I Need A House In A "Safe Neighborhood."

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

No one want's to live next to thuggery. Realtors know their neighborhoods and they know their markets, but crime detectives and criminal data bases they are not. Consumers need nothing more than to rely on good old fashion instinct, common sense and easy detective work.

Good Old Fashion Instinct:

Is the house you want to buy in a questionable neighborhood? Get in your car and drive through the neighborhood after five p.m. Do you see cars on center blocks, people lifting weights in the culdesac and others aimlessly wondering the streets like zombies? If these unsavory sights bother you then you probably aren't in the best neighborhood.

Common Sense:

Any Realtor with a half a brain will not attempt to discuss crime statistics with you. They know the liability of being "wrong" could prove to be too risky, not to mention expensive. This is why most agents will direct you to websites that offer criminal statistics. Common sense should tell you crime happens EVERYWHERE. Are you looking for a $50,000 home? Odds are you're going to find yourself in a very undesirable area when it comes to resale value, neighborhood appeal and overall community gleam.

Does the neighborhood swimming pool have razor wire around its fences? Believe it or not, these exist in some neighborhoods. I often wonder if the home owners association installed these not to keep people out, but to keep them in.

Easy Detective Work:

What happens when you try and talk to the neighbors? Do they run from you when you pull up because they think you're the police? Do they hide behind the curtains in their windows? Are there angry Pitt bulls chewing on their chain? What kind of cars are parked in the drive way? Do you see babies running around without parents in diapers at the intersection?


99% of the time a consumer can EASILY get these types of answers on their own. It almost ALWAYS comes down to price. You have to pay to play. You can't live in a gated community with armed protection and lavish neighborhood amenities if you aren't willing to pay for it. In Houston it's best to find a subdivision where the lowest price begins around $175,000. All communities and suburban subdivisions are different. The further out you go, the less you have to spend for "more land."

Call for details.


Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)





The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Doug Patterson 12/16/2013 11:50 PM
  2. Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528 12/17/2013 06:57 AM
  3. Winston Heverly 03/15/2014 01:58 PM
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Excellent read. Buyers rally can figure alot of this stuff out on their own, as they should. THEY know what they are comfortable with and what's important to them better than I do. Once we explain how we CAN help, as opposed to not providing ANY assistance, the issue usually goes away. I am NOT getting myself in hot water for answering questions or providing information that I can't or shouldn't


Dec 17, 2013 12:16 PM #124
Aaron Silverman
SuccessfulRental.com, Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC - Charleston, SC
Improving Real Estate Experience through Education

I tell prospective tenants it comes down to a legaly issue; if I say the neighborhood is safe and their house is broken into, I could be sued and that since every neighborhood could potentially have a teenage kid thinking it is fun to break into a home, I do not want the potential legal trouble.  I recommend prospective tenants (in your case buyers) to contact the local police department and check online crime statistics.

Dec 17, 2013 08:15 PM #125
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

I would totally freak out if I saw parents in diapers at intersections. ;)

Dec 17, 2013 08:39 PM #126
Bryan Tobiason
Keller Williams Partners, Inc. - Gardner, KS

I'm going to talk to our HOA about adding some razor wire around the neighborhood pool!  I'm sure that will bump the resale value tremendously ;)  

Dec 17, 2013 09:20 PM #127
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

Thank you for a well written post. I always suggest my buyer drive thru the neighborhood or community at 3 different times to see what it will be like if they lived there. This would include school bus times, evenings and even mid-day to see what it is like when they will be at work. This will give then a great sense of what it is like living there.

This worked great when one buyer went on Sunday afternoon and smelled the great flavors of a barbecue. Since they love to grill with family on Sundays it made the neighborhood a tasty choice.

Dec 17, 2013 10:25 PM #128
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Very nice post!!! at the end of the day.. the common sense should prevail!!! Thank you...


Dec 17, 2013 10:52 PM #129
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

Crime free Neighborhoods?

I've been seeing an inordinate amount of these questions popping up in recent weeks as never before. As I've said on the other threads I've commented on there's absolutely no way of guaranteeing that any neighborhood will have little or especially NO CRIME

We're living in a very different time and place today. Unlike anytime since possibly the Great Depression we are living in very volatile socio-economic times everywhere in America as well as most places in the World. 

With dynamics like poverty, homelessness, unemployment, illegal immigration and shear desperation it's clearly obvious why crime is on the rise everywhere. What were once considered very safe and secure upscale neighborhoods are now viable high value targets for those who wish to prey on them. 

I've live in a very laid back, low key semi rural North San Diego country neighborhood for the past 33 years. During that time we've never locked the doors on our cars or homes and we've always left our bicycles out unlocked. 

