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Old 03-27-2007, 09:41 AM
 
421 posts, read 1,057,473 times
Reputation: 222

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I only hear negative things about Elmira. Does it have a serious crime problem? Should I not even bother to look at houses there?

It's so cheap! It would be nice to pay cash for a house and not have a mortgage.

I won't have to worry about work, because I either telecommute or fly to where I need to go (and I do like the airport). I only care about the schools insofar as resale value is concerned; we don't have children.

I don't buy the fact that the prision is the only reason not to buy there. I wouldn't buy a house that close to the prision anyway, and if someone escapes, won't they try to leave town? It's not like they'd hang around, would they?

I visited the town (just for a few hours) in the fall of 2006 and while it seemed kind of boring, it didn't seem like it was a dangerous ghetto or anything like that. We would be spending a lot of time up on the lakes in the summer and the ski slopes in the winter, but we still want to live in a safe, nice neighborhood.

Elmira has such an incredible history. It would be nice if good people moved in and tried to bring it back to it's former glory. It seems some people do care as the historic carousel has been restored and reopened to the public. I guess there used to be an amusement park there and some people are trying to bring back a few of the rides.

What are the good neighborhoods in Elmira? What are the neighborhoods to avoid? There are hospitals there; where do the doctors live?

Help please!!!
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Maryland outside DC
2,171 posts, read 3,148,149 times
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While there is crime in Elmira, it's probably not any worse than many smaller cities which have had rough economic times. There is a certain shabiness to many parts of the city, but I'm sure there are an equal number of decent neighborhoods (perhaps around Elmira College). Just bordering Elmira to the southwest is Southport. It's a virtually crime free town, and has many nice older homes. Horseheads (to the east) might work out as well. Best of luck on your search.
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Old 03-27-2007, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Tompkins County
282 posts, read 1,221,814 times
Reputation: 228
There are some people that feel the prison is a huge issue and probably what scares most people away. It's really not the issue that some people like to make it out to be. I can't even think of any major issue involving the prison.

Like Ex-Ithacan said, Horseheads and Southport are also pretty nice places.
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Old 03-27-2007, 03:08 PM
 
79 posts, read 287,807 times
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The Near West Side of Elmira is reputed to be the largest concentration of outstanding Victorian residential architecture in New York State (which means very near the top for the entire counrty). There was enough wealth in the town to support one of the America's upper-echelon architectural firms (Pierce & Bickford) of the day.

There is a neighborhood website ( http://www.historicnearwestside.com/) that shows a lot of quality restoration work underway. You can just picture Mark Twain (who married an Elmira girl and spent his summers here) enjoying an after-dinner game of billiards in any one of those grand old places on West Water and West Church.

And--best of all--saw one of those 16-room gingerbread beauties in pretty good shape on Realtor.com for $75.000!
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Old 03-27-2007, 08:40 PM
 
306 posts, read 1,567,193 times
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Wow, you ain't kiddin', Acornsower!

I was last in Elmira as a teenager, and only to the edge of it. NEVER saw all this! We're gonna give it a good slow tour next time we're up there.

Is it a good place to raise a young family, esp. in one of the lovely neighborhoods you pointed us too here? Are the public schools good? How are the demographics and economic signs trending?

Any dangerous areas to avoid when we're touring the city with two young kids (=we're pretty vulnerable).

Thanks!

By the way: Great screen name. I just planted three trees today (Leyland Cyprus; they're like fast-growing red-cedars, a nice tree), and it felt great. Especially since my oldest son (he's three next month) was able to help. He had at least as much fun as I did: dirt, water, digging, shoving dirt around more, more digging, cool stuff like rocks and roots you find when digging--the boy was in heaven.....
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:01 PM
 
892 posts, read 2,767,340 times
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The historical houses on the web site were gorgeous. But I wonder about Elimira. Just looking at the stats page on city-data gives me pause. It says this town of just over 7,000 residents has 205 registered sex offenders. That's a high number for the population. I live in a city of over 100,000 people, and our number is about half that. I also was reading some of the articles from their local paper, and it seems there is some racial tension in the area. Not that anywhere in America is completely free of that, it's just given the size of the town, along with a depressed economy, and that can sometimes spells trouble.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:47 AM
 
79 posts, read 287,807 times
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I'm not from Elmira--just a fellow searcher for a place to put down roots and escape the clutches of Megalopolis.

According to Moderator cut: linking to competitors sites is not allowed, Elmira's crime rate in both violent and property categories (on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest) is 1. The city averages 48" of snow per year (far less than half the figures for Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and most places upstate). The photos at that Near West Side website show gardens blooming with dogwood and wisteria, indicating temps seldom fall below zero in the winter. Elmira spends $8279 per student and there are 13 pupils per teacher.

I spent a lot of time in Brooklyn in the '70s and remember the excitement of the urban restoration movement. Young couples would buy decrepit brownstones in "bad" areas like Park Slope and Boerum Hill for $27,000 and devote a good part of their lives to bringing them back from the brink. Look at those areas today! And I sense the same sort of budding renaissance being accomplished by individual initiative when I look at the pics on that website with the polychrome paint schemes and old-timey landscaping.

Elmira is definitely undervalued. It is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is a quick hop from the Finger Lakes (over 60 wineries and growing). It's got magnificent old houses, a downtown that was spared the worst incursions of Urban Renewal, quality drinking water, and roads that are not snarled with traffic. It is also an easy half-day's drive from NYC.

The days when you could go into Carroll Gardens and buy a place for a song are long past--and I for one find Brooklyn's new status as yup haven lamentable. I'm out there looking for the 'next big thing' and Elmira looks like a pretty good bet.

Last edited by Yac; 01-08-2008 at 06:56 AM..
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Buffalo Sabres Country
12 posts, read 54,029 times
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If you like to be bored, move to Elmira
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:36 PM
 
306 posts, read 1,567,193 times
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"Just looking at the stats page on city-data gives me pause. It says this town of just over 7,000 residents has 205 registered sex offenders. That's a high number for the population."

Yikes! That's disturbing! NO excuses for anything like this intended, of course, but I wonder if that isn't a sign of serious decay--in spirit as well as materially/economically. In seeing if there are pervs around us, I've noticed that the more run-down the area or town, the higher the percentage of convicted sex offenders.

Even so, we are very interested in checking out Elmira. We had mild interest before looking at the homes on the website that Acornsower posted. Talk about beautiful-looking neighborhoods!

Sabres Cutie, what makes Elmira seem "boring" to you? We're looking for a place with peace and quiet but a decent, civilized feel with a good balance of things to do for the kids and for us, and decent schools. This could be "boring," I grant, but do you think Elmira offers this? I'd rather play whiffle ball with the kids and then take them swimming to some place cozy nearby than go to, say, a Starbucks myself, just to give you an idea of our habits. Doesn't Elmira College add some liveliness to the city?

Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:10 PM
 
306 posts, read 1,567,193 times
Reputation: 310
I think that what boosts Elmira's reported #'s of sex-offenders is 1) the fact that "people" imprisoned there FOR sexual offenses are counted as Elmira residents, and 2) the # tallies for the city as a whole, which lists as having 30,000 or so residents (inmates included). Thus the inordinately high # of reg. sex offenders.

This isn't at all that much comfort, though, when you consider that the first place the released pervs (and criminals) will be will be...Elmira itself.

Isn't there a part of the Grand Canyon we can dump these predators in, boulders atop for free....?

NY State isn't considering REDUCING the sentences of dangerous/violent criminals as it moves to "consolidate" prisons, is it??
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