The mantra safety first, applies to many things, home buying included. While finding the right home for you and your family is important (that’s why we’re here), the neighborhood in which it’s located can also make a huge difference in your overall experience. The more secure you feel in your home and community the better your quality of life. Not only that, it also has a direct impact on your home’s resale value.
What can you do to ensure your new neighborhood is safe? Fortunately, there are some strategies and tools that can help you learn about the safety of your potential community.
- Talk to the Neighbors – Given that this may be your potential new home, introduce yourself. Start with the neighbors next door if possible, but also spend time in the local shops and ask about the community. Those who live close or have been in the area the longest, will likely have that insider information you are looking for.
- Drive Through (or visit) the Neighborhood at Varying Times – This may be a slightly difficult if you are making a long-distance move. However, if you are visiting the neighborhood — close or not — do so at various times and on different days. A single visit may be misleading. Look to see if there are people out and what their body language says about how safe they feel. This might also alert you to late-night businesses or unwanted early-morning traffic.
- Utilize Online Tools – Here we are in the information age and there’s so many online tools to utilize. Relocating? This method will be especially helpful. There are crime research sites like CrimeReports, SpotCrime, and NeighborhoodScout that offer crime statistics. The National Sex Offender Public Database is another good research tool. There are also apps like Nextdoor, that help to connect you directly to the community and your neighbors.
Ensuring you take the time to research your potential new community is important. Being in the know before you move will guarantee you and your family feel secure from day one.