How Safe Is Your Neighborhood – 5 Ways to Know

When you are buying a home, you have to do all you can to ensure that your neighborhood is safe. After all, you are going to be living here for a long time. In order for the neighborhood to be considered safe, it needs to have low crime rates. This means there shouldn’t be too many instances of robbery, theft, kidnapping, shootings, etc. Here are some methods you can use in order to determine how safe your neighborhood is.

check neighborhood safety

image by Photo Dean

1. Visit the neighborhood and talk to neighbors

You have probably visited the neighborhood a number of times, to check the house. You should visit a few more times, with the sole intention of checking out the place and talking to the neighbors. When you visit the house, it might be best for you to stay overnight, so you can check out how the place is during the night time. Keep a look out for any strayers. Check if there are any lights on even in the night, and if there are people around. This will determine how safe it will be for you to get back home late at night, or even go out for a post-dinner snack.

Of course, you will not be able to learn all that you want about the safety of the neighborhood by just observing the place. You would have to talk to your neighbors. Ask them if there have been any robberies in the area and whether it is safe for people to be alone at home. Check if there is a neighborhood watch program and if the neighbors themselves have done something to improve the safety of the area.

2. Listen and check the local news

You can conduct some research about the area that you are moving to on the internet, or in newspapers. Search for news articles specifically talking about the area that you are moving to. This will give you a good idea about the crime rate in the area and whether it is dangerous or not. You just have to search for the neighborhood on the internet and you will get all the data you require.

3. Check the national sex offenders public website

There is a National Sex Offenders’ Public Website (NSOPW) maintained by the United States Department of Justice. This website is a valuable tool for people looking for new houses for it gives them a good idea about sex offenders in the area where they are planning on buying a house. You can enter the address of the place you intend on buying and the website will tell you if there are any sex offenders in the area.

4. Check the number of houses for sale in the area

You can find out how safe a neighborhood is by checking the number of houses that are on sale in the area. However, the economy is not doing too well, so there is a chance that these people are selling their homes because of the economic condition. In order to find out if the large number of vacancies in the neighborhood is because of the economic condition or the crime rate, cross-examine the number of vacant houses with the crime rate of the area. Even if people are selling their houses because of economic conditions, a large number of vacant houses in one single neighborhood might cause some unsavory conditions. It might draw in criminals or worse, drug production gangs.

It’s best for you to buy a house in a neighborhood that does not have a large number (more than the city average, at least) of vacant houses.

5. Check crime websites

There are a number of websites that keep track of all the crimes reported in particular neighborhoods, for the benefit of people living in the area. You can check one of these websites to see how safe the area is. Here are some of the most popular crime websites you can use:

  • Neighborhoodscout.com: You just have to type the address of your new house, and you can learn about the overall crime rate, and crime statistics.
  • CrimeReports.com: You can compare the crime rate in your neighborhood with the crime rate in other areas, to see how comparatively safe or unsafe the area is.
  • City-Data.com: Citydata.com provides new homeowners with important information relating to home sales, average income, crime statistics, etc.
  • FamilyWatchdog.us: This website includes information about sex offenders in specific neighborhoods.
  • SpotCrime.com: This is another website that collects and maintains records of police and crime reports in specific areas.

These are some of the most important steps you can take to ensure that you are safe in the neighborhood you have picked to buy your new home.

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