Choosing an apartment: Is cheaper rent worth the risk??

ufcfan2003August 30, 2005

I have been given the advice "rent cheap and buy later". One source is the well known Dave Ramsey. Where I live most of the cheaper apartments are more dangerous. I would like to hear more experienced renter's thoughts on this.

I am considering renting an apartment in a complex that some of my co-workers believe to be in a dangerous area. The two pluses of this complex are low cost and VERY close to work and school. This community is not gated and offers apartments on the 1st and 2nd floor. An end apartment on the 2nd floor will be available soon and is located @ the very front of the complex. I prefer this because I assume more disturbing activity will go on on the inside of the complex. I am concerned being @ the front of the complex will make my car a more likely target. I have the option of using a company car and taking it home, but I will not do that. Instead I will take my car to work and leave it there since that will be much safer. I apologize for going in different directions, I just have a lot on my mind. I would love to hear other thoughts on any of these concerns I have.....

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over_n_under

If you are willing to save money and risk physical violence to yourself, that is your decision. Is a broken nose or a gunshot wound worth a few extra bucks in your pocket? Then go for it. I can't tell if you are female or male. Assuming you are female - are you willing to risk being raped to save a few dollars? Go for it. You probably won't be able to sleep properly at night, due to the fights going on in your area. But for a few dollars - go for it. I had a friend who was considering going to a very American-unfriendly country for a few years to 'make some really good money.' I told him to go. But when he got kidnapped, please don't ask the American government to help him out, as he knew what he was getting into. He decided not to go, fortunately. What is the almighty dollar worth to you?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 8:40AM
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TypoQueen

rent cheap can also mean have roommates, don't live upscale,live in a dated place.
it doesn't mean risk your life

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 11:09AM
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TalynDraconmore

I suggest going onto www.apartmentratings.com been to a few complexes that seemed like they're dangerous,but in reality weren't. dont just trust your co-workers opinions, find out for yourself... Theres a complex near me going for $800/mth that has gangs with semi-automatics, and one a few blocks away going for 650/mnth with no crime at all. You cant always trust the price and appearance. also ask with local police.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 8:43PM
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monicatx

Don't live in a dangerous area... Period, end of discussion.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 10:51PM
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choqokat

good morning.

14 months ago i moved from a "bad" neighborhood (drugs, slayings, gunfire, et c.) @$475/mo to what i thought was a "good" neighborhood @$700/mo. turns out the 1st fl tenant (who works where i work, diff shift) and her parolee brother were dealing drugs literally right under my nose. i always suspected them and when i finally saw a drug deal going on in my hallway, i sent the owner a note about it. three weeks later i was given notice to quit for eviction...he must have been involved, too. he later told me that my letter to him was threating!
anyway, i called my supervisor the night i received the notice because i work overnights and i was sure i wouldn't sleep well. she was very sympathetic and immediately started spewing names of friends and family with vacant apts. i now live in a 3br, 3rd fl flat @$460/mo in a not-so-great looking/located neighborhood (near operating & shut-down factories with some criminal activity) where most of the adults work or attend school. the apt looks east over the river to the next town. i hear gulls and crickets now (instead of barking dogs and witchy laughs) and, on my days off, watch the sun rise while having cinnamon hazelnut coffee with a raspberry twist from honeydew donuts. did i mention that a walking path starts right outside my door and circumnavigates two beaches on either side of a lovely park? did i mention that i went from 13 constantly open windows with nary a puff of cool air to 7 windows that bring in the type of breeze that actually lets you sleep all cuddled up in a down comforter? do i seem happy? well, i haven't unpacked half of my stuff and i'm in heaven.

so, ufcfan2003, i hope you acquire something nice without experiencing all the hullabaloo, but don't associate 'cheap' with 'unsafe'. you could be mugged, or worse, just walking from the mall to your parked car. please don't live your life in fear.

peace, love, harmony

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 4:51AM
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lazy_gardens

Before you rent in that place, drive into it late at night - between 10PM and about 2AM - to see what's going on.

My BIL once bought an apartment building in an otherwise safe, upscale area that was full of dealers, prostitutes, addicts and gangs ... the manager was an addict and found that trading apartment space for drugs and taking a cut off the dealer's profits was an easy way to make a lot of money.

After a serious cleanup that involved SWAT teams and the DEA, he's in jail now, as are most of the tenants. The manager kept VERY detailed records of who owed him what, with signed receipts.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 11:17AM
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steve_o

Around here, the city police department can give you the actual numbers of crimes committed in the area you're considering, and can compare them to the average for the city. There are many areas that have the perception of being "bad" when, in fact, they are merely average and it's the "clean" suburbs where the meth and the vandalism occurs.

You might also "do the math." I moved from an apartment (in a fancy part of town) at which I had to park my car on the street (a fairly busy one, at that) to a house at which I could park my car in a locked garage on my property -- and my car insurance rates went up significantly (!) because of loss experience in the area. Add car insurance premiums to your rent to compare apples and oranges. You may find that you're not saving as much money as you think.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 1:28PM
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chinacat_sunflower

1) define dangerous

2) quantify your co-worker's opinions- have any of them ever lived there, and been forced to flee? or did they just hit the place once, ten years ago, drunk, looking to score some weed, and got chased out?

3) there is no such thing as cheap rent- it's all money down the drain.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 1:20PM
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sharlee

Just sold my home after a week on market & going to apt living. Personally, I'm looking forward to less responsibility. Please understand I have lived close to the river in a gorgeous area & yet it's been a well kept secret due to being unincorparated.

My choices came down to sharing with a friend in a lovely area with frplc, own bath & nice patio & etc., but across town. For the same rent I decided to move to the fourth floor of a complex that only has two penthouses above on the ends. There are a mix of people & it's downtown in a small community where I'm accustomed to living. They are redoing the riverfront in this area & I see vision of this area becoming an improved & more desirable place to live. In the meantime I can walk everywhere, even to a part-time job I have. When I share this with some of my friends & even family they may cringe....rent is $475.00. Or, maybe they will have the "vision", also. Who knows, but to me it's being "street smart" & taking care of oneself that makes it worth the move. By the way, the couple managers live on site which is important to me.

Let you know more when I make the move in Nov as this is a new experience for me.

Be happy! Sharlee

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 3:47PM
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bonelady

Call the police dept in the area of the complex and ask for information on activity there. Also, make a savings plan. Will you save $300 a month on rent over living ina better area? Will you put that $300 into a "house account"?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 12:02PM
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vikiii

I did the mistake to go to such an area. And safety is not the only isuue, such areas have poor management, plenty of roaches, rotten cupboards, and what else. I will not comment any more, but I will tell you: DO NOT!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2005 at 4:07PM
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