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Old 04-10-2015, 09:50 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,436 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi Everybody,

I'm in my late 30's and my partner is in his late 50's. We live in the suburbs of Philly, in Bucks County, PA. I'm currently working as a pediatric LPN in a long term care facility for critically ill children, and he is a health advisor/case manager for a major health insurance provider. We have often talked about moving to Savannah, GA as a great place to retire. I'm originally from the south, and miss the friendliness and relaxed atmosphere compared to the northeast. He is originally from NYC, and we've both lived in urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout our lives. Oh, and I'm in the process of transitioning from a career in nursing to social work, ultimately culminating in a LCSW license and being a psychotherapist. (Moving will not have an impact either way as far as graduate schooling is concerned, in my particular case). We are a white couple (that shouldn't mean anything), together for almost 10 years, and aren't the type to need to be specifically part of any sort of gay community. Just that we be accepted as any other person would. Our political leanings are pretty much center or a little left of center, but I don't typically involve myself in political debates.

With all that being said; We were originally thinking of relocating/semi-retirement in a couple of years when he would collect early retirement, and I would transfer my nursing license. Due to a recent death in the family, we find ourselves with the silver lining of an inheritance that makes that move possible sooner within reason.

We are looking to buy a house in or near Savannah with a conservative budget of $250,00-300,000 max. I don't know if seller's will give a discount for a "cash" deal, like on TV or not, but the idea is something that we are able to purchase outright with no mortgage. We definitely don't want to buy a condo or townhome that would have some sort of association fees etc. We do like historical architecture, high ceilings, natural light, porches, gardens, etc. However, they're not a deal breaker. I am just as happy living in the country as I would be in aesthetically beautiful urban area (even with a certain level of crime...we have lived outside of Philly for years). We're pretty much two healthcare/social work professionals gearing down toward retirement, that genuinely like and respect all people, and also love art.

I want to apologize for how long this is getting, I'm just trying to research the best that I can for us, and I would really appreciate your advice. I've been reading the boards here and looking up different websites, and I'm sort of confused about where to look in Savannah for us to live. The crime-related threads are confusing me a lot. We don't watch the local news here either. The running joke for Philadelphia local news is "Murder, murder, robbery, rape, cute adoption story, shooting". I guess crime is a matter of perspective. I've been reading all of these things about neighborhoods, and I'm pretty confused. "Stay away from MLK and the Westside". From where to where? Also, I've been told, stay away from the East Side, but from where to where? As a non-native, I guess, I'd like some more detailed advice on location. I see some pretty cool houses for sale on E Henry, but then it sounds like someone on here said to watch out for the area. Also, Where is the south side? I honestly would appreciate your advice on anything and everything that I have said, whether supportive or critical.

Thanks,
Joe
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:07 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
11,396 posts, read 24,459,619 times
Reputation: 17477
Best thing to do is plan a few extended visits to the city and spend some time with a realtor looking at potential properties. Till then none of the crime or neighborhood advice will make much sense.

I have a couple of friends who are real estate agents. They email their listings to me occasionally. My reaction as a long-time resident is WTF? Historic properties in iffy neighborhoods have gotten very expensive. They're probably cheap by mid-Atlantic standards, but they seem terribly inflated to me.

As far as crime, the problem with much of Savannah is the fact you must always remain on your toes to avoid problems. If you're comfortable with that caveat, then you'll be fine.
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Old 04-11-2015, 06:23 AM
 
4,120 posts, read 6,611,192 times
Reputation: 2290
If you want to come to the South Side, with the Truman expansion we are about 15 minutes from downtown. I live in a gated neighborhood and it's extremely safe very multi cultural and there are several gay couples here. For 300k you can move right into either a brand new home or a slightly used home of a few years old. This home has been on the market for a while and you may be able to get a good deal. If you want 12 foot ceilings, open floor plan, 4 bedrooms and a bonus room then this is it.

