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Tips for Buyers on Choosing Their Next Neighborhood
Have buyer clients that need clear strategies for choosing a new neighborhood? Share this article with them to help them learn how to narrow down the best area for their unique needs. Deciding to move and buying a house can be a stressful, yet exciting process. One of the biggest decisions you'll make when beginning your home search is where you will live. After you decide on the location of your new home, it's time to pick your new neighborhood. Picking your new neighborhood can be tough, especially if you have a family. It's important choose the safest and most practical neighborhood with something for everyone! Neighborhood Safety The first and most important thing to consider when choosing your next neighborhood is the overall safety of the area. At, we know the importance of safety, so we have created the "Scores" section on every listing details page of every home for sale or rent.  On the "Scores" section, you can see the Walk Score, Sound Score, Transit Score, and Bike Score.  How Walkable Is the Neighborhood? To find the "Scores" section, go to any property listing details page and scroll past the "Transit" section. Once you get to the "Scores" section, you will see the Walk Score. The Walk Score tells you the walkability of the address and gives you a score out of 100. According to, a score from 0-20 and 25-49 means Car-Dependent, 50-69 means Somewhat Walkable, 70-89 means Very Walkable, and 90-100 means Walker's Paradise. Even though a Walk Score below 59 seems low, if the score is between 25-49, your family may still be able to walk around the neighborhood, but you won't be able to run errands on foot. If you want an area that's more friendly to walkers, try to find a home in an area that has a walk score above 50. How Loud Is It? To learn about how loud your neighborhood will be, check the Sound Score. Below the Walk Score, you will see the Sound Score. The Sound Score tells you about the outside noise level at the address. The scale for the Sound Score is from 0 to 100. Zero is very loud, and 100 is very quiet. Getting a good night's rest, no matter who you are, is important, so if you are concerned about the sound near your home, it's best to choose a home with a sound score between 70 and 100. Is There Transit Nearby? To check on nearby transit for you and your family, check the Transit Score. You should see the Transit Score to the right of the Walk and Sound Score on the listing details page. The Transit Score tells you how close the address is to nearby public transit, and the scale is from 0 to 100. According to, a score from 0-24 means Minimal Transit, 25-49 means Some Transit, 50-69 means Good Transit, 70-89 means Excellent Transit, and 90-100 means Rider's Paradise. Using public transit is not only an environmentally conscious decision, but it's a more affordable option than using a car every day. If you want to ensure that your new neighborhood has as many public transportation options as possible, pick a home that has a Transit Score above 50.  Is It Safe to Ride a Bike? To learn about how safe it is to ride bikes in the neighborhood, check out the Bike Score. The last part of the "Scores" section is the Bike Score section, located below Transit Score. According to, the scale is 0 to 100. A score of 0-49 means Somewhat Bikeable, 50-69 means Bikeable, 70-89 means Very Bikeable, and 90-100 means Biker's Paradise. If you and your family enjoy riding your bikes together, you should look for a home with a Bike Score of at least 50 and above to ensure all of your rides are as safe as possible.   Streetlights Next, look around and see how many streetlights will be near your new home. At night, a few streetlights will help you and your family feel safer. If you see streetlights on your street but they don't come on at night, you might be required to pay a small monthly fee to your power company to keep the lights on. This sometimes occurs in areas outside the city limits. Crime Rates Finally, to get the best idea of the safety in your new neighborhood, you should check out the crime in the area. On City Protect, you can check out the nearest law enforcement agencies and see the incidents happening near the neighborhood. You can also sign up for incident updates to always be in the know and protect your family. Commute to Work Another big consideration you need to make before choosing your next neighborhood is your daily commute to work. You may find a neighborhood you love, but the commute may be over an hour to and from, and that commute could be even longer depending on traffic. Therefore, you should put the home and work addresses into Google Maps to see how long the commute will be. If the commute seems too far, you should pick a neighborhood closer to work.  Schools If you have kids, you'll likely want to check out the schools in the neighborhood you are considering. We have created the "Schools" section on every listing details page. The "Schools" section is below the "Request a Tour" section. Typically, each listing has four schools listed. With each school, you will learn its score out of 10, whether it's elementary, middle, or high school, if the school is public, private, or charter, and how long of a car ride or walk it is from that address. gets their school's scores from is a website where you can search by the address or name of the school and check out the overall ranking of schools and their test scores. By learning the most about the schools in the area, you can be sure that you are sending your children to the best schools available. Amenities Nearby You might also want to consider the amenities you would like your neighborhood to have, whether it's a park, pool, gym, or restaurant. Determine what kind of amenities would be best for you and your family to enjoy. To find out more about your new neighborhood's amenities, scroll down to the "Parks and Recreation" section or the "Property Details" section on the listing details page. Having these amenities is fun for the whole family and a great resource when making new friends in your neighborhood.   