It always comes up. “So Michael, how safe is this neighborhood?” Most buyers looking to own in either Folsom or El Dorado Hills are usually expecting to hear something like this…”This is a very safe neighborhood. I really have not heard of any issues from the people that I work with.” That is the usual answer from real estate agents looking to reassure their clients. Is it true? Perhaps I should turn the question around….”What do you consider a safe neighborhood?” You see when you consider the question from that perspective you realize that we all have a different idea of what constitutes safety. Is it a gated community? Is it a low crime rate? (again what is low?) Is petty theft ok but lets say assault and battery, not so much? How about sex offenders? You get the point…real estate agents that try to answer this question are setting themselves up and are doing their clients a disservice.
I let people know that I live in El Dorado Hills and have always felt safe, but in order for them to satisfy themselves they need to do their own investigation. I usually recommend these two websites where they can learn quite a bit with just a few mouse clicks. CrimeReports is a map based representation of crime that has been reported within various communities. For instance, the El Dorado County Sheriff shares information with CrimeReports that is represented visually so a buyer can take a look right down to the street level. In addition, as part of the CAR residential purchase agreement, all clients are directed to seek information from the Megan’s Law website which tracks registered sex offenders in the State of California.
These are certainly not comfortable conversations but a professional agent will acknowledge that ALL communities have some level of crime. It is important that buyers take the time to satisfy themselves about the safety of the community they are considering. I know when I considered a move to my community, I did exactly that!