Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crime Statistics - An Issue for Homebuyers

Neighborhood Crime
When buying a home, would you factor in crime statistics in your decision? The right answer should be: absolutely! With the median crimerate in U.S. cities at about 4.2%, you should at the very least be aware of what this means to you and your search for a home. If you think this problem is being exaggerated, consider this. Living in a town with a 4.2% crime rate, means that your likelihood of encountering a criminal act in five years is 21%! Double that for a period of ten years and you will understand my point.

The types of crimes being committed in the area you've targeted, should also factor in to your decision. If violent crime is relatively high in a neighborhood, then that will affect you, your family and the lifestyle you choose to follow. Letting the kids play out in the front yard or going out for a walk becomes an issue and staying indoors behind reinforced doors and windows can quickly become a reality. Property crime, while not as threatening as violent crime, can also influence your lifestyle. You still have to reinforce the entry points to your home, pay the higher insurance premiums and lock everything up, all the time. I don't know about you, but for me, I would much prefer to live with peace of mind than to have to look behind me every time I walk out of the house.

Here are some interesting crime statistics to look at. Based on the latest FBI published records, the highest crime rates in the top five U.S. cities are:

1. St. Louis, MO - 9.9%
2. Birmingham, AL – 9.8%
3. Springfield, MO – 9.8%
4. Little Rock, AR – 9.4%
5. Flint, MI – 8.8%

On the other hand, the following cities boast of the lowest crime rates:

1. Tucson, AZ - 0.07%
2. Toledo, OH - 1.0%
3. Simi Valley, CA - 1.4%
4. Centennial, CO - 1.5%
5. Sunnyvale, CA - 1.5%

Based on these statistics, it is evident that crime rates can vary significantly from city to city. It is only prudent to seriously consider area crime rates, just as you would account for area schools, home prices, real estate taxes, etc. Don’t decide that a neighborhood is safe based on appearances, which can be deceiving. During the day when you are visiting homes in an area, things may look calm and quiet. At night though, the story may be different. Your best bet is to talk to people living in the area and to pay a visit to the local police department. Be a well-informed homebuyer before you take the plunge.

Get a complete breakdown of crime statistics on over 9,300 cities and towns throughout the U.S. at - Crime Statistics.