All I want is to live next to a bagel store. I want to walk out my apartment door in the morning, smell bagels in the air, and know I’m smelling New York City...or at least breakfast. While I’m pretty sure you’ve never had this exact thought, if you’ve ever cursed the 6 blocks to the nearest grocery store or the six miles to the nearest pharmacy, it boils down to one regret.
You really wish you had done more research before moving.
You want to be informed, but with the staggering amount of options for where to live, how do you know where to start? Where can you find about neighborhood demographics and the closest bars and restaurants if you don’t have 12 hours to spend browsing the census database or perusing different queries on Google maps? The tools are there.
If you are interested in neighborhoods, (more and more people are finding that neighborhoods are almost as important as the actual home) you’ll find the most compelling information on PlaceILive, PadMapper, and StreetAdvisor.
PlaceILive takes a wealth of information and formats it into a familiar google-esque map. It gathers information from public sources and makes it easily accessible. You can search distinct addresses, or whole zip codes and learn the lay of the land. Its signature tool, the Life Quality Index (LQI) is interesting because it meshes the factual information, Census data, business information, and safety information, with user reviews to create a well-rounded view of an area. The map tool is fun to explore, and you can end up learning things you didn’t set out to (There is a bagel shop search if you are interested). PlaceILive launches this week globally in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Berlin, and London.
PadMapper is an apartment search tool with the apt catch phrase “Making Apartment Hunting Suck Less”. It provides search filters based on the apartment basics ex. location, rent price, and number of bedrooms. You get a map view of listings in the area that fit your criteria. The search gets interesting when you explore a lisitng’s Walk Score. Similar to PlaceILive, the Walk Score provides business listings, parks, and schools within walking distance of each listing. PadMapper allows you to start the legwork of apartment hunting without moving your legs.
StreetAdvisor is the Yelp of neighborhoods. It features user reviews of neighborhoods all around the US. Reviews are colorful and varied. There is also a premade set of ratings on qualitative neighborhood characteristics such as ‘Neighborly Spirit’ and ‘Nightlife’. StreetAdvisor provides the voice of the neighborhood. Not as easy to quantify as income brackets, but an essential piece of the puzzle.
Moving is a demanding process and impacts all parts of a person’s life, and no one wants to be blindsided. With tools like these, the intrepid apartment hunter can be equipped for any situation. If you want to wake up to the smell of bagels, they can help.