One of the most common questions home buyers ask about is safety and crime.
As a Realtor, it’s a hard question to answer. Each buyer has a different perception of what makes a neighborhood safe. Most real estate agents are taught to simply point buyers to the local police department.
I often encourage buyers to spend time in the neighborhoods they are considering before they buy a home. The neighborhood pub or coffee shop can be a great source of information. Taking a walk and talking to people outside also provides insights that can’t be found any other way.
Checking the neighborhood on the weekend or just before dark is also smart. Some neighborhoods are very different during the weekday hours compared evening hours.
But taking a walk and talking to neighbors does not give you a complete picture. If the people you talk to like the neighborhood, they aren’t going to tell you about crime issues.
Crime Rates for Popular St. Louis City Neighborhoods:
If you are looking for a home in St. Louis City, the police department publishes crime statistics for each neighborhood. Pull up the latest report to compare neighborhoods.
Every St. Louis City neighborhood has a crime report like the ones below, published each month.
Comparing Crime Reports:
Understanding how to compare city crime reports is important.
Tower Grove East
Number of Crimes
While crime may be improving in an area, you may find that one neighborhood still has more crime than another neighborhoods.
Is crime going up? Down?
Focus on YTD over monthly reports. If you want to see how the last few years compare, pull up the December reports.
Type of Crimes
Is the crime serious or petty? Crime against properties or persons?
You may decide you are ok living in an area with auto theft problems, but you don’t want to live in an area that has a problem with homicide or assault.
Knowing how much crime exists, if the trends are improving or worsening, and if the crimes are serious or petty, should help you choose wisely between neighborhoods you are considering.