Moving is a big decision – especially when you’re moving to a new city. Plus, buying or renting right now can present its own unique set of challenges, such as how to check out a home… from your home.
Here are some ways to research a new city/neighborhood online:
The Census Bureau has lots of great information. You can find statistics on everything from diversity to commute times to median home values, employment, ect… If you’re just wanting a quick snapshot, then you can use their “quick data finder” function.
GET A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW
Using Google Street View to tour the streets can give you a bird’s eye view of the community and enable you to assess the landscape.
STUDY UP ON THE SCHOOLS
If you have children, then school boundaries are likely important to you.
Unfortunately, your realtor will not be able to help you out in this area because of the Fair Housing Act, so you will have to do your own research. A helpful site to get you started would be GreatSchools.org, a nonprofit that provides school ratings based on things like test scores, college readiness and diversity.
READ LOCAL NEWS/LISTEN TO LOCAL RADIO STATIONS
Online newspapers and magazines could be a good tool to find out more information about a city/neighborhood. Could be helpful to provide recent crime info and “get to know the area” pieces of information, like restaurant/entertainment guides and reviews.
You can also stream local radio stations to get a better feel for the area and community events. Check out TuneIN Radio, where you can search stations by city name/zip code.
TAP SOCIAL MEDIA
You never know who on your friends list might have knowledge about the area you’re potentially moving to, so it wouldn’t hurt to make a post asking for information. Another good resources is “Nextdoor,” which is a social network where neighbors exchange information about everything under the sun.
Also, it could be helpful to consider following the local Chamber of Commerce or tourism department on social media.
LOCAL REAL ESTATE VALUES
If you’re in the process of looking for a home, then you probably already know how that market is trending. Though if you’re at the beginning stages of your search, then it’s always good to check out sites like Zillow.com, Realtor.com or talk with a local real estate agent since they can provide information about the health of the local economy.
Hope you find some of this information helpful as you prepare to move.
Thanks for reading and good luck!
Other Resources To Help With Your Move:
Photo Credit: Zimmer Creative/Shutterstock By Arina P Habich