“When my house was broken into, the cop who responded to the scene remarked that he was surprised since mine is a safe neighborhood and most of the burglaries he responds to are in the neighborhoods north of my house. I was shocked because houses are so much more expensive up that way.” This refrain if far from uncommon. Most people take for granted that if they spend more money for the same square footage, the neighborhood in which they are buying a home will be relatively safe and have little crime. However, home prices can be deceiving, especially when shopping safe neighborhoods in Phoenix and the surrounding area. In this article, we will explore how to choose a safe neighborhood and which resources you should rely on.
How to Choose a Safe Neighborhood
Online registries and databases
One of the first and most obvious resources to assess whether or not a house is in a safe neighborhood is online crime repositories. Some cities and counties have their own, but websites like SpotCrime and CrimeReports aggregate data to give you a picture of the crime activity taking place in a given neighborhood. One thing to keep in mind when perusing crime use statistics is that they only give a snapshot. For example, if only looking at crime data divided over population totals, Tempe, Arizona seems like a much more dangerous neighborhood than it is because of how many people commute there for work during the day (the population triples) when most crimes occur, with crimes then being divided over the smaller population of people who live there to determine any types of crime quotients.
Another similar online resource to turn to is the website to check the National Sex Offender Public Website to see any registered sex offenders, both living or working in your would-be neighborhood. In addition to searching by cities, towns and zip codes, you can even type in specific addresses to find the exact radius of sex offenders living or working within a given radius of a home you are considering buying.
Are there a lot of homes for sale?
While there are plenty of reasonable explanations that a lot of homes in the same neighborhood may be for sale at the same time, it is worthing taking a moment to consider the reasons why before taking advantage of the home-buying opportunity it presents. For one, residents may be rushing to leave a community because of a growing crimes rate. Furthermore, if there are a lot of homes on the market for some time, it stands to reason that there may be homes in the neighborhood that are vacant for some time, which then in turn invites crimes into a community. Check with a real estate professional who is familiar with the area to get the insider’s scoop about why so many homes are for sale at once. Better yet, ask them outright whether or not they think it is a safe neighborhood — if you do not trust their opinion, find a new realtor. You should feel confident that the professional you partner with to buy a home will have your best interests at heart and not just be looking to sell you a home, even if it means deceiving you and letting you move into a less than safe neighborhood.
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See for yourself
Driving by a home can give you a lot of insight into whether or not you are moving into a safe neighborhood. In general, a well-maintained neighborhood is a safe neighborhood. Are the yards in front of all of the homes well kept? Does everyone have intact windows and seem to take pride in ownership of their home? Are parks and common areas well cared for? Do you feel at all concerned with the police presence (or lack thereof) in the community? All of these are clues that can give you huge insight into whether or not you will feel comfortable living in a community and if it is the safe neighborhood you are looking for.
Work with the right realtor
The biggest secret for how to choose a safe neighborhood is to work with the right real estate professional. At Century 21 Northwest, our realtors can help steer your toward safe neighborhoods in Phoenix and the surrounding area to ensure that you not only find the home of your dreams, but the surrounding community of your dreams as well.
Whether you choose to find your home with us or not, be sure that whoever you work with asks you questions beyond your budget and how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need. A good realtor should also have the best interests of you and your family at heart, and be willing to have frank conversations with you about why a house that may seem to fit the bill may not actually be your best option. With the right expertise and dedication, a qualified realtor will get you the house you want in the safe neighborhood you need. If you would like to work with real estate experts who can ensure you only view houses in safe neighborhoods in Phoenix, call us today!