Be careful when researching your new home – the data may be deliberately incomplete


If you’re looking to buy a home, and you research various cities and neighborhoods to determine what might be a good fit for you and your family, be advised that complete information may no longer be presented to you – thanks to political correctness. has removed crime data from its website, and Redfin has decided not to add it out of concerns that it could perpetuate racial inequity.

David Doctorow, the CEO of, said in a company update this week that the crime map layer has been removed from all search results on the website “to rethink the safety information we share on and how we can best integrate it as part of a consumer’s home search experience.”

Doctorow said the removal was part of a company effort to “level the playing field” and scrutinize what safety means to buyers and renters so that it can “reimagine how we integrate safety data” on the platform. has been collaborating with fair housing advocates as part of the initiative.

“At this time of complexity in real estate, our team has been energized by our purpose to simplify real estate choices, especially for first-time homebuyers,” he wrote. “Yet we keep bumping up against one very old and persistent problem: the ability to afford and own a home can be unjustly limited by one’s race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics.”

“As a relative newcomer to the real estate industry, I’ve been struck by how entrenched this problem is,” he continued. “Stories abound about Black, Hispanic and Asian homebuyers receiving unequal treatment, starting with their ability to see whatever homes they like, and continuing through to the appraisal and mortgage processes.”

On the same day that announced that it was removing its crime data, Redfin came out with a full-throated denunciation of crime data being included on real estate websites. Redfin’s chief growth officer Christian Taubman announced that, after consideration, the company would not be adding crime data to its own platform.

Taubman said that Redfin had been weighing whether to add information about crime because one of the metrics that consumers consider when looking for a home to purchase is how safe the area around that home is. The company concluded that available crime data doesn’t accurately answer that question, and “given the long history of redlining and racist housing covenants in the United States there’s too great a risk of this inaccuracy reinforcing racial bias.”

There’s more at the link.

The trouble is, the “inaccuracy” referred to by both organizations is not inaccurate at all.  Official Federal government figures, published for decades, consistently confirm that the distribution of offenders is disproportionate among races, and disproportionate in locality. As a former prison chaplain, I can confirm the reality of those official figures “on the ground”, where I had to deal with some of the most hard-core inmates in federal and state prison systems.

I don’t have time to go into the subject in a short blog article, but if you’re interested, examples of the official figures (interpreted and collated) may be found at these sources:

Go read them for yourself.

What makes me angry about’s and Redfin’s stance is that it deliberately denies to prospective homeowners important information that they’ll need to take into account in selecting a new neighborhood or city in which to live.  Those companies are saying, “We don’t want to give you all the facts, because those facts aren’t politically correct, so we’ll simply deny you information that could affect the safety and security of your family.  Sorry, but that’s your problem, not ours.”

And if a member or members of your family are victimized, or injured, or even killed, because you lacked that information? and Redfin will deny any responsibility at all.  “You should have done your own research!”  The fact that both companies are primary sources for such research, but are actively denying you the information you need, is obviously neither here nor there as far as they’re concerned.

It’s enough to make you spit.  I can only suggest that you look for information elsewhere in future when you plan property purchases.



  1. By admitting that publishing crime statistics may have an affect on racial bias, they are letting us know that they know violent crime is committed at a very high rate particular races.

    Clown world indeed…

  2. Meh.

    Forget "crime layer" apps.
    Look at census "racial diversity" maps instead.

    What a coincidence:
    Diversity itself is the high crime area, in 100% of cases.

    It was an open secret published in the likes of National Review (until they went BigGov RINO woketard) that the violent crime rate among caucasians is lower in the U.S. than in Luxembourg, and if you filtered out the latino population from that number, the overall violence rate was lower in the US than it is in Liechtenstein.

    Makes it pretty easy to figure out where to buy, or sell.

    The Law of Unintended Consequences works with the same certainty as the Law Of Gravity.

  3. How stupid. Everyone of every race wants their family to be safe. Crime data needs to be included.
    Especially in this day and age.

  4. If you see rentals in the area you're interested that say "Section Eight OK," move on to somewhere else. That one sentence tells you that no one else wants to live there besides welfare bums. Look at the percentage of houses in the area that are rentals. The more rentals, the crappier the neighborhood

    My town went to hell when illegal immigrants and a "certain demographic" of "refugees" from Katrina moved in…

  5. My wife's cousin moved to NC from NJ to be closer to family. She bought a house online unseen. Everyone of her Real Estate friends told her it was a steal. The first day the moving van and her car were broken into and people were coming up to her asking for money.

    She lasted a month then moved to a gated community in Charleston SC. I warned her where not to move but I'm the ignorant native Southerner.

  6. Stay away from neighborhoods that have a "Martin Luther King Blvd," "Barack Obama Parkway," or other liberal hero as a street name.
    Likewise, look at the nearby schools. Are they 'F' rated? Are they Title 1 schools? Mostly black?
    Drive the neighborhood. See any gang graffiti? Pawn shops? Check cashing stores? Groups of minority youths standing on the corner?
    All of these are warning signs.
    Facts are facts. A black man is far safer after dark Ina white neighborhood than a white man is in a black neighborhood. The even make sitcoms out of it, for crying out loud.

  7. Hey Peter;

    This sounds silly, but look for a local pizza store that delivers, and ask for the head driver, the one that has been there for several years, and ask him/her where is a good area and where is a bad area, and give him a bit of money. The Pizza drivers know where the bad areas are, they have to deliver in them and know where to avoid and where are good area. Their lives depend on it, I used to be a delivery driver, I know…did it for 21 years on and off, we knew where the good areas were and "Da Hood"

  8. I can't believe there's redlining and discrimination in real estate.
    Bill and Hil Clinton fixed that some 30 years ago.

