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Old 04-22-2013, 11:55 PM
6 posts, read 13,587 times
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I was wondering if somebody from Ithaca could compare contrast South Hill/Fall Creek/Belle Sherman. Or perhaps give any streets to avoid specifically within them due to noise, either due to traffic or because of students. We'll probably be making a decision before the students are back in full force so I am concerned that the summer may not be representative of areas we are looking at (looking to purchase not rent).

I have read previously that South Hill can be noisy? Would streets such as Crescent/Hudson also be included as noisy?

Belle Sherman seems residential and quiet, but can it be noisy in the north area near Cornell? How walkable is this neighborhood in actuality?

Fall Creek seems appealing but with more multi-housing units there are students a concern?

I also saw that the downtown is set to expand substantially in the next 2 years, wondering if this will make closer to downtown noisier, or perhaps draw students to downtown.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:30 AM
Location: Ithaca NY
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When I was a student at IC 10 years ago, no one lived farther down South Hill than Hudson Place or farther up than just before King Rd, but I've heard that the student population has expanded downwards in that time. but I do have a friend who lives on Crescent and loves it, it's not loud where she is. And I have some friends that live in a newer development about a mile up from IC just off 96B who find it VERY quiet (almost too quiet, for them.) If you are looking at places down the hill from Emerson Transmission, do some careful research about the groundwater and any abatement systems in place.

Belle Sherman is very quiet, very very few student places except in the area immediately around collegetown, and the apartments directly across from campus. Basically, if you're not next door to a house large enough to hold 10 bedrooms, you will probably be fine. 366 and Dryden Rd in that area can be pretty congested at the beginning and end of the work day. It's pretty walkable though there's nothing to walk TO except collegetown, which is not super family-friendly. When we were looking at houses, I found the lack of bus lines through the area to be a serious downside. It's also pretty steep for walking in some spots, and if you buy there, look very carefully at the basements for potential water.

I love the fall creek area; we rented there for a while. But in the price range we were looking at, the housing stock left a lot to be desired. They're old, old houses on somewhat shifty ground, a lot of them have been turned into duplexes and back again, that sort of thing. May or may not be a problem, depending on your price range or handiness. College students are not a problem, kids walking home from high school occasionally are. Also keep an eye out for water damage for any place in that area, too, and be aware that Halloween will cost you $100 bucks in candy.

I don't think the expansions will have a significant impact on the noisy student population downtown or for houses more than about two blocks away from the Commons.

Although we really wanted to live downtown, we ended up buying a place near Northeast Elementary, and we've been very happy with the choice. It's not a brand-new house but it's in considerably better shape than the equivalently-priced housing stock downtown, the buses run a lot more regularly than they do in the Belle Sherman area, the sidewalk going in this summer will vastly improve walkability, we're at the top of the hill making biking to school/work/daycare pretty easy. Our neighbors are long-term residents, and we can still take a bus or car trip downtown for fun stuff. (We thought we wouldn't go down there as often if we lived at the top of the hill, but we're still down there a few times a week.)

Am I remembering correctly that you're the person looking at commuting to Binghamton? You may also want to look slightly east of Belle Sherman around Pine Tree Rd to easily hop on 79, or a little ways south of Ithaca College, where there are some nice residential neighborhoods, where you could easily hop on 96B.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:24 PM
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Thanks for the response and help. South Hill may be a good option for us so long as it is quiet. We do want to have some ability to walk to things, but at the same time some sense of privacy and quietness (in particular any noise makes me a bit crazy). I see what you mean with fall creek, it seems hit or miss from what we have seen. I also am shocked by how many homes only have one full bathroom...

One other concern is rent-ability if we end up moving after a couple years (i rent out a few other places so I am aware of the ups and downs of property ownership). I could foresee us buying some land a bit further out once we have made some friends etc., but I think the remoteness would be too much for my wife right away (but perfect me ha). My sense is Fall Creek my be the best area in this regard, as it seems to be a robust rental market.

Yes you are correct, I am the person looking to commute to Binghamton. My primary concern is for my wife and our baby, a few extra minutes does not matter to me as long as they can be happy. Fortunately, I won't have to commute more than three times a week, and I won't have to commute at all during summer breaks and other college breaks...
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:03 PM
Location: Ithaca NY
286 posts, read 1,042,351 times
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Yeah, from your description, no one place is going to be everything for everyone, and the thing that's best for everyone might be hard to predict. I think that if you're truly looking for out-in-the-country-ness, heading a little ways out on 79 or 96B would be a good balance. You don't need to be downtown to make friends, and you don't have to go far at all for it to feel very remote, as long as your wife doesn't mind driving in to town for things.

All the neighborhoods that you or I have mentioned are good places to raise families; I have a 2.5 year old and was thinking a lot about that when we bought 2 years ago. All different, but all good. If you're thinking about quiet and rentability, Cayuga Heights is another place to consider, though prices are very high in that area. Nothing except Cornell in walking distance though.
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