Is this a safe neighborhood?

If you want to know about the neighborhood you have to do a little digging.

If you want to know about the neighborhood you have to do a little sniffing around.

Here’s the deal, I can’t tell you about crime in a particular neighborhood. Stinks, I know. But one person’s crime is just another person’s accepted behavior of life outside their front door. Besides crimes happens everywhere. EVERYWHERE. From your swankiest suburban neighborhoods to the “bad” parts of town to trend-setting posh streets, you’ll find car break-ins, pockets that have been picked, and chalk outlines in the street. But don’t be dismayed, all is not bad in the world. You just have to do a little digging when considering a new neighborhood. It’s easy to find out what been going on with the neighbors. Here are several resources to get started:

  • Call you local police department or police precinct and ask them for statistics on a particular street, block or neighborhood. They’ll have the most up-to-date information.
  • If you’re considering a particular Washington DC neighborhood try this interactive map that shows all the homicides in the District between 2000-2011.
  • To see if you’re about to move next to a registered sex offender visit Megan’s Law website.

But if you really want to learn about your potential new neighborhood visit it. Visit different days of the week and times of day. Eat in the restaurants, shop in the stores, watch the people, and then ask yourself “Do I like it here?” Sit on the front steps and talk with the neighbors about their experiences in the area. Ask them what they like most/least about the neighborhood. One of my clients considering her first home knocked on the doors of all the neighboring houses, introduced herself and started asking questions. She found out what she needed to know and made her decisions accordingly.

Folks, crime happens. Just take precautions that it doesn’t happen to you. Install an alarm system, install motion-sensitive lights, don’t leave your car unlocked, walk with a friend when out late at night, and, most important, use plain old common sense. Me? I have two large dogs. The best defense ever … unless you the burglar comes armed with Milk-Bones.

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