You’ve found what you believe is the ideal neighborhood. Beautiful tree-lined streets, well-equipped parks, plenty of playgrounds for the small kids and well maintained homes that are beautiful to look at. Drive down the streets and you’ll see lots of activity; people planting flowers, washing their car in their driveway and so much more. It all makes you feel glad that you moved into your new home!
The only question is, how well do you know your neighbors? I mean really know them? I’m referring to their backgrounds, history and just how upstanding they are? The truth is, most people really don’t know their neighbors that well. In fact, according to a research study conducted by Pew Research, 57% of respondents stated they know only some of their neighbors, while 26% stated they know most of their neighbors. Sure, they wave, chat when you’re outside and even invite one another over for some activity. The problem is, you really don’t know who’s really living on your street.
What’s Their Name?
Many convicted felons often use alternative names once their parole is completed. And while sex offenders often must register their home location with authorities, most people never take the time to find out if any of these individuals are living in their neighborhood.
Start with their name. Use Nuwber to find out who is really living in that house next to you, or across the street. Nuwber has a massive database of names and identities of people living around you. Just enter their street addresses and names and you’ll get the true identity of your neighbors. You’ll also find out if they have a criminal or police background. To check on sex offdeners who may be living in your neighborhood, use Family Watchdog to run a profile of those who might be living in your neighborhood. The service is free and it’s accurate.
Is Your Neighborhood Safe?
While Nuwber helps to reveal the true identity of neighbors, most people aren’t sure just how safe their neighborhood is. For example, do you know how many break-ins there have been around your home? Or how many felonies have occurred during the past year in your zip code? There are easy ways to find out, and you can assess the safety of your neighborhood using these tools.
SpotCrime provides a zip code map showing types and frequency of crimes in that specific zip code area. It will give a clear picture of the criminal activity in your neighborhood. All of the data is taken directly from police records, so it’s both timely and accurate.
Here’s something else to use, considering its rise in popularity over the past year or so. It’s a social website called Nextdoor, and while its main intent is to sell items, share information on car pools and recipes, it also has chats about who has been broken into and digs a little bit deeper into what’s going on in the neighborhood.
Where you live makes a difference as well. Rural residents do know most of their neighbors, compared to those living in urban and suburban areas. However, even though rural residents know most of their neighbors, most don’t interact with them. This is a societal shift that has happened over the past several decades as people became more and more secretive about their lives.
The fact is, a lot of the “getting to know your neighbors” should really be done before you move into the neighborhood. That way, you’ll have a good sense of who is living there and whether or not you’ll need to have any concerns. Otherwise, start checking on the neighbors using the tools outlined in this article.