September 21st, 2009

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Crime statistics

One of the things that's important to me is I feel safe in my home, so I've written a few of the towns off for bad grime statitics, which feels silly when there is a house on the town line or other approximation. I really wish I had a map of WHERE the crimes happen. I found this one map, but it only had data for the town with the lower crime statitics. Now, part of this might be that the town has better police department or that the town just has a really bad downtown area or alike (the town in question is lynn, and if you look at the maps, lynn is composed of a very dense area and then the more suburban area around the reservations.)

The houses in lynn are asking for about 100k less than in Saugus, the neighboring town, so this would be a very important thing to figure out. The Lynn police department does seem to be less participator, which means they have less data on the web (Saugus has their crime log up, for instance.)

Anyone know of any good crime mapping sights that might have data mined things not on the internet?
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more house questions

Since you've all been super helpful on the house questions (it's been really cool getting advice, thank you!) I have another question to pose.

Does anyone know about buying new construction. Initally I thought I really didn't want to do that, so that I wasn't the one finding out all the ways that the contractor messed up, but there's this potienally awesome home in Medford which is new constructions, so I should at least learn what I can about it. Can you still haggle the price? Are they less likely to take a low ball offer than a normal home owner in this market? If they do, will they start doing crappier work? Has anyone had exerience with home warrenties? What things are different when buying new construction.

For us it might work out better because then we would have a time frame to sell our house in, even after closing. We'd of course, leave some wiggle room for the project to be behind schedule.

My gut feeling is I'd still rather buy something I can see right now than something that might be cool in the future (but my understanding is you still get it inspected, so there must be some part of the contract that allows you to back out if they mess up) but no reason I shouldn't learn more.
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why I think I don't want an oil heated house

Please tell me if there are other reasons or if I'm wrong on the ones here.

  • Further dependance on foriegn oil: the US has natural gas reserves itself. I can only imagine our oil and gas issues will get worse as the decades advance
  • Dependance on oil delivery guy: while gas lines fail and service might be intruppted, I've heard more stories about late deliveries or problems occuring because the delivery person was having a bad day
  • fear of the failing oil tank: I've heard stories of the cost of a failed oil tank form the clean up of all the oil. Gas leaks happen, but you can usually clean those up by opening the windows, with the exceptions of an explotion, but things are getting better and better about preventing those.
  • less basement space: those tanks are huge

Right now oil heat is a complete strike from the list, which is sad, since it is about 50% of the homes around here, even the new ones.