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Old 10-03-2008, 11:47 AM
 
6 posts, read 20,873 times
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Default Boca vs. Delray

Single mom of young child looking to relocate from MA to either Boca or Delray. I need info on:
1) schools
2) areas to stay away from (crime, safety, etc)
3) any other info you can give

I will be renting for a couple of years and MAY buy if I decide to stay or move back to MA. I've read many posts on here and there's mixed opinions on soooo much that it's hard to filter thru all the comments.

Delray: best area to live - while not being far from Atlantic Ave/Downtown area. Schools?

Boca: it seems all areas are safe but any help would be appreciated.

THANK YOU!!!!
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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1. Boca Raton, for the most part, is a very safe and wealthy area. There are only a few iffy areas near the western half and along Dixie Highway, but nothing overly serious. A lot of the crime actually comes from people who live in other areas and they hit up Boca Raton to rob the rich. It's not an overly friendly area, however, and you're going to encounter lots of rude New Yorkers who think that they're better than you. The shopping is wonderful however and the schools are also of a good quality.

2. Delray Beach is an area divided between the wealthy and the poor. There's not really much of a middle class in Delray Beach. The western portion may very well be the most boring area on Earth, though the Eastern downtown section is more exciting. The bad areas are near the wealthy ones in downtown, oddly enough. The public schools in Delray Beach appear to be of a very poor quality, especially when compared to the highly rated ones found in Boca Raton to the south.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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Thanks for the input PBCboy!
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Exit 14C
1,556 posts, read 2,632,970 times
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Make sure you check out the main function of the site by going to the home page (click on "City-Data.com" up there in the left hand corner of the screen) and then enter both "Boca Raton" and "Delray Beach" in the search box (under "Get a detailed profile of any city, county, or zip code:") for lots of statistics of the sort you're looking for--schools, crime statistics, etc.

I've got a bit of an irrational bias/stereotype against Boca--it was the first area of Palm Beach County that was mostly "gated communities", and I don't like the idea of gated communities (or doormen, or HOAs, etc.--for one, I don't particularly think that the way to a better society is for people to isolate themselves from others even more), plus everyone I encountered from Boca seemed like a snooty New Yorker (especially "Lawn Guylanders") who mostly complained, and often about Florida . . . at which point I always wanted to help escort them--maybe not so gently--to wherever they thought was so much better. I'm sure that's not really very representative of Boca, but when I lived in Florida full time, I always avoided it.

And unfortunately the bulk of my experience with Delray Beach comes from a nightmarish stint there trying to make a couple bucks working for Satan--er, uh, doing telemarketing. I did have some far better experiences in Delray--mostly in the "downtown" area, and enjoyed it alright as a city . . . and supposedly it's even better now.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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Definitely do Boca. The schools are much better!!! like a previous poster mentioned, there are not many "bad" areas in Boca. GREAT parks too. Delray has a better downtown and cheaper beaches. The schools are not great, with the one exception being the High school, they have an IB program. (Atlantic HS)
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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My fiance was born and raised in Boca, while I've visited many of times and lived in Delray for a little while.

Boca is definitely upscale, wealthy, and pretty much nice in ALL areas (if you can afford it, stick to the east side). The downside is that it is definitely known as an area that is very "cliquey", people are about status and money there, very superficial. This area has a reputation for being 'snooty' and 'stuck up'. Oh, Boca is also primarily an all-white area. The community college there stinks, and the university (FAU) is just in it's early stages of making a name for itself. As for primary schools..unsure, look up the statistics. That being said, there aren't very many eye-sores in Boca, everything looks really nice and is well kept. Seems like a safe area to live.

Delray is more laid back, it's a smaller town. It does have its black and whites of the people being either rich or poor, but there are some grey areas in between. I always say it's the perfect little town, but that's my opinion. I never ran into too many rude people, and it doesn't have the reputation that Boca does. It seems like this area would be more "down to earth" compared to Boca. Atlantic Avenue always has alot of things going on, alot of restaurants and bars that locals go to just to stroll and have a meal. In my opinion, Delray is also convenience because it is equidistant to Boynton Beach and Boca where you will find the shopping malls and plazas. I would not stay anywhere EAST of I-95 in Delray. I lived between Atlantic Avenue and Linton Blvd, in the 33445 zip code, and it was very nice, safe..mostly retirees and families.

Message me if you need any more help
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Exit 14C
1,556 posts, read 2,632,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrettyMissAshley View Post
Boca is definitely upscale, wealthy, and pretty much nice in ALL areas (if you can afford it, stick to the east side). The downside is that it is definitely known as an area that is very "cliquey", people are about status and money there, very superficial. This area has a reputation for being 'snooty' and 'stuck up'. Oh, Boca is also primarily an all-white area. The community college there stinks, and the university (FAU) is just in it's early stages of making a name for itself. As for primary schools..unsure, look up the statistics. That being said, there aren't very many eye-sores in Boca, everything looks really nice and is well kept. Seems like a safe area to live.
The thing for me, though, is that in a place like Boca, I'm sure to run into some of those snooty, status-concerned, super-judgmental, etc. folks, and that's unpleasant for me. I do not like those kinds of people. They're welcome to be that way, but I don't want to be around them. Also, when I see upscale gated communities, I do not tend to see "nice" and "safe", I tend to see/think "conformist", "HOA nazis", etc.