  9. I bought a house in Maryland several years ago and my realtor then told me it was illegal for them to comment on crime rates, school performance, and similar factories…

    In any case, don't expect others to inform you, accurately or otherwise – always do your own legwork for a big obligation.
    In the case of real estate, don't trust the title work to be complete or extensive either. With current city/ county data, you can look up the history of any property you are considering.

  10. I always look at the crime maps, whatever happens to be available. Also look at the sex offender registry. That map can be eye opening. Particularly when you can figure out where the half way house for offenders is.

    If I'm still interested, I drive the neighborhood. Are there kids toys and swings laying in the front yards? That's good. Are there burglar bars on windows? Bad. Complete absence of landscaping? Bad-likely rental. 4 work trucks in the driveway? Bad. 6 vehicles in the driveway? Really bad. Look at the satellite TV antennas. Apartment balconies with more than one antenna? Bad- roommates. Double bad if they are for foreign services. Dogs barking? Chained in the FRONT yard? Bad. Chickens roaming in the suburbs? Likely bad. What do the parked cars look like? Slammed with 12" rims? wheel arches cut with jigsaw to accommodate 22" rims? Bad.

    Graffiti tags? Litter? Men sitting around or drinking? Lots of off brand quickie mart stores? Overgrown lots? Fences that look the business? Bus stops?

    I used to use the check cashers and pawn shops as a sign, but in Houston they are everywhere even in decent areas. No zoning in Houston though which may contribute to that.

    I'll also avoid any apartment complex with a banner about move in specials, or available units– especially if it's tattered and faded. Their turnover rate is very high.

    Are there any bank branches? Do they have armed security? Thick glass? Are there national or regional food retailers or stores? Even McD's gets tired of being robbed and closes unprofitable or problem stores. If there aren't any chain food stores, that's a bad sign.

    Are the advertising signs in english? Even if it's Vietnamese or Hindi and not something you find more threatening, you might not be comfortable in that neighborhood, nor welcome.

    You can use google street view too, but look at the date the images were taken. A neighborhood can change pretty quickly. Some areas have a timeline, and you can look at the same street at different points in time. That's handy to see if there is a change. Some areas have different imagery by years on North/South vs East/West streets, so I usually "turn the corner" virtually and look a couple of blocks around the target address.

    And the satellite view can be very revealing. My daughter sent me a link to a house that was very reasonably priced, and looked great, but I noticed the name of the pond next to the house -"Reactor Cooling Pond"- when I looked at the satellite and map views. Yup, house was next to a nuke plant.

    Real estate sellers don't WANT you to know all the bad things and deal breakers. It's not just moral cowardice on their part, they have a financial incentive to hide that data. You have one to ferret it out.


  11. You have to do your own research. And little beats getting your eyeballs on the area.

    When I was looking for apartments with my daughter, she was looking 100% on location and price. After looking at a few dumpy apartments in crappy neighborhoods we had a talk.

    Turns out she was looking to be closer to work. I said move where your friends are. Your job may change and one thing I can say is the way you are going not one of your friends will be stopping by.

    I said look and see who's out and about in the neighborhood. You want to see women like you out doing stuff – walking, jogging, biking, whatever. What you don't want to see is a black dude in a wife-beater hanging in the parking lot yelling in his mobile phone. Matter of fact any males, but especially vibrant ones, hanging around for no reason is bad.

    At one point I moved to Houston. My office was not to far from Greenspoint. Not knowing anything, I'd rent close by. The aparments (which I drove by in the daytime) looked nice as did the shopping centers.

    I was heading through the area with a co=worker who told me about the area. I still laugh about it to this day, and it was nearly 30 years ago.

    He pointed around and said "These used to be high end condos and apartments back in the day. But when the oil bust hit, people left. And instead of boarding them up, like they should have, they rented them out cheap. Real Cheap".

    Then he took a puff of his cigarette, looked over at me smiling and said "And guess who moved in!"

    No kidding. I went to an applebees there on the way home one day and whoa!… After dark the monsters came out. I swore I teleported back to the hood in DC.

    Do your own research. Ask the locals. Get eyeballs on the area before you commit.

  12. We call Greenspoint "GunsPoint" because it hasn't gotten any better. The mall is abandoned. The gas stations look like fortresses. And I avoid it after dark.


  13. Just another way the realtors can sell a dump in a crime-infested sewer for the same price as what one would find in a nicer area – and pocket a handsome fee.

  14. The real irony is that in the absence of crime data, people will use estimators of crime data. First and foremost will be demographics (income and race), which is not on real estate sites, but is available on many others. The second will be the quality of schools, which is on most real estate sites, and often on official State websites.

    There's a running joke on my city's subreddit that the quality of a neighborhood is inversely proportional to the distance to the nearest Boost Mobile and Payday loan sites. The predators are never far from the prey.

  15. Honestly I wouldn’t trust those stats anyway. These days police aren’t even involved in lots of property crime because there’s no point…the cops don’t have enough resources to do anything about it. And city officials massage the crime reports anyway. In a friend’s neighborhood in Texas, a body was found just across the street from the victim’s home….but that street was a precinct division. Neither precinct wanted it counted in their area because it wasn’t clear where he had been killed. It appeared in the city stats but not precinct stats.

    Drive through the neighborhood on both weekday and weekend nights and afternoons to see what it’s like. Drive around a few blocks away and check out the yards and security signs and numbers of people out walking dogs. Go into the nearest stores and restaurants and see what kind of security they have. Google map-walk it to find questionable businesses on your biggest nearby streets. Call your car insurance company and ask if your rates would change if you moved to that ZIP code.

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