Buying a home in an unknown area could be a bit stressful, especially if you have concerns with how safe the area is. While looking at crime reports and talking to neighbors are good steps to take, there are other things you can do while you are in the area looking at a house.
Security Signs In Front of Homes
When a home has a security system installed, it is common to put up signs in front of the home to act as a deterrent to potential criminals. The hope is that they see the sign and move on to the next home. While it is questionable if a security sign means that someone actually has a security system installed, it shouldn't matter too much. If the sign is being placed in front of a home, it could be from there being a problem with crime in the area. If you notice a trend with many neighbors having security system signs in your front yard, this can be from the area not being very safe.
Bars On Windows
While having bars on windows is a pretty clear sign that security is a concern, they may not be as obvious at first glance. The front windows are the ones with the most visibility, and may not be the ones that have bars on them. Try to go down some alleyways and see if there are bars on windows in places that are not in plain view, which could be a spot for criminals to get in. Also, look at local businesses and if they have bars on the windows as well.
Fenced Off Yards
A fence can be used for decorative purposes, but it can also be used for security. Pay attention to how many neighbors have fences, and what kind of fences they are. Are tall wooden fences prominent with them being hard to see into and difficult to climb? There may be issues with security in the neighborhood.
Signs For A Neighborhood Watch
If there is a neighborhood watch program, it's typical to see signs for it around the city. Much like the alarm system signs, these are being put up to act as a deterrent to criminals. If the community needs a neighborhood watch, crime could be an issue.
When crime is a concern, speak to your real estate agent about it. They know the neighborhoods and can help guide you to homes for sale in areas that are safe.