Saturday, May 11, 2013

Best Tool When Moving to a New City

Whenever friends tell me they are moving to a new city, I quietly listen to his wife ramble on about all of her wishes and hopes for the apartment, neighborhood, type of house, etc. After my wife has separated the woman from my male friend, I then listen to the new job and life planning details beyond hardwood floors vs. carpeting. Once he drops the code phrase, “we’re looking for an area with good schools”, I then make my move. If I know the city, I mention areas that ain’t what they used to be. If I don’t know the city, I suggest living outside the city for a year and scoping out places. If city living is an absolute must, I bring out the laptop. Some people cannot be denied the excitement of city amenities. The best tool for picking where to live when moving to a new metro area is the NY Times 2010 Census Maps with the “distribution of racial and ethnic groups in 2010″ filter on.

The NY Times took all of the census data and mapped the rise and fall of certain areas. They have a special map, which is the racial and ethnic population dot map, that comes in handy for picking a home long term. Long term because you cannot just use the racial splits of today as a guide. This map also shows you the change since 2000. This is very important because you can see how an area has changed and how fast it is changing. Thinking of moving to an up and coming gentrified area? This map can show you how gentrified it is, and how quickly it is turning over. You don’t want to be a pioneer, especially in our economic decline. One guideline I have formulated is that if you move to an area known for having redneck whites or bluer collar whites, it will probably stay whiter longer than the area with red wine drinking whites. That is unless the area has zoning laws, and they can keep the cost of a small home incredibly high like the suburban enclaves of Boston. Blacks have a word of mouth system for not moving to an area that won’t take as kindly to their antics. Indianapolis is learning this as the black drift northward is slowly destroying the once great northern township schools, while the southern townships schools stay at the same testing + safety level as twenty years ago. The NY Times census maps reveal all.

There is another benefit to these maps. Readers who live in the southwest are already aware, but these maps can show you ground zero of the unreported black vs. brown race war. Sometimes the media spotlights it, but never draws conclusions to a broader problem like in this LA Times article on Compton becoming a Hispanic stronghold. This is happening all across America as Hispanics, while concentrated heavily in the southwest, have infiltrated metro areas and due to simple economics live in poorer hoods, which are predominantly black. Roxbury in Boston was once all black, and now has sections that are nearly 50% Hispanic. Black on brown crime is different from the old black on white crime, as whites would just sell their home and move whereas Hispanics bring guns and knives for round two. Hispanics are often accused of retaliating (the horror for standing up for oneself) and then melting away due to "their people" protecting them. Sound familiar? Blacks are getting beat at their old game by the Hispanics, and the Hispanics have tighter family structures and make a little bit more money. I don’t have any sympathy for the blacks in this situation. I have even less sympathy for a white person who willingly chooses to move into dodgy areas without even checking the resources available. We may be forced to live in a multicultural society, but it doesn't mean we can't walk around fully aware.


Robert said...

I was planning on making a move to a northeastern city pretty soon. Needless to say, this will be indispensable. I grew up in the city I plan on moving, but I was surprised to see how some of the neighborhoods have changed. thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

1st generation Hispanics assimilated the most, but 2nd generations and 3rd generation Hispanics are taking up their Mestizo heritage, learning Spanish and becoming less English.

Anonymous said...

So what benchmarks do you use to determine good or bad? What's the threshold? What's the trend you look for in the growth rates?

Son of Brock Landers said...

I look for areas, with under 20% Non-Asian Minority. Watch for double digit drops in the white number, unless replacement is by Asians. If looking in gentrified areas, wait for the white % to jump above 50%. I ran a blog for a summer on shootings and noticed gentrified areas with the white portion below 40% still had shootings regularly.

If you are looking at suburbs just outside of a city, check the change in black %. They've been getting pushed out by Hispanics as well as gentrifiers and their movements will show where good schools are NOW, but not where they will be in 20 years. It really is sad, but you have to plan 15 years ahead.

FWG said...

Great advice, I use this reference often. 80% white is generally a decent benchmark.