AreaVibes is a website that helps users find the best places to live based on the data that’s important to them. It’s a tool that analyzes various aspects of different cities and neighborhoods, including crime rates, school ratings, amenities, and the local housing market to give each location a livability score from zero to 100. AreaVibes can tell you how a neighborhood’s crime rate compares to the state and national average, or how many restaurants, businesses, and public transportation access points are within walking distance of a given address.
AreaVibes is an excellent tool for those searching for a new place to live. It features local homes and apartments for sale or rent in each available location, and much of the information provided on the site is geared towards briefing potential new residents on the areas they’re interested in. Current residents looking for overall trends in crime rates, the housing market, and local schools in a particular area may also find AreaVibes helpful as a tool to keep an eye on the various factors that impact their communities, home values, and safety. AreaVibes also gives users a chance to voice their opinions about the places where they live, and it could be a great tool for those living in a particular area to share their love for a community to attract new people. Conversely, it could also be a good place to make people aware of important issues in a particular area.
- Price: AreaVibes is free to use, which sets it apart from competitors like NeighborhoodScout, which requires users to pay a subscription fee to access most features.
- User ratings: AreaVibes includes ratings and comments from residents of various areas to help contextualize data beyond the numbers and help users make more informed decisions about where they want to live.
- Custom search: AreaVibes users can sort locations by livability factors, like crime rates, school quality, and home prices. This makes it easy to zero in on the information that’s important to each user, and quickly compare different cities and neighborhoods.
- Vague descriptions: AreaVibes is designed to give users a broad view of the livability of each place they look up, so much of the information on the site is based on national, state, and local statistics. While user reviews add some specifics, it may be difficult to get a true feel for an area and community based on AreaVibes results alone.
- Real estate focus: Real estate and rental listings are incorporated into almost every page on AreaVibes. If you’re seeking data about your current neighborhood and not looking to move, this can be distracting, and the site may be less helpful for you.
Things to Consider with AreaVibes
AreaVibes ranks more than 35,000 cities, neighborhoods, and zip codes based on seven factors: amenities, cost of living, crime, employment, housing, schools and user ratings. Each category receives a rating of A+ through F based on the available data. Using these ratings, AreaVibes determines a livability score between zero and 100 for each location.
AreaVibes gets its data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Google Places, the FBI Uniform Crime Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Council for Community and Economic Research. While its creators divulge some information about how they calculate their scores — such as giving more weight to violent crime rates in the overall crime score or basing each amenities scores on the number of businesses within a two-mile radius of an address — they don’t share their exact methods for determining a livability score.
AreaVibes was named one of our picks for the best crime maps
The main draws for AreaVibes are the custom search feature and the livability scores. Custom search allows users to hone in on what matters most to them, versus needing to sift through data they don’t want when comparing neighborhoods and locations. The data offered provides broad pictures of each community and data trends over time. For example, AreaVibes breaks crimes down by type, number of reported incidents, and crimes per 100,000 people. The site also provides statistics about whether crime is trending up or down and how that compares to overall crime statistics around the country.
AreaVibes is free to use, which is a bonus for users looking for easy, wallet-friendly access to this kind of data. The only downside to that is that AreaVibes features are more basic than some other sites, and users don’t have the option of paying to access higher quality features, like detailed maps, local crime reports, and other specific data. Users should also be aware that what they find on AreaVibes may not be the most-up-to-date data available. Because they gather information from national organizations, like the U.S. Census Bureau and FBI reports, rather than from local sources, they will only have data from the most recent years for which it is available from those larger organizations.
The Bottom Line on AreaVibes
AreaVibes is a useful tool for helping people find the best places to live based on their own unique needs, wants, and concerns. The site is designed to help users access the information they want quickly and easily, and it doesn’t cost anything to use. AreaVibes breaks down information about the safety, economy, and overall livability of specific areas, and it includes ratings and reviews from people who actually live in those communities to help provide a well-rounded look at what it’s really like to live there. Additionally, the site can be used to find sales and rental listings for homes in the desired communities users are searching for.
If you’re already familiar with an area, AreaVibes may not tell you any information that you don’t already know. Still, it’s a quick, easy, and fun to use tool that allows users to keep an eye on local trends in crime, home prices, education, and more, and it provides a lot of value to users for no out-of-pocket cost.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.