Where your home will be is as important as how it looks like. The problem, however, is that most homebuyers downgrade location as a negotiable element, ignoring the neighborhood red flags once they see the pretty windows and the hardwood floors of the property. There is no point in having a charming house if you don’t feel safe coming home to the community it belongs in.
Before saying yes to the house, make sure to size up the safety of its location first. Follow these tips:
1. Visit multiple times, at different times
That first time you toured the house and the village? That doesn’t reveal much about the kind of community you’re buying into. What real estate agents recommend is to go to the neighborhood you’re eyeing more than twice, at various times of the day.
You may learn that at night, there are patrols roaming the vicinity, which is a good sign that the association values security. You may also discover that there are community activities during the weekends, like free fitness classes or group cycling. When residents are free to pursue their hobbies, it’s fair to say that they feel safe in the environment they’re in.
Visit the location a few more times after your first viewing, particularly in the evenings and weekends. Observe the residents’ behavior and the neighborhood’s security protocols. Consider checking out the new homes Herriman communities offer and you might just find a safe, close-knit neighborhood you would feel at home in.
2. Look at the properties
Not only should you observe the behavior of the people in the neighborhood, but also their actual homes. Unkempt properties are a magnet to trespassers and burglars. If people don’t care much about keeping their lawns neat, then there’s a good chance that they don’t care much about securing their properties, and therefore making them an easy target. On the other hand, safe neighborhoods usually have well-maintained properties.
Residents take pride in their homeownership. When you drive up to the location of your target home, take note of the look of the properties. Are there broken windows, messy lawns, or run-down fences? Look at commercial establishments, too. Are there empty stores? Too many for-sale business spaces?
Lack of business activity may point to high crime rates or disorderly community, and all these should be your cue to skip to the next neighborhood.
3. Check crime statistics
Of course, this should be part of your homework. Low crime rates are a good indication that a neighborhood is safe. The easiest way to check this information is to use online tools. You may use the CrimeReports website in learning about the number of incidents in the areas you’re targeting to buy. The News tab in Google search is also helpful. You just have to type in relevant keywords to see recent crime articles. The Department of Justice also keeps an online database of sexual offenders. You should be able to check that before moving to a neighborhood.
Of course, it’s also better if you could drop by the local police station and discuss your concerns. In some instances, the police would also share information about how participative a neighborhood is when it comes to community policing and crime prevention. If your community is active in there, then that’s a huge plus.
It’s a lot of effort to know if the neighborhood you’re buying into is safe. But, it’s better to experience a little inconvenience now than suffer a major loss later. Remember these tips as you look for the best neighborhood in town.