IS THE SELF-DIRECTED IRA’S NEXT INVESTMENT IN A SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD?
As the saying goes, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Location is important to any investor or tenant. The safety of that location is worth the time to research! It’s important to know if the self-directed IRA’s investment is in a safe neighborhood. Luckily, this is the age of the World Wide Web! Here are a couple of my favorite websites that help research crime:
FAMILY WATCH DOG – This .us website specializes in national sex offenders. Simply enter the self-directed IRA’s potential investment property’s address in the search box and the Family Watch Dog will show you little colored squares in the area. Clicking on these squares not only shows you a picture of the offender, but also their home address, alias(es), physical description and even a list all their convictions.
SPOTCRIME – This website not only allows you to search for crime in the area, but also offers an option to sign up for alerts. Now you can check out the hood for a while before deciding if this is a good investment for your self-directed IRA. This website gives you a cartoon like legend that is entertaining and easy to understand. SpotCrime.com also gives you an exact location of the crime and shows you a picture of the property’s exterior via Google Maps.
RELOCATION ESSENTIALS – This site compares crime against the national average. Enter the address or zip code of the self-directed IRA’s potential investment to view a simple bar graph organized by risk factor. This graph shows different types of crimes and compares those crimes to the national average.
CRIME MAPPING – Simply enter the address to view a map of crimes reported. At the top of the page, click on CRIME TYPES to see the legend. If you click on the DATES tab, you can search crime reported within a specific date range. By clicking AGENCIES, you can view reports from a specific police department.
In addition to the websites listed above, you should also check the City and local Police Department(s) sites to see if they offer alerts or stats about crime in the area.
Remember, safety is a key issue for any investor or tenant so it’s important to take the time to research the area. Let me know if there are any websites that you use to help investigate a neighborhood.
Jaclyn M. Grella