You’d never judge a book by it’s cover, yet you’re quick to judge a neighborhood by appearances. Looks can be deceiving, and that’s why it’s essential you consider home safety when buying a house. No matter how safe a neighborhood looks, criminal activity still happens.
In fact, many criminals target these safe-looking neighborhoods because they’re more likely to be relaxed when it comes to their own security. In this guide, we’ll help you determine if the neighborhood where you’re buying a home is actually safe, as well as the best ways to protect yourself in your home.
1. Check Local Crime Mappers
Your first line of defence should be to check local crime mapping services. These websites, such as CrimeReports and SpotCrime, are a great way to check out local crime information. It’s as simple as typing in your address or your prospective address, and you’ll see the recent crimes that have been happening in the neighborhood.
You can compare how your neighborhood stacks up against other ones locally, and that will help you understand if this is actually a safe place to live. However, realize that these websites don’t paint a full picture. Any crime should be a red flag, but don’t make any assumptions just based on this.
2. Talk to the Owners about Home Safety
Another way to get a feel for the area is to simple talk to the previous or current owner. When you’re buying a home, you want to get as full of a picture as possible about the neighborhood. The owner will know more about whether the area is safe, and they might be able to provide more specific insight than an online platform.
3. Talk to Neighbors
Of course, many first-time owners or sellers might not be super upfront about the reality of living in that community. This makes sense. They’re trying to quickly sell their home, after all. Instead, connect with people who currently live in the area. This might mean talking to neighbors face-to-face, attending local events, or even just posting on a local website or online group.
4. Explore the Area
Another great option is to simply explore the area for yourself to learn more about home safety. You can get a great feel for a neighborhood by checking it out during different times of day. For instance, many places feel different during the day than they do when the sun goes down.
There are many signs of a safe and secure community. Local events, children playing outside, and popular local businesses are all signs that this is a safe place to live with your family.
5. Install an Alarm
Finally, no matter how safe the neighborhood is and how much you pay attention to home safety, it’s always a smart idea to take precautions for yourself. By installing a security system, you take matters into your own hands even when you’re not physically at home. An alarm system will help you feel safe 24/7, and here’s why. It’s simply a way to keep your home from becoming an easy target, and it gives you a direct line of communication to local authorities.
Stay Safe in Your New Home
Congrats on your new home and new knowledge on home safety! Now take these steps above to ensure this is the right place for you, and to make sure you’re not painting yourself as a target for intruders. No matter how safe a neighborhood looks, it’s always best to educate yourself about the local crime.
These steps will ensure you’re safe in your home not just today but also for years to come. A little bit of preventative measures will go a long way.