Buffalo, New York

The Comeback City

There's a certain vibe in my hometown; Buffalo is a city that has no illusions. John Rzeznik

The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

If you’re living in some big metropolis, your Buffalo word association responses might be “cold,” “snowy,” “wings”, “Bills so sad.” All that is accurate, yes they have an unreasonable affection for tailgating and no, snow does not equate to a snow day. But the Rust Belt imagery is starting to be transformed. The barriers to entry are low to start up something, yet the infrastructure and support is there so it works.

The Best Thing About Buffalo?

Smaller(Cheaper) Version of Chicago

Buffalo has almost all the amenities one would look for in a major city (public transportation, arts and culture, restaurants and nightlife, major retail and professional sports) without many of the downsides that go along with it (traffic, high cost of living and lacking a sense of community) It also has Frank Lloyd Wright houses, Canada is right across the river and you can be in sophisticated Toronto in 90 minutes.

A local writes a nice summary: To me Chicago always feels like a big city version of Buffalo. So that would have the closest feel. Our weather is better (cooler summers and warmer winters). It all depends what you like to do and what your comparison points are. If you like the constant novelty of a big city Buffalo is going to feel too small. But people are friendly, it's cheap, architecture is nice, Toronto is close enough for concerts and things you can't get here.

The Worst Thing About Buffalo?

Still in Transition

The transition is still in progress. Right now, there’s still a lot of drinking and football watching routines and it’s the kind of place that really gets into St. Patrick’s Day. Also, taxes in buffalo for property are higher than most other areas of the country. Oh, and about that snow…you’re going to have to learn to drive in it. And dress for it. Except in the summer when it’s party time in Buffalo.

The transition is still in progress. Right now, there’s still a lot of drinking and football watching routines and it’s the kind of place that really gets into St. Patrick’s Day. Also, taxes in buffalo for property are higher than most other areas of the country. Oh, and about that snow…you’re going to have to learn to drive in it. And dress for it. Except in the summer when it’s party time in Buffalo.

A local notes the transition stage: Cons: Run down areas have not all been eliminated or cleaned up (yet) if that bothers you; fewer new job opportunities than in boom-town cities; most available housing is older so lower home prices may be somewhat offset by home improvement costs in older homes (but still cheaper per my experience, maybe not yours though); state income tax can be a burden to some; annoying isolated suburban and exurban people who blame their life's troubles on the city/state (grass is greener elsewhere people) who often literally fear and avoid the city;

Lifestyle of Buffalo

Elmwood Village is a charming, artsy, walkable neighborhood. Singles and young couples enjoy locally owned boutiques, cafés, restaurants, and bars up and down Elmwood Avenue that provide a laid back nightlife and a hip, vintage feel. Victorian-style homes are scattered throughout side streets often colorful and renovated.

Professionals and couples flock to Old First Ward. This upscale, redeveloped neighborhood, rife with new apartment complexes of the bright, open space variety with natural light pouring inside and balconies with a view of the Buffalo River and Lake Erie sunsets. Would you believe you can kayak to nearby bars?
Families like Hamburg (just south of the city) for the nearby beach days and small down spirit.
If you are ready to buy a home and raise a family, East Aurora may have a home with your name on it. It is one of the safest places to live in WNY, and is often cited as one of the best towns to raise a family in the state. You’ll see a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, churches, and carefully preserved homes within walking distance. North Park has a diverse business district and walking from bar to bar and restaurant to restaurant is easy. This neighborhood is centrally located near major school districts.

If you want to see all that's going on in Buffalo check out the city calendar of events: https://www.wivb.com/events-calendar/#!/

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Sure, You Can Call It A Comeback.

They’re working on a comeback. In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged a so-called “Buffalo Billion” for economic development in the city. The continued construction on the state-of-the-art Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is bringing new jobs and development to the surrounding downtown area. And sometime next year, Elon Musk’s SolarCity, a $750 million factory designed to produce high-efficiency solar panels, will employ thousands.

Part of attracting a younger demographic involves programs like the Buffalo Building Re-Use Project, which provides loans for businesses to improve property downtown, and the Urban Homesteading Program, which offers $1.00 abandoned homes for qualified applicants.