Real Estate - 46 Homes For Sale | Zillow

Also Southside YMCA is 10 minutes away and the new super Krogers is 10 minutes.
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:44 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,436 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you both for the advice! bellhead, I'm shocked that a 4 bedroom house with over 3,00 square feet would go for $265,000. Where we currently live, it would easily be upwards of $700k. Another thing that I'm liking from what I hear about the Savannah area is how close everything really is distance wise. For example, Philadelphia itself is pretty big. Most of the culture, business, tourism, etc. is in center city. Then you have miles and miles of poverty and crime surrounding it like a ring. This diminishes the further out that you go. Until you are about an hour or so outside of center city Philadelphia that you get to a generally speaking suburban atmosphere. Two hours until you get to anything remotely farmland/rural in nature. I'm in awe that it appears you can get to all such places in Savannah in under an hour, including the beach, if the traffic is favorable.
ellie, we are definitely coming down to do just that in the fall. I would appreciate your advice along the way. I have been reading what you have said on these boards, and you make a lot of sense. I know we won't fully understand an area until we experience it for ourselves. I guess that I can admit that I really excited that this is actually happening, and I want this adjustment to be the best that it can be.

Maybe y'all can treat me as a "not-yet-resident"?
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,709 posts, read 21,932,785 times
Reputation: 10227
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleJoe View Post
Thank you both for the advice! bellhead, I'm shocked that a 4 bedroom house with over 3,00 square feet would go for $265,000. Where we currently live, it would easily be upwards of $700k. Another thing that I'm liking from what I hear about the Savannah area is how close everything really is distance wise. For example, Philadelphia itself is pretty big. Most of the culture, business, tourism, etc. is in center city. Then you have miles and miles of poverty and crime surrounding it like a ring. This diminishes the further out that you go.Until you are about an hour or so outside of center city Philadelphia that you get to a generally speaking suburban atmosphere. Two hours until you get to anything remotely farmland/rural in nature. I'm in awe that it appears you can get to all such places in Savannah in under an hour, including the beach, if the traffic is favorable.
ellie, we are definitely coming down to do just that in the fall. I would appreciate your advice along the way. I have been reading what you have said on these boards, and you make a lot of sense. I know we won't fully understand an area until we experience it for ourselves. I guess that I can admit that I really excited that this is actually happening, and I want this adjustment to be the best that it can be.

Maybe y'all can treat me as a "not-yet-resident"?
RE: The bold part above -- Savannah is the same way (as are most American cities I suppose) but instead of MILES AND MILES of poverty and crime, it's really just a few blocks. It's shocking in some respects (and something you have to get your head around) that some of the absolute nicest, most beautiful and desirable neighborhoods of Savannah are immediately adjacent to the absolute worst. Interestingly enough (and fortunately) most of the violent crime remains concentrated in the worst areas and seldom crosses into the Historic District and other similar "nice" areas -- I suppose because most of the violent crime that occurs in this city is (again, like most cities) gang and turf-war related.

ALL THAT SAID: I believe you have a healthy attitude and a good plan. I can also assure you that you two will be just one of MANY MANY gay male couples who have "retired" to Savannah for the good life! What we lack in gay nightlife, we make up for in a large a tight-knit community. Neighborhood potlucks, backyard oyster roasts and volunteering through one of the many LGBT civic groups is as popular here as going out clubbing. It makes the Savannah gay community unique I think and one y'all can feel a part of quite easily!
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Old 04-12-2015, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Savannah, GA
4,582 posts, read 8,976,920 times
Reputation: 2421
Comparing Philadelphia to Savannah is like comparing apples and oranges. Huge major metro in the northeast and medium sized town in the southeast.

Aside from being in a MUCH smaller city, you'll do fine. You may not even experience as much of a culture shock as you would expect. If you're in town, of course.

In the city, Savannah is pretty much left of center. The further out you go, the redder it gets.
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:13 PM
 
4,120 posts, read 6,611,192 times
Reputation: 2290
I lived in Bridgewater NJ and have spent many a night in Philly so I understand the miles of poverty.
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