The searching process for a home involves some homework from a basic needs assessment to financial qualifications. However, what about the in depth research for particular neighborhoods that are of interest? How do you go about finding out all of the facts about an area and what it is really like? Conversations with an agent or casual observations can give you a great overview but for a deeper examination into a neighborhood here are 10 tips for more intimate knowledge.
Demographics: Consulting a census report can be a an educational finding about any area. The most recent 2010 census breaks down age, race, population and even commute times to work by neighborhood. The census bureau’s maps also offer a great overview of select demographics.
Entertainment: For local restaurants and shops visiting Yelp can be a wealth of information and reviews while apps like Fandango can provide you with movie theater locations and times of films. But what about other local events? Try checking out Gravy, a website and app that provides a schedule of an area’s events from concerts to church suppers.
Similar Neighborhoods: Like your current neighborhood but it is time to move? Check out Neighborhoodscout.com. This website helps you identify areas that are suitable for you based on the lifestyle you select.
The Landscape: Curious about the lay of the land including hills and terrain? Visit Topozone.com for multidimensional map of the area you are interested in. View elevations, hills, valleys and the like to learn about how weather may affect the area.
Crime Reports: Want to research what kinds of crime reports are available for your area? Visit mylocalcrime.com to view recent reports from vandalism to shootings. Click on a map function to see where these incidents are exactly happening.
Schools: You may hear the word on the street that a town has a good reputation for its schools. However, if you want to check the facts, visit greatschools.org and enter in the zip code of the town of interest. Read reviews from teachers, parents and even the students.
Walkability: Where urban lifestyles are becoming more and more popular it makes sense that there is a website that is dedicated to report on how easy one can get around on foot. Visit walkscore.com to see just how simple one can navigate to coffee shops, parks and grocery stores.
Public Transport: With 35 million Americans using public transportation on a daily basis it certainly plays an important role in where one lives. To check out accessibility to trains, buses and light rail, visit walkscore.com/tranist-score-methodology for more information.
What a neighborhood stroll has in store: The free app “Walc” will show you exactly what you will see when going for a jaunt in the area rather than the generic compass directions. Add in a destination and starting point and the app shows you everything you would see as if you were physically there.
Noteworthy and Unique: To find out median home price, crime rates, ease of commute and any other notable aspects that make an area unique visit neighborhoodscout.com. This site offers an easy to digest snapshot of interesting information.