When Safety Is Your Top Priority
A home is a place where you feel safe and comfortable. No wonder, safety ranks pretty high in your priority list when buying a home. But how do you go about doing your research to find out if a particular neighborhood is as safe as you'd like for your family while still offering other things you're looking for?
Before You Get In Your Car
Before you drive out to the neighborhood, I advise spending some time researching online about the following:
While petty thefts are common in all neighborhoods, you should be watchful of serious crimes, burglaries, assault, etc. You can always contact the Local Police Department about a particular area to find out information about crimes that have happened.
To get a broader view of multiple neighborhoods, I recommend looking at City Protect, also known as Crime reports. It highlights different categories of reported crimes on the map and drives its authenticity from integrations with multiple agencies, including the Police departments in many cities.
Another thing worth paying attention to is if there are any sex offenders in the area and to understand if any people in the area are currently in violation. California Megan's Law Website provides information on registered sex offenders pursuant to California Penal Code § 290.46 so that members of the public can better protect themselves and their families.
Quality Of Life
Apart from crime reports its also important to understand what your quality of life would look like in a particular neighborhood. The following resources use factors like education, cost of living, employment, demographics, etc. and compile a consumable report.
AreaVibes assigns a livability score to cities based on nearby amenities, cost of living, crime rates, education, employment, housing and user ratings.
I recommend looking at Neighborhood scout for a comprehensive statistical analysis on different neighborhoods within cities. It uses over 600 characteristics to build a neighborhood profile for each and every neighborhood including rental versus owner occupied, proportion of families with children, the age, size and style of homes, etc.
Now Let's Start Driving
Now that you've done your research online, take some time to drive around the neighborhood to get the look and feel.
Here are some things to watch out for:
Bars on windows indicate frequent break-ins.
Graffiti is a sign of vandalism and the lack of control for such cases.
Abandoned shops indicate less interest from businesses to move to the area.
Abandoned houses drive the property values down in the neighborhood.
The following things are indicators of a safe and desirable neighborhood:
Kids playing in streets
Well maintained houses
This is part of my standard home-buying process. My clients receive a neighborhood report and I highlight finer points tailored to their needs in an unbiased fashion.
Whether you'd like to know about a neighborhood you're interested in, or would like a more generalized overview, just reach out!