Finding the Best Property Location

May 28, 2009

When you are looking for the best property location or the best communities, due diligence at the broadest scale requires some research. Narrow your search by using online tools. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts tool provides county statistics as well as demographic data for cities and towns with greater than 25,000 people. The Census Bureau data set just gives you the bare minimum: population size and density, ethnicity, education, and income level.

Frankly, I’m looking for something a little more interesting when it comes to looking at (relatively) boring demographic information. Check out a search engine called CLR Search. Here, you can research demographic information and explore community attributes with interactive maps. CLR uses Nielson Claritas for its demographic data and Onboard Informatics to power its neighborhood search based on lifestyle values of importance.

There are two features I really like about the CLR Search site. First, I think they offer a valuable tool in being able to compare communities of interest side-by-side. This is handy when you’ve got your “perfect” location narrowed down and need a little help forming a demographic snapshot in your mind. Are the communities growing? Here’s where you can find out.

The other thing I really like is the Lifestyle Segmentation Tool. Here’s how CLR describes it: “The segmentation system defines every zip code and place in the U.S. in terms of 66 distinct lifestyle types using ground-breaking segmentation techniques.”


Not only is this tool fun to play around with, but it provides useful information based on the idea that people living in the same neighborhoods tend to have similar lifestyles. So you can search for the lifestyle traits that suit you. To take it one step further, they’ll even show you the real estate listings in the areas with the highest concentration of that lifestyle segment. Pretty cool. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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