One of the most important things for home shoppers to consider before they buy their new home is the safety of potential neighborhoods. Being mindful of community safety benefits your family’s peace of mind, and affects the overall value of your new home. NewHomeSource found the best apps and tricks for finding a safe neighborhood for your new home, so you can live in a community you love.
Helpful Apps to Find the Perfect Neighborhood
As you search for the right community for your new home, use publically available data about the area, ranging from crime statistics to weather conditions, and cost of living to walkability.
AreaVibes is a popular website that gives people a location’s “livability score” compiled from data taken in seven different categories, including levels of crime and the cost of living. Nextdoor provides information about various neighborhoods from people that live there. Other sites and applications include HomeFacts, which includes information about local climate risks and CrimeReports. Moving.com gives people detailed information about the housing market, submitted by realtors around the country.
There are two things to consider when setting out to use these apps and websites. First, most of these are free to use, but some sites charge if you request more detailed reporting. Second, you might not get access to the data if you don’t live in the area –definitely the case with Nextdoor which requires that live in the neighborhood you want information about.
If you’re moving with a family you have other safety concerns for your neighborhood. Be sure to consult Department of Justice operated National Sex Offender Public Website. You put in an address to find out about any offenders in or near your area. FamilyWatchdog, also provides real-time updates on offenders or other changes in your neighborhood.
Talk to the Locals
Ask your realtor about any safety concerns about neighborhoods you want to live in. A good realtor keep tabs any potential red flags in the neighborhood, and should have a decent rapport with local law enforcement. Take some time to talk with neighbors on your block and in the larger community to get a better feel for the day-to-day situation. If you feel hesitant about doing so, keep in mind that reaching out to your future neighbors helps you get involved with the neighborhood right off the bat.
Actually Tour the Neighborhood
Make sure you also drive around the neighborhood during the day and at night. While you’re making your way around, keep an eye out for certain things that signal a relatively safe area, like signs from a neighborhood watch group, local events like block parties, and vibrant local businesses.
Gauging the levels of safety in your future neighborhood is a necessity, and with time and the right resources, it will be one that you can take care of effortlessly.
Christopher Smith is a freelance writer when he’s not sampling the best cuisine in his hometown of New York City. Prior to that, he worked in film and television post-production, and counts the honor of working with Eartha Kitt among his milestones.