How to determine if a neighborhood is safe –
There are a number of ways to determine the relative safety of a neighborhood. The most obvious is to speak with your Realtor about it. They should be able to give the details about the neighborhood’s actual crime statistics verses it’s reputation. There are other methods:
- Take a walk. Do you see a lot of well manicured lawns, well maintained homes and children playing? Are the passers-by friendly? Does the neighborhood lack vandalized areas? Are there several foreclosed homes, or just several homes all for sale at the same time. This can be a sign of trouble. Do you feel safe?A safe neighborhood will allow you to feel safe when you’re on foot. Listen to what your gut is telling you as you walk around.
- There are several websites that now offer information on the crime rates of a neighborhood. Everything from burglary to domestic violence will be available for viewing. Check on all the available information.
- Talk to people. Ask the neighbors how they feel about living in the area, or if they have a neighborhood watch program or if area walking/jogging paths have had any incidents. Ask teachers in the nearest elementary school what they think. You can even ask local police departments for their opinion about how safe you would be living in a specific neighborhood.
- Look at the local schools. Are they well kept? A well kept school environment can really add to the overall safe feeling of your new home.
- Visit the neighborhood at different times of the day to make sure you’re getting a clear picture.
- Pay attention to the overall traffic of the area. Are there a lot of stop lights, traffic signs, blind turns etc. These can not only affect the safety of the neighborhood, but the value of the home as well. Imagine moving into a home where the traffic noise is so heavy, you can’t get a good night’s sleep.
- Ask a home insurance provider how they rate the neighborhood.
With a little research, you should be able to decide if a home in a specific area of town will suit your needs. Regardless of the neighborhood safety rating, it’s always wise to use a security system.