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Study: Local home values down due to criminals

Posted: 11:38 AM, Mar 17, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-18 02:24:41Z

A high number of sex offenders and other registered criminals are taking a toll on home prices, according to a new report released Thursday.

A report by Realtytrac says homes in areas with registered sex offenders, child predators, kidnappers and other violent criminals were three times less expensive than in those with a low number of offenders. The areas also have higher rates of foreclosures.

There are seven San Diego County ZIP codes that RealtyTrac says have high or very high levels of registered offenders:

  • 92101: Downtown San Diego
  • 92086: Warner Springs
  • 92004: Borego Springs
  • 92114: Encanto
  • 91906: Campo
  • 91945: Lemon Grove
  • 92021: El Cajon

Owners in these areas also had less equity, and foreclosures were more common.

When Alex Baez and his wife were looking for a home to raise their two kids, price was only part of the consideration.

"We actually told our real estate agent the neighborhoods we were interested in and the neighborhoods we weren't interested in," Baez said.

They based their decision to move to Santee largely on schools and a lower crime rate.

"We're thinking about having it for almost 10 years or maybe selling it and renting it," Baez said.

Realtytrac said downtown and Warner Springs had the highest ratios of registered offenders to overall population. The study also showed Borrego Springs, Encanto, Campo, Lemon Grove and El Cajon were also considered "risky."

"You never know where they're at, even with doing the research, so where you're going to move you just have to like the community," Baez said.

Realtytrac ranks Santee as medium risk on its offender index.

Downtown was the riskiest area, but less than 0.5 percent of its residents are registered offenders.

Overall, San Diego County ranked as one of the nation's safest, with some neighborhoods not having any registered criminal offenders.

Baez said as a parent it's most important to have eyes wide open.

"They're everywhere," he said. "Every time, you just got to watch your kids."

CLICK HERE to view Realtytrac's interactive map.