Best Apps for Getting to Know a New Neighborhood

When it comes to searching for your next home, a new neighborhood can either make or break a property’s appeal.

While nothing can replace time spent traversing your new terrain, technology can help familiarize you with a potential new neighborhood before you decide to purchase a home or sign a lease.

There are the obvious smartphone apps that provide insight on local businesses, such as Yelp and Grubhub, and then there are the less obvious apps that will help teach you about your new community. Here are five apps to check out as you go about house hunting:

Meetup (Apple & Android):

Whether you’re interested in career networking or exploring new hobbies, Meetup has endless events to attend with likeminded people nearby. And in the off chance that you don’t find a meetup that interests you, you can also organize your own.

Peanut (Apple & Android):

In a nutshell, Peanut is Tinder for moms. You can swipe right or left on profiles of mothers in your neighborhood, and meet up one-on-one or in groups. It’s a great way for mothers to connect and share their experiences with one another. While there isn’t a version for fathers yet, Peanut does stand to bring in new friendships for the whole family in your new neighborhood.

Groupon (Apple & Android):

While Groupon is on most people’s radar, there are cost benefits to exploring Groupon before you reference Yelp, as you will first learn about the deals nearby. Groupon also has a feature to book beauty and wellness appointments through the app, providing another way to get a sense of what the neighborhood and local businesses are like.

OfferUp (Apple & Android):

Remember Craigslist? OfferUp takes the best of Craigslist and leaves the rest. You can buy anything from a new couch to kitchen tools, diapers, jewelry, bicycles, even cars on OfferUp, all being sold by your neighbors. The app not only gives you a sense of who is living nearby and what they are hoping to upcycle, but also provides a secure way to buy secondhand for your new home, all the while meeting the locals.

Nextdoor (Apple & Android):

Nextdoor is designed to serve as a neighborhood news hub, with features that alert you of local crime, household items for sale, babysitters and home pros in the area, and neighborhood recommendations. It’s a lot of services rolled into one app, but what makes it stand out is the local news that it feeds to your phone – keeping you in the know before you even move in.

With each exploration into your potential new neighborhood, both in real life and in the digital world, there is an opportunity to imagine the lifestyle you could have living there. Make a checklist of your neighborhood must-haves and start exploring; Whatever it is you’re looking for, there is a lot that you can learn from a few simple app searches.

Written by Alison Crisci Turner
'Tech for Your Life' expert