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Would you ever buy a house near a sex offender?
Old 03-02-2016, 09:26 AM   #1
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Would you ever buy a house near a sex offender?

We have a situation where we've been looking at quite a few houses and feel like we've finally found a house that we both like with good schools and a good location and is not totally out of the price range because it hasn't already been fully remodeled so people aren't throwing down cash offers for it.

BUT... a sex offender lives two doors down. According to online reports, he was convicted ten years ago of possession/control of obscene material depicting a minor and also sending/selling/distributing said material. So I guess I'm stating the charges because he wasn't convicted of harm against a child but of harboring this material. Meaning, I hope there would be a little less threat to my personal safety or the safety of the children we intend to have.

However, to me, this is still a definite no, but my husband is kind of wavering on this, seeing as we feel like we've found THE house and we're tired of the process and all the disclosures check out and we were about to write an offer.

So, opinions?
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:33 AM   #2
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NO, I would not. A sex offender two doors down would worry me.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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Not having kids (or ever planning to have kids) it wouldn't really bother me. I might worry about resale value a little bit if I did not intend to stay long term (future buyers might have your same concern).

On the other hand, why release a person back into society if they are just going to be vilified for the rest of their life? More compassionate just to execute them.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:34 AM   #4
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livetodream, welcome to the E-R Forum. Why not stop by here and tell us about yourself, and what brings you here.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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For the crime committed, it probably wouldn't bother me. A non violent offender isn't likely to be an issue so long as your kids are properly educated and supervised. Are you by a restricted area such as a park or school?
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:43 AM   #6
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No I wouldn't buy the house and I think you are splitting hairs, when you say he wasn't convicted of "harming" a child. I'n sure the children in the photos/films would disagree with you. That's no different then a drug dealer that doesn't use drugs..not someone you want for a neighbor IMO.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:45 AM   #7
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Would not bother me in the least. If the state had any real evidence he'd be locked up forever.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livetodream View Post
...

BUT... a sex offender lives two doors down. According to online reports, he was convicted ten years ago of possession/control of obscene material depicting a minor and also sending/selling/distributing said material. ...
"Sex Offender" is so overbroad as to be meaningless--even with the details you provided.

How old was he at the time? What type of materials? What jurisdiction was he convicted in? Extreme example that will be in the news again within a month: fourteen year olds texting "obscene" pictures of themselves, then recipient retexts. The first is "guilty" of creating, controlling, and distributing child porn, the second of possessing, controlling, and distributing--at least in the eyes of some law enforcers and D.A.s who seek "to send a message" of how much harm teenaged stupidity can cause and, of course, protect them from themselves.

OTOH, there have always been some sick people in the world who you would rather not be anywhere close to. Which situation is this?

/libertarianish_rant
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:50 AM   #9
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So what happens if you buy another house with no sex offenders nearby and two years later, a sex offender buys the house two doors down from you? Would you move?
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:02 AM   #10
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Recognize that information on many sex offenders are not even public knowledge. It would impact property values. After you bought, one could move in and it would decimate your values.

I have a relative that was a software developer. He downloaded a few files that were inappropriate (less than 1% of his 'collection') among other legal adult files. He was on a file sharing network, like Napster, so he was labeled a distributor. He is serving five years in federal prison and will be labeled a sex offender for life. He never created nor actually sent out or sold any files.

He had a wife and 3 kids. Went to church every Sunday. Paid lots of taxes. He would not be dangerous, nor scary to live around. Much safer than a burglar, thief that serves a few months and gets let out on probation.

Another one I know was 18 and had a 14 year old GF. He is a sex offender and has to register, but not to the level the public is notified, or even knows he lives there (not my property)

As a landlord, if I had single family homes, I would want one to live there. Assuming they had jobs and decent credit. I know landlords that have them. They are quiet, rarely have too much company, no kids climbing the walls and breaking the refrigerator shelves.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:12 AM   #11
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Being convicted of one type of crime doesn't always mean that's the only thing he did or was charged with. If you follow any of these kinds of cases in court there is a lot of plea bargaining and maybe what he did is not what he was convicted of. Do you really think his conviction accurately describes every activity that he engaged in? Is there a way to know? Not really.

