Most buyers want to buy a home in a "safe" area. One of the things we do to help is to give them links to sites that allow them to see crime activity in the communities they are interested in.
Here are some of the websites we share with clients to help them check out crime in an area:
You should be able to check out any community you are interested in on any of these sites (provided it is in the U.S.) by zip code, by site navigation tools, or by using map-based tools. Which method you use will depend on which site you are on.
Some clients get a little nervous when they visit sites like these because they can make a person feel like no area is safe. The benefit of looking at these types of sites, however, is that it helps you realize that even though there is crime in pretty much every area, there are areas where it is less prevalent. You also don't have to trust a coworker's opinion when they tell you one area is safer than another, you can simply see the data yourself.
Another great resource is to actually call the local police department and ask them questions regarding crime in an area. Ask them specifically if you are concerned about any particular type of activity. Also, ask them what are the common problems in the area. Generally, they can help you understand current issues regarding safety in a community.
If you are aware of other sites or resources that are helpful in pinpointing crime in communities, please share them in the comments below.
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