Where are the worst schools? Same places.
Recently, I was invited to write a post for the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council’s “Smart on Crime” blog. They asked me:
What kinds of concerns (in regard to crime) do people have when buying a new home?
What trends do you see among home buyers when they are researching neighbourhoods to live in?
How do you address ‘safety’ concerns when people are considering whether or not to purchase in a particular neighbourhood?
Great questions. Those are questions my clients often ask. I have answers ready. I wrote a post for the council titled “Crime and Homeownership. The post will publish next month. In it, I argued that the crime rate is down and the rate of homeownership is up. There is a co-relationship between them.
When I was compiling information for my blog post “Where is the best place to buy a house in Kitchener Waterloo?”, I took a very methodical approach to judging neighbourhoods by looking at traffic patterns, crime rates, school rankings, ambiance, noise and smell, walkability, shops, parks, amenities, and general upkeep. I gave the criteria of school ranking a heavier weight than all the others. Schools are very important to me and to many of my clients.
High Crime, Poor School.
I noticed that in almost every neighborhood (except one) that if the school was highly ranked, the incidence of reported crime was fairly low.
Low Crime, High Rate of Homeownership.
The pride of homeownership has an intangible benefit that encourages homeowners to take care of their properties. Neighbourhoods with higher rates of homeownership are more stable, better maintained and safer.
Good School, Good Neighbourhood
Good and bad neighbourhoods reveal themselves in many ways. One great indicator of a good neighbourhood is the school ranking. It’s a great rule of thumb. Good school = good neighborhood.
Neighbours and Neighbourhoods
Neighbours influence each other. When one neighbour does some landscaping or outside improvements, other neighbours follow suit. Homeowners, by nature, care about their homes. Well maintained homes lead to strong neighborhoods, and strong neighborhoods lead to vibrant communities.
Those were my arguments.
The Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council has recently published a report investigating the root causes of crime in Waterloo Region. Here’s the PDF.
Rule #91: Buy a house in a good school zone
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