[photopress:Ballard_RR_Bridge.JPG,thumb,alignright]In researching the options for different real estate search tools, I came across an interesting site called NeighborhoodScout. The idea behind the site is that it would help people moving to a new area find an appropriate neighborhood. I think that the idea is great, but my brief investigation came across some serious flaws in their implementation. For starters, I couldn’t get their algorithms to recommend a neighborhood in Seattle despite my effort to tweak my entries to things I thought would cause their algorithms to recommend Seattle. Instead the site kept recommending Bothell, which is a nice place to live, but not the neighborhoods I was looking for… Another major flaw is their pricing mechanism. The $20 fee to use the interesting parts of their tool seems like a major momentum killer for any website. As I alluded to yesterday, data wants to be free!
I have found a few other neighborhood sites, but they tend to be pretty focused on a local market. For example, Sustainable Seattle has an excellent site that maps demographic and environmental data for Seattle neighborhoods, but my current interest is in sites that have attempted to analyze real estate demographics on a neighborhood level based on national data.
Does anyone have any experience with NeighborhoodScout? Do you know of another neighborhood finders? I’d be very interested to hear about it!