One of the most common things home buyers look for is a safe neighborhood. You want to feel like your home and belongings will be secure, and it’s nice to be able to walk around your neighborhood or relax outside your home without feeling worried. However, finding a safe neighborhood isn’t always as simple as just looking around the area for a few minutes. Follow these tips to figure out whether a neighborhood is a safe place.
Talk to Neighbors
One of the most effective ways to gauge the safety of an area is to hear from people who live there. It can take a little effort to find neighbors who have the time to chat with you, but this lets you get information about what it feels like to live in the area. Ask neighbors about how often there are disturbances. You can also ask about things like local stores, community events, neighborhood watches, and other signs of safe areas.
Look at National Criminal Registries
The United States Department of Justice has registries that allow you to view an address and see if there are criminals living nearby. These registries usually only give you information for certain crimes, such as sex offenses, but it can help you get a picture of the overall safety in an area. One or two former felons in an area isn’t a problem, but a high concentration of convicted criminals could be a sign the area is dangerous.
Visit the Neighborhood Multiple Times
Walk or drive around a neighborhood to see what it looks like. In safe neighborhoods, residents usually take care of their yards and maintain their properties. Safe areas tend to have plenty of residents out doing things like walking dogs, visiting shops, and socializing with others. Just seeing a neighborhood once isn’t enough to assess safety, especially if it’s in a busy area like downtown. San Diego condo buyers should make sure they view neighborhoods on weekdays and weekends as well during the nighttime and daytime to see the sort of local activity that goes on in the area.
Check Local Crime Maps
There are several different websites that let you see the frequency of police activity and crime reports in a neighborhood. These convenient services show average crime rates across a city to indicate which neighborhoods are safer or more dangerous than others. Make sure to check what sorts of crimes frequently occur in the area, and avoid places with a high number of violent crimes.
Consider How Many Homes Are Selling
Real estate trends aren’t necessarily linked to safety, but they can help you get an idea of how others feel about the neighborhood. An area may have a lot of homes for sale because residents are leaving for a safer region. High numbers of properties for sale could also be an issue because vacant properties tend to attract criminal behavior.
Following the tips above can help you find out how safe a neighborhood is before you buy a new home. Another great tip is to work with real estate agents who have the most up-to-date information about downtown San Diego real estate, including which neighborhoods are safest. The experienced professionals at 92101 Urban Living can give you all the details about safety when you’re looking for your new downtown condo, loft, or penthouse in America’s Finest City. Give us a call at 619-649-0368 to speak with one of our real estate experts.