When we started Crime in America.Net, we never envisioned that we would end up on so many real estate sites. It’s obvious that people are greatly concerned about crime issues and their new home purchase. We understand that fear.
When we created http://crimeinamerica.net/city-crime-rates-top-ten-cities/ it was an academic exercise and an opportunity to make the site more attractive to what people were asking for.
We get our fair share of criticism, however, because some don’t want an academic exercise. They simply want a box that they plug their zip code in and the site tells them that they and their family and their investment will be safe. The box would say either yes or “are you crazy?”
We polled each other and asked if we ever went to the official crime statistics when we bought a home. None of us have. We did what the real estate sites said to do; we asked police officers and neighbors and simply gave the place a good look around.
If we saw graffiti or trash or other signs of disorder, we declined. Low crime neighborhoods are orderly communities surrounded by other orderly neighborhoods. We understand that most people leave neighborhoods due to disorder, noise, trash, vandalism, theft and other things that make them feel uncomfortable. Bikes stolen from the garage several times will drive people out regardless of violent crime rate. We did, however, give great weight to school scores.
There are endless reasons for owning or not owning a house and crime is simply one of them. We disagree with the presumption that an entire city or county is dangerous. Within every urban area there are great neighborhoods and not-so-great neighborhoods. Yes, statistically speaking, if you live close to a not-so-great neighborhood, you have a greater chance for being victimized (that’s why your insurance rates are higher).
Yet if it gives you a short commute and access to what you want in life and crime is a reasonable risk, why not?
Your chances for criminal victimization are principally due to what you do. The vast majority of violent crime occurs to people “in the game” (a reference to participation in criminal activity) or it happens between people who know one another. You can greatly reduce the risk by lifestyle choices and good locks, doors and windows.
That said, there is nothing wrong with using the tools we provide at the link above. We simply believe that you will learn more by walking and driving the neighborhood and talking to the people who live there. Then drive the surrounding neighborhoods and make your decision.
Note that crime statistics can be deceiving, see http://crimeinamerica.net/crime-rates-united-states/.
Great neighborhoods have homicides (usually between people who know each other) burglaries and car thefts. Trust your instincts. Talk to local police officers. Then look at the data.
Crime in America.Net staff.