I thought it worth noting that Homethinking added a neighborhood feature today to help consumers compare neighborhoods in separate parts of the country — here’s the press release. To get a feel for the new functionality, take a look at New York neighborhoods compared to San Francisco.
The thought behind the new feature is that “Learning a new city by comparing its neighborhoods to the neighborhoods of a city you know well will allow you to get a feel for a new city quickly and easily.” Since I know the neighborhoods in Seattle, but not New York, a comparison should (in theory) help me figure out what neighborhoods I would like in the Big Apple. Eventually, the goal is to use reviews to be the primary component to comparing neighborhoods.
It’s a good start, but it doesn’t quite seem like a complete product (yet). Most of my criticism revolves around the fact that there is no good way to “dig in” to the data that goes into the scores for each specific neighborhood. Luckily, I’ve been told there is a version 2 in the works that will help break the scores down. A neighborhood comparison tool is actually something I’ve been thinking about for awhile (idea #1 on my wordpress plugin ideas post from February), so I’m looking forward to seeing the second iteration of this product.