Yes, it is "that bad." Some realtors may try to sugarcoat it but this is where I was born and raised and it's disgusting that some people want $1000 a month for a studio or even a 1 bedroom in this horrible area where you are risking your life everyday.
I've been robbed at gun point on my way home from the grocery store at 7:30 pm in the summer so it wasn't even dark outside. I see prostitutes on a daily basis. I have to yell at them to get off my step and the corner of my block because my son can't even play outside without seeing someone passed out from some sort of drug. Just a week ago there was a girl shooting something between her toes across the street from me. These people come from other areas and other cities/states to get their drugs here and ruined a neighborhood that was once really decent. When I was a kid, it was great. Not so much now. There are good people moving in trying to improve the place, which we often call yuppies, but there are not enough of them to take away from all the negative things that happen in this neighborhood. My parents are BLESSED that they live on one of the only blocks in Kensington that is still relatively normal. You will still see prostitutes on the regular, you will hear gunshots at night, you will hear cop sirens and helicopters EVERY night. If this is something you don't mind, go for it. I'm just being realistic and honest with you. I can't wait to get out of this hellhole.