After thinking about it for some time, you are going to take the proverbial plunge and move to a major metropolis. Maybe it’s a new job that’s inspiring the move, or a desire to give big city living a try. No matter the reason, you are now in the process of finding a place to live, and you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed.
While you wish you could spend a week or two touring the city and determining the safest places to live, you simply don’t have the time or money to do that. As a result, you are relying on the internet and other resources to figure out where you want to hang your hat. In order to find a safe neighborhood in your new city, check out the following tips:
Check out Neighborhoods and Housing Options Online
Harness the power of your laptop and the internet to determine which neighborhoods and apartments are safest. For example, if you are moving to New York City — which is currently among one of the safest places for a city its size — spend some time on a site like ForRent.com and check out the different housing options, along with their security features and other safety-minded amenities. Most of the apartments and condos also include resident reviews, which can really will help you narrow down your search to the more desirable and safer parts of The Big Apple.
Research by Zip Code
There are different websites that allow you to see neighborhood crime rates based on zip codes and other data. A great example is CrimeReports.com, which includes recent crime data, as well as a map where any incidents took place. MyLocalCrime.com is another user-friendly site that lets you enter in an entire address and see crime that happened nearby. Granted, not all crime is reported to this site by the police departments and it’s also possible that you will see “fluke” issues that are not representative of the overall safety of the area, but if you enter in a zip code and see a huge number of incidents, you may want to look elsewhere.
Start Following Local News
A great way to learn about crime in a big city is by subscribing to the local paper online and/or checking out the local television stations’ websites. Listen closely for mentions of the neighborhoods that you are interested in and also jot down general areas where the crime is taking place — you might notice a pattern and learn to avoid those neighborhoods.
Google the Name of the City
As Upack.com notes, Googling “City of (name of city)” should help you find the official website for the area — to be sure you are at an “official” site, look for the website to end in .gov instead of .com. Then, spend some time on the site looking for any info on crime rates, a section devoted to new residents, city data or similar topics. You might even be able to find the city’s police department website, which can also have detailed info on where and when crime took place.
Monitor the National Sex Offender Public Website as part of your neighborhood research, be sure to check out the National Sex Offender Public Website; the site is maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice and is a helpful resource in figuring out which neighborhoods are safer than others. Enter in a potential address and the site will show you how many registered sex offenders live nearby.
Big cities can certainly be intimidating. But by being proactive and doing a little research before moving, it’s possible to determine which areas are safest and put your mind at ease.