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Poll asks people how much they would give up for a safe neighborhood

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How important is it to live in a safe neighborhood? A recent Trulia poll indicates that neighborhood safety is even more important than you may have originally thought. Trulia, in partnership with Harris Interactive, asked more than 2,000 people how they feel about neighborhood safety, and what they would be willing to give up if it meant living in a safer area.

Five out of six people say the neighborhood they live in is more important than the actual house itself; and, one in three people say they’d be willing to live in a smaller house and give up a bit of square footage for an ideal community. Surprisingly, roughly half of people said they’d even pay above list price for a choice location. Parents with kids are even more willing to shell out more cash if it means avoiding a dangerous community, as nearly 60 percent of parents with minor children said they’d be willing to pay above list price to live in a better neighborhood with good schools.

Money and space aren’t the only things home buyers are willing to give up in order to stay out of seedy places. A significant portion of people say they’d be ready and willing to forgo these features to get into a choice neighborhood:

  • A pool: 72 percent
  • A finished basement: 55 percent
  • A garage: 22 percent
  • Yard space: 19 percent
  • Storage space: 18 percent
  • A bedroom: 13 percent
  • A bathroom: 12 percent

When searching for a place to live, it is helpful to conduct research on a community’s crime ratings, school district ratings, and local activities. However, some renters and home buyers rely on a community’s reputation and the feeling they get when they visit the area. For that reason, 69 percent of survey respondents say they drive through the neighborhood during different times of the day to determine whether or not an area is right for them.

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