Finding the right home for you and your family involves more than the right number of bedrooms and a lovely front yard; the neighborhood in which it’s located can make a huge difference in the quality of your experience in the home. The most important consideration must be the safety of the community. Not only is it a critical component of a healthy lifestyle, but it can also have a drastic effect on resale values. Fortunately, there are some strategies and tools available to help you learn about the safety of your potential new home.
• Talk to the Neighbors – The first step in researching your new location is to talk with the locals. Start with the neighbors next door if possible, but also spend time in the local shops and ask about the community.
• Drive through the Neighborhood at Varying Times – One visit on a Saturday morning will never give you a sense of the neighborhood. Drive by on a Friday night and weekday afternoons to learn more about the community. Watch for children playing in the parks and older couples out for a walk.
• Utilize Tools – There are a variety of online tools available. Crime research sites such as CrimeReports, SpotCrime, and NeighborhoodScout offer crime statistics. The National Sex Offender Public Website is another good research tool. Each city will also have a published crime blotter report available to review.
The safety and security of your new community should be a top consideration as you search for your new home. Taking the time to research the area will ensure you make the best decision possible for you and your family.