The safety of the neighborhood that you're thinking about one day living in is paramount to any home-buying decision. Safety is one of those necessary-but-insufficient factors that alone doesn't make a great home-buying decision but should, nonetheless, underlie all home purchases. A neighborhood with a track record of low crime and a responsive police force creates a feeling of security and calm. That said, high crimes rates can absolutely be quantified - the result of high crime rates in a particular neighborhood is invariably lower property values and a sense of unease that permeates the entire neighborhood. That's clearly not what any future home buyer is looking for. Fortunately, there are crime-tracking apps that are available for free and can help you narrow down your home search. 


AreaVibes is a website that's potentially free to use and that can give you a livability score from one to one hundred to help filter your search to the perfect neighborhood. You can also get a letter grade for a particular area using this website. A score of A+ would go to an area that stacks up extremely well regionally and nationally along the seven livability factors used to generate the letter grade on Area Vibes. You can ask that your search be filtered based on crime, then you can have AreaVibes compare crime rates regionally and nationally to give you more context and inform your future home-buying decision. 


CrimeReports is considered is one of the most comprehensive online tools dedicated to informing future homeowners about crime in the neighborhood and facilitating better dialogue between current homeowners and local law enforcement. It brings together historical and real-time crime data from over a thousand participating law enforcement agencies from around the country. This service literally maps visually crime in the areas that you specify by putting a pin around areas of high crime, which would probably want to be sidestepped in the home-buying journey. What's particularly useful with CrimeReports is the "incidents trends" feature, which will provide you with a graph that lists all of the crime reported in the last two weeks in the neighborhood or area of the country that you specified in your search. Even better, the service will break down crime based on property crime versus violent crime. That's a feature that should clearly impact your buying decision because an area with a lot of violent crime is a dealbreaker for the vast majority of future homeowners. CrimeReports is a free service dedicated to making communities safer through deeper engagement with local law enforcement. The comprehensive service even uniquely offers quality-of-life crime reports (e.g., barking dogs and noise violations). 


If you're glued to your phone and you want messages sent in real-time related to crime in an area that you specify, then you want the SpotCrime app. This app brings together data from local law enforcement, news of local crimes, and user-generated reports to keep SpotCrime users fully informed. Anonymous reporting is allowed.



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