You’ve no doubt heard the old saying that only three things matter when it comes to real estate: location, location, and location.
That is, of course, a cutesy and oversimplified piece of advice, but it’s still worth heeding, especially with respect to determining the safety of a neighborhood before buying a home.
What makes a neighborhood safe? Is it the locks on the doors? The residents? The local police department? Do you know how to detect a crime -ridden neighborhood before buying a home? You probably already have some ideas about what can make a neighborhood safe, but are you sure that those characteristics are absolute indicators of your safety?
Location and safety go hand in hand, and you need to know before you buy. So be sure to check out these 5 resources to help you judge the safety of a neighborhood before buying a home.
1. Crime-Mapping Services
Whether you’re a tenant or homeowner, it’s good to know certain details about the neighborhood you live in. This information can help you determine if your area is safe for you and your family.
Certainly, one of the best ways to determine the safety of a Boston neighborhood before buying a home is to look into the local crime rates. There are plenty of online venues that will allow you to do this, such as SpotCrime.
You simply type in the address of the prospective home, and you’ll get a list of all the crimes committed in the area. Typically, you’ll get a breakdown of crimes by type and date committed.
There is also a feature to allow you to compare the number of crimes committed in this neighborhood with crimes in other nearby areas, thus giving you an idea of how crimes in your prospective neighborhood stack up against those in surrounding areas and neighborhoods.
But you also need to be aware that crime rates don’t always tell the whole story. For example, the size of the neighborhood can skew the results because crimes committed in a small neighborhood will yield a higher crime rate.
For assistance interpreting crime-rate results, contact a Boston agent. To discover more, just call (617) 657-9811.
2. National Sex Offender Public Website
Also, when it comes to crime rates and the safety of a Boston neighborhood before buying a home, it pays to drill down a little and get more specific. A great resource for parents considering a particular neighborhood is the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) – a free resource that provides information on registered sex offenders.
Not only can you look up your current neighborhood to check for nearby offenders, but you can also investigate any potential new neighborhoods before relocating to an area.
This tool is particularly helpful for those buyers with children, as the website allows parents to access important information on any child predators in the neighborhood, and includes a photo of the offender. The website also provides important tips and advice on protecting yourself and your family from potential victimization.
AreaVibes is an online tool that allows you to easily check out a neighborhood before buying a home. It analyzes various communities and gives them a “Livability Score” of up to 100 based on important livability factors such as amenities, schools, cost of living, and the local housing market.
AreaVibes also analyzes a neighborhood’s crime rate. All you have to do is enter the address, neighborhood, or zip code to see your city’s Livability Score and rankings. Within each city, AreaVibes provides a ‘Neighborhoods’ tab, which can be used to find specific information on individual communities. These neighborhood crime reports will give you a general idea of the safety level of that area.
This tool will give you a good idea of the following:
- A neighborhood’s overall crime statistics and crime rate
- How it compares to both the state and national averages
- The likelihood of your becoming a crime victim there
4. Your Feet and Your Mouth
A highly effective way of judging the safety of a neighborhood before buying a home is simply by using your feet and mouth – that is, by walking around the neighborhood, observing, and talking to residents. Online research works, but it just can’t beat in-person, local observation, taking in the small details, and chatting with people who live there.
Talk to the local store owners, people at nearby restaurants, and parents who you meet at the park (presuming you have a young playground-aged child, otherwise that would be a bit awkward just hanging around a playground….)
But do try to visit the neighborhood on both weekdays and weekends and at different times of the day, which will give you a good understanding of the neighborhood vibe throughout the day. For example, your new neighbor’s kid might get his drum kit out only during evenings or at weekends. And there might have been a reason the student-occupied multifamily house on the other side of the street was so quiet on the morning of the open house: Its residents were too hungover to get up after one of their frequent all-night parties.
Neighborhood residents will have the best insight into what actually goes on in the neighborhood and what it’s really like. Talking to them will allow you to find how safe the neighborhood really is and just how well it will really suit you.
5. Consult Your Boston Agent About the Neighborhood Before Buying a Home
And definitely make a point to talk to your local real estate agent about the neighborhood. Your agent at NextHome Titletown Real Esate will have a good handle on the safety of a neighborhood and its suitability for you and your family, having a thorough understanding of crime rates and neighborhood personality. So to accurately judge the safety of a Boston neighborhood before buying a home, contact us today at (617) 657-9811.
Boston and Beyond – Just Hit the Market!
The property listing data and information set forth herein were provided to MLS Property Information Network, Inc. from third party sources, including sellers, lessors and public records, and were compiled by MLS Property Information Network, Inc. The property listing data and information are for the personal, non commercial use of consumers having a good faith interest in purchasing or leasing listed properties of the type displayed to them and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties which such consumers may have a good faith interest in purchasing or leasing. MLS Property Information Network, Inc. and its subscribers disclaim any and all representations and warranties as to the accuracy of the property listing data and information set forth herein.