As your exclusive buyer's agent will tell you, real estate is all about location. Having the best house in the worst neighborhood will not improve your quality of life. If you are new to the area, figuring out which neighborhoods are safe can be a challenge. Keep these three resources in mind when considering which neighborhood to focus your search efforts on.
Use a Crime Mapping Tool
Most city police departments and sheriff's offices offer an online crime mapping tool. You can search within a specific zip code or a radius from a certain distance. These maps show the general locations of crimes such as burglaries and robberies. You could also sign up for registered sex offender notifications.
Ask your exclusive buyer's agent for their take on certain neighborhoods. If a neighborhood is on the upswing, that is important to know. You could also stop into the local police precinct and pose the question to the officers. Other people who might be able to help include employees at nearby libraries and schools.
Look for Yourself
One of the best ways to get a read on a neighborhood is to visit it in person. Drive through the area at different times of the day and on different days of the week. You might find that a neighborhood that is quiet on a Tuesday morning becomes a hub of activity on Saturday nights.
Look for homes for sale with overgrown lawns, uncollected mail and signs of abandonment. Look around at how the homes are maintained. Houses with peeling paint, dilapidated roofs and gutters that are falling off are a strong indicator the neighborhood may not be a safe place to live.
How to Analyze a Neighborhood Before You Buy, money.usnews.com
5 Things to Know About a Neighborhood Before You Buy a Home, blog.allstate.com