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Old 05-24-2007, 03:53 PM
9 posts, read 160,073 times
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So I'm moving to DC from the west coast and have been having trouble determining the safe/unsafe areas. If I'm looking at a map of DC with the beltway around it, what would be the border between the safe/unsafe areas? Or is it just spotty everywhere? Or is say.. the NE to be avoided, while the SW is nice...?

I'm asking you to make gross generalizations I know, but it would help to at least start somewhere!

Also... if you want to throw in a list of "up and coming" or "borderline" neighborhoods that would be appreciated too!
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Old 05-24-2007, 05:19 PM
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,302,045 times
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NW is generally good and SE is generally bad

These are Broad assumptions but kinda work well for a rule of thumb.

Just google for maps of DC and you'll find one. msn live search has agood one.

review threads here...all these neighborhoods are safe.
(info I gathered from other threads...)
foggy bottom, dupont circle, kalorama, morgan adams, Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, Van Ness, Glover Park, upper Georgetown (Burleith), Foxhall, the Palisades, Penn Quarter or Logan Circle
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:48 PM
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Went through the same thing when I moved....

NW is good, but ungodly expensive....The area's around 13th st on west to the MD border is prime area.

SE--Ok SE across the potomac is bad....Don't even consider it..SE near the capitol can be good and alot of revitalization and young professionals live there

NE--Is bad for the most part, but some parts around the capitol building are good with young professionals.

SW--Is good for the most part but a few sprinkled bad areas.....

Up and Commers

Silver Spring--under revitalization, close to metro and corporate hq'a are there for a few companies...Easy access to the beltway.

U Street-- is potentially good area but some riff raff elements still hang around

SW near Smithsonian has some nice housing....

Check out Adams Morgan area as well
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:33 AM
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Another gross generalization is that if a house, apt, condo seems to have a price that is too good to be true for its size and amenities, given what you've learned about the housing market in this area, there is usually a reason for that.
Expensive areas tend to be safe; "affordable" areas tend to be less safe.
And 'borderline" areas are literally that -- some parts are great, while around the block (or across the street), they are not so great.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:18 PM
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
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One general rule of thumb is that the areas of Southeast and Northeast DC across the Anacostia River are to be avoided at all cost, as are the Maryland communities that border this section of DC (and for some added suburban knowledge, another rule of thumb is that communities inside the Beltway in P.G. County are generally not desirable). Basically, the closer you go towards this area, the more dangerous it becomes. There's exceptions of course, but that's generally how it goes, where the further south and east you go, the more crime and poverty you'll find with a nexus around Congress Heights in Southeast and then sort of fanning out from there.

Within DC, Rock Creek Park serves as a big divider. On the west side of the park are some of DC's wealthiest communities. These areas tend to be quiet, with residential areas full of single-family homes on quaint, safe tree-lined streets, and their commercial areas (Cleveland Park, Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, etc.) tread more yuppie. To the east of the park, but still within Northwest DC, the areas are a bit grittier, more diverse, higher density and more unsafe. Virtually all of Northwest is being regentrified to the point that I wouldn't really term an entire neighborhood in Northwest DC as being dangerous, but rather, there are certain spots in a few of the communities that are rough around the edges in places like Petworth, Columbia Heights, and Mount Pleasant. This general area is in transition and will probably be completely different in ten years time. This is also where many of the more hip, clubby parts of DC lie.

Northeast is a step up from Southeast for the most part and there are some decent neighborhoods in Brookland and the areas around Catholic University, and those that are close to the Maryland border. It may go without saying but communities with single-family homes in Northeast tend to me safer and more stable than those with rowhomes.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:42 PM
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Northeast is still for the most part the bad one, though some inroads have been and are being made. Southwest (which is tiny) and Southeast have both recently been a crap shoot, but things there are changing rapidly. There has been massive redevelopment along M Street east from South Capitol, and also down and around 8th Street south from Pennsylvania Avenue SE. With the Nationals new ballpark set to open in that area next April, the trend for these two sectors is unmistakable.

