Monday, November 12, 2012

Relocation Files: The Saga Continues

What is up with the Savannah rental market?  

We have been actively looking for an apartment in this city since August.  We did, in fact, find a location that was convenient to Wes' job in our price range.  We were not able to tour a model or set foot in an actual apartment.  The leasing agent did email pictures.  After a month of (expensive) weekend trips to the city for the purpose of apartment hunting, we were willing to take the risk.  We put in an application (and paid a fee) that was approved.  

That apartment never materialized.  We were eventually offered the model, an apartment that was not even available for touring until November.  A move in date was never offered.  I recently received a call from the leasing agent that another apartment-not the one we were originally promised, and not the one we toured-would be available soon.  Again, no move in date was offered.   

Due to a series of unfortunate events, Wes and I were not able to continue playing this particular waiting game.  Despite numerous red flags, we stubbornly clung to this one not-so-great prospect.  Why?  Well, there's this.

That is a rental posting for a camper in someone's yard-for the very reasonable price of $600.00 a month.

Now, I'm not hating on the living in a camper scenario per se.  Just a few days ago Wes and I were giving real consideration to the possibility of living in our car.  What I am hating on is the fact that there is a very real market for capitalizing on people's fear of living on the East Side of this city.  No one is paying $600.00 a month to live in a camper.  They are paying $600.00 a month to live on the South Side, specifically because it is not the East Side.

So what's wrong with the East Side?

As far as I can tell, as a recent transplant to the area, the East Side is where you live if you don't intend or want to live long.  Basically, people act as if you will be instantaneously murdered if you live on the East Side. 

I bet you know where this is going.  

Wes and I are moving to the East Side.

We found a decent two bedroom in a quiet complex that we qualified for, with courtesy officers living on site, an efficient leasing office, and immediate availability.  We toured it  applied, were approved, forked over the security deposit, arranged our utilities, and set a move in date-all within 48 hours.

I really hope we won't be murdered.

I'm being facetious.  While we weren't quite as diligent in our background research, we did take precautions before moving forward with the application.  First, we only found this place through a referral from a former tenant.  We scoped out the neighborhood at varying times.  We also hunted up apartment ratings and reviews. 

This weekend I decided to go further and check out the real estate market in the neighborhood and stumbled upon a nice feature on Trulia.  Crime overlays!

This is an overview of the entire city of Savannah.  The green areas are low crime areas and the red areas are . . . uh, not.  This view incorporates all crime while this view . . . 

. . .  shows only violent crime.  Menacing, right?  Again, red=get the fuck out of dodge.

Shall we take a gander at the coveted South Side?

Looks pretty good-but of course, there are still some areas of concern.

Now, the East Side neighborhood Wes and I are moving to is barely included on this image-don't worry, it's mostly green.

Looks a lot more alarming than the South Side right.  Now take a closer look at this. . . . 

This is a closeup of that bloody area on the left with listing prices of available real estate.  How much does it cost to live in crime infested East Side Savannah also known as the Historic District?  You could buy a place for 1.5 mil.  

Seriously-what is up with this housing market?

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