When potential homeowners want to research a neighborhood for their future home, there are many factors they should look at in addition to the wishlist items they’ve prepared regarding the house itself. The same amount of effort that goes into finding the perfect home, if not more, should go into finding a compatible place to live. Data such as crime statistics, the school district’s rating, and pride of ownership within a community are all factors that should be taken into account. Thanks to today’s technology, there are plenty of tools that a person can use to determine a compatible neighborhood before they invest too much time, energy, or money on the moving process.

There are several websites that have done the due diligence of already assigning a rating system to neighborhoods all around the United States. Roofstock is a great example of this. After typing in an address, the website will display a rating based on the area school district, current census data, and crime statistics, among other factors. Another good tool that is free to use is called AreaVibes. Even if you are considering a fresh start without having narrowed down your search to a specific location, they can provide a liveability score based on factors that you personally prioritize based on a general search area. After inputting the factors that are most important to you, the results are displayed in an easy-to-decipher sorted list. 

If your main focus is on safety, there are also a multitude of free, downloadable apps that are active 24/7 to monitor existing crime in any area, no matter the level of severity. Nextdoor is a community portal that lets you establish a range of zones to define the size of your neighborhood. One selected, the app provides various chat forums and communities to join, such as crime, recommendations, and lost/found items. NeighborhoodScout provides crime statistics based on property crime, violent crime, and overall crime. The other advantage of this tool is the ability to compare desired neighborhoods against surrounding ones, in addition to state and national averages. 

If the appreciation of a neighborhood is more of a focus, there are also websites that cater to long-term investing, while also assisting future homeowners. Real estate hubs Zillow and Trulia are both highly-regarded websites that research the local population and the median income, as well as average home prices and trends.