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 08-13-2012, 03:51 PM #1 adept     Join Date: Jun 2011 Location: at craps table with my life savings Posts: 890 Evaluating the expected value of living in a lower crime/higher rent area sup Probability (hopefully this is the right forum, if not feel free to lock/move), Ever since I've started taking poker seriously, I've been evaluating the various options that I have at any given point in life by way of their EV, like a switch you can't turn off. DS would be proud, I guess? Anyway, I cheaped out on choosing a place to live this past year, paying \$850 in rent monthly (not absurdly low but a fair chunk below market). I live between DC and Baltimore in a low-to-mid income area moderately affected by crime -- not exactly Harlem, but not the Hamptons either. Just this morning, scarcely a month before my lease is to come up, my car was broken into outside of my apartment and between the damage to the vehicle and the property stolen, I figure I'm out \$1000 (I have insurance, but let's ignore that for the moment due to various considerations). I don't have anything to compare it against since this is the first time it's happened, but \$1000 seems like as good a number as any to mark the average loss that would result from having my car or home broken into. If we assign that loss probability x, how does a graph of our expected overall EV (i.e. the total of rent for a given apartment + expected losses due to crime) behave based on things like values we assign to x, how close the inverse proportionality of higher rent is to lower crime, etc? Also, beyond x% chance of losing \$1000, how can we account for multiple incidences of being burglarized, possibly with greater or lesser effect? Sorry if this is all a bit much to ask, I'm the only Asian guy that can't do math and I'm still a bit new to applied probability beyond poker. My gut tells me that crime specifically affecting me is rare enough that I should be making the decision based primarily on the cost of rent, but if my expected loss paying \$850/mo is, say, \$50/mo (a little over a year and a half worth of which is realized in this one incident) that I could justify paying maybe \$950-\$1100 if the expected loss due to crime was so close to zero as to be negligible AND the ancillary benefits of such apartments (i.e. location) were worth \$50-\$200 monthly. Thoughts?
 08-13-2012, 11:14 PM #2 Pooh-Bah     Join Date: Jul 2005 Location: Phoenix Posts: 4,677 Re: Evaluating the expected value of living in a lower crime/higher rent area Along with losses from crime, include the difference in insurance rates between the zip codes you're comparing (car, life, property), and figure out how you want to value things that are unrecoverable (such as life, or time). If you value networking -- social/intellectual/professional -- there's a price there as well. You're also likely to pay more for local goods in a low rent area, so expect to pay or travel. There are a lot of subtle and nuanced costs that will track well with rent -- those are a few.
 08-18-2012, 12:33 AM #3 old hand     Join Date: Feb 2009 Location: Europe fiasco Posts: 1,352 Re: Evaluating the expected value of living in a lower crime/higher rent area Crime is a low probability occurrence. Not worth taking into consideration by itself on a 1k example.

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