6 Signs That a Neighborhood Is Safe

When you are planning on purchasing a home or renting one, there is a lot you must consider apart from the property’s features and price. The safety level of the neighborhood should be on top of your checklist if you intend to stay in your newly acquired home for long.

Your family’s security will be constantly at risk when living in an unsafe community. Your mental well-being will suffer as well due to fear and anxiety.

The financial impact could be equally discouraging. Crime and similar threats could incur substantial preventative expenses, especially relating to security systems and cameras. Over time, they will lead to rising insurance premiums and declining property prices, too.

Naturally, finding out whether a community is safe is important before you rent or purchase a house. But how can you identify this? Keep reading to learn more.

6 Signs That a Neighborhood Is Safe

Here are the common signs that an area is safe for you and your family to live in.

1. Low Crime Rates

Incidents of robbery, murder, assault, and rape can consume anyone with anxiety. Even petty theft and vandalism can make a community unlivable. 

Although many violent crimes have seen a declining trend, certain criminal acts are rising across the US. Motor vehicle theft and larceny, for instance, have surged by 10.5% and 7.4%, respectively.

Of course, these statistics could vary between cities and towns. Low rates of reported incidents in your area are undoubtedly a sign of a low-risk community.

2. Local Businesses

Business owners favor safe neighborhoods that allow their enterprises to thrive. So, if you see plenty of shops and other businesses nearby, consider it a positive indication.

3. Outdoor Neighborhood Activities

Are there frequent community gatherings? Do you see kids playing or riding bikes on the street? Are the parks full of people during weekends? These types of activities are usually high in safer communities.

4. More Homeowners

Highly livable areas attract property buyers looking to settle down rather than rent. Homeowners also tend to stay longer in such places.

5. Cleanliness and Upkeep

Well-maintained homes, neatly mowed lawns, and clean streets are common when the residents care about their living environment. Such communities will typically keep a close eye on their surroundings, making them much safer than unkept areas.

6. Neighborhood Groups

The presence of a Neighborhood Watch group doesn’t always mean the area has high crime incidents. Residents who want to ensure a safe community for their families often make security a priority through extra vigilance.

Essential Tips for Selecting a Safe and Livable Area

Here’s what you should know when choosing a neighborhood for your family.

Research the Local Crime Statistics

The FBI’s Crime Data Explorer can help you learn about a variety of reported criminal acts—from hate and property crime to murder—based on data from local law enforcement agencies.

In addition, you can use CityProtect, AreaVibes, and similar apps to access crime information. Checking the National Sex Offender Registry is also prudent.

Spend Time in the Neighborhood

Statistics alone are not enough to get an idea about the livability of an area. You must visit the locality several times to assess it first-hand when planning to live there long term.

  • Check the overall outer appearance and condition of properties in the neighborhood. Do they seem well-maintained or derelict and in need of attention? 
  • Review what type of security measures neighbors have taken. Excessive use of security cameras, for instance, might hint at recent burglaries and other safety issues.
  • Ask around to find out whether there are unoccupied or abandoned houses and buildings. Studies show a direct link between them and crime rates. 
  • What is the condition of public places, including streets? Are they clean and well-kept? Or do you see any graffiti or signs of vandalism?
  • Scan the streets to identify steps taken to ensure residents’ safety. Crossings, traffic lights, speed bumps, and speed limit signage are all positive signs of a safe and secure locality. You might also want to return in the evening to see how well-lit the streets are and observe the traffic conditions.
  • Check what security systems are in place in public areas. An unusual number of law enforcement officers patrolling the streets might mean an uptick in crime and violence.
  • Visit local shops and chat with the staff or shop owners. What is the general profile of their customers? Do they have more regulars or strangers? What type of security incidents have they faced? Do they seem overly concerned about security features, such as CCTV and warning signage?

Get to Know the Neighbors

By learning more about the local residents, you can assess how livable an area is. So, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to the neighbors and let them know your intention to move into the community. Inquire how long they have lived in their homes and whether they have encountered any safety threats. 

Consider Access to Emergency Services

Speedy access to emergency support is a critical factor to note when you are purchasing or renting a property.

You can use Google Maps to identify where the local hospital, police station, pharmacy, and other essential services are located. You can also reverse search the address of the house or apartment to find this out. Simply go to Nuwber and enter the address of the property you consider buying or renting. 

Among the details you will locate on Nuwber are current and previous residents, household information, and, most importantly, information about the neighborhood, including the number of sex offenders in the area and their marks.

Be Mindful of Climatic Conditions

Crime is not the only threat to your family’s safety when living in a new neighborhood. Floods, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters can also cause tremendous destruction, making a community unlivable.

Some areas are more prone to them than others. So, finding a place that is less vulnerable to such natural calamities could give you some extra peace of mind.

To Summarize 

Ensuring a neighborhood is safe to live in is important before moving into a new house. A low crime rate is your first sign of a low-risk locality. An area with plenty of local businesses, outdoor community activities, and Neighborhood Watch groups are positive indications, too.

A community with clean and well-maintained properties and homeowners who have stayed there for a long time are other signs of a safe and livable place.

When looking for a house in a secure neighborhood, keep in mind that safety is subjective. So, considering your personal needs and expectations is essential before assessing the locality.

Even in a low-risk community, you must never take safety lightly. Adopting adequate measures to strengthen the security of your property will never go to waste.

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