Engagement Speaking of making new friends, you may want to consider the engagement of your neighborhood. Some neighborhoods host group events such as block parties around the holidays. If you and your family enjoy these types of activities, then try and find a neighborhood with a community that engages with one another. Most neighbors that have a lot of engagement usually have an HOA. An HOA is a homeowners' association that charges monthly fees to residents to maintain the neighborhood and keep engagement high. To learn more about HOAs, check out our article, What Is an HOA, or Homeowners Association? Hopefully now you know how to pick the safest and most comfortable neighborhood for you and your family. And if you ever get stuck, is here with our Search feature to help you find the perfect home! To view the original article, visit the
New Buying Power Tool Shows What Homes Are Affordable Based on the Buyer's Finances
With interest rates constantly changing and home prices at all-time highs, understanding what you can afford has never been more important. To give buyers a more objective view of their budget, has introduced a new buying power tool to help home shoppers see whether a specific home is "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." It uses a home a shopper's specific financial details, current mortgage rates, taxes, insurance and HOA fees to determine if the monthly payments will be comfortable. Buying power labels now appear directly on home listings on, making the first national home search site where shoppers can filter their search by selecting their desired affordability range. Recent surveys found that more than two-thirds (68%) of shoppers were surprised by what they could actually afford for their first home. Additionally, 32% of recent buyers found it difficult to understand how changing mortgage rates affected their monthly payments and 62% were surprised by closing costs.'s affordability calculator and buying power tool can help prevent these unhappy surprises during the home buying process. "There is nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a home only to realize that you can't afford it, and nothing more exciting than realizing you can afford that dream home. However, there are many factors that go into affordability," said Colleen Coyle, vice president, product management, "We introduced this tool to help shoppers better understand how much home they can afford and if specific homes fit their budget given their personal financial situation. This tool is especially important right now with rising interest rates – which can add hundreds of dollars to monthly payments and impact buying power." A home's affordability is more than just the asking price. Many first-time home buyers don't realize the added costs of things such as HOA fees, taxes and insurance, not to mention closing costs, which can really add up.'s new buying power features give home shoppers the opportunity to input their monthly income, debt payments and savings to determine their budget. Users can save this information to their buyer profile and then search only for homes that fit that budget. To calculate buying power, buyers can visit the affordability calculator and enter their income, monthly debt payments and available funds. By saving this information to their profile, listings on will include an affordability label – "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." Users can also filter their search by homes that are within their desired affordability range. Learn more
MORE > Seller's Marketplace Adds Four New Selling Options announced the expansion of its Seller's Marketplace, adding four new selling options and expanding its reach throughout the U.S. Seller's Marketplace presents homeowners with information about more selling options than any other real estate search site, allowing them to compare information and choose the option that works best for them. Seller's Marketplace has grown traffic by more than 300% year-over-year for Q3 while providing highly qualified leads to our industry partners and agents. In addition to the five seller offerings already available from companies such as EasyKnock, HomeGo (New Western Company), Knock and, as well as listing with an agent, homeowners can now view selling options from Flyhomes, Orchard, Reali and Swift Homes. With just a few clicks, homeowners can see which of these are available in their area and compare estimates for sale price, timeline, and more with no upfront cost or commitment. "Since launching in 2020, Seller's Marketplace has had tremendous momentum and we're proud to add more great selling options to help homeowners understand all the different ways to sell a home," said Marissa Mierow, vice president of product, "We want to empower homeowners to take control of their home sale and be able to compare more options than ever before – all in one place." Seller's Marketplace now includes: List on the open market with an agent Buy Now, Sell Later Sell with Ease Sell Now, Move Later Sell in Any Condition In today's competitive housing market, alternative selling and financing solutions have gained popularity as ways to sell a home quickly, compete and win in bidding wars, unlock home equity, and even provide flexibility for tricky circumstances.® is the only national home search site that lets people compare different selling options and empowers them to find the right fit with just a few clicks. Real estate agents also continue to benefit from Seller's Marketplace through many of the solutions offered by Seller's Marketplace providers as well as from referrals from the® network. "Everyone's situation is different and® wants to provide important information and connect homeowners with providers in the financing and selling spaces, so that they can weigh their options and make the best decision for themselves and their families," added Mierow. To learn more, visit