Whereas I've lived in ghettos (although not only in ghettos), and I've never been a crime victim in a ghetto. I certainly never thought it was impossible for me to be a crime victim, but I'm not foolish enough to think that I could never be a crime victim in an upscale gated community either.

So the one choice, for me, is almost a guarantee of at least periodically running into something I do not like, and the other choice isn't a guarantee like that at all.

. . . which isn't to say that Delray is a ghetto, lol--but I just want to emphasize that different people find different things attractive.
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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Thank you to both of you... I'm going to do a bit more research on Delray. Funny, half the people I speak to say stay EAST of 95 - closer to the intercoastal and the other half say stay WEST of 95. Confusing to say the least... especially when you're researching areas via the internet... in boston!
Thanks again!!!!
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:36 PM
 
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Well, I've lived in Boca now for 2 years and I'm a "rude" "Lawn Guylanders" NY'er (as mentioned above)

Anyway.....I can agree with most of the replies here...

Boca is very nice and clean and lots of shopping etc. There are a lot of very rich people on the East side A1A, east of Federal HWY. Big houses and mansions and shiny cars. The schools are great and crime is very low, there's proabably 1 or 2 kinda seedy small areas but nothing bad at all. Of course theres a certain attitude that some people have which comes from this lifestyle and that's an attitude of "were better than you" and " I deserve everything". But, If you can afford it then definitley Boca.

Delray is pretty boring and the crime there is worse than in Boca. Atlantic Blvd is one of the main roads where there are restaurants and shops etc.

So between these two I would say Boca.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Exit 14C
1,556 posts, read 2,632,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalcurious View Post
Thank you to both of you... I'm going to do a bit more research on Delray. Funny, half the people I speak to say stay EAST of 95 - closer to the intercoastal and the other half say stay WEST of 95. Confusing to say the least... especially when you're researching areas via the internet... in boston!
Thanks again!!!!
Well, one factor is the following--and this is true, in general, of South Florida from North Palm Beach through Miami at least, although there are spots that are exceptions. This is kind of simplified to make it not too long (although it's long enough), but I don't think it's oversimplified--as I said, you just have to remember that there are areas that are exceptions that do not exactly fit this pattern:

The first part of South Florida that was developed, in the 1800s and early 1900s, was the coast--I mean basically RIGHT ON the coast. On the Atlantic Ocean and on the eastern side of the Intracoastal--so the narrow strips of land (barrier islands, really) between the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean, and right along the western shore of the Intracoastal. That was because you basically couldn't get anywhere else--it was mostly swamp, all part of the Evergaldes, and any lengthy travel was usually done by train.

As South(east) Florida began to grow in the first half of the twentieth century, expansion had to occur westward; there was nowhere else to go. Sections of the Evergaldes were drained to allow for development, and gradually, those areas turned into a number of cities going down the coast--they extended a bit further west from the western shore of the Intracoastal, but usually not much more than a few miles west. The three big cities are West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, with lots of smaller cities in between. The big three turned into "traditional" US cities, by which I mean that there was concentrated areas of businesses, eventually with some bigger buildings. Residences were sometimes mixed in to the business areas, and often were just outside of the downtown areas--within reasonable walking distances, even. It was all designed so that it things were close together, as we didn't have a car culture then. The smaller cities in between developed in a similar way, just on a smaller scale. These factors led to most residences in the downtown areas being quite a bit smaller, or at least having less land, than most of the residences on the barrier islands and right on the Intracoastal on the western side.

After World War II, because of the highway program that had begun during that war, because of the affordability of cars, because of relative economic prosperity, etc., we transformed into a car culture--nationwide. In Florida, this led to draining more land, further west, for additional development--suburban area catering to the car culture. Because of socio-economic factors, this was the "white flight" to the suburbs. Most ethnic folks were stuck in the city centers--they couldn't afford to move either east or west. They wouldn't be hired for most of the better jobs, and even if they occasionally were, they often wouldn't get the same pay.

Over time, westward expansion continued. New houses were bigger. The houses built in the 70s were bigger than those built in the 50s and 60s. They had garages instead of carports. New houses built in the 80s were bigger than those built in the 70s. New houses built in the 90s were bigger, etc . . .until we got to two story McMansions. Because of South Florida's geography, these expansions occurred in an east to west manner. People wanted more land and/or bigger houses, and the only place to go was further west, past the previous developments. The swampy areas to the west had to be drained, so the Everglades continued to shrink (argicultural development also contributed to this of course, but that's another story).

The folks with enough money to afford it wanted to live in the bigger houses. The socio-economic climate changed a bit and many of the ethnic folks who had been stuck in the city centers were able to eventually at least move out to the now vacated houses that had been built in the 50s and 60s, then the 70s, etc. The white flight continued westward. Meanwhile, the folks living right on the Intracoastal and the barrier islands had primarily been the wealthier folks since Florida's development started, and that never changed.

So that's why you tend to hear that you should either be east of certain points or west of a certain points. People are steering you away from urban, ethnic areas, and to more upper-middle to upper class newer developments and/or posh older areas.
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