A neighborhood's walk score or walkability rating is based on whether it’s possible to visit nearby grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants, schools, and parks on foot. If part of your preference in a home is being able to easily get to places on foot, you may want to check your potential neighborhood’s walk score early in the process. Walk Score also shows separate scores for public transit options and bike-friendliness of the neighborhood. Aside from that, you can also view crime and safety data and see what locals are saying.
For parents researching their potential place, it would be beneficial to check the GreatSchools rating for nearby schools. GreatSchools publishes ratings and information so that people can get an understanding of the quality of nearby schools and help them compare schools within the state. Aside from the usual test scores, the GreatSchools Summary Rating includes other important and relevant information such as how much a school helps students improve academically, how well a school supports students from different socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic groups, and whether or not some groups of students are disproportionately affected by the school's discipline and attendance policies.
6. Real Estate Information Sites
If you're planning to buy, take the time to research property value trends and recent sales in the neighborhood you’re considering. By taking property value trends into consideration, you’ll have a better idea about whether home prices in the neighborhood are going up, remaining consistent, or going downwards. Likewise, check how many houses on your potential street are currently for sale or rent. Too many houses for sale may indicate a possible drop in property values.
And while property values in a particular neighborhood won’t give you the bigger picture, they’re worth looking into especially if you’re thinking of your home as a long-term investment.
7. Neighborhood Scout
With NeighborhoodScout, you can find hyper-local data on current real estate activity, neighborhood demographics, crime stats, school information, and forecasts for the housing market.
Nextdoor is a private social network and app that requires you to sign up as a member and belong to one neighborhood at a time. So if you're in the process of checking out and keeping up to date with what’s happening in your potential neighborhood, it might be worth joining in. In the app, you can connect with your potential neighbors and participate in real-time conversations. Nextdoor lets members stay informed and share useful local information, share goods and recommendations, and send updates related to crime and safety.
9. City Data
On this website, you can find statistics and detailed profiles for many cities and neighborhoods in the U.S. Data include demographic makeup, median household income, graphs of the latest real estate prices and sales trends, recent home sales, geographic data, state profiles, crime data, registered sex offenders, cost of living, housing, religions, businesses, local news links, employment, weather, natural disasters, hospitals, schools, and libraries, among others.
10. Crime Mapping
CrimeMapping.com is a police report-tracking service that shows on a map the different crimes reported in a neighborhood or city. It provides valuable information about recent crime activity in a neighborhood.
Also similar: CrimeReports
CrimeReports or CityProtect is a map-based site that shows you up-to-date data on crimes or incidents that have recently occurred in your area. To use it, just type the address or ZIP code of your potential neighborhood and see what pops up on the map.