Steve Harper

It can be tricky to find a neighborhood that suits your style, especially if you are moving to another city or state.

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Before you move, do your homework and look for helpful online tours to give you a taste of the place you're headed. Here are some tips to speed your search.

Bright ideas, big city
If you are moving to a big city like New York, you’re in luck. Virtual NYC Tour serves up great images of walking tours around Manhattan. The downside is that usually you can only take a tour of downtown spots. Fortunately, sites like Relocality let you dig a little deeper into New York City neighborhoods, allowing you to search based on criteria like housing cost, diversity, creative capital, green space and more.

Raid the real estate sites
If you really want to drill down and work your online resources, real estate sites are the insider’s secret to finding great video tours. Many real estate agents advertise their neighborhood knowledge by featuring impressive tours on their business sites. You have to do a little digging, but a search for “real estate video tour” and the neighborhood you are curious about should yield results like these great videos from Realty Austin. YouTube is another useful resource for honing in on video tours for a specific city or for cool clips made by locals who love their hangouts. Here’s an example of the great selection you get when you search for Minneapolis neighborhoods, for instance.

ApartmentGuide.com also offers online video tours for many of the properties advertised on the site.

Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a match
Map sites are an excellent tool to help you get a handle on the neighborhood you are researching. Real Mapa incorporates services like Google Maps Street View to give you a bird’s eye view that you can easily transform into a virtual walking tour of the area. NeighborhoodScout, CityData and StreetAdvisor are also helpful for finding interesting tidbits about the cities and neighborhoods you are investigating. The GoogleEarth application is an excellent (and fun!) tool for circumnavigating the world right from your desktop, a truly dizzying window on the world!

Take a look at these articles:
Plan Your In-Person Apartment Visits
Check Out Your Neighborhood of Conveniences
Apartment Guide Moving Checklist 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / StockLite

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About The Author

Steve Harper enjoys seeking out and writing about topics that matter to renters for the Apartment Guide Blog. He hails from Atlanta, Georgia. Find Steve on Google.

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