Here is a great idea to find out information about a potential property and the neighborhood where it is located. When you are thinking about buying a property, no matter where it is located, you want to call the local police department on a non emergency line. In fact, when you make the call, the first thing you should ask is if this is a non emergency line. Then you should ask them if you can get a police report for all of the activity in the neighborhood where your potential property is located.
Some police departments will have a website available where you can get the information and some will have to mail it to you. Also, if you own rentals then you will want to call or go on the website at least once a year to get a report. This will help you keep track of how the neighborhood is doing and whether the conditions or environment are deteriorating.
Neighborhood populations can change drastically very quickly. Just watch your nightly news! I see it all the time. Residents getting interviewed and talking about how upset they are about crime in their neighborhood because it used to be such a nice safe place to live.
Here is another great idea that you should do on all of the properties you are looking at buying. You should contact the local building inspection department or code enforcement department to make sure that there are no code violations on the subject property and if there are you need to get a list. This is also a good time to ask them for a list of all of the properties under code enforcement to try and buy the property.
After getting back your rehab estimate or home inspection report is a great time to go back to the seller to re-negotiate a better price if the report came in with more repairs than was anticipated. Please do not take advantage of anyone but it is a great negotiating tool.