A Review of NeighborhoodScout.com
My husband and I were pretty nervous about moving to a new neighborhood after we got married. It was hard to say goodbye to the familiarity of the old neighborhood and say hello to an entirely new and unfamiliar place. Can you relate? Looking back, I wish we would have known about sites like NeighborhoodScout.com to help us decide where to move. Thankfully, we made a good choice, but when you’re moving to a new area, it’s good to know what to expect.
Now that I’ve mentioned NeighborhoodScout.com, let me explain a little what it is and how it works.
Basically, it’s a website that provides information about neighborhoods all over the United States. You can check out crime rates, home values, and schools – all in one place. They also offer some helpful relocation tools that are designed to help choose a new neighborhood in a new city.
Some might call me nervous, but I like to think that I’m just concerned about safety. And because I am, a couple of sections of neighborhoodscout.com are especially appealing. In the Scout’s Top Lists section, they rank things like The Most Dangerous Cities in America and The Safest Cities in America – all great information when you’re deciding where to move. The other section I really like is the Crime Rates tool. With this, NeighborhoodScout takes crime data from the FBI and U.S. Justice Department to create easy-to-read crime reports. When you visit the website, just type in your address at the top to see crime statistics for your neighborhood. While you’ll get some of this for free, unfortunately most information requires a paid subscription. If you’re moving to a completely new area and you don’t know anything about the neighborhoods, you might find it worth the money.
If you’re a parent of a school-aged child, you may also find the School Report Tool helpful. It allows you to compare schools and class sizes and view test scores. You’re also able to see which school districts are located near your top neighborhood choices. Just be prepared to pay a little for this information, too.
Another tool I found helpful is the Appreciation Rates Tool. With this, you can see which neighborhoods have the highest home appreciation rates before you decide to buy. Buying a home is a big investment, so it’s probably wise to make sure the neighborhood meets your standards and your budget.
Other sites similar to NeighborhoodScout
The great thing about the Internet is that there are tons of tools available to help you find a neighborhood that fits all of your needs. If you don’t like the idea of paying for the services NeighborhoodScout offers, some of these other sites and tools may help:
Zillow.com. This is a great place for home buyers for search for homes, get mortgage quotes, and get advice on buying a house from real estate professionals.
StreetAdvisor. You’ll love this site for discovering your new neighborhood. It’s a place where real people talk about the towns they live in. You can research neighborhoods based on your needs and talk directly to area locals.
Walk Score. This is a great place to learn how walkable your new neighborhood is. Perfect for folks who hope to hit the streets on foot rather than by car.
Yelp, Foursquare and Urbanspoon. These are all great sites (and apps) to help you find the best restaurants, shopping, and nightlife in your new area!
Yahoo! Answers. Just type in “neighborhoods in (your city)” to see discussions about the places you’re considering calling home.
Crimereports.com. This site will help you learn about neighborhood crime rates.
Sex Offender Registry Websites. This is the National Sex Offender Public Website coordinated by the Department of Justice. Here you can search the latest information from all 50 states for the identity and location of known sex offenders.
Greatschools.org. If you have school-age children, this is a great site for determining which neighborhoods in the city are near the best schools for your children to attend.
I hope this information helps you find the perfect neighborhood for your family! If you have questions about moving to your new neighborhood, we would love to help! Just leave a comment below, or call us at 800-413-4799.