Moving to someplace you know very little about has inherent risks.
You have no safety net. You don't know the people, the drives/commutes, anything.
You don't know the lay of the land. This can be especially dicey if you're moving to a big city like Boston.
Founded in 1630 -- when all the places I've lived in were all just big fields -- Boston is big-time. And a place that's been around that long is going to have rough spots. But even the rough spots will have some safe areas, right?
Well... maybe. Unfortunately, one of the guys who is looking for places for us sent a couple of places today that looked nice on the outside, but in researching, I found some concerns.
One is proximity to Boston Logan Airport. Years ago, and a Google search was fruitless in finding it (perhaps since this report pre-dated the Google anyway), I read a UCLA study about crime within the flight path of LAX. Maybe the study was full of it, but it tried to make a connection between the areas beneath the LAX flight path and higher crime. Cities in that flight path? Inglewood, Watts, South Central, East LA. Case can be made.
Logan's really in the heart of Boston. This apartment, which looked nice in photos, seemed to be in a possibly dodgy neighborhood, however. Another one had the same issues: Visually OK, realistically maybe not. I looked for crime stats and found a mixed bag. Demographic data gave me a little more of a true snapshot, but still.
So, I figured, why not go right to the source? I found a Boston Police Department precinct near these locations. I told the officer I spoke to what was up, and asked about each street.
"No. No. Ask for a place in The Heights. Otherwise, no."
So, score one for the BPD. I found another place on the list and the cop there hedged a bit, not wanting to give the thumbs down to a place. I understand, a lot of people don't know if they're being set up by some "gotcha" pretend journalism. He did reveal, however, that he lived nearby. So that made me feel less concerned.
At the very least, it made me feel better about the BPD of a city that will soon be home. And it made me McKayla-face about this particular real estate rep. I managed not to blast him in a response e-mail, but his credibility has taken a little hit.
I guess my main point is, don't be afraid to use the resources available. I'm grateful that I was able to call a BPD precinct and get more info. And reliable info at that.
The search continues.