A big move comes with a lot of excitement and opportunity, but also a lot of challenges. One of the biggest by far is adjusting to a new neighborhood. From learning your way around, to getting to know the social scene on the block, the transition is intense.
But while you should be doing thorough research into any area before you move there, there are always things you can’t discover until you actually settle in. And getting to know the individual neighbors who make up the neighborhood is one of them. Even in “safe” neighborhoods, there can be dangerous people. After all, it only takes one bad apple to put you and your family at risk.
To that end, we’ve compiled a few warning signs you can look for in new neighbors that indicate that you’ll want to steer clear of them:
Suspected Drug Use
Drug users pose a unique threat. They can be erratic and unpredictable. And even if the addict happens to be a nice person deep down, who knows what they might do in order to find money to feed their habit. What’s more, they can bring criminals and violent people into your neighborhood.
It’s not always easy to detect a drug user next door, but there are some signs to look out for. If you notice odd behavior from people coming and going from the home, or someone going out to a car on the street regularly just for a few moments, you should get suspicious.
And of course, any paraphernalia found on the lawn is an instant giveaway that something is up.
Outbursts of Anger
Violent criminals and sexual predators – especially sexual predators – will go to great lengths to appear unassuming in public. However, being in or near their home can sometimes cause them to slip up and reveal their true colors.
If you notice a neighbor have a violent temper tantrum on their front lawn – or even hear it through an open window – it could be a sign of a deeper problem. In addition, if you ever notice a neighbor staring at your children through a window, this is a red flag that you might have a predator for a neighbor.
Trust Your Instincts
When it comes to the safety of you and your family, there isn’t anything wrong with trusting your gut. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you feel like something is “off” with one of your neighbors for any reason, that alone is reason enough to investigate it.
When you have an intuition that someone in your neighborhood might be a threat, take it seriously – and start to gather hard evidence to either prove it or allay your fears. A good place to start is to ask other neighbors if they have the same suspicions you do.
If you don’t feel comfortable letting other people know what you are thinking, you can also consider running a background check on the neighbor you suspect. These checks are good at uncovering criminal pasts and sexual crimes and can either confirm or deny your suspicions.