Buyers are concerned about crime when viewing properties. They want to move into a neighborhood that is safe and a property with a good resale value down the line. Today, Derrick Jackson, the Director of Community Engagement at the sheriff’s department, joins me to go over a few ways to research crime rates in certain areas.
Derrick has been working with the sheriff’s department for seven years. His main goal is to educate the community about how safe or unsafe a particular area in our county is. He provides information to help you make the best decisions possible.
One way to find out about crime in a neighborhood is to stop by a neighborhood watch meeting. You’ll get a sense of the issues that impact that particular neighborhood. There may be significant crime in the area, or there may be some infrastructure issues. Either way, this is a great way to get a feel for the neighborhood.
These meetings are either monthly or bimonthly. If you don’t have time to attend a neighborhood watch meeting before purchasing a home, visit CrimeMapping.com. You can enter the address of the home you’re interested and see if any crimes have occurred in the past week, in the past 30 days, or in the past 90 days.
CrimeMapping.com is a great national resource. You can see what type of crime occurred, what time it happened, and more. The site will also tell you if the crime is non-violent, which includes things like larceny or automobile theft, or violent, which includes things like assault or homicide.
You can also look back at the history of an area and see if there are any trends. Overall, Washington County is a very safe area, but certain neighborhoods do experience more crime than others.
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Derrick also encourages people to drive through the neighborhood at different times. You can get a sense of the neighborhood by driving through. If you have a gut feeling that something isn’t right, follow that instinct. If you’re comfortable, though, it’s a good idea to meet some neighbors and talk to them about the area.
Another tool you can use the Sex Offender Registry. Simply enter the address of the home you are looking for and see if there are any registered sex offenders in the area. Derrick would like you to keep in mind that sometimes a registered sex offender may have moved out of the area and the site needs to be updated.
Higher crime rates directly impact property value. Derrick says that law enforcement spends a lot of time figuring out how to prevent crime and deal with the root cause. He believes that “an educated and engaged community is our best partner.” Pay attention to the news, your neighborhood watch group, and get others involved.
Finally, if you’re buying a home, you can call the local precinct and ask questions. They would be happy to help you.
As always if you have any real estate questions, give us a call or send us an email. You can also tune into 102.9 FM and 107.1 with Martin Bandyke in the mornings. We would love to help you.