There are many things that families have to worry about when moving into a new house or neighborhood including finding a new house, packing, whether or not there are other children in the neighborhood that are the same age as your kids, and so on. But, the biggest question to ask before moving into a new house and/or neighborhood is: how safe is it? Here are the top five questions and things to consider asking when trying to find your perfect neighborhood:
1. Talk to your neighbors: What do they like most and least about the neighborhood?
The best thing that you could do before moving into a new neighborhood is meeting your potential neighbors and asking them questions about the area. How long have they lived there? Do they get along with the other neighbors? Is it a quiet neighborhood? Is there a neighborhood watch? Each answer should shed light on what it’s like to live in the neighborhood and if it is conducive to your living arrangements. Also, if you do decide to live in the neighborhood, you’ve already developed relationships with the neighbors.
2. Do Research: How many crimes are there around/in the neighborhood per year?
It is always a good idea to do research on the area that you are planning on living in. The best question to ask yourself is how safe is the neighborhood you’re planning on moving into? Are there crimes in the neighborhood each year? How many? How quick is the police, fire department, and ambulance response if there are crimes? These are all great questions to ask, and easily answerable through a quick Google search.
3. Walk around the neighborhood: Is the neighborhood designed with safety in mind?
Are there people out and about and walking around? Are there sidewalks in the neighborhood? If there are no sidewalks, kids might not be able to play outside because they might get hit by a car. Even if you’re just going on a jog around the neighborhood, it can be extremely dangerous when there are no sidewalks. Does the neighborhood have a park with unobstructed lines of sight?
4. Drive around the neighborhood during the day: Do the houses and the neighborhood look clean and taken care of?
Before you buy the house, drive around the neighborhood. Does it look like the neighbors take care of their properties? Is there lots of graffiti or trash lying around? Are there bars over the windows? These are signs that can indicate a bad neighborhood. Where is the neighborhood located? Is it near an industrial area? Appraisals can go down as much as 15% if you have bad neighbors that don’t take care of their homes, if the neighborhood is near certain commercial facilities, and your house’s proximity to sex offenders.
5. Drive around the neighborhood during the night: Does the atmosphere change between the day and night?
Not only is it important to drive around the neighborhood during the day in order to see how well taken care of it is, it is also important to drive around your potential neighborhood at night. Does the neighborhood look nice during the day and then radically change at night? Does it get louder, does it feel less safe? Would you feel safe walking around your neighborhood at night? Neighborhoods can look deceptively nice during the day and then change radically by the time that night falls.