How to Make an Informed Decision About Neighborhood Safety: A Comprehensive Guide

Dated: May 21 2024

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As a realtor, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "Is this neighborhood safe?" Navigating this question is challenging due to steering and redlining laws, which prevent realtors from providing direct answers about neighborhood safety. However, there are many ways you can assess the safety of a neighborhood on your own. This guide will help you navigate various resources and methods to make an informed decision.

1. Research Online Crime Data

Websites to Use:

Using these websites, you can gather data on crime rates and trends over time. This research gives you a solid foundation to assess the safety of a potential neighborhood.

SpotCrime logo

2. Visit the Neighborhood

Spending time in the neighborhood at different times of the day and week is invaluable. Observe the activity levels, speak to residents, and get a feel for the community. First-hand experience is irreplaceable when evaluating neighborhood safety.

3. Check Local News

Stay informed about recent crime and safety issues by reading local news websites or newspapers. This helps you understand the current safety situation and any emerging trends.

4. Contact Local Law Enforcement

Reach out to the local police department for detailed information about crime and safety. Many departments offer community crime reports and can provide specific advice for home buyers. For example, in Minneapolis, you can find detailed information about crime and safety on the Minneapolis Police Department's website.

Minneapolis agrees to policing plan overhaul forged after George Floyd's  killing | CNN

5. Review Neighborhood Watch Programs

An active neighborhood watch program is a positive sign. It indicates a community invested in its safety, often leading to lower crime rates and a stronger sense of security.

6. Evaluate School Ratings and Community Reviews

School ratings and community reviews on sites like GreatSchools.org and Niche.com can reflect the overall safety and quality of a neighborhood. Higher-rated schools often correlate with safer neighborhoods.

7. Consider Property Values and Trends

Research property values and market trends. High or increasing property values can indicate a safer and more desirable neighborhood. Stable or rising markets often reflect positive community attributes, including safety. I am happy to help with this.

8. Check Walkability and Public Amenities

Websites like Walk Score can provide insights into the walkability of a neighborhood and the availability of public amenities such as parks, libraries, and community centers. Neighborhoods with good public amenities and high walkability tend to be safer and more desirable.

Walk Score Neighborhood Map

Making an informed decision about neighborhood safety involves thorough research and multiple strategies. By utilizing online resources, visiting neighborhoods, staying informed through local news, and contacting local law enforcement, you can ensure you choose a safe and welcoming community for your new home.

By following these steps and using these resources, you can confidently choose a neighborhood that meets your safety expectations, ensuring peace of mind in your new home.

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Jon Speich

I'm a licensed, full-time realtor with JPW Realty specializing in residential real estate. My clients trust me to be an expert negotiator and manager who can deliver the most money in the least amount....

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