Planning a move? Not sure how to decide which neighborhood will be perfect for you? There’s an app for that! There are multiple choices when it comes to home finding apps (Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, etc), but how do you decide which town or neighborhood is right for you? The next generation of home finding assistance apps are working to “match” your desires and preferences to the perfect city and neighborhood. They are all still a work in progress but a few have promise.
In our research, focused on New Jersey, we found PicketFencer to be the farthest along in terms of substantial data across a large geography. PicketFencer is focused on determining the best neighborhood for someone that needs to commute into New York City. So, while that is limiting, they do have data on over 600 cities and towns within commutable distance of New York City, many of which are in New Jersey. PicketFencer uses school rating, walkability and affordability in addition to social content from Instagram, YouTube, Yelp and Twitter to provide a “qualitative picture of each town’s personality”. Then through a series of questions regarding your hobbies, preferences and job location, PicketFencer matches you with cities and towns they think would be your new perfect hometown. They even have a concierge service for people who need more help beyond their standard “matching” process.
Other apps have broader geographies, but they typically focus on neighborhoods within large cities. PlaceILive, for example, focuses on the neighborhoods within 5 cities, specifically Chicago, San Francisco, London, New York and Berlin. So, for our purposes on New Jersey and New York City commutable communities, PicketFencer seems to be the best app of the moment. Check it out and let us know what neighborhood you were “matched” with!