How can I avoid war zones

I’m looking to get my feet wet in investing and have found some areas with greatly discounted properties, however, they are out of my state in St. Louis and I’d like to know what ways I can find out if they are in “war zones.” I’m wary because the prices are so good and I just keep thinking, “You get what you pay for” and “If it’s too good to be true, it is.” Are there any sites that you can get straight forward crime stats? Or, is there anyone here who can give a heads up on zip codes and/or neighborhoods to avoid investing in? Thanks.

Try this:

or this:

or this:

These are just a few links from doing a search on Yahoo for “St. Louis cime map.” Use resources available to you. I would steer well clear of East St. Louis. It’s one of the roughest cities in the country. St. Louis has some very rough areas as well.

If you aren’t willing to go look at the property and neighborhood in person before you buy, you’re going to fail in this business. My advice - don’t waste your money. Spend the money on a vacation - it’s more fun that losing your money and destroying your credit with a rental in a war zone!

Good Luck,


Actually Dang, in Tampa, there’s a MLK blvd that’s definitely not a war zone (and it’s a major road too)

I agree, the best way is to go in person and drive around. That’s what I did recently in the local “war zone” here. It didn’t seem as bad as it’s reputation, but I also went on a Sunday morning so I probably didn’t get an accurate picture of what it’s really like.

OK…I didn’t delete it - I just removed so more of your racist crap.

You’re a real piece of work. Hopefully folks here see you for what you are.


You beat me to it. Honestly I don’t know how anyone could blindly spend 10’s or 100’s of thousands of dollars. If you know you want to get into the St Louis market get a list of properties that are available, take a weekend trip there and drive them all. When you get there if there is a street/area that you are on the fence about ask the first cop you see. Sure you can look up stats until your heart’s content, but why not ask a real human his/her opinion (especially one that is out there fighting crime)? Batman will also be a good person to ask, that is if you have a bat light and it’s night time. Sidebar- How do they call Batman during the day? Cell phone or does no crime happen before dusk?

You can’t contact Batman during the day, that’s why he’s BATman! Besides, I don’t think even he would venture into many parts of St. Louis. And just to re-iterate what everyone else has already said, without looking/driving and experiencing the neighborhoods you’re looking in, there’s no real way to tell. Besides, as I’ve seen posted so many times before, there are deals everywhere, so unless you know the area out of state, stick to what and where you do know, don’t become a motivated buyer just to buy “a deal.” However, if you’re adament about St. Louis, I would recommend talking to current property management companies in the area as well, they typically know where the better places to own rentals are. Just my 1.5 cents.

He’s also probably at work then running Wayne Enterprises. But I’m sure he has a Blackberry, right?

I agree, the best way is to go in person and drive around. That's what I did recently in the local "war zone" here. It didn't seem as bad as it's reputation, but I also went on a Sunday morning so I probably didn't get an accurate picture of what it's really like.

Going ANY morning is just about worthless. Deadbeats, druggies, criminals, and other assorted scumbags are all “asleep” (passed out, in a drug induced fog, etc) in the morning (til at least 11am). If you want to see what the neighborhood is really like, go at night. It’s a freakshow out there!


I can vouch for that. One house I drove by at 10pm, thugs out on every porch. Went for a showing there around 10am one morning, NO ONE on the street. Like a ghost town before noon in the hood and even then its only the “normal” people out and about doing their regular routine. The street urchins don’t come out until the sun goes down, they are like vampires without the fangs.

I don’t think I will be looking in that neighborhood anyway. It has a bad reputation (drug related shootings) and it’s a real rabbit warren with lots of cul de sacs, dead ends, it would be difficult to get out of there in a hurry. :rolleyes

Thanks for all the info. I checked the site and it looked like a stirred up ant nest because there were so many crime icons and the houses are right in the area.

No problem. As several people have stated, you should go check out areas where you want to invest, but websites like these can be a tool to help you either rule things out or find areas that warrant further investigation.