Moving to Syracuse, have snowblower need house.
December 8, 2009 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Relocating. Destination: Syracuse, NY. Prefer to buy a house in the city, no suburbs need apply. What can you tell us about Syracuse neighborhoods? Public schools?

We're looking primarily at the Near Eastside, Westcott, etc not far from the University, and the Strathmore neighborhood although there are other houses to purchase that-- from the internet-- seem decent around Skytop and Valley, but we're also happy to look at other safe/clean/decent houses to purchase areas in the city of Syracuse proper.

There was this question but it ended up focusing mainly on where to eat.
posted by MasonDixon to Shopping (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The folks at the City-Data forums are usually fantastic for this sort of thing.
posted by mrsshotglass at 8:38 AM on December 8, 2009

Syracusian here... Props for looking to buy within the city limits!!

The Near Eastside and Valley are spotty at best in regards to clean and decent houses. They really tend to go block by block; some slummy neighborhoods, some great neighborhoods. Westcott (neighborhoods surrounding intersection of Euclid and Westcott) is nice, if you don't mind living near the SU students. Parking is miserable there and the students can be rowdy. Outside of Westcott is nicer, check along Meadowbrook Drive and near Nottingham High School. The houses and lots are larger and more spacious.

As an Eastwood resident, I have to say that it is the best neighborhood in town. We're just across the hill from Westcott and have easy access to the interstate system. The neighborhood is typically colonials from the 20's; Shotwell St is particularly nice. The neighborhoods are quiet and family friendly.

Tipp Hill may not be on your radar, but it is also a nice neighborhood that is predictable. It's the old Irish neighborhood and has some real charm to it. It's quite likely the highest concentration of red heads and freckles in town. Check along Whittier and surrounding streets to be in the heart of it. Parking can be miserable there though, as there not many driveways.

Strathmore and Sedgwick are the priciest in town, $200,000 to $450,000. Gorgeous houses though. Unless you are looking to live high on the hog, you can find great houses between $75,000 and $125,000. We bought ours for $63.

Frankly, Syracuse is small enough that all of the city is just a quick drive from some other part.

I can't speak much for the schools, as I don't have kids in school. My experience in the schools is limited to dealing with the Special Education system. Ed Smith, in Westcott area, seems quite popular. Nottingham High seems to be the preferred of the high schools. As I understand the system though, you can enroll your child in any of the schools regardless of the neighborhood you live in. Statistically, the schools aren't that great but I imagine the education is what the parent and child make of it.

Feel free to memail me if you want to ask more specific questions.
posted by wg at 9:46 AM on December 8, 2009

I'm in Syracuse. I have one child in the city schools and one who is a graduate. I have been very pleased with the education my kids have received. They've also benefited from interacting with a wider variety of people than they probably would have in a Syracuse suburb.

While you can enroll your child in any of the schools (if there is room), most kids go to the closest schools and you might want to keep that in mind. My son who is still in school does not go to the closest school to us and he gets a little frustrated sometimes that his new friends don't live closer.

In terms of the neighborhoods, I'm on the west side of the city. I like the Strathmore neighborhood and it puts you close to Corcoran high school which has some nice stuff going on. The area around the university is nice as well. Keep in mind that the closer you are to SU, the more careful you have to be about which street you're on. There's a lot of off-campus housing. Tipp Hill is worth looking at but as mentioned above it can be congested. Eastwood is also worth looking at and has a nice little commercial district along James Street.

You can memail me as well.
posted by maurice at 10:25 AM on December 8, 2009

We bought a house on the southeastern part of Northside, about a block or two away from Sedgwick, in April and we've been pretty happy so far. People tend to frown a bit when we tell them where we live, and we usually give visitors directions to our house through Sedgwick so they get charmed by that beautiful neighborhood first. But we're totally comfortable here. There are a bunch of houses for sale, and some seem incredibly nice and well priced, but there are lots of dumps as well. We didn't really consider schools because we have no children.

Nice to be close to the Palace Theatre and James street, and are quite close to Riley's, which has become our favorite restaurant in town. If you don't mind the hills, it's a pretty easy bike ride to downtown or to campus.

We thought Eastwood, Tipp Hill, and Strathmore were also very nice neighborhoods, but a little far from where I work. We loved the houses along Meadowbrook near Nottingham, but they seem a little pricey and isolated.

Feel free to also memail me with questions-- we were pretty happy with our realtor, who worked incredibly hard for us and his other clients.
posted by activitystory at 5:43 PM on December 8, 2009

A friend is working at a substitute within the Syracuse City School District, and he says it can be pretty rough. I would aim for the Ed Smith(elementary)/Nottingham(high school) area, which is pretty nice in itself.
posted by mustcatchmooseandsquirrel at 6:34 PM on December 8, 2009

I can also vouch for Eastwood, having just bought a house here. Memail me if you'd like the name of our agent as well. We live right off of James St. near Midler.

One thing I can say about Eastwood is that there are a lot of involved people in various groups. Check out Walkable Eastwood (really, one person's site that has fostered an active email group). I'm currently part of a group that's starting a parents group to advocate for and support the neighborhood. People don't always see eye to eye on what's best, but you can't say that people don't care in Eastwood.

As for schools, my daughter is only 11 mos, but I know people who are happy with both Huntington and Blessed Sacrament here.

Also, I'm really glad that you are choosing to live in the city rather than the suburbs! Syracuse gets a bad rap at times, but it's really a great place, both in the city and as part of a great region.

(also glad to see activitystory's mention of Riley's!) (I think we need a Syracuse MeFi meetup.)
posted by stefnet at 2:10 PM on December 11, 2009

I agree! Syracuse meetup after the holidays sounds good!
posted by activitystory at 1:44 PM on December 17, 2009

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