Neighborhood safety is a major concern for homebuyers. You may be one who desires some assurance beyond what your real estate agent may tell you. Unfortunately, with various laws being strict on speaking negatively about communities, agents are usually tight-lipped in this regard.  

So what do you do? Simple. Take to the internet and use these 5 tools to conduct your own investigation.

5. is a classic example of mapping technology being useful beyond finding the best route to the local pizza shop. This handy tool leverages Google Maps to provide information regarding arrests and incidents of arson, burglaries, shootings and various other crimes.

The site uses a combination of data from authorities, news reports and user-generated content to help concerned consumers find information about crime in certain areas. While is an integrated part of Baltimore’s Emerging Technology Center, it delivers nationwide crime data.

4. National Sex Offender Register

Law enforcement utilizes various methods to determine how likely sex offenders are to offend again. If you’re someone who wouldn't rather take the risk, you'll want to check out the NSO Register. This free service is designed to help you find the registered offenders living in a specific neighborhood.

The service has a robust database that provides a wealth of information to aid in investigative efforts, including real names, aliases, photos, and details of offenses. Spend five minutes here, and you'll probably feel compelled to invest in one of the many high-end home security systems on the market today. 

3. CrimeReports

Image Via Flickr by Psudo on politics

CrimeReports claims to be the number one mapping tool law enforcement agencies use to monitor crime and enhance confidence in communities. Developed by Public Engines, it lets consumers browse crime data from a computer or mobile device, and receive alerts and updates pertaining to crimes in their area.

The site also encourages community involvement by providing a convenient way to supply anonymous tips through a built-in submission system. This allows the public to engage in two-way dialogue with law enforcement via email. 

2. U.S. Department of Justice Public Website

Here's another handy tool for homebuyers who are concerned about susceptible neighbors. Maintained by the same agency that enforces laws to protect the United States against both foreign and domestic threats, this website gives you convenient access toregistered offenders for all 50 states. Its  Quick Search feature also lets you search for data by name or location. 

1. Neighborhood Scout

Photo Via Flickr by exfordy

Neighborhood Scout has proven to be an excellent resource for homebuyers seeking the ideal neighborhood. It caters to safety concerns with features that allow you to view crime rates based on statistics provided by the FBI and even access crime risks by address.

You’ll have to purchase a subscription to unlock the most comprehensive functionality, but general crime reports can be obtained freely. In addition to crime data, Neighborhood Scout provides detailed real estate reports, school ratings, and appreciation rates. 

As the world turns, we're steadily learning that at any time, crime can strike even safe neighborhoods. That being said,  though, there's no devaluing the peace of mind that comes from being knowledgeable and prepared.