When it comes to buying a house, there’s a lot more to think about than the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage. In fact, one of the most important things to consider during your search doesn’t exist within the walls of your home at all. It starts with choosing a neighborhood.
As you get into the nitty gritty details of buying a house, you’ll quickly realize that you aren’t just purchasing a home. You’re investing in the entire community around it. With this in mind, you need make sure the neighborhood you select can provide you with everything you need to be happy with your buying decision. For the vast majority of homebuyers, this includes a low crime rate.
According to a new study by RootMetrics, a whopping 96 percent of American homebuyers say crime rate is important when buying a new house. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, though. A low crime rate not only indicates that a neighborhood is safe, it also helps keep property values up and brings new businesses to the area. This isn’t only good news for you; it’s also appealing to the future homebuyers who will purchase your house one day.
If you’re in the process of trying to find the perfect neighborhood to call “home,” use these resources to find out the crime rate in the areas you’re considering.
This website allows you to compare crime statistics and see what types of crimes have happened recently in the area. Simply enter an address and CrimeReports will generate a map of recent crimes at or near the location.
We love NeighborhoodScout because it allows you to create a custom search. Simply identify an area that’s on par with what you’re looking for safety-wise and the website will find comparable neighborhoods in any U.S. state.
SpotCrime is one of the most popular websites for tracking crime. The user-friendly interface encourages you to type in an address, which generates a map with icons that correspond to different types of crime. Moreover, you can register to be alerted to criminal activity in a neighborhood.
This online tool will help you determine if there are any registered sex offenders living in the neighborhoods you’re considering moving to. You can also sign up for free notifications that will tell you when offenders move in or out of the area.
In addition to doing your research online, it’s a good idea to plan an overnight visit to each neighborhood before making a decision. Book an Airbnb in the neighborhoods you’re considering so you can see what the surrounding area is like at all times of day – especially at night. This will also give you a chance to talk to the neighbors and get their honest feedback about the safety of the area.