Before You Move, Evaluate Neighborhood Safety

From on August 21, 2008 in General

neighborhoodWhere we raise our kids is an important decision for American parents. When shopping for your new home, there are resources to help you research the safety of the neighborhood so you can ensure your family is as protected as possible. Many realtors assist you in finding this data, but if not, here are some suggestions for how to do your own detective work.

  • Go to your local government agencies and collect data on city crime. They should be able to detail for you which areas are more prone to crime, and what type is normally a concern.
  • This one is a large concern for parents these days—identifying sex offenders in the neighborhood. Each state offers a registry and there is also a federal registry. Most of these are public data, but sometimes you can find additional information by paying to use a more detailed site.
  • Study the demographics of the neighborhood. Again, your realtor may have some insight on this subject, or you can even look for a neighbor to talk with. Try to find-out which homes are rentals, vacant, etc.
  • Sometimes the best way to get a feel for the neighborhood is to simply spend some time walking, sitting and observing. Notice how much traffic there is and how fast cars drive along the streets. Listen to noise levels, and evaluate how friendly the people are. Look for graffiti or vandalism, and pay attention to the overall condition of the houses, yards, schools, and parks.

Purchasing your family home is a big step, but should be a fun one at the same time. The safety of the neighborhood is just one of the many considerations you’ll face; but the piece of mind you’ll enjoy once you’ve made your selection will more than make up for any extra work entailed.