I would certainly agree with D&B about the eastern shore of the Anacostia. That's not good at all. And Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights certainly do have their edgy days and nights from time to time. Petworth still has a pretty active back-alley drug trade going on, but it is coming on fast otherwise. Its Metro connection and rising real estate prices to the south have probably already put a critical mass of political and financial power in there. And the old timers for the most part have welcomed it. Another few years and I'd bet that Petworth is being mentioned right in there along with U Street and Logan Circle...
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:36 PM
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Default SE Lover!

I have lived in the Metropolitan area since birth. And have also lived south of DC since birth and am somewhat informed on certain areas of southeast as that is where my mother owns a townhouse and where my grandmother, aunt and uncle have resided for over 25 years. You cannot generalize an area. You cannot say 'southeast should be avoided' or any other phrase similar. There are some VERY nice parts of Southeast, some areas have homes selling for over 500 thousand, some have brand new homes in redeveloped areas selling for 300 thousand. The Washington DC Housing Authority has done semi-good things for DC's most crime ridden areas. Look to see if they have made any improvements in your area of interest. Go to District of Columbia and find the metropolitan police webpage. Do a crime statistic search. Compare last years crimes to this years trends. We have a new Mayor. Find out what his initiatives are for Southeast. St. Elizabeths is undergoing renovations and Homeland Security is proposed to take over some of their campus. The NAACP has also been talking of moving their offices to MLK avenue in the heart of southeast. The anacostia waterfront SOUTH of the river has plans for the new soccer stadium, an ampitheater, nature walk and more. Target has been rumored to open across from Skyland shopping center. The Venus and Serena Tennis courts are in Southeast, Congress Heights. As well as the newly developed ARC community center. Oxon Run Park is undergoing beautification efforts. Areas DO CHANGE. And they change fast. I would never steer anyone away from any certain area because of what I think its like over there. That inhibits development and diversity in areas.

And lastly, I hate to write this book as a post, but as an architect with some knowledge in community development it pains me to see people automatically steer people away from areas. If you were a realtor doing the same, you could be stripped of your license. Crime is everywhere. You cannot avoid it. And southeast gets a bad rap, sometimes for no reason.
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:44 AM
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But the people posting here are not realtors. They are residents of the DC area who are offering their insights to newcomers.
It's great that there are pioneers willing and able to live in redeveloping areas, but there are many more people who are busy with their jobs and families, and would prefer not to live in or even near marginal neighborhoods just because they might be nicer in the future, or because the new mayor of D.C. has promised to fix them up. These people want to live somewhere that is pleasant and safe NOW, because they might be moving on before the long-promised Target arrives. Generalizations can be unfortunate, but most people coming here from out of town don't have the luxury of spending weeks exploring all parts of the city before they sign a lease.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:25 AM
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Default Sorry, but....

Sorry, I know these people are not realtors. Thats why i phrased the comment in that way, just want to clear that up. All I am saying is people need to do their homework. Telling people that southeast and northeast are bad areas is not true. There are areas of both that are safer than some areas of NW. I know, because I lived in a really bad area of NW. So........like I was saying, if you dont know the area- someone telling you NW is a great area is not accurate and likewise, telling someone NE is bad is not accurate. The point I made is Do Your Homework. Would I refer a single mother to Georgia Ave and Kennedy NW? NO. Would I refer her to Branch Ave & Eerie SE? Definitely. Even some parts of U street, downtown, and capitol hill have high crime rates. I simply gave someone the information to find out on their own. Again, calling police districts and using the crime map online are all things you can do from California or Canada. I didnt mean to offend anyone I'm just very passionate about this. You're not helping anyone by giving them false comfort in certain areas.
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:16 PM
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I guess this crime map that I'm currently looking at with all the red dots of where crimes happen at in the city, mostly congested into NE and SE is inaccurate according to you. No?????? Look sometime people have personal pride thats gets in the way of actually being honest when it comes to making opinion. Don't believe what I have to say or you feel offended just look up a crime map for DC and Sexual offenders listing and you'll see what areas are good to live in.....
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