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Old 08-22-2010, 07:20 AM
 
Location: currently, Indy, and bored out of my mind
122 posts, read 221,392 times
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So are there better parts than others to live in, in Anchorage? We are trying to figure out our budget and how much money we need to save before we head up next spring. What part of Anchorage (or surrounding areas) is more affordable than others? We have looked on Craigslist and there are some apartments that are dramatically cheaper than others and they seem to be in the same areas and I was wondering why the difference in price? Are some areas "seedy"? What area should we avoid? We still want to do our eco-friendly thing, but we are realizing we will need an apartment or house for the first year or so. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
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Though there are marginal neighborhoods tucked here and there throughout Anchorage, I'd avoid the Mountain View area (north of the Glenn Highway, east of Reeve Blvd) and though not as bad, Fairview (bounded by the Glenn Hwy to the north, Seward Hwy west, 15th Ave to the south and Merrill Field to the east). Some parts of south Spenard are questionable but the good lies next to the not so good so I wouldn't rule it out and even in good neighborhoods there are often problem properties.

The best bet is to hit the ground running looking for a decent place when you get here. Many motels especially in the off season have monthly rates that are competitive to rentals and would make a decent base for house/apt hunting and you are not committed by lease to a mistake.

Good luck to you. Unfortunately good housing goes at a premium up here though there are the occasional "finds" where a good landlord just wants a good tenant and is willing to give a break to people that he/she believes will treat the property well. Those are rare and will take some footwork to find.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:33 AM
 
Location: currently, Indy, and bored out of my mind
122 posts, read 221,392 times
Reputation: 64
When I say "seedy" areas, I am comparing to cities like Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. As long as its not any rougher than that I think we could handle it. We also have 3 kids and I am noticing on other post that drugs may be a problem there. What drugs are they talking about? I don't want to be in an area where my kids will see dealers out in the streets. I think (hope) it will be milder in comparison to the huge cities we grew up in. The last decade we have traveled and tried to stay away from the "city" life.How many people live in Anchorage? There are about 3 million people in Dayton and about 4 million in Cincinnati. ( not to mention 4 million in Columbus and around 6 million in Cleveland) It is ridiculous the amount of people, crime, and poverty that goes on in Ohio. We recently moved to Indiana ( that only has 6 million state-wide, which is still too many people but not as bad) to get away from that and to save money to get to Alaska in the spring. We have high hopes that there won't be the same problems there.And if there are we want to know what part to avoid. Thanks so much for your imput and I will be researching the areas you mentioned. We want to eventually move more north in the state and be more secluded but we know that will cost more money and we need to set up in a "city" when we first get there.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Lyons, France, Whidbey Island WA
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I moved here and took an apt at the Continental. Pricey $995 for a 1 bedroom for six months. It gave me a lot of insight into the areas. I can't say what for sure to do but getting here and renting in an area which is good would be your best bet.

It is unfair to compare Anchorage to any major US city. The combination of weather (the streets in Mountain view are the worst with ice) and darkness (safety getting to school) cannot be compared. Drugs here are meth and alcohol.

Anchorage is small 5 miles across. Again my advice is land here and look around for good schools and go from there.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
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Anchorage has 300K people give or take a few thousand which would be a rather small city/town compared where you are from but there are problems to varying degree here as there are everywhere. Even with your given history I'd still stay away from those neighborhoods especially the first one as there is known gang activity there though it will appear nicer than the marginal neighborhoods that you are used to.

There are drugs. Meth-amphetamines used to be huge, haven't seen much on it in the media lately so it may have lost some of it's appeal to the user population. Cocaine, pot, the usual suspects. I'm not of course in the drug culture but I'd wager that anything could be gotten here like any other city. It's a matter of how much trouble you want to go through to get it and how much you want to pay, like any other piece of retail commerce. Alcohol seems to be the real drug of choice though.

It concerns me that you are coming to Alaska and don't know how many people live in Anchorage. You need to fully research the weather, cost of living, the job scene, the areas that you believe that you wish to settle. Too many people have "notions" about Alaska and the life here that prove all too false when they arrive.

