When it comes to any safety/crime related issues, it's always best to contact the local police department with all your questions, hear all there is to hear firsthand. If unfamiliar with the area(s) do revisit more than once and at different times of day, possibly chat with locals/neighbors. Real estate professionals are prohibited from steering, enticing a buyer to purchase/rent, or not, in specific neighborhoods.
I have been working with more 1st time buyers in the past 1 1/2 months compared to the 1st 6 months of this year. Some of them wanted to wait until the Spring but have chose to look for homes now so that they can close by November 30th.
I work in the Downers Grove market and more than half of our sales have been under $350,000 in the past month.