How do I find a “Safe” neighborhood to move to in Florida? Which Florida neighborhoods are the safest?
These are questions that buyers often ask when looking for a home in Florida and specifically the Lakewood Ranch/Bradenton/Sarasota area. As a real estate agent, we technically cannot answer that question. First of all, everyone has their own definition of “safe”, so it is nearly impossible to do so. Secondly, we have a Realtor Code of Ethics and a Fair Housing Act that requires us to meet professional competency standards and standing against discriminatory housing practices. By telling a client that an area is “unsafe”, we violate that code.
So, the best we can do is recommend other resources that might help you determine if you would feel comfortable and “safe” in a particular spot.
Manatee County: http://www.manateesheriff.com/Public/CrimeMapping
Sarasota County: https://www.sarasotasheriff.org/news/crime_crash_statistics/index.php
2. Crime Maps
Some of the County Sheriff offices link you to CrimeMapping.com, which is the second resource I would recommend. You can type in a County, Zip Code, or exact address and see records of crime in surrounding areas. Not all cities and towns submit their data here, but it is definitely a good place to check.
Another great resource is Realtor.com. Yes, it is a good place to look at houses, but they also include Crime Map data for each house. In the video above, I show you where to click to find this information.
4. Plan a Visit!
The best way to learn about an area and get a feel for living there is to visit! Talk to locals, frequent some restaurants and bars in town, shop in the boutiques and chat up the owners, etc. In my personal experience, people in Florida are friendly and LOVE talking about where they live and all the reasons they love it! So ask!
5. Local Business Social Media
Find local business pages or groups where they share information about neighborhoods and things to do, events happening in the area, and people to talk to and ask questions. This will really help you to feel like a part of the community and learn about it from the inside.
After utilizing all of these resources, you should have a clear picture of the area you plan to move to and whether or not it meets your criteria for being safe and a place you would be happy living.
Need help finding a great spot? Contact us or use our Home Search tool!