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How Safe Is My Neighborhood?

The ideal home is more than just the structure you live in. What's outside the house (the neighborhood), can also affect your level of comfort, security, and happiness. So whether you're settled into a neighborhood already or you're thinking about moving, it is essential to make sure you're considering safety first. 

 

In this article we're going to share 4 signs you should pay attention to that signal that you're in a safe neighborhood (use this to gauge the safety of any neighborhood you're considering moving to as well). 

Arial View of Upper-Class Neighborhood in San Diego

 

The truth is, you really can't tell if a neighborhood is safe just by looking at pictures or relying on listing descriptions. Also, a community can be very calm and peaceful during the day, but a quite different at night. With some prodding and detective work, you should be able to tell if a potential neighborhood is where you'd want to live for the next several years–or whether the current neighborhood you live in is safe.


Here are The Top 4 Signs Of A Safe Neighborhood 

 

1. The Level of Neighborhood Activity

Couple riding bicycles along mission bay San Diego

 

A safe neighborhood is often a close-knit neighborhood also. Neighbors feel secure about opening their curtains and stepping out of their homes on a beautiful sunny day. You'll see people walk or jog freely at the sidewalk, and parents allowing their kids to play down the street.

You’ll also notice that neighbors are engaged with community events, whether it's the annual Halloween trick or treat, summer fair or the weekly farmer's market. If it seems like people are free to bond, communicate, and interact with one another, then that's a telling sign that it's a safe neighborhood.

 

2. Low Crime Rate

San Diego Police Patrolling Neighborhood for Safety

photo credit: google.com

 

A neighborhood with a low crime rate is an excellent indication that it is safe place. However, the crime rate is not something that's instantly handed to you because you're shopping for a new home within the location. You need to do some digging yourself.

  • Visit the local police and ask around.
  • You may also find something out from chatty neighbors.
  • Go to sites like NeighborHoodScout and AreaVibes to supplement your research.

Also, make it a point to check the neighborhood at various times of the day and determine the level of police presence. Patrolling police can be a good sign because it means the local police are taking their jobs seriously, but if there seems to be more than a couple of police calls at night, then that should be something you need to think about.

 

3. You Feel Safe Touring on Foot

Walking the busy streets in El Cerrito, San Diego intersection

 

Driving around the neighborhood in an enclosed car is very different than when you're walking around the area by foot. You might miss some simple details, like overgrown lots and buildings marred with graffiti in some corners with a quick drive around.

Walking around by foot gives you plenty of opportunities to really see what people are up to. Do people seem to enjoy gardening outdoors or chat with next-door neighbors while walking their dogs? Do they greet or smile when you pass by? Is the park packed with playing kids on the weekend?

If the long tour on foot gives you a feeling of inner peace and calm, then that neighborhood is likely the one you'd want to settle in.

 

4. Local Business Presence

local business in rancho Santa Fe

 

Another good indication is the presence of local businesses. If people feel safe and comfortable establishing and running a business in the area, then there's a good reason why you must feel it, too. Look for signs of entrepreneurial activities around the neighborhood, whether it's a family-owned café, restaurant, beauty salon, bookstore and more.

Also, try to visit one or more of these establishments to get a feel of what people seem like when they're out in public. If everyone looks jovial and happy, and are greeting one another cheerfully, then you can take that as a good indication.

On the other hand, empty storefronts can signal you that it's not the kind of neighborhood you want to live in. People are probably hesitant to invest their money on business in an unsafe area, so they close down or take their businesses somewhere else.

Try to look around and see how many houses and storefront building are abandoned to get a feel of how the neighborhood is, and if there's too many, take that as a red flag. It most probably won’t be the best location for your dream home.

 

Final Thoughts

Arial view of San Diego near Mission Bay

The level of safety and security in a neighborhood you choose in San Diego can profoundly impact your life. A safe neighborhood allows you to live peacefully and stress-free, knowing that there's little to no crime going on around and that you and your kids can go out of your homes without the risks of potential danger.

If your gut instinct is telling you there's something off about a particular neighborhood, then it's probably because there is. And it probably won’t be your dream home. Don't settle in a neighborhood where you are less than happy with. Go ahead and look for some more until you find one that you feel most secure in.

If you'd like to learn more about the various neighborhoods in San Diego, visit our Neighborhood Spotlight section of our blog. Also, check out areavibes.com for a quick snapshot of safety and crime rates for any city or neighborhood you're interested.

Until next time!  

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John and Melissa Steele

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