My search continues for a place to settle down permanently and purchase a home. Due to jobs, traffic, and climate, my goal is to stay in California. California is a large state and thankfully much of it has awesome weather. However, in narrowing down towns I’m unfamiliar with, I not only look at housing prices, but crime rates. Higher crime usually equals lower property prices so I can’t get too excited when I see homes for under $300,000 – it could mean it’s in the ‘hood.

I’m currently investigating the Sacramento – Davis – Woodland area of northern California. This area has a similar climate to where I currently live, but a smaller population base, which I’m looking for in a city (not too small at around < 60,000 people, but smaller than 4 million!) I’d also have access to the coast, a large and hip metro (San Francisco), and the mountains within a 90-minute drive. Based on CrimeReports.com, I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay far away from some areas of Sacramento! Holy, moly there’s a lot of crime going on up there.

Of course, when I first pulled up the interactive map, I couldn’t get a feel of how much crime there was compared to my current neighborhood. So, I pulled up my current neighborhood to compare all the icons I saw in Sacramento. I turned off the sex offender icon because, sadly, there were so many in each city I was having difficulty just looking at the icons that represented current crimes like theft, armed robbery, and burglary. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my current city has far less crime than some of the larger metros.

Narrowing down my city search based on cost of living, job availability, and crime gives me a smaller area to visit- making this a little easier than just throwing a dart on a map and saying, “Let’s go there!”

Have you checked out crime statistics in your neighborhood? Were you surprised?