Using Trulia's Crime Map

7 Replies

I've been looking at properties posted on the MLS in areas I'm not very familiar with. I found the crime map on Trulia, and thought it might be a useful tool in analyzing a particular area. Does anybody else use this tool? Have you found it to be an accurate indicator of whether an area is sketchy or not?

Yes I definitely use it to look every property I consider...even if I know the neighborhood just to compare with my own on the ground knowledge. I find that it is a great indicator of dicey neighborhoods where there might be some bad things going on but I will tell you that I only completely reject a property if it is a heavy red or in a large geographic crime area because I have found that an area can have some orange but it could be that there was an incident or two or suspect traffic that was stopped in the area but the crimes weren't committed there, etc. In other words, I have found Trulia's maps to lean toward false positive indications so I follow up with my own research.

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I have to agree with @Dante Pirouz that Trulia can be a great guide to get started by quickly weeding out no-go areas. In fact, I just re-checked my area of proximity to Lansing/East Lansing, MI. East Lansing is low crime on their report and there are some areas of Lansing that are higher, and that all squares with my own experiences in those areas.

Farther out, I recently drove down to ATL for a job interview and I decided to do a little recon there and in Greenville, SC. Trulia was spot on! Then I drove to STL for the eclipse and it was quite helpful again!

Good luck and thanks for posting to BP!

Ben

Trulia's crime map is useful, and some localities have newspapers that also have some sort of interactive crime log/map. Police departments may also have something similar; St. Louis's PD will point you towards https://www.crimereports.com/ for crime mapping. Trulia appears to hybridize that website and https://spotcrime.com to create their heat maps.

This came up in the office today, and one of my agents said he was talking to a friend of his who's an officer. The heat maps aren't always accurate, which you can expect, as some areas have many crimes that aren't reported, and other areas may have more crimes that are reported and therefore look worse on the mapping tools you'll see online. That's something to keep in mind, too, when you're looking at these sources.

Thanks for the posts, everyone. I'm still looking for a better tool as Trulia hasn't proven to be very accurate in my experience, at least when I was looking in Tampa and Orlando. Here's been my experience:

1. Tampa and Orlando: Correct on some spots but really really off in some others. I have some large patches of very green (low crime) neighborhoods, but when I went in person, the neighborhood is extremely sketchy and one that I would not feel safe in. Now, it could be that the crime is lower than what the appearance might suggest, but it seems doubtful.

2. High density areas: I live in Manhattan, so I used Trulia to see how accurate it is. The high density areas (e.g., Times Square), show high crime. The area I feel is pretty safe, but given that it's a high density area, I can imagine how the incidence of crime in a relatively small area would be higher (but relative to # of people, likely lower). Looking at the high crime in the area would make you think you should avoid the area, but of course the neighborhood is still Class A and ridiculously expensive. It would be similar in other downtown areas throughout the country.

If anyone has experience with another/ better tool, please let me know!

Dan

@Aaron Jones one thing I've found useful is to use the Trulias crime map along with taking a virtual tour using google maps street view. using both will usually give you a great idea if its a area you would want to invest in. best of luck on your search!