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 agree with Tom. Real estate professionals risk losing their licenses if they direct you to or away from specific neighborhoods, towns, or streets. It is an anti-discrimination issue that is taken VERY seriously. Agents, take note: Fake "buyers' are sometimes sent out by the state to test your complience with this!!! My recommendation, in addition to talking with the Pittsfield police, is to talk with local residents and read the local papers. If you work in Pittsfield, talk with your co-workers. Realize, though, that "high crime" and "nice neighborhood" are very relative terms. What one person finds totally acceptable or unacceptable may not be so to you. You must get a real sense of the area for yourself, so visit areas around listings that are interesting to you at various times of day. Take it all in. What do YOU think of the area ? - That's all that really matters. If you find an area that you would prefer to avoid, tell your agent. If YOU stipulate that you don't want to receive information on "X" Street, or streets, the agent can set up the MLS search to leave listings there out of what is sent to you. Good luck on your search!... more