So you’ve found a potential new home. It has almost everything you want and is well within your price range. But you can’t stop there because there are other factors that are at least as, and maybe even more, important than features and price. So here’s how to research schools, neighborhoods, and crime rates in Essex County.
Schools in Essex County
Sure, everyone wants to know about crime rates in Essex County neighborhoods, but the quality of schools is of interest only to those people who have school-aged children, right? Wrong. The quality of schools in and near the neighborhood is an important purchase factor for everyone. The fact is, homes in neighborhoods with better schools usually have higher values and a greater likelihood of appreciating over time.
You certainly don’t want to rely on the seller’s opinion alone, though you should ask. But make sure to go right to the source and check out the local school district’s website. While the information there may be a bit skewed in favor of the local schools, it’s still a good starting point to see whether the schools will be a good fit for your child(ren).
Another good online resource for researching schools is GreatSchools, the “leading national nonprofit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their child.” Just type in a ZIP code, and you can get reviews on schools from educators, parents, and students. The U.S. Department of Education also publishes a valuable resource, a 52-page booklet titled “Choosing a School for Your Child.” This booklet covers magnet and charter schools and has a checklist to help you evaluate your child’s needs and whether a school’s policies and procedures will be a good fit.
Of course, there’s no substitute for actually visiting the schools yourself. Just keep in mind that curricula and academic standards aren’t always the most important considerations. Be sure to take a look at professionalism, friendliness, communication, and special-needs accommodations – all those things that make it a great experience for the students.
Neighborhoods in Essex County
Before buying a new home, you will certainly want to check out the neighborhood (which ties in closely with crime rates in Essex County. The Internet is your friend here.
Demographics matter because we all want to be around people much like ourselves. HomeFair’s City Profiles Report can help you with this. After entering a ZIP code or city and state, you can find out what the people are like in the neighborhood where your potential new home is located.
Another good online tool is NeighborhoodScout, especially for the financial end of things. With this tool you can investigate a neighborhood’s median home prices, commuting opportunities, and even crime rates in Essex County. You can also discover what makes a particular neighborhood unique and gives it a definite personality.
And you don’t even have to visit the neighborhood in person to visit the neighborhood. One of the free apps like Walc will allow you to take a virtual stroll through the neighborhood to see what it’s really like at ground level. With Walc, for example, you can take a leisurely “stroll” through the area to get a sense of place.
Crime Rates in Essex County
When it comes to crime rates in specific neighborhoods in Essex County, the best starting points are local. Contact the local police department and ask to see a police log that will allow you to see where crimes have been committed during the past year. Then take a look at the local newspaper to find out the kinds and locations of local crimes.
Then you’ll want to go online again. A good place to begin is the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. There’s a lot of information here, so it will take a little effort, but it’s well worth it. You can find comprehensive information on the kinds of and number of crimes committed in the area. A couple of other good resources to find out about crime rates in Essex County are:
- CrimeMapping.com – With this site, you can find out about recent crimes in neighborhoods all across the country, including the kinds of crimes and the timeframes within which they occurred.
- NeighborhoodScout – For more general data, such as lists of the safest and the most dangerous cities in America, NeighborhoodScout is a good resource. You will, however, have to subscribe for more detailed information.
Find Out About Schools, Neighborhoods, and Crime Rates in Essex County the Easy Way
In reality, then, price and features just scratch the surface of what you need to know about that home in order to make a purchasing decision. You also need to research schools, neighborhoods, and crime rates in Essex County because they all go back to those three critical criteria: location, location, and location. But you don’t have to tackle this big task all on your own. We have the knowledge and experience and the willingness to help you with this research to ensure you make the right decision. Let us help you find just the right home in the right location. Contact us today! (978) 877-2873