No one wants to live in an unsafe, high-crime area. That’s why it’s always a good idea to find out the crime leves in the area where you’re considering buying or renting. So how do you do that?
One way is to look up the local police department’s crime statistics. But that’s next to useless, for several reasons. First, it’s not easy to tell what specific area you’re looking at. For example, here in Miami, you have the City of Miami, as well as Miami-Dade County, and many other cities, like Coral Gables, South Miami, and Miami Beach.
Second, looking at a bunch of numbers may not be very useful. If you know that there were, say, 10,000 assaults in Los Angeles last year, what does that tell you? Is that a lot, is that a little? How do you even define “assault” versus, for example, “battery”?It’s one big mess, unless you use a tool that makes the data easy to see and analyze. Enter Trulia Maps.
What It Is
Trulia is a real estate listing website, kind of like Zillow. But the genius feature I’m talking about here is its maps, which show crime and other statistics in a color-coded overlay map of cities. This lets you see relative crime levels for different city areas, block-by-block. Of course, it’s only as good as the crime statistic reporting it feeds on, but it’s still mega-useful.
How It Works
You can find it by either Googling something like “trulia maps crime Los Angeles”, or by first going to the Trulia website and then choosing a particular city. Then, go to “Local Scoop” and then “Crime”:This will then bring up the legendary maps, within a page of statistics. There, I recommend you expand the map, like so: Once expanded, you can just zoom in to the location you’re considering, in order to compare it with other neighborhoods (or even blocks). Take a look at a few examples:Bottom Line
So there you have it, dear readers. Crime and safety data, in a format that’s actually useful and easy to read. Stay safe!