When it comes time to move into a new location, it can be difficult to determine if the city or neighborhood is a safe area for you and your family. Safety is a parent’s number one concern, and finding a home in a safe neighborhood is a top priority.
Here are five tips to help you find a well-secured neighborhood.
1. Talk to the Locals
If possible, try to talk to the local police department or neighbors in the neighborhood you’re looking at. Locals will have the best information about the safety of the neighborhood and the surrounding areas. Likewise, the police department will be your best source for information on city safety as a whole.
If you’re still concerned over safety since the town is unfamiliar territory, investing in a security system is a wise idea. Ask the locals and police for recommendation, and use a keyword online search that includes your location like Roseville, CA ADT or something similar.
2. Crime Rate
Checking a city’s crime rate can alleviate any concerns you have regarding a city you are considering. Using a search engine to look up the best and worst cities, or searching about a particular city, will provide fairly sound results.
Most city websites have a crime listing that gives a crime percentage and timeline. Larger, urban cities tend to have more detailed crime statistics, while smaller, lesser known cities tend to have more general information listed.
3. Local Schools
School test scores and academic performance can determine if the students in the area are motivated and driven, as well as the quality of the teachers. Most often students who perform well tend to be less affiliated with crime.
If you can, take a tour of the school. Well-kept schools generally denote a safe school. Schools with bars around the windows, graffiti lining the walls, and metal detectors could potentially indicate the area is not entirely safe.
4. Drive Around
Most cities usually have a well-kept neighborhood somewhere. However, just because the city has one or two nice neighborhoods does not always determine the city’s safety as a whole.
Drive around the city and see how the neighborhoods change from street to street, what types of stores are in the area, and if people tend to loiter on street corners. Did you see an excess of graffiti? Does there appear to be vandalism, or broken storefront windows? These might be signs of an unsafe area. Also, neighborhoods tend to look different at various times of the day. Take a look at the neighborhood at night and on weekends to formulate a picture of what a typical day in the neighborhood looks like.
5. Property Value
Knowing the property value of the homes in the area can help to determine the fate of the city in a few years. If the value of homes have increased, that is a positive sign the area is trending upward. If it has decreased significantly, that could reveal the area is not being taken care of as well.