Looking for a new home can be exciting, but it can be difficult to figure out what you need to search for. Most people believe that what the home looks like is the most important part, but you can always repaint your home if you don’t like the color or remodel the kitchen, but you can’t change the neighborhood that your home is in. It is important to buy a home in a secure neighborhood and to do your research beforehand.
Signs That The Place is Unsafe
Whether you are considering buying a home in a new neighborhood or whether you have been living in the same area, there are signs that could indicate that an area is unsafe and these signs include:
High Crime Statistics
The crime statistics of a potential neighborhood can be important as the higher they are, the more unsafe the area is. There is also the impression that bigger cities tend to have higher crime rates than smaller neighborhoods, but this is completely false.
Constant Presence of Police
A heavy presence of police can be an indication of them having to constantly respond to crimes. This is obviously a bad sign in a neighborhood, but it could also be an indication of police conducting a patrol for different areas. If you do see them patrolling multiple times a day during different times it could be a sign that they are responding to calls.
Vacant houses are a sign of a declining area, especially when you notice empty buildings and houses for months. Areas with many vacant properties also have reduced property value and higher crime rates.
Ways To Know if a Neighborhood is Safe
A home can be beautiful and have everything you want, but its value will be affected by its surrounding area. Living in an unsafe neighborhood will affect your family negatively as you will constantly live in fear and you might suffer immense financial loss when you have to sell the home. Here are some indicators that a neighborhood is safe for you and your family.
Low Crime Rates
Nothing points out an area’s safety levels such as its crime rates. There are several ways that you can access this information such as public records and websites. These websites will compile data that shows the different crimes that were committed in a particular area. Another method of accessing crime data is contacting the neighborhoods local police station as they will have records of all information regarding that neighborhood.
Neighborhood Watch Groups
People who care about their neighborhood will do a lot to protect it and ensure that the area is also crime free. Safe neighborhoods will have watch groups where a group of people who reside in the area will patrol the area and report any suspicious behavior that they detect to the police.
Neighborhood watch groups are also able to stop crime and keep all the residents safe. They also ensure that all members address any issues regarding safety that they have and that they come up with strategies to resolve them.
Check Out The Local Community
Walking or driving around a neighborhood will be able to give you a general feel of the area. Things you should look out for include the general state of the houses in the area. Houses that have broken windows, unkempt yards of any other signs that indicate a lack of maintenance are a cause for concern.
Ensure that you visit the area at different times of the days as you can gain better insight of the area. Seeing children playing outside, people jogging and walking dogs during the early hours of the morning or evening hours are all good indicators as they show that people in the neighborhood feel safe and comfortable.
Talk to The People
There is no better way to understand an area, than asking the people who reside in it. They might be able to give you detailed information that you might not be able to find through websites. For example, there are some crimes that go unreported because the individuals do not want to speak to the police about them.
You can simply introduce yourself to the residents and ask them for any information about the neighborhood like whether they enjoy living in the area and whether they would recommend it for your family. This can also help you determine whether the neighborhood will be able to meet your lifestyle needs.
Speak With Your Real Estate Agent
Using a real estate agent can be valuable as they have expert knowledge that you will require. You might have all the facts and statistics about the neighborhood, but the real estate agent possesses all the inside information. This knowledge can be useful in helping you choose a location that you will feel safe and comfortable in.
The Number of Houses Up For Sale
Another serious indicator of safe neighborhoods is the number of houses that are up for sale. The less houses you see up for sale, the better. Seeing a large number of houses for sale indicates that a lot of people are leaving the area in order to escape crime. There could be other reasons such as a downturn in market, but is always a cause for concern and something you should be wary of.
Trust Your Instincts
This might seem like an obvious suggestion, but you should pay attention to your gut feeling. If you visit a neighborhood and you do not feel safe or comfortable when you are walking around then you should listen to it. You would not want to live in an area where you always feel uneasy, especially if your family members also feel the same way.
When searching for your dream house, you must make sure that the neighborhood you choose is a priority as well. Ensure that you do a lot of research before you purchase your home as your quality of life will depend on it.
You might also like to read about Safe Room.