Should You Have Crime Statistics for the Neighbourhood Before You Consider Buying A Property?
Buying a new house can be challenging in all aspects. To purchase the home of your dreams, you have to bear in mind different aspects before you can make an informed decision. It’s not just about how beautiful a house is, but there are many underlying factors that you have to consider before saying yes to a house.
Building a house is one of the biggest investments and commitments you’ll ever make in your whole life, which is why it’s important to choose wisely. Aside from location and convenience, you should also look at how safe your neighborhood is.
Should I have a crime statistic for the neighborhood before buying properties?
So, should you or should you not research more about your neighborhood? The answer is yes. Nowadays, we cannot just trust whatever is in the advertisement; we have to do our own research as well and come up with a conclusion. According to research by BMC Public Health in 2019, criminality is sometimes considered as one of the key factors affecting neighborhood safety. They also stated that the perception of higher rates of violent crime and more nuisance contribute to the neighborhood feeling unsafe.
Choosing the perfect community for you and your family is a taxing job, which is why we listed the things you should consider before buying your own house. It is a challenging task, but you can never be sure when it comes to your own safety.
- Look up your address on a crime mapping service
To reassure you that your house is in a safe location, you can try free mapping services such as CrimeReports and SpotCrime, which collect police and crime reports. You simply just have to enter the address where you want to build or buy a house, and, voila, these apps will display the complete list of the crimes committed within the vicinity and in full detail.
When you see that your location or address has crime reports, you can choose to cross it out on your list. A perfect house, at least, doesn’t have crimes or robberies happening almost every week. You can compare different locations or addresses of your neighborhoods to see which ones have the lowest crime rates. From there, you can narrow your list into a small but safe number.
- Visit the National Sex Offender Public Website
The United States Department of Justice provides a free database of convicted sex offenders. This is accessible for everyone who wants to secure their safety. Look up the National Sex Offender Public website or (NSOPW): https://www.nsopw.gov/, to check if your neighborhood is safe.
Their website is easy to navigate, you just have to enter your location on that ‘search by location’ part, and you’ll see how many offenders live within your area or nearby. This is a very important step in considering buying a house. You don’t want to end up like one of their victims out of ignorance.
- Look at the number of houses for sale
For some cases, the number of houses for sale can indicate the safety of its neighborhood. A large number of houses for sale can mean that residents are leaving the neighborhood due to the rising crime rates.
Though a house can be for sale for other reasons such as economic downturn, vacant houses attract criminal elements. It can house a whole drug production, gangs, or even a hiding convict. So, the next time you see many vacant houses in your potential neighborhood, don’t be afraid to ask your agent who were the last neighbors to occupy these houses and when was it last inhabited.
- Don’t be afraid to ask around
It’s not called snooping if you do it for your safety. You can ask the neighbors about the conditions of the neighborhood and the houses, especially if they have witnessed a crime scene there before. Even if the house became a crime scene, the whole neighborhood wouldn’t be shut down. The agents and realtors will still sell the neighboring houses since, technically, it is not a crime scene.
You can also ask your neighbors about the last family or people to live in your potential house. What made them leave? When was the last time someone lived in that house? Were they happy? These are all questions that are vital to ask your neighbors. If anyone knows the neighborhood perfectly, it’s definitely them.
Now that we’ve established the elements you should look at to know whether or not your neighborhood is safe, slowly and surely, you can make an informed choice or at least narrow down your list. If you’re still conflicted about your potential house, we listed down tips that can help you choose your perfect home.
- Walk around the neighborhood. Though the advertisement or poster is helpful, you should try and visit the neighborhood at different times of the day. You should not solely rely on whatever the website or agent offers you. Try and strike up conversations with the neighbors. Who knows? Maybe they will be, indeed, your neighbor later on.
- Do your own research. Location or topographically-wise, your neighborhood should be convenient for your family. Look up the nearest hospitals, schools, grocery stores, and of course, how heavy the traffic is between these spots and your potential home. You can also try to do it on your own by driving from your potential house to the desired spot.
- Schedule your own tour of the neighborhood. By doing these, you can look at the different conditions of the houses. Do this in detail. Look at the number of broken windows, run-down homes, and vacant houses—all of these can signal an unsafe environment.
- List down your questions. Don’t be afraid to go into thorough detail with your agent. Before saying yes to a house, you should ask as many questions as you want to make sure that that house is perfect for you. Once you get the answers you want, you can either cross the house out on your list or bump it up to your top choices.
Buying a property is a serious commitment which is why it is reasonable if you want to have a crime statistic of the neighbourhood before saying yes. This will help you get peace of mind since the property is not the only thing that matters but also the environment where you will be living in.