A sprawling aerial shot of a suburban neighborhood.
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People Share The Subtle Signs That You Might Be In A Bad Neighborhood

Buying a house can be tough, for more reasons than you may expect. Sure, finding a house within your budget that's going to work for your stage in life is hard enough, but you also have to consider one more aspect: location.

It can be hard at a glance to gauge if a neighborhood is good or bad. But when Reddit user couch_licker asked the net for neighborhood red flags, other users happily obliged.

"I found out I lived in a 'bad' neighborhood once when I was told pizza places didn't deliver to our house."

A light-up sign on top of a car that reads, "pizza service."
Unsplash | Markus Spiske

Via supahfligh

In response, another user added, "This happened to me in an old apartment of mine. They specifically called and told me they couldn’t deliver to my complex after 8PM."

"The counter at every business has bullet proof glass."

A black and white image of a window with bars over it.
Unsplash | Max Kleinen

Via lookinforbobo

"And/or bars over all the glass windows," a commenter said.

That feels a lot less like a subtle red flag, and a lot more like a glaringly obvious sign.

"Armed security guard at the strip mall Foot Locker."

A security guard walking in a small store.
Unsplash | Rayner Simpson

Via lookinforbobo

This is definitely another sign that the area has a lot of crime. Security presence is supposed to be comforting, but I think most people just find it that much more unsettling.

"When you mention to locals where you live and they just have a brief look of pity."

A run down store in a less maintained area of a city.
Unsplash | Robert Katzki

Via Arcinbiblo12

A commenter replied with, "But for real, I think that some neighborhoods get a lot more shit than they deserve. Semi-poor neighborhoods are often talked of like you'd better clamp your car before someone runs off with the tires."

Also pretty valid.

"The more elaborate the storefront church's name, the sketchier the neighborhood."

Rows and rows of wooden church pews with red cloth seats.
Unsplash | Andrew Seaman

"When you start seeing 'Everlasting Pentecostal Holy Tabernacle Church of all mighty lord Jesus the eternal glorious redeemer' you need to run." - Via DaisyCutter312

That's incredibly specific, but I believe it.

"In Turkey you check the stray cats out."

Two kittens cuddling next to a concrete post.
Unsplash | little plant

"If cats are friendly towards you, approaches you for pets etc. you are in a good district. Means people in the area are seemingly nice towards animals which aren’t even their pets."

"Whereas if they are afraid of you, you understand that the people around are not to be f***ed with."

A man feeding a group of stray cats while outdoors on a cobblestone walkway.
Unsplash | Gabriella Clare Marino

"They are not nice towards harmless animals, why would they be nice to strangers?" - Via cayyokbokic

If only everyone was just nice toward cats, but oh well...

"An adult man riding a child's BMX bike down the center of the road."

A shopping cart abandoned in a random location.
Unsplash | Bruno Kelzer

Via uninc4life2010

In response, another user wrote, "This and abandoned shopping carts are my top 2."

I have way too many questions that I know will never get answered...

"You never see someone jogging."

A person in the midst of jogging on a track.
Unsplash | Clem Onojeghuo

Via ludicrusmacaroni

Another user added, "I used to live on the literal border between a really bad part of the town and a nicer, more affluent part of town. One of my favorite games to play when I saw someone jogging/running was 'exercise or crime.'"

"Really worn old beat-up cars right next to brand new extremely expensive cars."

An old, beat up, patched together car in a parking lot.
Unsplash | david latorre romero

"Or brand new cars next to really crappy homes," a commenter added in response. And yeah, I think this one check out for sure.

"1981, I and four coworkers were walking to a convenience store in Detroit."

A person walking by a convenience store, where someone is inside shopping.
Unsplash | Li Lin

"A patrol car pulled up to the curb in front of us and through a loud speaker an officer said, 'what are you doing walking through this area? Leave.' And then drove off."

"We continued for another three blocks to the store where we were buzzed in, the door locked behind us, and there was a counter going all the way around the perimeter of the store."

A 7-Eleven store at the corner of an intersection.
Unsplash | Alison Pang

"Plexiglass an inch thick went from the top of the counter to the ceiling with a few slots here and there through which to pay. After paying we were buzzed back out." - Via [deleted]

"When the cops stop you and tell you to follow them out of the neighborhood..."

A police car pulled over to the side of the road, with its sirens on, at night.
Unsplash | Kenny Eliason

"...with specific instructions to not stop for any reason, even stop signs, after you explain you made a wrong turn and really aren't trying to buy crack." - Via wigg1es

"It's 3 o clock in the morning, remember it's 3 o clock in the morning."

A toddler standing next to a wall while out in a lawn.
Unsplash | Susana Coutinho

"I look out the window....and there's a f***in baby standing on the corner." - Via


Random, unsupervised young children are never a good sign, no matter where you are.

"I was doing Geotech work on site for a potential cell tower years ago & had to give directions to a coworker (years before google maps were a thing)."

Iron bars covering rusted and chipped windows.
Unsplash | Maite Tiscar

"I told him it was across the street from the burglar bar manufacturer and the attack dog training school. -pause- 'really???' 'Yep.'" - Via Constant-Bet-6600

"When you're not supposed to lock your car doors."

A person lifting the lever of a car door, showing the keyhole.
Unsplash | Markus Spiske

"Good neighborhoods: you don't need to lock your car doors Bad neighborhoods: you need to lock your car doors."

"Really bad neighborhoods: you should not lock your car doors, because if someone really wants to steal your s***, they will have no qualms about throwing a brick through your window to get in. Its better to just let them use the door than pay for a new window." - Via [deleted]

"The fluorescent strip club sign has at least 2 letters unlit - 1 is ok but 2 or more you know s*** goes down around the area."

A neon sign that reads "Girls girls girls," with each word in a different colour.
Unsplash | Rene Böhmer

Via ChickenFrancese

According to other commenters, this counts for signs from other establishments/stores, too.

"There are people on the corner that a lot of cars stop to 'talk to.'"

A yellow car pulled over next to an apartment complex.
Unsplash | Dan Gold

"Drugs aren't sold on the corner in good neighborhoods, they're sold at someone's house."

Let's not pretend that people in good neighborhoods don't do drugs, but I guess how they get them is different.

"You come home from work and a couple of people are sitting down and leaning back against your car."

Two empty syringes on a wooden surface.
Unsplash | Markus Spiske

"They leave before you say anything. there are syringes on the ground where they were." - Via s1nenomine

"Corner Liquor store. Trash/hoarding junk on lawns."

Scattered garbage and bags on a curb in front of a building.
Unsplash | Jon Tyson

"Always just drunk dudes(or people on drugs) loitering around. Lots of drug dealers/users in the area. Cheap housing. Cant leave house without getting catcalled or followed home and scared for your life." - Via Phimosis_Joan

That about sums it up.