I have almost the same conversation with every buyer client I work with..they ask me which neighborhoods are the safest, or most family friendly, etc, and I have to tell them…I can’t answer that question. I know that seems counter-intuitive to the job that they have asked me to do, in helping them find the home that is the best fit for them. However, because of Fair Housing laws, those are questions that I can’t answer. I can only point them (and you) in the direction of resources that can help answer them, and allow you to make educated decisions as you purchase.
Typically I point clients to websites like Crime Reports, Virginia State Sex Offender Registry, homeowners association websites, and school ratings websites like Great Schools. However, I found a new, very comprehensive, very easy to use resource just released by the New York Times that I think will be a tremendous help too. Using data from the 2010 census, and overlaying it onto Google Maps, you can now view a tremendous amount of data, broken down by census district, county, and state. You can view statistics on income, home values, racial and ethnic distribution, education level, median monthly rent, and more. Here’s a peek at what one of the maps looks like, at the county level:
Here’s the link again, so go ahead and play around with it, and leave me some feedback.