The characteristics of the perfect home aren’t restricted to what’s inside the four walls. The neighborhood in which the home is located is equally important. Finding out more about the locale can be challenging if you’re not a local. Use technology to familiarize yourself with a neighborhood before you settle on a home.
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You can find out more from Neighborhood Scout than you might from living in the neighborhood. Enter your address and check out graphs and charts that display the neighborhood’s walkability, general noise level, crime rate and trendiness. You’ll also learn about potential neighbors’ occupations, education level and marital status.
Take a virtual promenade using an app called Walc. It will show you how to get to your favorite landmarks from any address, and you can determine whether it’s worth it to make the journey by foot. To find out how walkable a neighborhood is, enter the address at Walk Score. The website rates areas based on their proximity to parks, schools, amusements and other locations. You’ll find out whether you need to hop in your car for every errand or whether you can manage your mission by bike or on foot.
If you want to get a sense of what the neighborhood looks like, the satellite and street views on Google Maps let you feel like you’re actually there. Are the houses packed together, or is there ample yard space? Explore actual photos of the community to feel like you’re really there even if you’re not.