How To Buy A Duplex In A Safe Neighborhood

One of the most common characteristics many first-time duplex buyers tell me they’re looking for in a property is that it be located in a safe neighborhood.

I understand their concern and wish I could help them. The problem is, I can’t.

Minnesota state law requires real estate agents to disclose any material facts which may impact a buyer’s enjoyment of a property. A material fact may be that a roof leaks, or that the county is going to run power lines through the back yard.

These are generally items the property owner has disclosed to me. They are objective and concrete.

According to the state, however, crime is a bit more subjective and harder to track.

On the rare occasions I have checked crime maps for myself, I realized there are very few neighborhoods in large metropolitan areas that are entirely crime-free. One may have armed robberies, another may have things stolen out of cars or burglaries, and a third may have what looks to be a lot of domestic disputes or assaults.

I may feel uncomfortable with the amount of criminal activity in one of those neighborhoods. Someone else, on the other hand may feel perfectly comfortable. Or the reverse may be true.

I am not a police officer. They are the experts in Twin Cities crime, and the ones who compile the data. Before settling on an area you’d like to live, or even a specific property it’s best to do a little research first.

To determine if a neighborhood is right for you, the most up to date data can be found here:

Minneapolis Police Department Crime Map

St Paul Crime Data