Monday, December 21, 2009

Is a neighborhood "safe"

I have had this questioned asked of me numerous time during my real estate career, and it is one I cannot answer. However I can suggest to the prospective buyer or buyers to contact the local Police precinct and obtain crime statistics-they are probably available on-line as well. Buyers can also speak to other residents or store owners about their experiences. I often suggest that buyers return to the neighborhood in the evening and see how the area feels. I think a feeling of safety and comfort is often very subjective-different people have different life experiences and have different feelings about where they want to live.

In 2008, there were only three Police Precincts without any homicides, and two of them were the one I live in now in Brooklyn and other where I grew up in Queens. One might say I like to live in low-crime neighborhoods, or maybe it is sheer coincidence. Of course, New York is comprised of so many neighborhoods, each different in its own way. I always suggest buyers get to know a neighborhood well before they start looking to buy in that area, especially if they are moving from one borough to another. Get to know the subway locations, stores and amenities before you start looking seriously-it will make your search easier.

One of most positive developments about New York City is how much safer the City has become over the last two decades, how much crime has been reduced. I remember a number of yearsback attending a friend's performance piece in Red Hook and how I noticed on a bus ride back to Park Slope, seeing people sitting out at night on benches at a Public Housing project, something most likely unseen years before. New York has certainly become a safer place to live for many, in a large variety of locations. Get to know your neighborhoods and you will know it feels.

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