How to Weigh Real Estate Statistics and Crime

Real estate statistics on crime need to be considered when buying a home or property. The rate of crime for a given location, or zip code, will have an impact on the value of the property and whether or not it is a good investment or good place to live and raise a family. This goes not only for the overall rate of crime for the area where the real estate is located but also the specific types of crimes that are being committed for the particular area.

Reading Crime Statistics

Robbery and theft statistics for a given geographic area may have the same or equal weighting as assault and homicide statistics. Reading the statistics can be done either by obtaining an MLS report for the real estate that provides the crime statistics or going to local police precinct. You may also request the crime statistics from the office of the council member in the area where the real estate is located.

Looking at Trends in Crime

When reviewing the statistics you want to look at crime trends and determine if there has been a rise or fall in certain types of crimes over a period of time. A 2 to 3 year monthly comparison may provide you with a good idea of trends in crimes and what may be happening in a neighborhood. For example you may find that for a certain area that you are looking to move in, the number of vehicle property thefts have dropped for a 6 to 9 month period. However, the number of assaults and personal property thefts has risen. You will need to make a determination the importance of this trend and the effect that it may have on property values.

Determining the Relevance of Certain Crime Statistics

Other crime statistics that may be of relevance and importance to you include those for vandalism, noise and domestic situations. These statistics give you a sense of the type of community. It will also alert you if you will need to provide for additional insurance coverage to protect against the risk of property damage or a situation that can escalate between neighbors, or result in assault. Any unusual trends should be weighed appropriately relative to the value of the property to determine whether the property purchase is worthwhile.

Comparing Statistics Surrounding Areas

Compare the crime statistic data for the surrounding area of the real estate. This will also give you a sense of whether or not the rise or fall in crime for the real estate's location is an isolated thing or part of a larger community trend that affects other areas. It may not be enough to be safe in your area only if there is a high rate of crime in any adjacent areas.

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