How would calculate an average amount of crime in a particular market being “average” “good” or “bad”? Is there a certain threshold on an average crime ratings in conjunction with population of a market and sub-market?
I have always struggled with crime data on bestplaces - it’s vague and very general. It doesn’t tell you about a specific part or sub-market of a large city or town where a park you have under contract is located.
So I recently found that Trulia has a great “heat map” for crime data nationally. Search for your city of interest and you will see a shield with a star on it to see the crime data. You can get an idea at the block, neighborhood, city level views. Color coated based on the number of crimes in the area using fresh data, which at least gives you guideposts.
This has helped me see if a target property is part of the riffraff or buffered from it.
Thanks for your reply and tips on using Trulia heat map.
What is the threshold crime rate that would make it a deal killer (I’m sure there is no clear cut answer to this)? The subject park is in a population of 35k and it appears to have higher crime would that be a deal killer (within an hour of a larger metro of 400-500k with low unemployment ) If not, what would not make it a deal killer?
I would not base your decision on crime stats necessarily. Trulia is a great resource but so is Google Earth. Virtually drive the neighborhoods near the park. Here are some better questions to answer during diligence:
- Do you see housing projects nearby?
- What is the condition of the homes in the neighborhoods closest to the park?
- What are those homes selling for?
- What is the income in the 1-2 miles surrounding the park?
- What types of people called in off of your test ad?
- What type of retail is around? (is it Panera Break Co and Starbucks? or is it Billy Bob’s pawn shop?)
- Do the gas stations nearby have bars on the windows and is the clerk behind bullet proof glass?
- What do the taxi/uber drivers have to say about the area?
- What do the local realtors think about the location?
Some of these aren’t easily answered before going to the park but crime stats are very misleading. Even the heat maps can be misleading at times. There probably isn’t a good rule of thumb for crime stats that exists so you just have to see wether or not the customer base you will have in that area is acceptable to you.
A lot of times when the stats are bad the Park is bad, but not always. Crime stats should never be the reason you turn down a deal. If anything it should make you do some extra diligence and will ultimately support the other reasons why the deal is bad.
Last year for a 26 pad park in Kansas I was doing my on-site diligence. Before arriving I saw lots of crime stats within 5 to 10 blocks of the property - not overwhelming though it was mostly petty things. 90% of the homes were all derelict and tenants jobless on government assistance. Came back from lunch and three cops were putting a tenant in the back of a cruiser who had an outstanding warrant. Property manager was separately a sex offender. 100K in deferred infrastructure maintenance. 65 feral cats all over the property and tenants feeding them. A couple of the homes on Google Street view looked bad, but these photos were 3-5 years old and not using their new HD cameras yet. They were in much worse shape than expected.
It was a sad story too because it was a nice little town and the test ad results were great, but the Seller misrepresented the property’s condition and would not budge on price after the site visit. As of a few months back it was still for sale.