Neighborhood Safety

Prospective home buyers often ask their realtor about neighborhood safety in the neighborhoods they are considering. Realtors cannot give out such information for a variety of reasons, including the possibility of engaging in steering. That fact begs the question how prospective home buyers can ascertain neighborhood safety.

Home sellers have disclosure obligations and those include disclosing criminal activity they are aware of in the neighborhood their property is in. Their real estate agent must ask them about such activity and disclose their answers. However, sellers are sometimes unaware. Neighborhood safety extends beyond the home itself.

It is always a good idea for home buyers to conduct some research on neighborhood safety. Note that only the homebuyer can do this. The real estate agent has no obligation to do this for the buyer, nor can the agent provide this information for reasons already mentioned above.

Where does the prospective homebuyer start to find the information?

Calling the local police department may be a prudent first step to assess neighborhood safety. Homebuyers can also get neighborhood police reports here. Next, they may want to take a look at the registry for sex offenders and looking at on-line neighborhood reviews. Driving and or walking the neighborhood home buyers are considering is usually also be well worth doing.

©SFRE 2017

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