General Question

janbb's avatar

Have you ever lived in a neighborhood that was rapidly changing?

Asked by janbb (59204points) 1 week ago

Either through gentrification or decay. My neighborhood which is a middle class neighborhood of small, medium-sized and a few large houses, is next to some tony shore towns that have become summer havens for a group of New Yorkers. In the past few years they have set their sites on our neighborhood and it has become a noisy, unfriendly place in the summer and parts of the year. A lot of tear downs are also going on and the support for the public schools is diminishing.

Prices are astronomical so I could get a bundle for my house but I’m not looking to move. I’m just trying to make peace with the changes.

Any thoughts or similar experiences?

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14 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Yes. Not just the specific neighborhood, but eventually pretty much all of Seattle became more and more invaded by atrocious developers, who would buy up houses and, even with pretty nice ones, would change them in terrible ways, such as destroying them and replacing them with something that could either have multiple rental units, or sell for a lot more, and by-the-way removed almost all green space, didn’t fit the neighborhood as it was, and was generally obnoxious in various ways. Clearly, they were just trying to multiply their resale value with little or no regard for much else.

Meanwhile, housing prices of all kinds multiplied to preposterous levels. Now there’s a whole class of people who used to not be homeless, and who still have enough money to buy campers, tents, and even portable generators and the fuel for them, camping out in groups in public spaces. As well as throngs of other homeless people.

filmfann's avatar

I worked 2 years in a really bad neighborhood in San Francisco. It was a dangerous area, and I always had to watch my back. A year later, I visited the City, and was stunned by how nice that area had become.
What happened was the Castro district had filled up, and the gay community expanded into this area (Lower Haight).

jca2's avatar

The development I live in used to be a summer community, as it’s on a lake in a rural area. There were septic systems, so the house sizes were limited because of the small lot sizes. The septic systems were taken out about ten years ago, and now there are still height limits on the houses (30 feet) but people are knocking down the old houses (little cottage type things) and putting up large houses. This changes the whole look of the area. The families and owners are still the same – regular middle class people, many with kids, many are elderly who have lived here for decades – but the school system is great and people are buying the little houses and turning them into big houses.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Los Angeles late 1940s, my parents built a house near the top of the highest hill in a Los Angeles suburb. Only one other house within a half mile and it was on the tippy top of the hill right next door. Just empty lots, sidewalks and paved streets. I remember when the city came through and first planted one tree on each lot. Then they put up cinder block walls between lots on the sides and backs of each lot. Then a few years later the put up street lights on cement pillars. By 1959 there were hundreds of houses !

cookieman's avatar

Yes. The neighborhood I grew up in in the 70s and 80s (couple miles north of Boston) was all Italian and Irish, lower-middle/middle class homes. All two family houses with a landlord and one tenant/family. We rented from an older first-generation Italian family. My mother grew up on the same street, down a block. In our five street area, there was a nice park, corner store, Catholic Church, and small shopping plaza with a grocery store and coffee shop. We were about a fifteen minute walk from a train station.

When we moved in the early 90s, the church had been torn down, grocery store closed and became a dollar store, the park was in terrible disrepair, and the population skewed more Hispanic (Brazilian, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan). Many houses became double rentals with off-site landlords and section 8 tenants.

I last visited the neighborhood a couple years ago and it is falling apart. Houses are delaminated, streets full of holes.

Really a shame.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I used to know everyone in my neighborhood. I could name every one of them, and even developed relationship with them. Most of the people in the place were poor, and my family were among the richest in the place. Some of the people that I had the closest relationship with were some poor families living in three houses next to each other. There was also a playground with full of playthings like swings and slides. A lot of my childhood drama happened there.

Then around the time I wen to middle school, those people moved away. Some new people came in and took down their houses to build a bigger house. Then another big house was built on an abandoned land. All the playthings were demolished and replaced with sport facilities. Then when I went to college some houses in the neighborhood became houses for rent. Then I a lot of business started to appear. My neighborhood used to be really boring without any fun place to go other than the playground, and now I can just walk to a coffee shop.

