“Walk on By” – Using Walk Score to evaluate neighborhoods for home investments

One of the keys to successful real estate crowdfund investing is to get a sense of the property and surroundings, without necessarily visiting the site. One useful online tool to accomplish this is Walk Score (www.walkscore.com). iFunding (www.ifunding.co) has recently incorporated Walk Score into its residential investment listings.

Here’s how it works:

Walk Score® measures the attractiveness of a location based on distances to nearby restaurants, grocery stores and other amenities, plus additional analyses such as population concentration, block length and intersection density. A rating of 1 to 100 is generated where, for example, 90-100 is a “Walker’s Paradise” where nearly all errands do not require a car. A score between 25 and 49 means most errands require you to hop in your Prius or Chevy Suburban, and so forth. A separate Transit Score® measures accessibility via public transportation, and there’s a Bike Score® too.

City residents tend to think a lot about the accessibility of their neighborhoods, as do suburbanites. And it’s just as useful to individuals looking to buy or rent, as it is for those investing in home construction or fix-and-flips wanting to understand the ultimate buyer’s viewpoint.

For curious businesspeople and technologists, Walk Score is a progressive adopter of APIs (that is, computer/web interfaces) to make the data available anywhere. That’s how 20 million scores are being viewed each day, through partner sites such as Zillow.com and now iFunding. Livability data also is important for urban planning and targeting affordable housing in “inclusionary zones” within the local economic network.

iFunding is happy to see the available of more real estate evaluation data for investors, available through web interfaces for sharing across sites. We’ll cover more technology trends like this in coming blog posts.