For some readers, the thought of using data to move home is completely unemotional and out of the question. In other words, this is a huge decision in your life, and the thought of using hard and fast numbers to make your decision sounds utterly ridiculous. In an ideal world, you would mix both data and your internal thoughts. For those of you who are completely against the former, we will try and “sell” its benefits through today’s post.
First and foremost, you’re probably already using data. Property listing websites are the new normal when it comes to house-hunting and while some of you may still open the real estate sections of the newspaper, you are part of a group that is few and far between.
But, onto some of the more modern-ways of using data in your house search. As we’re constantly told, moving home is about “location, location, location”. You can find the perfect home, but if it’s in the wrong area, this is completely for nothing. This is where crime statistics tend to enter the picture. Police data is readily available, and if you do find an area that you might contemplate living in, a quick search on recent crimes in that particular area can reveal the nature of it.
In truth, the above is just the tip of the iceberg though. If you are serious about using data in your plight to move home, you need to combine multiple data points.
If you happen to understand coding and analytics, this is probably straightforward for you to do. For everyone else, let’s present some options.
There are some sites that will pluck out various “ranking factors”, and use them to form their own internal league table. For example, we found a case of a website which went around each area in the US and used statistics like the cost of living, median home price, total crimes, tax rates, unemployment rate, commute time and even the weather to find which were the supposed best areas in the country to live in. This particular website (you can find the reference at the bottom of the page) also went into more granular details, such as the best areas for families, for young people and so on.
This method of relying on statistics can be used in pretty much any situation when it comes to finding a house as well. For example, we found another case of a website finding out the percentage of seniors, the average age of cities, the mean social security income for the elderly and a whole of other relevant statistics to help recently retired people make their choice.
Should you rely on databases and other strict statistical models to choose your next neighbourhood? Probably not. The point we’re trying to make is that the internet has opened up a wealth of opportunities in this regard and with the housing market competitive to say the least, tapping into data might just unearth a few interesting destinations for you and your family.