How to Look Up Crime Rates: A Guide for Home Buyers

As you progress through the home buying process, there’s one question that usually pops up in the midst of your search for where you’re looking to live: “How to look up local crime rates?”

As unfortunate as it may be to think about, in some places, crime rates might be higher than others. For those that do not want to live in an area with this type of crime rate, the question of “how to look up local crime rates” becomes a super-important one. Luckily, there are many resources in the United States that will allow you to look up your local area’s violent crime rate so you can make sure that your future zip code is a safe one.

So, how do you get started in finding out the local crime rates of the area you’re looking into? Here’s our guide on how to look up local crime rates.

Contact the Local Law Enforcement Agency

One of the best options for answering the question of “how to look up local crime rates” is your local law enforcement agency. It’s always worth contacting the local law enforcement to get the “lay of the land” for your new neighborhood. Officials there should be able to give you some information on the crime data in the area, providing you with the crime statistics and types of crime that occur (along with some of the other national averages for comparison’s sake).

Getting in touch with your local law enforcement officials is also an excellent way to get a neighborhood’s true feel. Make that connection one of your first calls when exploring all of the different areas you’re looking to buy in.

Explore the Local Neighborhood Watch Options

Many neighborhoods in the United States feature “neighborhood watch” programs. This type of program works in cooperation with local law enforcement, adding another layer of safety and security for an area. Neighborhood watches help out with everything from charity drives and neighborhood patrols (go ahead, bring the family watchdog out for a walk around) to raising awareness of safety measures and emergency preparations.

Before you look at a new area, see if there’s a neighborhood watch in place. The most credible and official watch programs get registered with the National Neighborhood Watch site, developed by the National Sherrif’s Association. The Neighborhood Watch could share some crime reports for the neighborhood with you and give you a quick briefing about what to expect when moving in there.

Consult With Your Real Estate Agent

One of the more valuable resources for crime reports of the area you’re looking into? Your very own real estate agent. Real estate agents know how important this statistic is to potential buyers. The best real estate agents should be ready and prepared to let future homeowners know the area’s crime data. Ask your real estate agent to give you a snapshot of the crime trends and crime statistics in the area, compared to the national averages; they should be able to provide you with this insightful data.

Find Out the Local Crime Statistics Online

The other answer to the question of “how to look up local crime rates?” Head online. There are plenty of online sources that will allow you to get a clear picture of the crime in your future neighborhoods with just a few clicks of your mouse. Here are some of the ones you should bookmark:

CityProtect – This useful website provides quick connections to your local law enforcement agency, along with other services including public record requests, police reports, and anonymous tipping. It’s a great place to start when you’re looking for the crime statistics you need to decide. You can also view “previously submitted reports” to get a sense of the types of crimes that may occur in the area.

National Sex Offender Public Website – Named after Dru Sjodin – a Minnesota woman abducted and murdered by a registered sex offender – this website allows anyone to search the database to determine if someone convicted of these crimes is in their immediate vicinity. Viewers can search the database for registered sex offenders by name or location.

SpotCrime – This handy website allows users to search for crime data by a map view or by a state view and even enables users to create a personal alert for when crime appears (or gets reported) in their area. Clicking through to a specific town will allow users to view recent crime trends and a host of other crime data information.

LexisNexis Community Crime Map– Powered by LexisNexis’s industry-leading data analytical power, this straightforward “community crime map” allows users to search by a wide range of factors. Put in your desired neighborhood and search by date range, event, or offenders in order to get a glimpse into the crime statistics in the area.

ADT Crime Map – This map, from the professionals at the security company ADT, delivers an “interactive” look at crime over specific regions; users can break the map down by the different types of crime and can also take a look at statistics over major United States cities.

How LemonBrew Can Help

The question of “how to look up local crime rates” is only one of many that a home buyer may have throughout the lengthy process. For those questions – and anything else related to real estate – LemonBrew is here to help. Here’s what LemonBrew can do:

  • Help you find an agent. Searching for a home? LemonBrew can connect you with the person to get you in one. Using our free custom-matching technology, LemonBrew connects home buyers with experienced local real estate agents through a transparent and data-driven process. Count on the experts from LemonBrew to bring help you find your new home.
  • The financial guidance you need. If you already have an agent, it’s time to turn to LemonBrew Lending. With LemonBrew Lending, you’re able to find the mortgage loan that fits your situation – with guidance from our trusted advisors through the mortgage process. LemonBrew allows you to make the informed, intelligent decisions to reach your homeownership goals – in both new purchases and refinances.
  • The final steps in the homeownership process. Getting your new home “into the end zone” can be tricky – closing services and title insurance are always a pain and can really get to be a drag without the right helping hand. Turn to LemonBrew Abstract to help complete your purchase! LemonBrew Abstract delivers innovative closing and title insurance services to get you in and get you settled.

Finally, be sure to check out the LemonBrew blog – the spot to go for in-depth pieces on every aspect of the real estate industry. Read features including “Mortgage Industry Trends in 2020 (and Predictions for 2021),” “How a Real Estate Title Transfer Works,” “How a Real Estate Title Search Works,” and “Understanding the 10 Most Common Real Estate Title Terms.” Read the full blog here!