There are plenty of things potential buyers are looking for when they evaluate a property. But one thing that’s non-negotiable for many buyers is living in an area where they feel safe.
According to data recently outlined in an article in REALTOR® Magazine, 50 percent of recent homeowners ranked crime and safety as the most important factor in determining where they moved—more important than cost of living (43 percent), quality of schools (43 percent), or taxes (34 percent).
While you can certainly rely on your real estate agent for a lot of help and advice, telling you whether an area is “safe” or not can be a tricky topic. For the most part, agents can’t advise you on whether or not an area or neighborhood is safe, due to rules, regulations, and liability.
So, what does that mean for you? If you’re concerned about the safety of an area, make sure to do your own research before making an offer or signing a contract to purchase a home. Here are a few ways to help you get a feel for the area:
- Spend some time in the neighborhoods and surrounding areas at different times of day.
- Speak to anyone you can who lives in the area.
- Join local groups on social media and interact and ask questions of the local residents.
- Visit the local police station and ask them for insight and statistics.
- Search online for local crime rates and data.
Doing any (or all) of the above will certainly go a long way in helping you determine if you’ll feel safe in your new neighborhood and home!