- salary comparator - good for checking out the city you're considering to see how much you should expect to make for your line of work at the new place
- house price comparator - good for an initial look at what neighborhood might be good for you; 3/8/07 - this one's even better; it lists all the MLS listings as shown on a map
- a good old map program - I like Yahoo!maps. (added 10/29/06): National Geographic also has a mapping site; has a little bit of interesting stuff
- a real estate site - this is not my favorite, because I don't see addresses for all the houses (just the ones with fancy listings)
- a zip code boundary mapper - there are also other boundary maps available on that site
- a community comparator (added 10/17/06) - I found it easier to check the neighborhoods in the reverse manner: tell the zipcode of the new town and have it show the neighborhoods in the current town. It's easier to get a better picture when you know the neighborhoods. (note, this link is good, too, but I keep getting stopped because it wants you to give them money) - 3/8/07: here's a the best community comparator I've seen yet. My friend Barbara found it
- online sign-up for utilities (added 11/6/06) - I haven't completely tested this one, but it looks like it would be helpful, even if just to see what the options are
So, the salary comparator is a good first point, but if you really want to consider how to best move into the new place, you want to see about neighborhood types you like, what you would want to be close to, etc.
In our current location, we can walk to our church, work, and groceries (they're all within a mile of us). In a new place I would want to be able to do that as well (at least church and groceries), with a similar kind of neighborhood.
So I've got the map window up and the house window up. I browse around the city, using the "hybrid" setting on the maps site, and search for the landmark I'm interested. We go to an Episcopal church, so I look that up first. I get the address (at least the street name, then go back to the house price site, plug it in, and look at the house prices along that street and neighboring streets. It's pretty cool.
But, a house for sale is still what I need to find. This takes a combination of a real estate site and a zip code boundary mapper. The real estate site I've found doesn't always have the street addresses, so I resorted to looking at the area of the zip code.
After browsing around all this, I need to find a good school possibility for our 11-year-old.
Note, I got pointed to the house price site from the following:
Bird's Eye View of Famous Homes
We hate to shatter anyone's illusions, but the house depicted in "Beverly Hills 90210" actually sits in the 91001 zip code in Altadena. And Richie Cunningham's home from "Happy Days," supposedly set in middle-class Milwaukee? That's actually located in Los Angeles, and it rests in front of two large swimming pools. Although you can see the Playboy Mansion posed right where it's supposed to be, nary a traipsing bunny adorns the grounds. We learned all this while perusing the "Bird's Eye View" of 10 famous homes, including the "Beverly Hillbillies" mansion, the "Six Feet Under" house, and the Osbournes' reality show residence. Zoom in and out, check out satellite views, and gape at the estimate of each home's worth—this is the closest most of us will ever get to these domiciles of the rich and famous, so take a good long peek. (in Architecture)