So I live in a high cost of living area with low crime, nice schools, blocks from work, yada yada yada. About 20 min east of here is a much lower cost of living area with high crime, etc etc. I was contemplating moving over there for a short time to finish paying off CC and save a down payment to buy a house. I home school so there is no issue there. I would save as much as $900 a month on rent but would obviously spend more on gas. Do you think uprooting is a good idea? Oh I have three kids ages 7, 4, and 4mo. My church is local to me now as well as DH work. What would you do?
Move to Bad Neighborhood Short Term To Get Ahead?
We don't do debt. We paid cash for our cars. (Yes, this pertains to OP's question.)
We had a Toyota truck that was paid off and in great running order. It was from the '80s but would last forever. Except it had no airbags and its safety rating was really bad when compared to current cars. Basically, it was a potential death trap, especially compared to newer vehicles.
I am now a SAHM and we just didn't have any savings left. We decided to get a loan for a new-to-us truck. Three years of a car loan for a much safer vehicle made a lot of sense. What good would being debt free be if my husband was killed in a car accident?
So, I would be very hesitant to move to a high crime area. What good is paying down your bills faster if your kids are traumatized from a break in, the loss of stolen possessions, or watching a violent crime?
No way. Been there, done that, unintentionally and it is no way to live. Especially with kids. We lost so so much sleep living in a bad neighborhood that I am certain it cost us actual money in terms of job productivity, etc. DH gets paid commission so I know it impacted us financially that way. Also, we paid a ton more for car and homeowner's insurance, spent money and time on locks, getting stuff stolen, other security measures, bars on windows, etc. I can't count how often we had to call the police. We got so complacent that we stopped calling when seriously awful things were happening right outside our window. The most shocking and unexpected thing was how much better DS did when we moved. Immediately. Everyone commented on it. I still can't wrap my head around him being under two years old and the stress of the neighborhood (and probably stress on us but also the loud noises, pollution, etc) affecting him as much as it apparently did.
ETA...gas is expensive and I found when we lived in a bad neighborhood that we were driving really far to go to a grocery store, etc. where we wouldn't be held up at gunpoint in the parking lot. It was stressful... Couldn't go to the drugstore 2 blocks away when DS had a high fever at 1am, etc. And moving costs money. Lost security deposits, time off work, you always need a new this or that when you move, etc.
Thanks for the perspective. I am just feeling stuck in a rut. I really want to get the ball rolling with my financial goals, but things are so tight it's hard to make headway. I didn't think about half of the things yall reminded me of. Especially with a baby, extra stress is the last thing I need.
I moved out of a room I was renting in a house that was in a 'much better' neighborhood than the one I live in now. I payed 200 less than I do now to rent a room, now I live in a small house with my own backyard and a large shed. Despite being in a 'bad' neighborhood I've come to like this place. There are a few good seeds in the community and I feel safe overall.Then again I have lived in some awful neighborhoods before having kids so I can understand how others might not feel that way. There is a church down the street that runs a food bank and drop in services which brings some riff raff from other neighborhoods but also provides help for people here.
No one has tried to break into my house but I do have a couple of big dogs. I have left my van unlocked in the parking lot for about six months because I lost my keys after I moved here and no one has stolen anything out of it and it has a nice sound system and some pricey camping gear. I did however find someone squatting in it once during a snowstorm when it was below freezing out, they didn't take anything or vandalize it in any way which kind of surprised me. There have been reports of stolen cars ending up in my neighborhood but no one seems to seal from here. There are drug dealers and hookers that hang out in the parking lot of the mini mart a few streets away but they seem to stick to that one area instead of meandering through the residential streets. Well I guess my bottom line is you don't have to be ghetto to live in the ghetto. But if you have really nice stuff and bling bling cars and no means of security I would not consider living in an area like mine.
It might be worth it to really research the crime rates and see if it's really that bad. I know that in my city, which is pretty small, there are a few areas that are considered "bad" simply because they are heavily Hispanic/immigrant. But mostly they are families with small children, as well! Of course, then there are a few areas that truly would feel dangerous and stressful. So I guess it would be good to get a feel for which kind of neighborhood you are looking at. 20 minutes isn't much of a commute, right? You'd still be saving quite a bit.
I wouldn't move to a place where I felt unsafe, but like Fuamami I think there are places that people write off that are actually decent places to live. I think doing this move would take some research on your part, looking at crime maps if they are available, visiting potential neighborhoods (during the day and the night) and getting a sense of how they feel, and crunching the numbers for increased gas costs and moving costs.
my grandma lives in the city I was thinking of moving to. She is in what used to be a really nice neighborhood but has recently gotten a bit bad. My sister said that homeless people have been fighting over my grandmas recycle on trash night. A friend just moved to the downtown area there and I am going to stop by with the fam to check out the new place. Maybe he will shed some light on how bad/good the new neighborhood is. Even if I decide moving would be helpfull, talking DH into it is a whole nother ball game. I kind of started this thread to show him what other moms think about moving to save $$$ but it turned out to be an eye opener to me. A lot of things I never thought about or considered.
I live in a "bad" neighborhood and I love it. It really isn't that bad. Granted if there is a killing, meth lab, gang related activity that makes the news it is my neighborhood. (I think they just don't report on the crap that happens in "better" neighborhoods. Seriously.) but I have never seen any real crime. My neighbors are alcoholics and gangbangers and ex cons and we have the highest rate of people ont he sex offender list in the zip code but whose to say the kids in the burbs aren't just as bad and doing it in secret. At least I know what to expect from my neighbors. Our ghetto- tastic school is actually phenomenal. because we have open enrollment and so many kids go elsewhere we have small classes and the grant money can really be used for some freaking cool stuff. We have a million community gardens, its diverse and has a beauty all its own. Even though it has such a bad reputation I don't think I have been effected any more by crime than I would if I lived in a better neighborhood. It doesn't matter where you live kids will take your stuff if you leave it out and you need to lock your car doors. Softballs will go through windows regardless of where you live and dogs will get away from their owners. I have an occasional drunk guy knock on my door. no biggie. I give them directions or lend them a phone to call their loved one. If they are passed out in my yard I call the police who have always responded quickly. (actually this is a special patrol neighborhood which is nice because there is always a police officer who can be at my door in 1-3 minutes half the time we can just wave them down) No one complains if my grass gets long or my kids leave their junk out front. but to hear my uppity friend talk about it it is the worst most ghetto neighborhood in town. But she has the suburban housewife dream. So i think maybe it is a matter of perspective. It really isn't bad though.
Check out the neighborhood. Just because its not the best one doesn't mean it is the worst. Some really nice neighborhoods get a bad wrap just because they are not *the* place to live. But do take into account insurance rates, cost of moving, gas (and plan for increases) and car maintenance. Driving further also means new tires and oil changes more often. You may also end up being the one to do the driving for playdates and homeschool events. I had a friend who lived way outside of town and then would get cranky because no one wanted to come to playdates and stuff at her house. um no. It was 30 miles out. So I would take a little time get to know the neighborhood and really count the cost.
The one bad thing about my neighborhood is I am the neighborhood mom (especially when my kids were little and we homeschooled) Every one was in my yard constantly. I did not mind. It was the least I could do. And I liked being in charge of the playdates because no way in hell were my kids going in to their houses. (There were a few neighbors I got to know well enough for my kids to go over though) But I live on a corner and have a retaining wall that makes for a good place to sit. People just congregate there. I would also hate it if my corner was a bus stop. But it is not. Easy solution. Avoid a corner house.