The Truth About Crime Data Websites

If you’re like most people, you do a lot of research on the internet before making a big decision. That’s an excellent way to be an informed consumer, but when it comes to real estate investing, the internet isn’t always the most accurate resource.

One of the biggest hang-ups that new investors face is hesitation about crime. Many people are curious about this topic, and the thought of crime can totally demolish their real estate investing dreams.

If you focus on the potential for crime, or are put off by the data you read on websites like Zillow or Trulia, you may decide not to invest at all. I’m here to tell you, get that idea out of your head. Don’t let crime data debilitate and discourage you. 

I understand why this data can be so overwhelming and troubling. If you’re new to real estate investing, you only have the internet to rely on, especially if you’re not purchasing in your own neighborhood. But the truth is, the internet is often wrong.

Crime data is calculated by zip code, and that simply doesn’t make sense. These sites can accumulate data from a mile away. Zip codes were created specifically for mailing purposes; they have nothing to do with the quality of a neighborhood.

When you’re looking into real estate investing, don’t be discouraged by this data. If you search hard enough, you can find reasons not to invest. There are much better ways to measure whether or not a property is a sound investment.

So how exactly can you measure if a neighborhood will be riddled with crime? Talk to your property management team! They will have accurate information and experience to share. Also, are other investors purchasing on the same streets? If so, that's good reason to think it's not a high crime area. 

Check out our list of the five rental markets with the highest crime rates.