Is the Neighborhood Safe?

Robber

Location, location, location. We know these are the three most important things to consider when buying real estate. But what happens if you don’t know much about the safety and crime statistics of a given location?

The good news is that getting crime statistics can be easy if you know where to look. With the amount of information available online today, the answers should be readily available to your buyers.

Read on to learn about some resources and suggestions for your buyers to help them better understand crime in the area. There may be other reliable sources available through local cities and counties, so the police department and city websites may be another option for additional information, as needed.

Sex Offenders: Thanks to Megan’s Law, determining if there are registered sex offenders in the area has never been easier. Simply Google “Megan’s Law, (your city), (your state),” and you should see a list of available resources. You should be able to enter the address, neighborhood, town, ZIP code, or other identifiers that will allow you to see if there are any registered sex offenders in the area. Be aware that process may vary by state, and if you don’t have any success with the keywords “Megan’s Law,” instead try “sex offender, (your city), (your state).”

Drugs: Has this property been used for drug sales or drug production? Was it ever a meth lab? It may be a bit tougher to find all the information buyers want, but there are options:

    1. Google the address. If a crime had been reported there, some details may show up in the search, especially if it made the local paper or news channels.
    1. Suggest that the buyers drive by in the evening or weekend (when people are most likely around) and talk with neighbors. They can often be the best source for what happened in that home before it went on the market.
  1. http://www.justice.gov/dea/clan-lab/clan-lab.shtml. Click on the map to view a list of counties and addresses where drug labs have been found.

Crime: Want to find out about stolen vehicles, robberies, and more? Below are three sites to help your buyers do that.

    1. Trulia: To get an understanding of the overall crime statistics in the area, Trulia can be a good place to start. After entering the address in the search field, scroll down to the “Local Info” area and click on the “Crimes” tab. This information is also available for larger areas using the “Local Info” tab in the search area.
  • CrimeReports: This site allows you to see the types of crimes that occurred throughout the area. By clicking on the icons, you learn what type of crime was committed, where it was committed, and when it occurred.
  • SpotCrime is another site that works similarly to CrimeReports, though you may find more details on the CrimeReports site depending on your area.

Remember, a well-informed buyer is a satisfied buyer—and one that you may have as a client for life.

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