If you are thinking about moving, you want to find more than a perfectly sized home for your family. You want to live in a safe neighborhood, where you will feel at ease and your kids can play out front with other local kiddos.
While it is technically possible for crime to hit virtually any neighborhood, there are some pretty key indications that an area is safe overall, or is one that you should skip over. Here are five things to look for when searching for a safe neighborhood.
1. Check the Crime Maps
One great way to see what type of criminal activity took place in a neighborhood is through a crime map website. For example, CrimeReports features the country’s largest group of law enforcement agencies, and is a user-friendly site that you can use at any time to check a specific area.
2. Look at the Sex Offender Database
You can also use the power of your computer to see where registered sex offenders live. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website provides access to nationwide sex offender data. If you discover that a neighborhood that you were considering has a large number of sex offenders living in it, you might want to cross this area off of your list.
3. Do Many Homes Have Security Cameras?
While you might think the presence of security camera systems might indicate a higher level of crime, the opposite is often true. If you spot security cameras outside of many homes, it can indicate that the home owners are taking tangible steps to make their property as safe and secure as possible. Once you buy a home in your new neighborhood, it would be a good idea to look into a new or upgraded home security camera solution to elevate your new home experience and make it as safe as you can. For instance, Lorex sells a line of of wire-free security camera systems that can easily be installed anywhere you wish. As a bonus, these cameras will not only monitor your property for burglars, they can also capture playful moments as well, like when your kids are out and about playing with their new friends.
4. You Don’t See a Ton of “For Sale” Signs
As you drive around a potential new neighborhood, check for the number of “For Sale” signs. If you see that many people seem to want to get out of the area, it could be a sign that something is amiss. Most neighborhoods will have a few homes for sale or rent, but if there are more for sale than not, it could be a red flag.
5. Get Out of the Car and Walk Around
Another great way to get a good indication of the safety of a neighborhood is to walk through it. Are kids outside playing in their yards? Do the homes look pretty well-maintained? Do people smile and greet you as you walk by? These may be signs that the neighborhood is safe. Speaking of friendly people, if you feel comfortable doing so, you might ask them what they like about the area and if they think it’s a good place to raise a family. As you walk around, also look for instances of vandalism; again, punks can vandalize even the nicest neighborhoods so it may not be a total deal breaker, but if you spot a lot of tagging and other vandalism, it may be a sign to look elsewhere.
Look for Clues and Then Heed What You Learn
House hunting for a new place can be exciting. By keeping these tips in mind, you can also rest assured that your new neighborhood will be a safe place for you and your family to move to, and will be a wonderful place to raise your kids for years to come.