Safe For Your Family? How To Choose The Right Neighborhood

Before you have a custom home built, you need to make sure you’re building it in the right neighborhood. Living in a safe neighborhood is important to most people. However, it becomes especially important if you have children. You don’t want to put your house in a neighborhood that is known for crime, drugs, thefts, or unsavory characters. That means that before deciding on a building site for your custom home, you first need to research the neighborhoods in the town you’ve chosen and select the safest area in your price range.

How to Research Neighborhoods for Safety

One of the first things you should do when researching a neighborhood for safety is to check online to see if any registered sex offenders live in the area. This information is usually available online at the website of most county sheriff’s offices. When searching, remember that there is a difference between a sexual offender and a predator. Offenders have usually committed relatively minor crimes and are not considered a danger to society. You might move into a neighborhood with offenders and still feel relatively safe with your children being there, especially if the area has a lot of good neighbors to make up for it. Just keep a close eye on the kids when they’re playing outside. Predators are those who have committed very serious crimes and are considered likely to do so again. Neighborhoods with predators living in them are ones you want to avoid if you have children.

Next, look up the crime statistics for your area. There are a number of websites online that will break down crime in a city or neighborhood for you by type of crime and the number of times each crime was committed within a range of years. If you can’t locate the information online for the neighborhoods you’re researching, you can call the county sheriff’s office or the local city police and ask them for crime statistics for the neighborhood you’re considering. No neighborhood is completely crime-free, but you can choose one that is known for being more safe than not, and with a family-friendly reputation.

Finally, drive around the neighborhoods you are considering. Do it at least once during the day when people are at work and school and once at night when most residents are in bed. Look for suspicious activity, unkempt houses, graffiti, vandalism, and other signs of crime or unsavory activity in the area. Go with your instinct as to what neighborhood is best. Your instinct won’t steer you wrong in this decision.

Signs of a Safe, Family-Friendly Neighborhood

Some neighborhoods were obviously built with safety and a good family experience in mind. While you should still check the crime statistics for these neighborhoods, they are usually good places for children. Look for gated communities with passcodes to get in the gates. The best neighborhoods will have parks with playground equipment, lots of open green spaces for running around and walking pets, and community clubhouses for neighbors to meet and get to know each other in planned activities. There should also be a noticeable presence of parents and children outside in their yards or playing on nearby sidewalks after work and school and on weekends.

If you do your research, you can find the perfect family-friendly, safe neighborhood to build your home. Once you find it, you and your family will be able to look forward to an excellent experience living there. You might even recommend the neighborhood to other family members and friends looking to buy homes.

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+Ken Uhrich likes houses. In fact he lives in one…and he writes about custom home building tips as well as home improvement tips and trends on the Custom Home Group blog.

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