When trying to decide whether you will move to a particular area, one of the most common concerns is how safe the neighborhood is. There are online tools that will allow you to determine the safety of a particular area and you may also need to go on a neighborhood tour.
The Trulia Crime Map
One way to determine if a place is safe to live in is to check the Trulia crime map. This map will provide you with a visualization of where crime is most prevalent. The website draws its data from three websites:
In addition to determining the locations that have the most crime it is also possible to filter the results by crime type and allows for the creation of permalinks.
Area Vibes And Neighborhood Scout
Area Vibes and Neighborhood Scout provide an overview of a particular area. These tools are great for determining which areas you intend to avoid altogether. However, it is also important to rely on more old fashioned methods of determining how safe a neighborhood is.
A Neighborhood Tour
When you arrive at the neighborhood for the first time, walk around and get a feel for how safe the neighborhood seems. If your gut tells you that there is something wrong, take note. Warning signs of an unsafe neighborhood include bars on the windows, vandalism, and broken glass in parking lots.
Be sure to talk to the locals and ask them about whether they feel safe and about any crimes that they may have heard of. In some neighborhoods, the worst crimes committed might include a mailbox being knocked over or teenagers littering after a late night party. Pay attention to the behavior of the people. Unsafe neighborhoods often have people who do not make eye contact and move quickly through the area. Also, areas that are unsafe tend to have businesses that shut down after dark and there is a greater level of security than what you would expect, especially for the few businesses that stay open later.
Contact the police department and find out if the community is involved in community policing. Communities that have lower crime usually have locals who will not tolerate crime and will do whatever they can to assist the police.
Why It Matters
Areas with low crime are not only safer, but more vibrant. Crime tends to cause businesses to leave and also can contribute to the breakdown of the community. Therefore, it is one of the first things you should always consider. For more information, contact a real estate broker about these issues.