Think about this for a second if you own a 120k home you would pay 3300 a year in property tax. So if you kept taxes the same throught your 30 year mortgage that would add up to you paying 100k in taxes in those 30 years. Remember this: they are looking to raise taxes 88 dollars per home in the city and cutting programs. So the city is saying to its home owners to pay more in taxes and get less benefits(layoff fireman).
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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For the heck of it, I checked out taxes on a $1.5 million condo in Manhattan. Taxes: 7K.

Where are the crime maps on the D&C site? Can't find them.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:30 AM
 
Location: (WNY)
5,384 posts, read 9,794,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcolo View Post
For the heck of it, I checked out taxes on a $1.5 million condo in Manhattan. Taxes: 7K.

.
I pay the same taxes as a million dollar condo...I think I am going to be sick.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:39 AM
 
25 posts, read 67,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notasmoker View Post
Well, I moved to Rochester 23 years ago & to Fairport one year after that from the deep south, Louisiana. I originally was going to stay 2 years max but fell in love with the place (and met my husband). With your price range, you could buy a nice village home in Fairport & be within walking distance of many things, including a new, cute little grocery store in the village, AND have the advantage of Fairport electric to keep your utilities relatively low. Being from the south, I describe Fairport as like Mayberry but with educated, affluent people without the racism. Even if you do "take the plunge" and get a license/car, the traffic around here is nothing compared to other areas. Good luck to you!
Hey notasmoker--I am considering a move back to Syr or Roch from Greenville, SC. I have recieved primarily negative feedback from people thinking I am crazy. They all try to remind me of the taxes and cold weather. I really miss the lifestyle and believe it is the of the greatest places to raise my 4 kids. Did it take you long to adust to the cold? I have my finger on the trigger of the decision but can not pull it yet. HELP!!!!
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:16 PM
 
26 posts, read 61,964 times
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Originally Posted by skbs View Post
I pay the same taxes as a million dollar condo...I think I am going to be sick.
By contrast, a $400K house in Brighton--a cheap buy by Boston or NYC standards--pays $17K in taxes. Taxes are a big reason your houses don't appreciate. People can't afford a higher mortgage plus the gigantic tax jumps.

BTW, "South Wedge" is a name that came about long after I left. What is that? The area near Highland Park? I can't picture what stores or restaurants could be there.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:16 PM
 
1,019 posts, read 1,203,649 times
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Originally Posted by Wild Eagle View Post
Hey notasmoker--I am considering a move back to Syr or Roch from Greenville, SC. I have recieved primarily negative feedback from people thinking I am crazy. They all try to remind me of the taxes and cold weather. I really miss the lifestyle and believe it is the of the greatest places to raise my 4 kids. Did it take you long to adust to the cold? I have my finger on the trigger of the decision but can not pull it yet. HELP!!!!
Hi, Wild Eagle-

The thing about the weather in this area is that, just when you think you can't take it anymore, you get a "thaw" and/or a real sunny winter day. I endure it by telling myself that if I can just get through January & February (a short month) it's easy from there on in. And if you can plan a Florida vacation during January or February, all the better.

My parents had to send me to private school in Louisiana 30 plus years ago in order to get a decent education. (You want to talk about the cost of taxes; have you priced a private school lately?) I would put Fairport schools up against my "highly rated" private school in New Orleans any day.

The biggest draw for me involves the positive effects I see on my two kids being raised in this area. They go to neighborhood schools with, albeit not a lot but enough, diversity. They are able to participate in hockey & lacrosse, travel to nearby Canada and go to a ski resort about 40 minutes from our house. I never got to do those things growing up.

I really think that someone almost has to live somewhere else (like the deep south, maybe) to really appreciate all we have in upstate New York. One final bonus: No flying cockroaches!
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