When you’re at home, you want to feel protected and secure, and the surrounding areas and neighborhood can play a big part in this. As well as within your home, you should feel safe walking around the area and unrestricted in your movements, without having to look behind your back every minute. So when you’re choosing a new property, here are 6 tips to help you find a safe neighborhood you can enjoy living in.
Consider A Gated Community
A gated community could be a good option if you’re looking for some extra security and privacy. These are contained residential areas and estates that have controlled access. It’s for this reason that gated communities are a popular choice for ensuring safety because only certain people can enter, which can prevent burglary and other crimes. The nature of these kinds of communities also creates a sense of community between residents, where everyone looks out for each other. Children and pedestrians are also protected on the streets from vehicles because there is no passing traffic except those carefully arriving and leaving their homes, and there’s a slow and strict speed limit.
Check Crime Rates
Although realtors often can’t disclose the crime rates of an area, you can find out the information you need by doing some digging on the internet. You can use research tools to investigate crime data, including information about sex offenders, overall safety, and connecting with people who live in an area. Other things to think about are:
- How often do police patrol the area? If there are frequent callouts to an area then this is generally a bad sign.
- Are there many abandoned houses and stores? If there are many vacant buildings, it means that nobody wants to take the building over and do it up, potentially because the area is unsafe.
- What is the percentage of rental vs owned homes? Some studies show that areas with more rental properties can have higher crime rates.
Visit The Area
One of the best ways to get a food feel for the neighborhood is by visiting it and wandering around the streets. If you can see many families wandering, it can be a good indicator of a safe community. Checking out the places like the local park and recreation centers can show what kinds of things people are getting up to and how well the area is treated by its residents.
Street lighting can aid in creating a safer neighborhood. The presence of streetlamps and less unlit alleyways and roads can help literally ‘shed light’ on any suspicious activity, which can quickly be called out and reported, rather than letting dodgy dealings fester.
Look Into Local Events
Have a look at the local events that happen in the area which give an idea about the sense of community. Events like farmers’ markets and block parties bring residents together and encourage them to get to know each other, creating a tight-knit community that looks out for each other (lots of family-friendly events are a good sign because it means families are comfortable and safe living there). There are sometimes neighborhood watch groups that can be useful to know about prior to moving to an area.
Check How Many Homes Are For Sale
Looking into the number of homes for sale in the area can indicate that people are trying to get away from the neighborhood because of potentially dangerous activity that is going on due to rising crime. Of course, if it’s a brand-new housing estate or apartment block then there will most likely be a lot of homes for sale! But do be aware that vacant homes can sometimes attract the wrong crowd…
Speak To People
There’s no easier way of learning about a neighborhood than someone who already lives there. If you have the opportunity, you can speak to residents or previous residents of an area. This is probably easiest through social media and online forums where you can read what other people have had to say about a place and how they find/found living there. It’s even better if you can speak to people in person who can address any concerns you have and tell you more about the safety of the neighborhood.
All in all, visiting the area and speaking to people are some of the most effective ways of learning about the safety of an area. If there’s a gated community available, these are generally much more secure than a lot of other residential areas. Don’t forget to check crime rates and how many homes are for sale in the area.