How to Find a Safe Neighborhood
You’ve just received word from your boss that you are being transferred to a new city. The new position is everything that you want as it will give your family the opportunity to enjoy a better standard of living. But there is one big concern that you and your spouse have: you don’t know which neighborhoods are most suitable for your family. Here is how to find a safe neighborhood.
Interview real estate agents. Your company may have a real estate network in mind in your new city. If so, you will likely encounter a team of professionals who are ideal for meeting your needs. Otherwise, perform an online search of real estate brokers in the new city. Read their websites and make contact with them. Talk to at least three of them to gauge their expertise. If your company flies you and your family out to your new city in advance of your move, meet each one in person. Choose the agent that you feel will be best suited to help you find a new home.
Share your criteria. When you choose a real estate agent, explain to her or him what your home criteria is. Be specific — if your family needs a four bedroom and two-and-a-half bathroom colonial, insist that you be shown only homes that meet those specifications. Share your concerns about the neighborhood and its safety. No professional agent will put you in harms way, but you should always ask about local crime issues and other problems.
Use online tools. Happily, there are several online tools you can use as you begin your home search. Most tools are free or may charge a small fee for access to information. One of the favorites of people who want specific information about neighborhoods is SpotCrime.com. Go to that site, add a zip code and you will find information pertaining to police reports. Find where arrests were made and track incidences of arson, assault, burglary, robbery, shooting, theft, vandalism and other crimes. Other sites to consider include CrimeReports,Neighborhood Scout and Family Watchdog.
4. Walk the neighborhood. Imagine yourself living in a particular neighborhood. That’s what you need to do when visiting one where you may end up living. Park the car and begin walking around. Imagine your children on their bicycles. Take note of how people care for their property — tidy lawns show pride of ownership. Walk up and down the street and around the block. Observe how people live. If you have a comfort level for the area, more than likely you will want to live there. On the other hand, if you find a neighborhood with several homes on the market, broken sidewalks, and debris strewn around, it could point to even greater problems.
5. Drive around too. Beyond the immediate neighborhood, you need to check adjoining neighborhoods up to a mile radius to where you want to live. The neighborhood that interests you may be fine, but if an adjoining neighborhood is showing signs of blight, then those problems could eventually spillover to where you live.
Finding Your Home
When you are satisfied with a neighborhood and are pleased with a particular home, then work with your agent to submit an offer. If your offer is received, then begin your transition from your current home to your new home.
You can ease the transition by working with your moving company to expedite your move advises the Allied Moving Companies. This means purging your home of items that won’t be moving with you, getting estimates from several moving companies, checking references and settling on a moving provider. Then, begin packing by assembling boxes and packing materials, tape, markers and stickers. Develop an inventory tracking sheet and begin packing items you don’t need right now before moving on to the rest of your household goods.