Do this before buying a home
Before you Buy A Home in the Twin Cities
Before you buy a home in the Twin Cities, do your homework. When purchasing a home, it's a given that you will establish criteria regarding the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, size, condition, school ratings, and location.
Do not buy a home in without assessing the neighborhood
When you evaluate an area, there are many considerations to consider. Is it an old or new neighborhood? Does it have easy highway access but is situated so that you do not hear the rumble of trucks in the night? Are there any zoning changes going into effect soon? Is shopping conveniently close? How are the schools rated?
Feel comfortable with neighborhood safety measurements
Analyzing the location of any home you are buying is essential. Do not forget to check your potential new neighborhood's crime statistics. Before you make a long-term commitment to a new home, there should be no doubt in your mind as to what types of crime happen on the streets and how often. With an internet connection and a small investment of your time, you can have a wealth of data at your disposal.
How to check Twin Cities crime statistics online
There are several applications on the internet that compile crime statistics nationwide. Here is my list of some of the best.
Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website
You will want to know if there are any known sex offenders in the neighborhood you are considering. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) creates the United States Department of Justice as a resource of sex offender registries in all 50 states. When you enter an address, the website responds with a map, names, photos, and locations of known sex offenders.
What I like about this site is that it shows you who the sex offenders are in the neighborhood and designates them as child offenders or rapists. You can also search by name or school. You'll also access a wealth of information about personal safety, including suggestions about how to talk to your children about this sensitive and scary subject. You can even partner with them to create your community safety portal.
This website is helpful if you want to know the type and frequency of crime in an area. Enter an address, and an interactive crime map pops up. Crimes categories include burglary, assault, robbery, arson, theft, vandalism, shooting. You can search for a particular timeframe as well. You also receive a crime statistics report and analytics. You can report crime tips and sign up for crime alerts via email, Twitter, or Facebook. Features I like about Spotcrime include the visual appeal and user-friendliness.
More websites to evaluate neighborhood safety
CityProtect and CrimeMapping. A feature I like on CityProtect.com is the ability to register your surveillance camera if you have one at your home or business, and doing so allows local law enforcement to see it and help them solve a crime. Also, all your information is private and only shared with your local police, and it is free.
If you want to know about crime statistics in your potential new city, this website will probably answer your questions and more. In addition to providing data on specific types of crime in your town, it assigns letter scores, compares crime year over year, and performs comparisons with nearby locations and nationwide. For instance, if you live in Edina, MN, your city gets an A in the crime category. If you live there, you are 46% safer than in other Minnesota cities and 66% safer than similar cities across America. Your odds of becoming a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 2285.
While on the subject of evaluating a potential neighborhood or community, AreaVibes has you covered. It assigns a letter grade for seven livability factors, amenities, cost of living, crime, employment, housing, schools, and weather. Everything you want to know about the demographics is available, and each category breaks down into the essential elements used to determine the scores. Even if you are not contemplating a move, check out the site and how your community rates and compares. You can also add your insights.
National Neighborhood Watch
Determine if your future neighborhood participates in the national watch. The organization is a neighborhood civic effort by people who desire to make it safer for everyone. They achieve this goal by a communal effort with local law enforcement to reduce neighborhood crime. Neighborhood groups attend meetings to determine methods to achieve their goals and assign tasks to volunteers.
Use your powers of observation.
If you have the time, visit the neighborhood during the day and evening. Take a walk and observe the cadence of the area. If the opportunity presents itself, strike up a conversation about the neighborhood with a resident and let them dish on what it's like to like there.
The decision to buy a home is essential and not easily undone if you make a mistake. Take the time and trouble to learn if the neighborhood where you are thinking of buying a house is the right one for you and your family before you decide.