How to research a neighbourhood online

[] We look at ways in which home seekers can thoroughly research a locality where they intend to buy a house, without having to actually visit the neighbourhood

The process of buying and selling of property has taken a huge hit due to the Coronavirus pandemic, as people remain confined to their homes in a bid to ensure social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. Buyers who were considering real estate investment, have also been forced to take a step back, owing to their inability to find out about the neighbourhood and the locality, under the present circumstances. However, in this digital era, you do not need to visit the actual site, to know more about the surroundings. Online resources can tell you much more about a neighbourhood.

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Check out local online social groups and community pages

Knowing about the people living there, is the best way to know about a neighbourhood. There are several community pages and online groups on Facebook and Twitter that you can join or just browse through, to understand local issues and topics discussed by people, to evaluate the locality. Most societies also have social profiles, usually handled by the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) members. Here, you can get to know more about the society and take a call, if you want to call them your neighbours in future.

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Take help from Google Earth

Google Earth and Street View are some of the helpful tools that you can use, to know more about the look and feel of a society. While Street View is not available for all locations, you can certainly know about the neighbourhood – the type of construction, buildings and congestion level through this tool. You can also check out pictures on Google Earth, which are fed by the local users.

How to research a neighbourhood online

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Another perfect way of knowing about the locality is to go through the real estate listings available in the same colony. You can find detailed information on a locality-level, through these websites. For example, has dedicated locality pages, to help you understand the nitty-gritty of the neighbourhood and its livability score, enabling you to assess how good an area is for family living, young couples and bachelors. You can also find in-depth locality analysis and articles on News under the locality trends section.

Read online versions of local newspapers

Almost all major newspapers are available online for reading. Go through the local page in the newspaper, to know if there is any ongoing issue in the area or the land earmarked for the project. Usually, the media picks up real estate related cases very quickly, because of its mass appeal. Local news will also help you understand the crime rate in the area. Alternatively, you can also check the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) website, for more locality-level data. Apart from this, find out about the upcoming infrastructure developments in the area.

Planning daily commute

Take the help of Google Maps to plan your daily commute to office or school, to understand the traffic bottlenecks in the area and how many alternative routes are available to return home from office. Check the nearest metro station and bus stop, to understand the total travel time.


How do you research an area before buying a house?

Visit to know locality-level information and details.

How can I check if a neighbourhood is safe?

Check the NCRB’s official website to get exact crime rate data.

Should you talk to neighbours before buying a house?

You can talk to the neighbours before making a purchase, to understand the locality better.

How do you evaluate a neighbourhood?

You should evaluate a neighbourhood on the basis of its livability score, which is assigned on the basis of employment opportunities, genuine user ratings, etc.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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