Purchasing a home means that you'll be exploring different styles of houses, but you'll also be getting to know about the community. One of the factors that you will likely investigate is the rate of crime in the neighborhood. Knowing how to properly evaluate these rates can help you to make the right decision when purchasing a home.
Compared to Other Neighbourhoods
Looking up the crime rates in a particular neighborhood is important, but you also want to see how this area compares to surrounding ones. For example, you may have no choice but to live in a certain proximity to your job, at least for the current time. You may notice that the first neighborhood you explore has a slightly higher crime rate than you would like. However, as you begin to investigate surrounding communities, you may notice that this particular neighborhood is safer than the rest of the options.
Comparisons within the Community
While it is unlikely that one part of the community will be extremely safe and one part extremely dangerous, it could happen. Variations in crime are common in neighborhoods. You may see one community that has a safe neighborhood on one border and a neighborhood plagued with crime on the other border. If the community of interest is large, then a significant difference may exist in the crime rates between the two. Even if you have heard stories about a particular community, take a look to see which neighbourhoods the ones are struggling with crime.
Trends in Crime
Looking at just one number is unlikely to give you an accurate depiction of the neighborhood. You should also explore what the crime rate was in previous years. By doing so, you may learn that the crime rate has continually gone down for a number of years. This information could encourage you to buy in the community. You could have a strong hope for a better future, but you could also get a good price on the house. On the other hand, you may learn that while the neighborhood is not ridden with crime, its rate has increased recently. This spike in crime could be a warning that you should not purchase a home here and that the crime will continue to grow.
Type of Crime
You should also take a look at the types of crime that are reported. For example, some statistics might include traffic violations. Therefore, if you are looking at a house near a main road, you may see a higher crime rate due to these incidences. While this information does not mean you should buy a house near a main road that has many accidents on it, it also doesn't mean that the neighborhood surrounding the road is unsafe. You may find a very safe and welcoming community just by going a few blocks away from the main road.
Your Comfort Level
You might not feel terribly unsafe living in a community with moderate amounts of crime. Perhaps you grew up in an area that struggled with serious crime, and you are open to any improvement. Also, you may take plenty of security measures at your home to keep the property safe, and you may avoid walking alone at night no matter where it is that you live. Considering your personal preferences is an important part of selecting a community that is the right fit for you.
When you are exploring neighborhoods, you should definitely see what the rate of crime is there. Keep in mind that you want to go beyond the number to learn about what is happening in the community.
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