So yeah, my neighborhood has turned from a sleepy place for children to a highly commercialized place for adults. There is a lot going on around here than in the past, but I don’t get to experience the tight-knitted community anymore. I hardly know my neighbors’ names, and most of us just keep to ourselves.

seawulf575's avatar

When we bought our home, it was a small, almost no-outlet neighborhood. A big oval that had about 40 houses in it. Behind us was another development that had only about 20 houses in it. It was quiet, no real traffic. In the past couple years, they have built about another 30 houses in our neighborhood, about 200+ in the neighborhood behind us, and now they are putting in a 400 unit apartment complex at the top of our road. Traffic in our little neighborhood has gotten ridiculous since it has become the main cut-through for the neighborhood behind us. Crime has cycled a few times and I expect it to go up for good soon. To add to the angst, they are looking at adding about another 1000–2000 homes behind us, having bought up hundreds of acres.

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 That must be so upsetting!

jca2's avatar

I should add that not far from me is a major route that runs a long distance, and in the area near me, it was nothing but woods and grass and a few services (veterinary hospital, gas station, towing company). Now there’s been a hotel put up on the corner, and there’s a restaurant supply store going in, and they’re widening the road to accomodate something else. I find it kind of distressing because I like the rural nature of the area. If people need things like restaurant suppllies, there’s a major CT city about ten minutes away. Republicans on local FB groups say that taxes are high here because we have not a whole lot of retail. Still, I feel bad for the animals that are being pushed out of their homes, and once these places are covered in asphalt, it stays that way forever.

My road, a “rural route” is also a cut through now for commuters going from one highway to another, when there’s an accident or backup from rush hour. The rural route is just one lane in each direction, 45 mph speed limit, but I can hear cars up the hill (i have a big piece of property so I can’t see the road but I can hear it) cars speeding and trucks barreling through. On weekends, luxury sports cars come vrooming through, and motorcyclists in groups speed by.

seawulf575's avatar

@janbb it gets worse. The road we have is designated as a state road. The area they are building the apartments has been annexed as part of the city on the other side of us. Neither of these is the county. So when you go to complain, they just pass the buck. Access onto the road is a state issue. The county doesn’t care about the building because it is city and state issues. The city doesn’t care because it is part of the county and accesses onto state roads. Bureaucracy at its best.

mazingerz88's avatar

Yes. We’re a few minutes away from DC and near the metro stations closest to where we live, apartments and condos usually built with a major grocery chain on the ground floor like Safeway had been sprouting like mushrooms. Makes me feel old having memories of how those places looked like before the change.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Just in the past few years. There is part of my neighborhood that has smaller houses with a single car garage and probably 1500 square feet of living space. That’s a “starter home” here. It was going downhill pretty fast. They were super neat houses too but they became so affordable as the hood declined that it brought in more riffraff. Those houses were selling for $120k or so just six years ago. Now they’re over $300K and only more affluent buyers can afford them. I have never seen such a quick turn around. It’s a nice place again. People cashed out and sold to all of the people flocking here from other states.

JLeslie's avatar

My parents still live where I grew up. The town is so fabulous in so many ways. It’s beautiful and convenient and there are bike paths, and playgrounds, and pools for the people who live there. It’s about 30 miles outside of Washington, DC. My subdivision was lower middle class, but felt safe when I lived there. The city had subdivisions for many levels of income, and the concept was community amenities would be an equalizer that everyone could use.

Now, there is much more crime where my parents live and in the city altogether. The schools were never considered as good as other schools down county, and I think it’s only gotten worse.

My parents have decided to stay there, but I think it would have been better if they had moved 20 years ago. They definitely would have made more money on their house if they had moved to a more affluent area. They also would be safer, although bad things can happen anywhere. My mom has wanted to move to a retirement community in her area.

It gets harder to move the older we get. If you are not where you want to be for the rest of your life, maybe it’s a good time to move? Moving is so stressful though, I completely understand just staying put.

If there are a lot of tear downs going on, does that mean larger houses being built? That’s better than the neighborhood degrading and having more crime.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My father had the house that I grew up in built. It was on a cul de sac. There were already 3 other houses there, but no one had been able to buy up the best lot of all, at the end of the cul de sac. About the time Dad was ready to buy the guy finally decided to sell.
It’s a dirt road in the country.
This was in the 60s.
As the decades went on housing developments went in where farm pastures and crops used to be. The last time I went looking for my house, about 3 years ago, I got lost! :(
Then I found my street. It was still dirt. I turned on to it, rounded the gentle curve….and there was my neighborhood, untouched. It was like a pristine time capsule of my childhood.

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