Real NEastate: Moving near sex offenders

Q: I am looking for a home to buy in Northeast Philadelphia but I am worried about who my neighbors will end up being. Is there a place to research neighborhoods for sex offenders? How about crime statistics?

A: It is not that difficult to find a house for sale you’ll love. The market supply is plentiful, and prices, mortgage rates and tax incentives make it the perfect storm to buy. But what if the neighbors turn out to be a problem, or it’s next door to a sex offender? Luckily Megan’s Law requires sex offenders to register their addresses, but the research falls on you.

The Standard Agreement of Sale in Pennsylvania gives you the Web address for the locations of sex offenders. They are everywhere. Buyers are encouraged to contact the Philadelphia Police or the State Police for information relating to the presence of sex offenders near a particular property and check the Web site for similar information.

Crime statistics for Philadelphia are available online from the Philadelphia Police Department. A good resource to check crime statistics neighborhood by neighborhood is Realtor.com/Neighborhoods.

People move all the time because of their neighbors. There’s no harm in driving up the street and talking to a few neighbors to find out more about the area. You should even go so far as knocking on the neighbors’ doors and meeting them.  Do your research!

It’s scary to think about who your neighbor could be. You need all the information you can get, which makes your search for the perfect home all the more complicated.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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