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  • Writer's pictureKira Witherwax

Is it Safe?

Is this street safe? What is the best school? Are the neighbors liberal, conservative, inclusive?

These are just some of the questions real estate professionals get asked on a fairly regular basis. Often, these are innocent questions and ones that we have opinions on like any other member of the community. However, these are subjective and certainly out of the scope of our professional license. As real estate licensees, we are not able to answer them. We are not allowed to give you these types of opinions in the context of the real estate transaction because it can be constructed as a professional opinion. This can be very frustrating for buyers who may not know the area themselves and are truly just trying to find out if it would be a good fit for them.

A Personal Definition

But what does safe mean to you? Does it mean never lock your doors? Or that there have been no murder on that street in the last year? Or security systems and police driving by make you safe? Are you personally not scared to walk down the street alone at night? But would others? What I feel is "safe" is inherently different than the next person. So, if I tell a new buyer that a neighborhood is "safe" and then the next day the next door neighbor is robbed was I lying? They may feel that I was. Or that they were misled. If crime is a concern of yours then you may want to look into the statistics for areas you're considering. We can point you toward such things. If you're concerned with how you feel there, only you can answer that; but I suggest you talk with neighbors, go to the local grocery store or go for a walk in the neighborhood. It is hard to get the feel for an area from just looking at potential homes.

The "Best" School

I know many people that are certain the best school is a certain one; and often they contradict each other. Because a school that is the best fit for my child might not be the best fit for yours. We all put value on different things and different students need different things. There is public data that you can use to compare test scores, size, etc. and this may help with your decision. I also suggest that people new to the area call potential schools and request a tour of the school you're considering. Schools are happy to do this and it can be helpful to get a feel for the staff, administration, and students while also learning about what they offer first hand.

Only You Can Decide

I think we can all agree that choosing a place to live has much more to do with the feeling it gives you rather than the statistics attached. I think it's wise to really visit a new community you're considering living in, not just looking at the houses there. Attend a community event or school sporting event. Take a walk in the neighborhood. Go out for ice cream. It's easy to ask your real estate professional our thoughts because we're often the ones standing right in front of you (and we know many things) but this is not what our expertise covers. We can walk you through the process of buying and selling, but choosing where you want to live, where you are comfortable living, is ultimately your decision. I love in the best place on Earth and hope you do too. Because ultimately "home" should feel like the best place and that's no the same for me or you or the next person.

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