Safety is among the top choices for people selecting a neighborhood in which to live. Those with young children, empty nesters, and senior adults want the peace and confidence of living in a relatively safe community. While schools, accessibility, amenities, and community life are important the majority of homeowners want to know they and their loved ones are safe. It is a basic human need.
One of the best things you can do in considering a new community is to do your homework. Research local police activity within the neighborhood. Are there petty crimes that no neighborhood is immune to, or are there records of more serious criminal activity?
Don’t be afraid to ask those who live in the neighborhood and your prospective neighbors about safety. One of the best things about strong and safe neighborhoods is that residents look out for each other. There is nothing wrong with asking your prospective neighbors if they feel safe, or have had any serious issues in regard to crime or suspicious activity. Another great idea is to contact the local police agencies responsible for the neighborhood you are considering and ask them if it is safe, or if there have been any major crime incidents reported.
Ask your realtor, or builder if the neighborhood has a local Crime Watch team. Neighborhood social media sites and channels such as NextDoor and Facebook will provide further insight. These sites or apps will give you an idea of the vigilance of the neighborhood. Many of these apps/social media sites have shared doorbells video or external camera videos of suspicious activity.
No neighborhood is immune to the criminal element. It is the reality in the world in which we live. However, making a distinction between the levels of criminal activity is important. Property vandalism and petty theft are among the most common criminal elements for any neighborhood. Analyzing the support network among residents and homeowners is critical to assessing neighborhood safety. Ask to speak to the HOA president and get her or his input on crime and safety in the area. While the criminal element can never be totally eradicated, neighborhoods, where fellow neighbors look out for one another and report suspicious activity, are a strong cue that you are looking in the right place! When neighbors are looking out for one another it is a total game-changer for the criminal element.
As you drive through the neighborhood or community you are considering observing the activity in the common areas and along the streets. Do you see kids playing together outside, or people walking their dogs or jogging and riding bikes at dusk or near sunrise? If you do, you can bet it is probably a relatively safe neighborhood. If you have children don’t hesitate to go onto the state sexual offender website and review the proximity of any reported offenders to the neighborhood.
Another neighborhood tell is the level of social activities and community events occurring. If there are family-oriented activities you can bet neighbors feel safe and are looking out for one another. Good realtors tell their clients to drive through a potential neighborhood multiple times during the day to get a feel for the neighborhood, safety, the activity of residents, and overall feel, not to mention where the sun sets, rises, patio locations, etc.
Dog-friendly neighborhoods are usually a good indication of safety. Whether you own a dog or not is irrelevant. But dogs provide an element of safety for every community. When they bark, owners respond and investigate the cause of alarm for their animal. If the community has a dog park it is a strong indicator that dogs are present and on the job for their owners as well as their neighbors.
Lighting is important. Are there street lights that are lit and active during the evening hours? Do neighbors or other residents have motion lights on their property? Light is a huge deterrent to any criminal activity. Make sure the neighborhood you are considering is well lit at night.
Does a cop live in the neighborhood? The presence of off-duty patrol cars has been shown to be a strong deterrent to criminal activity. It’s why apartment complexes across the U.S. offer discounts and incentives to uniformed patrol officers to live in their complexes.
Safety is paramount for you and your family when it comes to choosing a community in which to live. Do your due diligence in terms of research, investigation, and homework on any prospective neighborhood you are considering. Your realtor can help but in the times within which we live you’ve got to do your homework as well.
One more factor is the proximity of fire and rescue departments in regard to the neighborhood you are considering. What is the response time to the neighborhood and how close is the nearest fire and rescue station?
O’Neal Village in Greer, South Carolina values the safety of all its residents and children. We are proud of our safety record and continue to seek ways to improve in this area with our residents and local law enforcement. Having the Lake Cunningham Fire Department within less than a mile of our location is a huge asset for our community.
TRG (The Randolph Group) values the quality of life in every community it develops. Serious consideration is given to providing spaces that promote social events, casual gatherings, and safety to help build a sense of authentic community. Supporting HOA’s with a sense of presence and financial support ensures this inherent value gets off the ground early in the build process.
O’Neal Village in Greer, South Carolina is located off South Carolina Hwy. 101 between lakes Robinson and Cunningham it has great access to major retail stores, groceries, leisure, hospitals, charming downtown Greer and is only a short distance from downtown Greenville. However, location is only one positive force in this community gem. It has a strong sense of community built-in to its DNA with regular family-focused activities, events, and gatherings. The neighborhood design includes a generous amount of green space and places that promote natural gatherings and planned events.
TRG Communities creates imaginative places for homeowners to enjoy a wide array of amenities and living spaces. We design communities instead of houses and neighborhoods! Our desire is for the total enjoyment and satisfaction of our residents.