5 Apps to Research a Neighborhood & Check How Safe It Is


The perfect new house or apartment should have a few basics covered, depending on your needs. Perhaps you want a place that’s close to work or family or a neighborhood with an excellent school. Maybe all you need is to have a supermarket, a drug store and a beautiful park within walking distance. In any case, moving into a new place is a significant decision, and you want to consider every possible factor. One of the critical points to take into account is safety. Is this the right place to move in alone, or raise a family? There are ways to find out.

Are you thinking of moving, and you don’t know the city enough to be aware of which neighborhoods are safe? It happens. Whether you’re moving into a new town or you’re just a little lost when going outside your comfort zone, it’s perfectly normal to need a little more information. Luckily, there are apps for nearly everything under the sun, and that includes neighborhood research. 

1. Neighborhood Scout

Neighborhood Scout lets you see how each area fares in front of similar ones. The comparison may be with other towns and states, and it can include local schools and real estate data. This app also allows you to view the violent crime data for free. However, if you wish to get more detailed information, such as demographics, you’ll have to pay for a subscription. The cheapest package is $39.99 per month, and it can go up depending on which features you wish to have.

2. Area Vibes

A similar concept to Neighborhood Scout, Area Vibes is entirely free. The site creates a “livability score” based on several factors, such as school ratings, amenities, crime rates, the local housing market, and even weather. You also get a comparison of the neighborhood’s crime rate in front of the national average, allowing you to make an educated decision.

3. Family Watchdog

An essential for families looking to create safe spaces for all family members, Family Watchdog, allows you to locate nearby registered sex offenders. You can see specific information about each of these people. The app is free, but the sex offender report does have a cost.

4. SpotCrime

The SpotCrime website and app collects data from user and police reports and the local news to create crime maps and lists, showing which specific incidents took place. Due to its nature as an aggregate site, it offers live data on your location, allowing you to act quickly.

5. Neighbors

An Amazon app, Neighbors, comes from the retailer’s smart doorbell company, Ring. It’s one of the best tools you can have at your disposal wherever you live, as it sends you real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighbors. This is essentially your neighborhood watch in app form. While the app is at its best when paired with the Ring hardware (alarm system, cameras, doorbell, smart lights), you don’t need any of those devices to use it. The best part? It’s completely free.