9 Ways to Tell If You Live in a Safe Neighborhood

Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home. However, data reported by Forbes shows that 75% of all homes in the U.S. will experience a burglary in 20 years, regardless of the neighborhood.

While living in a better neighborhood may not protect you from burglaries as much as you want, it could still make a difference when taking a walk alone at night. With this consideration in mind, here are a few ways to tell if you live in a safe neighborhood.

1. Watch out for visible signs that correlate with safety

While wealth doesn’t guarantee safety, it is generally the case that wealthier areas tend to have fewer crimes than poorer ones. For this reason, signs that correlate with prosperity may also correlate with crime levels. Specific examples include neighborhoods with large, well-maintained properties and gated residential districts.

Another sign which may correlate with safety is the presence of neighborhood watch signs. This consideration is based on the assumption that watch signs indicate that residents collaborate to protect their communities and engage in actions that reduce the risk of crimes.

While the signs above may correlate with safety, the most objective measure of safety is the crime rate of the neighborhood. If an area consistently ranks low on crime rates, you can safely conclude that your neighborhood is safe.

2. Check out the quality of local schools

Generally speaking, areas in which schools are considered to provide high-quality education tend to be safer than areas where schools perform poorly. This should not be surprising considering that wealthier areas tend to have schools attended by children from more privileged backgrounds. More specifically, districts with schools that perform well on certain achievement scales will often have more expensive properties, with prices being influenced by many factors related to the district, including the number of schools and their quality.

3. Assess the quality of the infrastructure

Whether it is for safety or comfort, most people don’t enjoy living in neighborhoods that do not have well-lit streets and well-paved roads and sidewalks. Having well-lit streets contributes to the subjective sense of security, as they enhance visibility and may deter criminal activities. Having proper roads and sidewalks, on the other hand, contributes to safety in what concerns car-related accidents and is also suggestive of prosperity.

4. Determine how many amenities are in the neighborhood

Good neighborhoods will usually have all the amenities people are likely to use, including grocery stores, pharmacies, and any other services you would regard as essential. By having these facilities nearby, residents don’t have to walk for miles each time they need to buy food or medication, which may contribute to their overall safety.

An even better district has in its proximity hospitals, clinics, emergency services, police stations, and fire departments. Having these facilities nearby means that in case of an emergency, help can reach you fast.

5. Pay attention to the traffic level

As a general rule, one can assume that more traffic means a higher risk of car-related accidents. If you live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have too much traffic, the likelihood of a person or a pet being hit by a car should be smaller. In addition, a low-traffic area should mean less noise, which can contribute to your quality of life.

6. Look out for constant police presence

While seeing the police every day in the area might make you feel safer, it can also indicate that there is a lot of crime happening and police services are being requested constantly. However, before jumping to conclusions, make sure to find out whether there are any police stations nearby.

7. Ask other people

If you have just moved to a new neighborhood and are wondering how safe it is, consider asking your new neighbors about their experience, especially those who have lived in the area for at least a few years. Note, however, that perceived safety is subjective, and some people may overestimate the extent to which their neighborhood is dangerous, even if they have never been the victim of a crime and don’t know anyone who has.

8. Reverse search the address

While asking neighbors about the area won’t harm anyone, it’s best to use subjective resources, one of which is a reverse address search. But how can you do it? Go to Nuwber, a people search website, enter an address, and then click Search. After this, you will find all there is to know about the property and the neighborhood it is located in.

Among the details you will find are the names of the neighbors, other streets nearby, and local amenities, including schools, colleges, and grocery stores. But what’s truly important is that you will discover whether there are any sex offenders in the area and their age, marks, hair and eye color, height, race, and where they live.

9. Search for reviews

Many online platforms can provide valuable insights into what others have experienced in a particular neighborhood. Examples include community forums, social media groups, and district-specific websites. While these sources can provide valuable information on an area, don’t use them as your only source of information, as some communities tend to focus on only negative events.

Bottom line: If you are going to judge a book by its cover, do it with an open mind

It goes without saying that no matter how safe your neighborhood is, there’s no completely secure place. While living in a safer area will lower your chances of becoming a victim of crime, you will still need to take certain safety measures, such as installing a robust security system, for example.

Finally, it’s important to understand that while wealth correlates with security for obvious reasons, you should not assume that a wealthier neighborhood is safer than a poorer one by default. In other words, while you may judge a book by its cover to some extent, always keep an open mind and use multiple sources of information before concluding that a location does not provide a level of safety you are comfortable with. 

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