If you’re in the market for a new home and neighborhood you may want to spend a little bit of extra time researching potential neighborhoods before your move. While a cursory drive through can certainly offer a good first impression there are a lot of free resources available for a more thorough inspection of different neighborhoods as well. Living in a safe neighborhood can bring you some extra peace of mind as a parent as well reduce the likelihood of dangerous mishaps around your home. Here are some simple tips to get a good feel for a neighborhood before moving in.
Ultimately in the journey for a safe neighborhood your gut is going to be an important tool in making your decision. If you think that you have found a house that you like spend a little time getting a feel for the neighborhood. Take a little bit of time and go down to a corner store and buy a drink and some chips and sit on a bench and take in the locale a little bit. If at any time you feel unsafe it probably isn’t the right neighborhood for you. It’s difficult to really put your finger on it sometimes but don’t fight the feeling you get from a neighborhood.
Talking to people can be a great resource in sizing up a neighborhood. Talk to a few neighbors and hear what they have to say about their experience living in the neighborhood. It’s a great chance to learn about local schools and any criminal tendencies around the neighborhood. Ask if there is a neighborhood watch and get in touch with them to get some good information about the safety of the neighborhood.
Open your eyes and look for signs that could indicate it’s not a safe neighborhood. Some things that you are looking for are graffiti, abandoned buildings, and unsavory characters lurking in the streets. Look for large dogs and expensive security systems advertised by your potential neighbors. Observation can tell you a lot of things that your real estate agent might be keeping from you.
Lastly there are a lot of great resources on the internet to check out crime rates in different neighborhoods. A quick google search of ‘crime map’ or something similar will bring up a map for different crimes that have recently committed in the neighborhood you are interested in. Additionally it may be a good idea to look up registered sex offenders to find if you have any around the neighborhood. Take these resources with a grain of salt and check out the severity of the crimes as well as the date committed if possible. Ultimately it’s probably best to ask around and trust your gut when choosing the right neighborhood.