As a former Police Officer, I am always concerned about where my buyers are going to be living. I have a good feel for different areas based upon my experience, however I always suggest they drive the area at different times of day and different days of the week. Another great resource is the "beat cop" that patrols that area for the local police department. He or she will have the best, hands on information available. Below is a link to another great resource I use:
Your BEST option, if you're serious about purchasing a home is to get with a Realtor who knows the area and can help you through the process. That's the FIRST and foremost step in purchasing a home. Check with friends and family to see if they can refer someone to you or research sites, such as this one to find a good professional Realtor. Your SECOND step is to get pre-qualified for a loan. AFTER you find a Realtor, he or she will have you meet with the lender that he or she uses regularly. This is important. Please let me know if I can help or if you have any more questions.
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Keller Williams Realty