September 16th, 2014 9:52 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
The company that brought the walkability factor to help
buyers decide if the neighborhood is walkable enough for them, is introducing a
Crime Grade measure.
buyers to use the beta program that gives users ratings from A - D. "Crime
Grade is the first measure of crime safety for a home or apartment that
accurately measures your personal risk," the company wrote on its blog.
Of course, we all know the saying, "Location, Location, Location."
When it comes to real estate, this word holds tremendous importance. Much of
what makes a location appealing is how it's maintained, its walkability,
accessibility to shops, schools, amenities, entertainment, freeways or mass
transportation, and its crime rate.
WalkScore writes, "What matters
most is your per capita risk of being affected by crime". According to the
post, what makes the company's maps different is the ability to measure the per
capita crime rate.
Maps or statistics that report crime
not based on per capita can make areas that are dense (such as downtown) seem
heavily ridden with crime because the measurement is only based on the number
of crimes in that area.
But WalkScore says it's the computing
that makes their measurement different. "The Walk Score Crime Grade is
computed using a patent-pending system that aggregates crimes near an address
and weights crimes by severity and distance. We calculate a per capita crime
rate for an address based on the total population (residents and workers) in
Those crime rates are compared to other
figures city-wide and then WalkScore assigns a letter grade rating for the
area. To help people understand the real crime risk of an area, the company
also uses various categories for crime based on whether it's personal such as a
robbery or violent crime against a person or property crime–burglary or
property theft. The system aims to provide a more accurate rating for personal
risk in a particular area.
So far, Crime Grade is mapping out the
risks in 16 cities including, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver,
Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville-Jefferson, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland,
Raleigh, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.. The Crime Grade
measure is for both homes and apartments. You can check your neighborhood's
score at WalkScore.com.
While this system may prove to be a
valuable tool, nothing replaces a buyer's research, education, and hands-on
experience with the neighborhood. That means you need to go to the neighborhood
and circulate about in it at different times of day and night. This will
provide you an opportunity to see what it would be like to live in the area.
Talk to neighbors who have lived there a long time. Stop
in and have coffee at the local shops–see what the clientele is like. Get a
feel for what the community is like by attending local meetings, including
Meetups in the area and police neighborhood watch groups.
You'll learn a lot from a few casual
drop-in meetings. You don't have to stay the entire time, just long enough to
educate yourself about the community and any concerns that current residents
are facing. The time you invest in learning more will be worth it and will help
you decide how much you are willing to spend on that home you spotted on the
Written by Phoebe Chongchua | To view the original
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