You may have heard at some point that a sex offender living in your area can significantly reduce the value of your real estate. However, is this actually true? How true is it? Does this reduce the value forever? How often does a sex offender reduce the value of real estate? These are all good questions to ask about this folk wisdom. Here’s what you should know about the evidence regarding real estate value and sex offenders.
1. Real Estate Value Sinks When a Sex Offender Moves In
It is true that when a sex offender moves into your neighborhood, you’re likely to see a reduction in value in the homes nearby. Evidence shows that living right next door could drop real estate value by about 12%, while living within a 0.1-mile radius can drop the value by about 4%. Depending on the area, that could mean losing tens of thousands of dollars in home value.
2. Value Impacts From Sex Offenders Are Not Permanent
The good news is that the value reduction from living next to a sex offender is not permanent. Although it can be frustrating to see that value reduction, the value will jump back to normal almost immediately once the offender moves out of the neighborhood. If you’re willing to wait for what is typically only a short amount of time, you may see the value bounce back.
3. You Can Still Sell a House Even With the Value Impact
If you just can’t wait and you need to sell your house right now, you can definitely sell a home that’s right next to a sex offender. Although you may need to price it lower than you would without the sex offender living next to the home or in the neighborhood, it’s absolutely possible to sell a home that’s had its value impacted by a sex offender. You just need to get a smart real estate agent to help.
4. All Crimes Can Impact Real Estate Value, Not Just Sex Offenses
General risk assessment is an important part of understanding your home’s real estate value. All crimes can impact the real estate value of a home. One resource estimates that homes in areas with “very high” criminal risk are worth around $157,844 on average, while homes in areas with “very low” criminal risk are worth around $512,841 on average.
5. You Can Protect Yourself Before You Buy or Sell
Even though a sex offender can lower the value of a home, it’s possible for you to learn about it before you buy or sell. Sex offender registries are public, and with a public records search engine, you can find out more about the people living right next to a home before you buy or sell it. That way, you’re prepared for the lower value if you’re selling and you’re more informed about the community if you’re buying.
It’s true that real estate value fluctuates depending on whether a sex offender is in the area of your home. However, this is a temporary fluctuation, not a permanent one. It’s important to make sure you know whether or not a sex offender is nearby, whether you’re buying or selling, and to keep tabs on the home’s information so you know whether they’ve moved out. That way, whether you’re buying or selling, you’ll be able to get the best price and know more about the neighborhood.