Finding a safe neighborhood to call home is an important priority for most shoppers. It’s always wise to get an idea of a neighborhood’s safety before you buy a home.
Living in a safe neighborhood means more opportunities for recreation, more chances to get involved in the community, and less stress when you spend time away from home. Our real estate agents know what it takes to spot a safe neighborhood, and we’ve put together 10 proven tips to help you do the same.
10 Signs to Tell You if a Neighborhood Is Safe
- Kids Playing Outdoors
Families are especially interested in safe neighborhoods, because they want their children to be able to play outdoors, and make friends with others in the area. So if you see a lot of families hanging outdoors, that’s a positive sign that you’re in a safe neighborhood.
- A Healthy Local Business Scene
If you arrive in a neighborhood to find a ton of closed businesses and abandoned storefronts, you may learn that those businesses chose to leave for a reason. If you find an active, thriving local business scene, you may have found a safe neighborhood.
- Police Presence
When it comes to the police presence in a neighborhood, it’s often more promising to see a small, consistent force on patrol. Too much police presence could be a sign that a neighborhood is less than safe.
- Crime Rates
While crime rates don’t tell you the whole story, they’re easy to look up and can tell you quite a bit about a neighborhood before you visit. So if one of the neighborhoods on your list has sky-high crime rates, it may be best to cross it off.
- Friendly Neighbors
Enjoying time with friendly, welcoming neighbors is one of the perks of buying homes in Columbia, MO, and friendly neighbors are also a sign of a safe neighborhood. If those neighbors often organize community, all the better.
- Neighborhood Watch
An active neighborhood watch is a strong sign that the people living in the neighborhood care about safety. It’s nice to know that others are looking out for the neighborhood, whether you’re home or on the road.
- Real Estate Trends
When you arrive in the neighborhood, is every home on the block up for sale? That is likely a sign that something is wrong, and an unsafe neighborhood will often prompt residents to sell in large numbers.
- Strong Schools
Families love shopping in neighborhoods with strong school districts and a large number of families is frequently an indicator of a safe neighborhood. Bonus points if families in the area are happy to tell you all about the school district, and the neighborhood.
- Home Insurance Rates
Speaking with your home insurance agent is a great way to get feedback on neighborhoods because insurance is all about managing risks. So it will often cost more to insure a home in an unsafe neighborhood, and less to insure a home in a safe neighborhood.
- A Grand Tour
There are different tools you can use to spot a safe neighborhood, but there’s no substitute for visiting first-hand. Make time to explore the neighborhoods on your list – both during the day and at night – to form your own impressions.
Shopping for a safe neighborhood in Columbia, MO? We’d love to lend a hand! Contact Columbia Real Estate to buy, sell, and learn about homes in the Columbia, MO area.