“Where are the ‘best’ schools are and how much does ‘crime’ affect this neighborhood?”
Regulations specifically prohibit agents from answering these inquiries based on personal experiences- so here’s the lowdown on how to get tough questions addressed.
Q: “How do I make sure that the house I buy puts me in my desired school district?”
A: As Wilmington continues to grow, the increase of students has resulted in a need to balance area intake. Redistricting now means that even if a person lives in a home that has historically been allocated to a specific school district, there are no guarantees that the student may not be transferred to another educational establishment. While discussions pertaining to new, larger, buildings are ongoing, make sure to stay in the loop as to redistricting. Note that redistricting only affects public schools: private schools are not involved.
Q: “Is this a safe neighborhood?”
A: The most reliable place to look for answers on crime is the local police department. These are the professionals who handle this day in and day out. If a specific type of crime is a concern for you, make sure to inquire about the breakdown of that particular crime.
As an example, our family nearly moved to New Orleans. We had both lived in major cities and did not think we would be concerned about crime. When we met with local police, however, they advised us not to move. Their reason? “Crime isn’t always crime,” as one officer explained. “The violent crime here- that’s rape, that’s out of control, that’s everywhere.”
Ultimately, the lesson learned is that if you are concerned about one type of crime over another, make sure to be specific with your questions. For example, you can ask an officer how much crime of an area may be related to petty theft vs. violent crime.
For New Hanover County, the police website is:https://www.newhanoversheriff.com/
Remember, there is never a substitute for first hand experience. If you are considering moving to an area, try to book a local stay so that you can explore the neighborhood. Airbnb is a great way to try before you buy.