I don’t want to be around old people.
Don’t take me into any of those Spanish speaking neighborhoods.
If there are a lot of kids around, I don’t want to live there.
Gee, Mr. Buyer, I can’t narrow down communities by those factors. But go check Zillow Neighborhoods, they can answer all of those things.
It’s a bit of a reach, but not by much.
We’ve been working on the next version of Housechick.com, and have been considering placing local census data on the site, but we run up against potential Fair Housing issues. Yeah, it’s just facts from the government, but is providing data that one neighborhood has 30% more “multi-lingual people” or more non-US citizens than another neighborhood anything other than answering the probable racial makeup of a community in a round-about way?
It will be interesting to watch the neighborhood theory of home search evolve. Places like Zillow, I would assume, can get away with data like this, where I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole.
Being married to a fellow software engineer and database guru, we are perfectly capable of providing this sort of thing in my local market, but won’t. I’ll admit to a bit of hubris, wanting to be the ultimate resource, but there are ways that we just can’t compete.
I’m not arguing against Fair Housing regulations, but how do you answer the savvy consumer, who finds information like this on those sites, but can’t get the same from me? I am required to be a limited resource in some ways. Obviously, I have local knowledge that a national aggregator doesn’t, but it’s difficult and frustrating to have access to data and not be able to spew it freely.
For now, the Housechindex will have to wait.