We are considering relocating to the Buffalo area this coming summer, looking for better jobs. Olean is not working out for us, the job market is in the toilet here, there are no health food stores, and we don't really like hiding our Pagan religion from intolerant harassing neighbors. I should be done with my phleb certification by then, my fiance does not have a lot of education but will be looking into the community college and A+ Computer Repair certification. Money will be tight at first, as it often is after a major relocation.
We are hoping to find a place where we can rent an affordable house (big enough for a family of 5), that has decent schools. Good schools are absolutely imperative, but so is affordability. I will have one kid going into high school, one going into middle school, and a newborn infant. We should have a car by then, too, but feel strongly about public transportation, so some kind of access to a public bus is a plus, even if its got a crappy schedule. If the car (gods bless it!) can last until we move, then we won't mind being closer to the country, as long as the commute to work is still reasonable, or if there is a park-and-ride or something.
I don't want to think about needing day care, but unfortunately that may have to be an issue. We do have to make work a priority; our finances are not in their happy place, which is much of the reason why we're moving in the first place.
We feel a little like we're floundering around blind; I lived in Buffalo about 20 years ago, but seldom ventured into the suburbs. I know very little about the towns surrounding Buffalo, and would appreciate a bit of help finding the right place to fit.
I am nearby (Rochester)... I have some family in the Buffalo area.
Williamsville, Amherst, Clarence and Lancaster have the best schools... Like anywhere else, the better school districts are a bit pricier, but you can often sort search-results for real estate/rentals according to school district. I would try doing that, then displaying the results by price, starting with the lowest and see what you come up with. Good luck!
Thank you. Where in Rochester are you? I may already know you, I've been in-an-out of Rochester for the last 20 years, mostly in the Monroe Avenue neighborhood, and the South Wedge, and was frequently found hanging out at the co-op. (Really, really long dreadlocks.) Going back to Rochester is a possibility, too, but not one I'm thrilled about, especially with Kodak going bankrupt.
It's my hope that we can fit in on the edges of a good district. Eventually we hope to purchase a home on a bit of land, and are aiming for the more rural and hopefully cheaper outskirts. Not too far out, though, hoping to find the right balance.
Hey - if you end up in the area, definitely PM me! We're a Pagan family as well. (Well... minus my husband...) We've just relocated to a town a little south of Rochester. I also went to school at UB so I'm a bit familiar with the Buffalo area as well - though I was young and single and childless when I lived there, so I imagine it'd be a bit of a different experience for ya'll. :)
Thanks for the replies. I've been doing a little research. Amherst, at least some parts of it, looks like it might be affordable for us if both of us are working. Since Loki works customer service, and there are frequently second shift positions available, we may be able to stagger our hours to maximize time with baby Violet and minimize need for childcare. Another Pagan mom I met through a local shop also pointed us in the direction of Kenmore, and that looks even more affordable. She said she's had very good experiences with the Ken-Ton schools.
Researching rents on Craigslist, it seems there are affordable homes in Cheektowaga, too. Is anyone familiar with Cheektowaga? Right now it looks like Amherst or Kenmore are our targets because I'm slightly familiar with them, having lived in Buffalo years ago, working in Amherst, but at this stage I want to explore as many options as possible.