I'm all for people being given second chances and it's awful that some people's lives are ruined for youthful mistakes. But child porn/sexual predator stuff involving a close neighbor is not something I would want to have to think about every single day. It's a different type of crime that doesn't get "cured" very often.

I've checked the database for our neighborhood and yes, there are some nearby. I even recognized one as someone I had spoken to a number of times. I never would have guessed that he'd be someone on a list like that.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:13 AM   #12
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I myself do not want to be close to anybody like that, or even a Bernie Madoff type. It may be irrational, I know, but I may just be a borderline misanthrope anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by livetodream View Post
BUT... a sex offender lives two doors down. According to online reports, he was convicted ten years ago of possession/control of obscene material depicting a minor and also sending/selling/distributing said material. So I guess I'm stating the charges because he wasn't convicted of harm against a child but of harboring this material. Meaning, I hope there would be a little less threat to my personal safety or the safety of the children we intend to have...
That's 10 years ago. Nowadays, he stores it all on his secure smartphone. It's all safe.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:19 AM   #13
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I would not buy the house, particularly if I was planning to have children. On the one hand, the devil you know might be better than the one you don't. But I would probably never feel comfortable there.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:36 AM   #14
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I would pass on this house. We don't exactly know what this guy did. Suppose he turns out to be friendly towards your young children? (I understand you don't have children yet). You probably don't want to spend much of your time worrying about his mentioning the neat tennis shoes your daughter or son is wearing--stuff that another neighbor might do and your not thinking anything of it. If one of your kids started acting out, you and your husband might start accusing one another about "maybe it was a mistake" to buy this home. Furthermore, if one of your kids gets in the kind of common but self-destructive situation a child or teen-ager might get into I'm guessing you will immediately think about this neighbor's possible influence.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:42 AM   #15
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This may sound weird, but have you gone to the house and introduced yourself and asked to speak with said offender? If they are upfront with you about what happened and what they are doing now, it seems to me unlikely they will cause any problems in the future.

I know someone who was convicted of a charge that resulted in prison time and a lifetime "sex offender" label, and he is very upfront with everyone including his neighbors.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:42 AM   #16
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So long as I live in a Castle Doctrine state, no problem.

BTW in PA the sex offender database is publicly and easily searchable for each ZIP code. Thus can know ahead time.

Or even if one moves into the neighborhood later. Which event of course is a horse of a different color.
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:51 AM   #17
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Years ago I rented 1/2 a duplex in a 5-plex to a convicted sex offender. The only problem I had was feeling a duty to incoming applicants to let them know a sex offender lived real close. He lived there for years and appreciated our getting him out of Salvation Army housing. As a tenant he was definitely in the top 10%.

Had a handyman who was somewhere under 100 IQ points and a sex offender - he had taken a plea deal that kept him from going to court and that plea saddled him with sex offender status. Had he more brain power and a wallet with other than moths inside I doubt he would have had that sex offender onus.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:00 AM   #18
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There are two big things to consider: your future children's safety and your investment. Are either of them at risk? I think I would keep looking. OTOH the block parties should be interesting.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:01 AM   #19
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There's a website that shows the location of registered sex offenders in the area. There are a surprising number of them nearby (within a few miles) including several within a few blocks. So it maybe that while this person is the one you know of, he may not be the only one near you.

I am sure that there are former and current offenders of many types, not just sex crimes, around here. Probably wouldn't enter in to my decision to move here if I didn't already live here. No kids to worry about though.
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Would you ever buy a house near a sex offender?
Old 03-02-2016, 11:09 AM   #20
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Would you ever buy a house near a sex offender?

When I looked at the crime report website when I lived in the Silicon Valley, I was surprised to find sex offenders literally everywhere. Yet people paid ridiculous amount of money to buy houses in the same area. Besides, it is hard to pick neighbors unless you are willing to move every time someone undesirable moves close to you. Having said that, I would still like to avoid areas that have physical assaults, robberies, murders and such.

I imagine You may have luxury to be picky in more rural areas.


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