Hi Steve, Realtors are the wrong people to ask those questions...
If you are focusing on a certain neighborhood, town, suburb etc. then you can research a lot of that information on the internet, the Realtor you are working with to find your home, will be of help letting you know about the
various websites that provide all kinds of neighborhood information. In particular if you are concerned about safety issues, stop by the local police dept. and get all the questions you have answered there....
To get to know your potential future neighborhood, it is a good idea to drive through it at different times of the day and different days of the week, to get a feel for the neighborhood, how far to schools, how far to shopping and restaurants, parks etc.
Good Luck to you
Edith YourRealtor4Life! And Chicago/Northern Illinois and North Shore Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients