Archive for the ‘Neighborhood Boundaries’ Category

Top 10 Most Affordable Neighborhoods with the Best Schools – Methodology

on January 13, 2014 at 2:27PM

To help home buyers find affordable homes with great public high schools, we used Maponics data to create a list of the Top 10 U.S. neighborhoods in the country’s largest metro regions with the most affordable housing and some of the country’s best public high schools. We also chose neighborhoods that had either very low or moderate crime scores.

See the list of Top 10 Most Affordable Neighborhoods with the Best Public Schools.

Top 10: We selected the Top 10 U.S. metros based on population. (Because New York City has school choice, we excluded it from our results.)

Neighborhoods: We then identified the neighborhoods in those cities using our Neighborhood Boundaries product, and mapped school attendance zones to those neighborhoods with our School Boundaries product.

Most Affordable: “Median home price” represents the median price for a single-family house between 1,400 and 2,500 square feet (depending on the neighborhood) based on Maponics Real Estate Sales data. Maponics Real Estate Sales are derived from public records and provide quarterly analytics of sales trends, average sales prices, mortgage metrics and other sales analytics.

Affordability is based on publicly available Census data (median family income and median home value) and’s affordability calculator.

Best Schools: “Best schools” are defined as being public schools in the 70th percentile based on Maponics Context School Rankings dataset, then sorted by the state school ranking. Context School Rankings provide statewide school performance rankings, average math and reading test scores, historical rankings and school profiles.

Crime Scores: We used Maponics Crime Scores data to ensure that none of the chosen neighborhoods had a high crime score.

Built with data sourced from FBI crime statistics, point crime data and multiple demographic sources, Context Crime Scores reveal crime levels of a particular geography weighted against the national average. Maponics Context Crime Scores are built from 3 components: Property safety, including vandalism and theft; Personal safety, including assaults, murder and other violent crime; and Overall safety, a composite of Property and Personal scores – with 1 being Very Low and 10 being Very High.

We applied the Overall Crime Scores to the Top 10 Most Affordable Neighborhoods with the Best Schools.

If you have questions about our methodology in compiling the Top 10 Most Affordable Neighborhoods with the Best Schools, please contact

NAR Survey: People Want Walkable Neighborhoods

on November 7, 2013 at 3:50PM

What do home buyers want? A new survey from the National Association of Realtors says: a single-family detached house in a walkable neighborhood.

Context Walkability

Home buyers want to be able to walk to stores and businesses in their neighborhoods. Photo source: Texas A&M University

NAR Survey Results

Interestingly, according to the NAR 2013 Community Preference Survey, living in the suburbs can either be the most favorable or the least favorable for people, depending entirely on whether there are shops and businesses to walk to: the most popular ideal community was a suburban neighborhood with a mix of houses, shops and businesses, whereas the least popular was a suburban neighborhood with only houses and no shops or businesses.

Additional stats:

  • 60% of participants prefer a neighborhood with a mix of houses, stores and other businesses that are within easy walking distance, rather than a neighborhood that necessitates more driving between home, work and recreation.
  • 78% said the neighborhood is more important to them than house size.
  • 55% were willing to trade a home with larger yard for a smaller home within walking distance of schools, stores and restaurants, as opposed to getting larger yard but needing to drive schools, stores and restaurants.

Filter Property Search by Context Walkability

Maponics Context Walkability™ rates the walkability of particular geographies based on the ease with which people can get to leisure and amenity points of interest on foot.

To find neighborhoods that are the most walkable, consumers could use Walkability to filter their property search results. When projected onto neighborhood boundaries, Walkability handily points out just which neighborhoods have the most points of interest such as schools, grocery stores and coffee shops – exactly the areas home buyers most desire, according to the NAR study.

With more ratings, more features, and eleven complementary datasets, Walkability is often a better choice than Walk Score, too (see the infographic).

Context Walkability

Children who walk to school are more physically active overall than those who don’t – which is just one reason it makes sense to live within walking distance to your kids’ school. Photo source:

Add Demographics and Real Estate Sales and Inventory

For further insight, home buyers could use Context Demographics, Context Real Estate Sales and Context Real Estate Inventory to drill down into the search results.

Context Demographics provide data about the people within an area, measuring such attributes as “total number of families” and “number of people who walk to work.” Context Demographics can help home buyers find exactly what they’re looking for in a neighborhood.

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries

If you want to live in a neighborhood with more families, Maponics Context Demographics can help you find it. Photo source: Better Cities & Towns

Context Real Estate Inventory includes information about the housing stock in a particular polygon. With data points about Average/Median Bed, Bath, Square Footage and over twenty more, consumers get property specs, neighborhood by neighborhood.

And by conveying the sales trends in a polygon, Context Real Estate Sales gives an indication of what you might need to spend on a house in a given neighborhood.

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries – Real-Life Geographies Home Buyers Understand

All of this lifestyle data – the type of information home buyers increasingly want as part of their home search – is best delivered in the framework of a neighborhood boundary. People more often refer to residential areas in terms of what neighborhood they fall into – not by street or ZIP Code.

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries represent the largest dataset ever compiled for neighborhood boundaries. The biggest names in real estate trust our neighborhood data, including Trulia, Century 21 and Redfin.

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries

Maponics Neighborhood Boundaries enable Trulia users to search for and compare properties at the neighborhood level.

The NAR survey gives us a better understanding of what people want in a property. Real estate portals can use Maponics products to lead consumers to their dream home.

Contact Maponics for a quote on Walkability, Demographics and Neighborhood Boundaries, as well as our other products.