Check out neighborhood publications and local social media
An active neighborhood community will sometimes have a print publication or local social media groups that connect residents. These can provide information on local events and activities that will give you a better feel for the neighborhood.
Browse Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for groups or accounts that document what's going on in the neighborhood where you're interested in moving. You can even interact with locals in the community who can give you their opinions of their locale.
Take a walk with Google
Want to take a stroll around your potential new neighborhood without leaving the couch?
“Google Street View is a great way to ‘walk’ the street and neighborhood virtually,”
Every listing on features a link to the Google Street View for that address.
Another way to access Google Street View is to go to google.com/maps, type in the address of the house you're interested in, and click on the photo of the property in the menu to the left of the map. If Google Street View is available for that address, you should be able to click and drag the image to move down the street.
“Search engines like Google also let you filter for videos when you search the neighborhood name.
Browse websites with neighborhood data
You want to gather as much information as possible on your next neighborhood, and there are a lot of websites that can help you do that.
City-Data provides detailed city profiles about everything from cost of living to weather to average home prices, and its forums give useful insight from community locals.
Plug in your ZIP code at AreaVibes to get a livability score and help narrow down the best places to live.
Yelp provides not only reviews on local cafes, restaurants, and nightlife, but also unfiltered reviews from local residents.
Call a real estate agent
It’s also a good idea to get in touch with a tech-savvy real estate agent like me!
I can help by using technology to test-drive the neighborhood for you. This can easily be done by making a video of the neighborhood and sharing it with you!
If you've identified a home you're interested in, contact MW for more information about the neighborhood. As a market pro I will be sure to have an insider's perspective on the area and extensive knowledge on homes there.
Investigate schools and educational data
Relocating with your family? Then you will want to research schools in the area. A good resource is GreatSchools, which provides data on K-12 schools and reviews from parents. Areas with great schools typically maintain property values, and its neighborhoods are highly coveted.
And if you want to research education statistics, U.S. News & World Report has rankings of high schools with data on more than 23,000 public high schools in all 50 states.
Check crime rates
Safety is a priority for both buyers and renters, and crime rates can give you a picture of how safe or dangerous a neighborhood is. Low crime rates are not only safer but can also help keep property values high.
Websites such as CrimeReports can provide crime data from law enforcement agencies.
Plan your daily commute
Get a feel for the neighborhood by monitoring traffic and your potential work commute.