I've just seen too many people that come here all excited but unrealistic and then watched their wide eyed naive optimism turn to bitter reality mainly in regards to the distance from old friends and family, the seeming endlessness of winter and the cost of everything. People that come up without an exit strategy, without jobs, without the support network of family, friends, the military end up becoming trapped and reliant on state handouts. No way to live and IMO unfair to the people that work and pay taxes to support public assistance. Yes there are many people happy that they came to Alaska that are viable productive members of our communities that would never leave but you never know which one you will be.

I feel compelled to warn everyone to look very hard before they leap because a similar lifestyle can be had in small city USA in any western US state. In fact I found very similar type of people with fierce independence and relatively similar attitudes and living conditions (save climate) in the low population desert SW areas. Backwoods lifestyle can be had in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, or closer to home northern Minnestoa, upper Michigan peninsula to name a few with considerably less cash outlay, inconvenience and without the real possibility of becoming trapped.

While Alaskans generally welcome newcomers as a group, myself included, I see too many posters on personal vision quests on this list and too many that arrived for their piece of the good life over the years that have utterly failed to launch setting their lives behind by decades, ruining fragile finances for years. As a result I (and I notice others do so as well) issue this caution to everyone that I respond to that appears not to have their ducks well aligned in a row. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Over the Rainbow...
5,963 posts, read 11,239,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christi123 View Post
When I say "seedy" areas, I am comparing to cities like Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. As long as its not any rougher than that I think we could handle it. We also have 3 kids and I am noticing on other post that drugs may be a problem there. What drugs are they talking about? I don't want to be in an area where my kids will see dealers out in the streets. I think (hope) it will be milder in comparison to the huge cities we grew up in. The last decade we have traveled and tried to stay away from the "city" life.How many people live in Anchorage? There are about 3 million people in Dayton and about 4 million in Cincinnati. ( not to mention 4 million in Columbus and around 6 million in Cleveland) It is ridiculous the amount of people, crime, and poverty that goes on in Ohio. We recently moved to Indiana ( that only has 6 million state-wide, which is still too many people but not as bad) to get away from that and to save money to get to Alaska in the spring. We have high hopes that there won't be the same problems there.And if there are we want to know what part to avoid. Thanks so much for your imput and I will be researching the areas you mentioned. We want to eventually move more north in the state and be more secluded but we know that will cost more money and we need to set up in a "city" when we first get there.

Where are you getting your population figures for Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland? First, there is no city in Ohio with a population over a million, if you check the largest city in Ohio is Columbus with less than 800,000. Cleveland barely has 450,000 people and has never been over 600,000 which is less than 6 million. I grew up in ohio and have been back yearly and yes, there are problems there, but I think you have inflated them as much as you have the populations of it's cities.

BTW what's with the 2nd thread on Anchorage?
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:54 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
6 posts, read 13,532 times
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Ok, this is from a long time Alaskan resident, who moved out last May and is SERIOUSLY considering returning in the spring. With Alaska, you either love it or you hate it. There's no settling in between. It's far different from any city in the Lower 48.
The people in Alaska are much friendlier than anywhere I've ever been. There's a different attitude there. The scenery is nothing like you've ever seen!
Now for the down side: the winters are a lot longer... snow on the ground and sticking by Halloween, and not gone until late April or May. You can't put flowers outside until after Memorial Day. Anchorage traffic can really try your patience, particularly in the winter. I lived in south Anchorage (considered a good area by the way...) and worked downtown -- 8 1/2 miles. In the winter, I had to allow 30 - 45 minutes commute time. Everything costs more in Alaska. Mostly because of shipping, but even gas is more and they pump and refine it there. Gas in Vegas is running about $2.75 a gallon. In Anchorage, it's around a dollar more per gallon. The further north you go, the more expensive. Prices for bread and milk run about a buck or more higher. Also keep in mind utilities... gas for heat in the long winters, etc.
If you're trying to avoid the drug dealers on the streets, then stay away from Mountan View, Fairview, and some other mid-town locations. South and southwest have always been considered the better areas. East depends on the location.
Just make sure this is what you want to do.
Good luck to you!
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
261 posts, read 446,029 times
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Avoid Mountain view and Fairview--that's what most people say and I'd have to agree with them. I live in the turnagain side of town and love it. The neighborhoods are clean, I feel safe, no drunks/beggars...I love it here. Apartments are harder to find here, but if you're patient you will find a good one.
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