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Real Estate Tips

How to Research the Safety of a Neighborhood Before You Buy a Home

Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Is your prospective neighborhood going to be safe enough for your family?

You want to buy a home, but you are a little nervous. What if you choose the wrong neighborhood? The amenities that surround you and the feel of the neighborhood are just as important as the actual home that you buy. How can you tell whether you should buy a home in a specific neighborhood or not? Research your potential neighborhood with online tools.

Are You Safe From Disasters?

With hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes on the menu of natural disasters that could damage your home, it is always prudent to examine the risk that these disasters could happen to you. What is the chance that your home will be damaged by flooding? Is there a high likelihood that a hurricane will remove your roof? While you can find more details at government offices, if you are considering a move to a new city or county, you can find information about the specific risks of that area by consulting RealtyTrac's natural disaster map.

Are You Safe From Crime?

You want to feel safe in the place where you live. How likely is it that your home or vehicle will be the victim of a break-in while you live in this neighborhood? Before you buy, take a hard look at the neighborhood crime rate. Every year, the FBI releases crime reports that can tell you more about the places where you are thinking about buying a home. You can also take a look at neighborhood crime reports on the neighborhood Crime Reports website. Family Watchdog can tell you more about registered sex offenders who are living in that neighborhood as well. Of course, even if the crime rate is high, it does not mean that you are going to be the victim of a crime. However, you may need to take more safety precautions if you choose to live in that neighborhood.

Make sure that your neighborhood is safe to navigate, no matter who you are.

Is It Safe to Walk Around the Neighborhood?

Walking and playing in the neighborhood are essential parts of anyone's life, whether that person is a child or an older adult. As you debate between different neighborhoods, consider how safe it is to walk around the neighborhood. Look at the Walk Score of that neighborhood to see how far you will need to walk to do typical tasks. Do you need to drive to feel safe, or is it a short, easy walk to the corner store? Walk around the neighborhood and see what it feels like. Do people have well-maintained homes and gardens? Are people out enjoying a walk?

If you are looking far and wide for the right home, Neighborhood Scout allows you to find neighborhoods that match your safety qualifications so that you feel that you are able to walk around safely, day or night.

How Are the Local Schools?

Safety does not just happen as you walk around the neighborhood. It is also reflected in the schools in that neighborhood. Take a look at local parenting groups and social media sites for the schools in your future neighborhood to see what they are discussing. Visit the school and school district website as well, to see what they are thinking about as they create plans for the year. Those plans can tell you more about the school's priorities and needs that might occur in the local community.

At Open For Homes, we are committed to helping you find the home that is right for your family. Whether you are wondering how to buy a home in the right neighborhood or you are struggling with one of many other housing-related questions, at the blog at Open For Homes, we work to provide the answers you need to make an informed housing choice.