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Checking Crime Rates When Buying In A New City

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Moving to a new city can be stressful. Where should you rent an apartment or buy a home? Will it be a safe spot for your family? If using a Realtor, remember that the agent can give you resources to research areas yourself, but cannot legally discuss areas they think are best. Take the burden out of wondering about an area by using these tips to check crime rates before moving.

Check Police Records

Go online and check if the police or city website has posted crime details online. If not, police departments file crime reports with the government. Call a police station in the town or city neighborhood that interests you and ask for a copy of that report (you may have to pay a copy fee. Although police department staff may be busy, try to get someone to briefly talk with you about ways to gather local data.

View Online Stats

Crime statistics for different city or town neighborhoods can be found on neighborhoodscout.com, which has various crime graphs depending on your search details. Moving.com breaks crime down by state and neighborhood and cityrating.com has detailed crime data by city or town. Area sex offenders can be located on meganslaw.com and neighborhoodscan.com.

Read Newspaper Reports

Many town and city newspapers print summarizations of police calls and responses to inform its citizens. Reports may be printed daily or weekly. You can check the paper of your new location online or call them and ask when they print crime reports. As an example, Las Vegas Sun does a map pinpointing locations of crimes from narcotics to homicide using different colors for each crime type. This map is also available online.

Chat In Groups

Do an online search for various chat groups in the new area and get in on one or two. Ask questions about the areas you are considering rather than an overall question on the best areas in town. Try to elicit as many responses as you can to make the best decision for your move.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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