Often times as a professional Realtor we get asked by our home buying clients whether or not a particular street, neighborhood or even entire towns are “safe”. As you can imagine our clients trust our insight and expertise in the areas we work in, so it’s only a natural question for them to ask. Unfortunately the licensing laws do not allow us to answer these questions, as it goes beyond the scope of the real estate license. Not only that, trying to answer the question can be quite difficult. As you can imagine, what one persons definition of a “safe” area is, can vary widely from another. So the standard answer most real estate professionals will give is to visit your local Police department.
Most buyers don’t have the time or desire to go down to the local Police department to talk about every home they have interest in (when they find the right home, they should make the effort to do so). So one of our clients (BIG Thank You to Kai Stenstrum) found a great web resource to make the task a little easier to help screen out areas and save you some time, this service will even send you email alerts anytime a crime happens in your area!
The site is called CrimeMapping and was developed by The Omega Group to help law enforcement agencies throughout North America provide the public with information about recent crime activity in their neighborhood. The group has been working with law enforcement since 1992.
Simply enter in an address and up on the map pops a variety of reported crimes in the area for a given time frame. Not all communities report their data to this service, so try CrimeReports if your town is not listed. We of course have no way of knowing how accurate the information is, so of course always consult your local law enforcement for full details, but its certainly not a bad place to get an idea on an area or to compare one part of town to another.
*Update* Another great tool we recommend to find all sorts of important town information including crime statistics, focused only on Massachusetts is MA Stats
Go ahead and try it right now!
Ron Carpenito– Real Estate Consultant / Owner
Ron Carpenito on Google+