In the past several months we've had an influx of multi-family or multi-tenant renters moving into several of the single family residents that have come up for rent throughout our neighborhood. Sometimes there are as many as a dozen old cars and trucks parked in the driveways and on the streets. 

Common sense has to tell you that these folks aren't the most financially privileged or steadily employed. Hence, lot's of folks are hungry and desperate to pay the rent so voila our once very safe and quiet neighborhoods become not so safe and secure. 

As a result we've seen a dramatic increase in break-ins and burglaries. Fortunately there has been no violent crime. Just folks stealing bicycles, lawn mowers & myriad garden tools or anything of value that's not secured. We even have a neighbor who's had 4 chickens stolen in the past month. Duh........ya think they might be hungry? 

So we took measures into our own hands and with the help of local law enforcement we've facilitated a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM. Since the signs have gone up and we've installed or activated existing security systems and video cameras and our buddies at the Sheriff's Dept have been making their presence known and we've all been keeping in touch with one another and notifying one another when we'll be out of town things have really normalized. In fact there have been no incidents in the past few months. 

So the long and short of it is that there is no totally safe and secure way of keeping your neighborhood free of crime. The best thing you can do is become involved in your community and stay aware of the folks who live around you.
Dec 17, 2013 11:43 PM #130
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

I tell potential buyers to visit the local grucery stores, convenience stores and liquor stores.  The people who live in the area frequent these establishments and it is a good gage of what the neighborhood is like. 

Dec 18, 2013 03:23 AM #131
Andrew Green
Keller Williams Elite Realty - North Vancouver, BC

I found knocking on the doors of a few neighbours in an area and asking them about the area was a great way to find out about safety in that area. Neighbours love to gossip and if there's a break-in or vandalism then they'll likely know about it. Furthmore, calling around a condo building to find out about safety is a great way to lead generate and provide some great information for your client.

Dec 18, 2013 06:50 AM #132
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. - Wellington, FL

Greg - You're absolutely right, crime does happen everywhere. I live in a gated community with police officers who patrol it at night and we have still had car break-ins, which usually turn out to be the 15-16 year olds who are bored.

Dec 18, 2013 10:22 AM #133
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

Greg, this post inspired fodder for my most rectent post. I am very passionate about this subject because I could be the next victim. Please take a moment to check it out and I'd love to read your comments. I hope we don't let this one slip by too soon. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and all the best in '14.

Dec 18, 2013 11:07 AM #134
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Greg, just wondering how many agents have half a brain...(just kidding).

Hopefully, this is something that many of us are aware of. I do get a question asked many times, 'Is there any Indian living in the community?'.


Dec 18, 2013 11:43 AM #135
Paddy Deighan JD PhD
TimeshareLawyers.pro - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

it seems that today, with al of the vcarious websites that track meth labs, cnvicted felons, child abusers, etc...there are NO save neighborhoods!!

Dec 18, 2013 04:57 PM #136
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

The City of Dallas has easy to access websites that display crime stats. Visiting neighborhoods of interest at various time of day and chatting with residents is always educational!

Dec 18, 2013 06:20 PM #137
Dawn Marthini
The Real Estate Firm - Gilbert, AZ
Selling Arizona Since 2001

Crime stats are just a baseline of what people will tolerate.  The best litmus test I've found is this:  Will you go for a walk alone after dark here?  If not, then you have your answer!  Personally, I have a security system that I rarely even set at home.  I have a very protective 150 lb great dane in the house that is way more effective!  And cute and cuddly (if he likes you!) too... :)

Great post!

Dec 18, 2013 09:32 PM #138
Keith Whited
RE/MAX Gateway - Alexandria, VA

'Safe' is like 'Clean' - - everyone's definition is different anyway . . .

Dec 19, 2013 03:16 AM #139
Brian Kuhns
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns

There is even an app for that. I direct people to one where they can track crime stats and the sex offender registery for the area while standing in the home they are viewing but no better substitute than using some common sense and seeing what is going on around you. 

Dec 20, 2013 10:45 PM #140
Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Great post it is not up to us as Realtors to direct buyers to any neighborhood. Have a great weekend.

Dec 21, 2013 02:51 AM #141
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA


I have been in my home a long time. I live in a neighborhood that I consider to be safe. And yet…some years back my house was burglarized. A few years ago a neighbor’s house was burglarized. At a different time another neighbor’s car was stolen.

Crime can happen anywhere.


Dec 23, 2013 08:12 AM #142
Pam Dent
Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc. - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse

One person's safe neighborhood is a cause for concern for someone else.  Where someone feels safe is very personal.  I feel very safe in a private rural location but many folks need to have neighbors closeby. 

Jan 21, 2014 04:33 AM #143
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