Finding Sex Predators and Offenders Before Buying a Massachusetts Home
When you are buying a house, there are many things to consider. Proper due diligence is essential, so you don't make a bad purchase decision.
One of the things many potential buyers fail to think about before it's too late is whether there are sex offenders or predators nearby.
Sexual offenders are a serious problem; everyone must know where they are and what to do if they encounter them. They can stigmatize neighboring properties.
For those who have younger kids, there is usually a heightened interest in having this information. Real Estate agents are not required to disclose sexual predators or offenders, so don't expect any voluntary information.
We will discuss ways to find sexual offenders near you when buying a home in Massachusetts.
What is The Difference Between Sexual Predators and Sexual Offenders?
It should be understood that while a sex predator and offender are similar, they are not the same. In many states, there is a true distinction. A sexual offender is someone who has committed a sexual offense.
On the contrary, a sexual predator is commonly used to describe an individual who frequents exploitative situations of sex.
In certain jurisdictions in North America, this title is applied regardless if there exists a history of such misdemeanors committed.
For example, in some states, individuals convicted for aggravated offenses towards minors are referred to as sexual predators - even though it doesn't necessarily have any violent component or be related to juveniles vs adolescents, respectively.
Ways to Find Sex Predators and Finders When Buying a Home in Massachusetts
There are a few ways to find a sexual predator or sex offender. We will cover each of these methods.
- The local police department
- Specialized websites
- A real estate agent.
Google is Your Friend
When you are purchasing in a particular location, it is a good idea to do an online search before committing. You can go to Google and search for sexual offenders or predators near me. The results will be numerous websites you can use to do a localized search for those who have registered.
You will be able to get the addresses of where they are located and compare them to where you are considering a purchase.
Visit The Local Police Department
Due to Megan's Law, local law enforcement will know where sex offenders reside. In 1994, the State of New Jersey enacted legislation known as Megan's Law in response to the tragic rape and murder of seven-year-one Megan Kanka.
Sex offenders must promptly notify local law enforcement authorities when relocating to an area and re-registering within a state if they relocate to another.
Local jurisdictions may choose their means of disseminating information surrounding registered sex offenders, but one thing is certain: protecting the community must remain a priority.
In 1996, a federal statute required that the Attorney General issue guidelines for states requiring local authorities and nearby communities to be aware of convicted sex offenders' presence.
Specialized Websites You Can Check
A few websites have been created to let you know precisely where sex offenders are located. The two most well-known are the National Sex Offender Registry and Family Watch Dog.
The Sexual Offenders Registry provides members of the public access to information about individuals convicted of sexually violent offenses against adults and children, as well as certain sexual contact and other crimes against minors. This can be useful for understanding potential offenders in the Massachusetts community you're considering.
Family Watch Dogs' exemplary site will provide you with readily available information about sex offenders in a particular vicinity. The service offered by this organization provides assistance in identifying registered sex offenders as well as other categories of misdoers near your residence.
Their website serves as a toolbox to equip families with knowledge about potential dangers in their daily routines. By accessing the site, you can enter the street where you are hoping to make an investment and receive information regarding whether any registered sex offender is living nearby.
Ask Your Real Estate Agent
The real estate agent you're working with may have an understanding of whether there are predators or offenders in the area you're looking.
When you have this concern on your list, ask them. The worst that will happen is they won't have any knowledge. On the other hand, they might know of some offenders in a specific area.
Final Thoughts on Locating Massachusetts Sex Offenders
Nobody intentionally wants to endanger their family by relocating near a sex offender. The key is performing due diligence. Using the methods described above, you can lay the groundwork for making an informed decision.
Finding out there is a sex offender nearby after signing an offer to purchase could lead to breaking a contract. You could lose your earnest money by backing out, depending on the circumstances.
Did you enjoy this advice on finding sex predators and offenders in Massachusetts? See other real estate articles on News Break for more timely tips and advice. Bill often writes about general real estate, mortgages, finance, moving, and home improvement.
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