Originally Posted by KECA
My husband and I are considering moving to the Syracuse area. We currently live in Michigan. I remember visiting when I was searching for colleges when I was in high school and I fell in love with the city, but sadly, I could not afford SU. I am wondering how much has changed in the last 8 years. I also realized that real estate is extremely cheap compared to the rest of the country and I was wondering why that was. I have never seen a house listed for under $100k. Is there something wrong with the area that I did not realize. It is almost like they are selling these houses at cost. I have not found anything bad in my research, so if anyone knows of something bad about the area, I would appreciate knowing. This city seems too good to be true.
The City of Syracuse, just like many other old northern cities, has many run-down neighborhoods. In some of these areas there are drugs, crime, and many (falling apart) rental properties. I'm not that familiar with the City neighborhoods, so it's hard for me to suggest any neighborhood inside the city limits. That's why I usually direct people to either downtown (which is up and coming) or to the many nice and safe suburbs surrounding the city.
With that said, one reason why homes are so cheap in this region is because during the 1990s when the rest of the country was booming, this region had it's biggest decline in its history. The metro lost 20,000 people (1993-2000) because many jobs left and moved to the south or overseas. During the mid-90s over 100,000 people fled the area. (not including those who in-migrated here) This caused home prices to drop. For two years Syracuse cancelled its "Parade of Homes" because the demand for new homes was so little. Only in the last three or four years have home price gone back to the 1990 level. After 16 years we finally gained all the jobs back that we lost in the 90s, plus a few thousand more. During the 90s, many properties in the city were left to decay because there was so little demand for housing. No developers wanted to take the chance to fix up properties that might be hard to sell for a profit. Therefore, all the abandoned homes went to slum landlords who let the properties fall apart. And then what used to be nice neighborhoods went downhill. And the homes that were not rented went to drug dealers who would use the empty houses to sell drugs. It all goes back to the economy and the fact that New York State wasn't as business friendly as most other States. I'm hoping that all changes with Spitzer as Governor. Maybe he will start paying attention to Upstate economic problems.
Again, I don't know a lot, but here is what I do know about the city neighborhoods:
The southside is the ghetto or "the hood"- probably the cheapest houses are found here. I would stay away from this area.
Eastwood... I believe is filled with old blue collar couples. It's mostly safe
Southwest side is the Latino area which is very close to the southside. I would stay away.
Near Northside is the Vietnamese neighborhood. It has drugs and prostitution problems.
Tippery Hill.. used to be the Irish neighborhood, now it's an OK area. Not really bad, not really good either.
Northside was the Italian neighborhood. Still many old Italians live there. The closer to the suburbs you get, the safer and nicer it is.
The Valley is a nice area but it is just south of the southside. Therefore, you are very close to the worst part of the city.
University Hill near SU is an OK neighborhood, but many college kids rent the houses there. It can be noisy, and there is some crime.
Beyond University Hill near the DeWitt border is the best part of the city. It almost looks like the suburbs with homes built after 1950. This is where the Mayor lives and people with more money.
The two historic neighborhoods are Sedgwick and Strathmore. Both are nice but are also very close to neighborhoods that are not as nice. Strathmore is the hilly area over looking the southside. Sedgwick is between the Near Northside and Eastwood.
Some more info:
http://www.syracuse.ny.us/nhood2.asp (broken link)
If you don't mind the suburbs, I would suggest living in the suburbs. They are much safer and have better schools. I'll be happy to answer any more questions.