You think you’ve found it – the perfect up-and-coming neighborhood. A local businessman opened the neighborhood’s first Starbucks, a Whole Foods is on the way, and a slow stream of young professionals has begun to call the area home. You jump on the trend and purchase the first property you can find.
Fast forward a few months later, and you can’t seem to get an application from a prospective tenant. You’ve had lots of visits, a few excited families, but once they’re out the door, you never hear from them again. You begin to wonder what could possibly drive them away.
The answer may lie in your neighborhood’s crime rates. The signs of a sketchy area drive away many prospective tenants, especially young professionals, families with children, and retirees. No one wants to live in an unsafe area, which is why it’s important to research a neighborhood’s crime rates and examine its surroundings before purchasing a property.
There are a few telltale signs that crime rates are too high for comfort in your neighborhood.
Street art is a beautiful and creative way for a neighborhood to display its local talent. If someone spray paints incomprehensible graffiti on homes, sidewalks, and the sides of businesses, it can be a sign that high crime rates are present in the area. This also puts your property at risk for damage by graffiti artists.
Trash on the Streets
Poor trash collection services are not desirable for people looking to move into a neighborhood. Trash littering the streets and clogging the sidewalks could be indications that local law enforcement or city officials do not consistently monitor the area. Dumped materials can pose serious health and safety risks to residents.
Vacant or Boarded-Up Houses
Lots of homes in the area for sale that seem to stay on the market for months on end may be an indication that prospective tenants know more about the neighborhood than you do. If the reputation of an area is bad, no one will want to move there.
Boarded-up homes also indicate that investors are unable to sell them. Some investors board up homes to keep thieves and vandals out. If you see a boarded-up house in the neighborhood, it’s usually not a good idea to invest there.
Bars on Windows and Doors
When local businesses in the neighborhood shut down for the night, do they simply lock their doors and leave? Or do they put extra protection measures in place? Bars on the windows and doors of local businesses, or even homes, may indicate robberies and other violent crimes are commonplace.
Do Your Research
Always visit your municipal or state law enforcement website to research the neighborhood’s crime statistics before purchasing a property. This information will quickly show you if a lot of violent crime happens in a certain area. Potential tenants also view this information, so you’ll stay ahead of the curve and refrain from investing in a neighborhood with low returns and high crime.
To learn about more ways to maximize your real estate portfolio, contact Home365 today for a free demo of our investment management software.