So you have finally found your dream home and you are ready to make an offer. But do you know about enough about the neighborhood safety and profile of near by home owner?
There are some good resources to learn more about the types of crimes in each zip code. In fact, Trulia offers a crime map that you can overlay for your searches by zip code or by a specific address.
1) Megan’s Law: Before you sign the dotted line and buy the house, you should research the State’s Megan Law database to make sure you don’t have sex offenders nearby. The State requires sex offenders to register their location but the data might not be very current.
2) Trulia’s Crime Map: One of the interesting services offered by Trulia is the crime map that shows a color-coded areas depending on the type and severity of the crimes committed in that neighborhood.
3) Drug Labs: One our friends told us that his tenants were growing marijuana in the attic of his rental property and he only discovered it when they were trying to clean up the house! So, you want to check the neighborhood you are buying throughly since some of the rental could be used as drug labs.
4) Crime Types: A neighborhood crime report will provide you amazing clues about the type of risk you might be taking. If the report has home invasions and home robberies or car theft, then you want to run not walk away from that neighborhood. But if it the crime report is about occasional bike theft or shop lifting crime, then you might have very little to worry about.
5) Anti-theft features: Does the home you are buying is equipped with anti-theft and motion sensors and cameras that will help detract criminals? Having a monitoring service can provide you with a piece of mind specially during travel when your home will be vacant.
Before moving to Los Gatos in 1994, we were working with an agent to find us a home in mid-pennisula. We refused to consider her recommendations about buying in Redwood City because we were not comfortable about the neighborhoods and the crime reports. So, you need to do your own research as well about where you are buying and what the crime statistics are telling you.