Before you take the leap and settle into your new Rochester, NY, house, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty of living in Rochester. In this Redfin article you’ll want to sift through the pros and cons awaiting you in this upstate New York gem. So, before you start planning your housewarming party, let’s break down the good, the not-so-good, and everything in between that comes with calling Rochester your new hometown.
Pros to living in Rochester
1. Affordable housing
Rochester, NY, stands out as a city with affordable housing options. To begin, the cost of living in Rochester is 1% lower than the national average, contributing to a positive financial outlook for residents. Moreover, the median home sale price in Rochester is about $182,000, as of July. Whether you’re interested in renting an apartment in Rochester or purchasing a home, you’ll discover that the city offers relative affordability.
2. Education and innovation
Rochester boasts a strong school scene with institutions like the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology. These universities not only offer quality education but also foster a culture of innovation. Research initiatives and collaborations between academia and industries create opportunities for cutting-edge advancements. Graduates often find themselves well-prepared for careers in tech, healthcare, and various other fields, making Rochester a hub for intellectual growth and professional development.
3. Cultural scene
Beyond its cold winters, Rochester has a warm heart for culture. The city takes pride in its numerous cultural attractions. The George Eastman Museum, dedicated to photography and film, is a treasure trove for enthusiasts. The Memorial Art Gallery showcases a diverse collection of artworks from different periods and styles. Meanwhile, the Strong National Museum of Play is an interactive wonderland for all ages, celebrating the joy of play and memories. Add to this the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Lilac Festival, and more, and you’ll find yourself immersed in a vibrant cultural tapestry that keeps life interesting year-round.
Cons to living in Rochester
4. Limited public transportation
One of the challenges of living in Rochester is the limited public transportation system. Rochester has a transportation score of 41 out of 100, a 61 for walking, which makes the city somewhat walkable, and a 60 for biking. Unlike larger cities with extensive subway networks or well-connected bus systems, Rochester’s public transportation options can be comparatively sparse. This can be particularly inconvenient for those who rely on public transit to get around or commute to work.
While efforts have been made to improve the system, the city’s layout and population density often make it more feasible to own a personal vehicle. Commuting via public transportation might involve longer waiting times and less frequent routes, which can potentially limit your mobility, especially if you prefer not to drive.
Rochester’s climate is a topic of conversation and occasional frustration among residents. The city experiences the full spectrum of seasons, from hot and humid summers to cold and snowy winters. While this variety can be charming, the long and sometimes harsh winters might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Snowstorms can lead to difficult driving conditions, and the cold temperatures may require extra effort to stay warm and comfortable. On the flip side, those who appreciate distinct seasonal changes might find Rochester’s weather patterns engaging and picturesque, turning each season into a unique experience.
Rochester’s warm and humid summer months can also bring about an influx of mosquitoes, creating a minor annoyance for outdoor enthusiasts. These pesky insects can disrupt outdoor activities and while they’re a common presence in many regions, they can be particularly noticeable during Rochester’s summer evenings and near bodies of water. On the bright side, with a bit of mosquito repellent and proper clothing, you can still enjoy the outdoors without letting these tiny critters dampen your spirits.