I'm in the same boat, trying to move from Hoboken to Union City. I don't know Union City well, but I know the crime rate is about the same as in Hoboken - 5-6 on the scale of 1-10, so I'd think the same rules apply: look around the area where you're buying and use your street smarts. Does the area look nice and peaceful or gritty and too urban? Are there many unoccupied buildings around the place you're looking at (bad) or does it stand in the middle of a bustling neighborhood (good)? Are there a lot of houses with barred first-floor windows (bad)? Do the cars on the street look well taken care of? Return to look at the property at night: is the street well lit? Is it far to walk from the transportation to the property? And, regardless of how nice the neighborhood seems, count on having to protect your car with anti-theft devices and displaying a security company sticker on the home once you buy it, besides protecting all entrances with motion sensors, etc.