If you watch the show House Hunters, you know that each person has their wish list when searching for the perfect home. Have you ever thought about your wish list? Does it include high ceilings, 4 bedrooms, or a backyard pool?
We believe having a wish list like this is important when searching for a home, however, finding a safe neighborhood should be at the top of that wish list.
Not only are you shopping for a home, you’re shopping for a community to live in. You can always fix or upgrade your home, but you have no control over the neighborhood. As you hunt for the perfect home, keep in mind these important factors when evaluating the safety of a neighborhood.
1.It has low crime rates.
The crime rate in a potential neighborhood could make or break your decision to move there. Do your research by using helpful sites such as Neighborhood Scout or Myboot to get the most recent statistics about real estate, demographics, crime, schools, and trends. To be sure the neighborhood you’re scouting for is safe, check to see that it didn’t make the list of most dangerous cities in Australia, in the US, or Great Britain.
2. It has a great selection of schools.
If you’re a homeowner or renter who has children, finding a safe neighborhood with a great school district is a top priority. There are helpful sites like Great Schools and the Good Schools Guide that provide you with honest ratings and reviews from parents and students of that school district.
3. It has a high percentage of owner occupancy.
Look out for neighborhoods with short sales, vacant properties or foreclosures, as that may be a red flag. You will also want to find out if there is a higher percentage of homeowners or renters. When there are more renters in a neighborhood it could mean people don’t stick around for long. The problem with this is that new people are coming in and out all year round. Neighborhoods with higher owner occupancy usually have residents who care about their homes and are loyal to their communities.
4. It is affordable, yet desirable.
Are the homes in that area around your price range? You want an affordable home for your budget and needs, but don’t lower your expectations for a cheaper house and lose out on finding a safe neighborhood for you and your family.
5. It is an ideal lifestyle match.
Does the community line up with your lifestyle? During your home search find out if you enjoy the suburban or city lifestyle. If you have children you might enjoy taking part in social and sporting events in a family friendly community. If you are a young professional who wants the nightlife, you might enjoy a fast paced city atmosphere with bars and restaurants within walking distance. Find out if a city matches up with your lifestyle.
6. Safe nearby entertainment.
If you like to go out to dinner and shop with friends and family, having restaurants, bars and shopping centers close to home are ideal. However, when you are searching for a safe neighborhood, check to see if nearby shopping centers, bars, and restaurants are well maintained and entertain an appropriate crowd.
7. Homes and business are well maintained.
The overall appearance of a city tells a lot about its safety. Do residents take care of their homes? Take a look at the appearance of people’s front yards, streets, parks and even nearby shopping centers. If you see that areas are run down or not regulated, it may not be the safest neighborhood to live in.
So remember that when you are hunting for a house, don’t forget “safe neighborhood” on your wish list! We hope this article will help you in evaluating the safety of your next potential neighborhood. Happy house hunting!