Beyond the actual property, you need to consider the type of neighbourhood you’re moving into when buying a new home. A crucial factor here is safety. You need to know whether or not you can let your kids play freely on the streets or leave your home for weeks while on vacation without the risk of having it burglarised. These things will help you in weighing the safety level of certain community:
Search for info online.
Similar to how you probably started your search for the home you’re eyeing now, do your research of neighbourhood safety online. A simple search query of ‘crime statistics in Queensland’ (or the location you wanted) can turn up valuable information. But of course, you want to go to trustworthy sites only and filter out the rest. The state government websites are the most reliable. They have interactive crime maps, in which you can choose and set different filters for what types of offences you want to see. Aside from government websites, be present in forums, too. Reddit is one platform you can use. There’s a good chance you can reach people who actually live near your neighbourhood and give you the 411. The principle is, before you even go out there, do your homework online. You might just be able to strike neighbourhood options from the very start and save precious time and energy for your visits.
Stroll around the area.
While you’re already visiting your potential home multiple times before making the offer, make it a habit to stroll around the neighbourhood too during those visits. It’s best to do it at different days, at different times of the day. This will help you see what happens typically when kids are going to school in the morning when parents are returning from work late in the day, when everybody’s getting ready to sleep at night. You’ll witness the activity of homeowners, which would indicate their feeling of safety in the neighbourhood. At the same time, you also want to pay special attention to the houses themselves. Do properties have towering walls and gates? Do the windows have bars? Or perhaps broken windows? These indicate that break-ins may be more frequent than usual. You might want to switch gears and instead see the new houses for sale in Townsville. The neighbourhood may be the right fit for you.
Speak to future neighbours.
Sometimes, there’s really no better way but the most direct way. Speak with the people in the community themselves. When you see people walking their dogs or watering their lawns, strike a quick, brief conversation asking them what they love and would want to change about their neighbourhood. They may mention faulty street lights, recent crimes, or on the flip side, the neighbourhood watch and roving guards in passing, which can help you gauge how safe it is in that area. Do make sure to ask more than one neighbour though. Remember, you’re doing an ‘investigation’, so you want to get the whole picture and sift through the biases. Make it a priority to reach out to the homeowners association. You’ll be able to catch the literal talk of the town, good and bad, which can again help in your decision-making later.
Safety of the Neighbourhood
Look beyond the aesthetics of your dream home or the kindness of your neighbours when buying a property. Take into consideration the safety of the community. Be diligent in doing your homework.