Here, I am using tolerance level to describe the annoying environment levels one can handle. When choosing a neighborhood in which to dwell, it is a good idea to visit those neighborhoods at multiple times. When debating between two neighborhoods, I went to both during the night, day, weekend, etc. to walk around and observe the level of, for lack of a better term, crap. I walked these neighborhoods for hours. It is very important to figure out that level of crap that you can tolerate. For example, I thought I could handle the “boom boom cars,” but there are two stop signs in front of my house (on a corner), and those booms get old fast. It took me months to become tolerant of those booms. However, a big sell for my neighborhood was everyone’s untethered porch furniture and Christmas decorations. Even the houses in the Fan, which is considered fully gentrified, have their furniture bolted to the porch.
List the qualities you want in a neighborhood. Then, if you have decided upon entering a transitional neighborhood, decide at what point of transition you can handle. If you are the first proactive inhabitant to have landed on this area in some time (or, if most of the buildings are vacant, the first inhabitant), you will have to handle a lot of crap, e.g. someone shot in front of your house, a rock thrown through your living room window, the Section 8 house hosting prostitution parties at 3 a.m. every weekend… You will be the lone voice who calls the police twenty times a day. If you are in the second-wave of entrants, you may endure the boom boom cars, litter, drug deals done down the street, a violent crime committed on some block of your neighborhood once a quarter… You will be part of a minority group striving to rid the neighborhood of its drug and blighted houses that host these issues. The third-wave entrants will have the same issues as the second, but with fewer instances. You will be part of a growing and fully organized neighborhood group (e.g. Civic Association) that has working relations with local government departments.
You can help to determine your level of tolerance by visiting some transitional neighborhoods- neighborhoods at different stages. Even though I walked my neighborhood for weeks before moving in, I overestimated my tolerance level. Once I arrived, my ownership instincts suddenly kicked in, and things that didn’t bother me before I took that ownership, suddenly mattered.