Springfield used to be called the City Of Homes. Still is. But, it has suffered from crime and inner corruption for so long that it is not the first choice of anyone who moves to this area. Hope this helps.
Real Estate Agents can not say whether a neighborhood is "good" or "bad" - it's called Steering and is against the law. What is good to some is unacceptable to others.
That said, I am allowed to say that I choose to live in Springfield and I currently live in the Forest Park section of town. Specifically I live in the Forest Park Heights Historic District. I am a city guy and couldn't imagine living on a cul-de-sac in the burbs. I also choose Forest Park because I love the old homes with a lot of character.
As for the rest of Springfield, we have a little bit of everything - so we really do have a neighborhood for everyone's taste. So check out http://www.ChooseSpringfieldMass.com and then as Barbara said, you really just need to drive around and decide what feels comfortable for you. Drop me a line before you come out and I can get you a list of homes available in different neighrborhoods.
Brian P. Sears
I would suggest that you take the time to go to Springfield before your move. No person's opinion could replace the experience of driving through the neighborhoods yourself. What someone else would say stay away from might be the exact thing you are looking for. Have a realtor give you a list of homes specific to your needs & then when you make your trip, drive by those homes. Go several times throughout the day, so you get a feel for the neighborhood. Just remember that no one knows what would be best for you better than you. If you would like any help looking for homes that would suit you, just email me at BarbBrown@kw.com & I would be glad to help you out.