How does buying a home in Auburn, AL compare to the Auburn, WA real estate market? How does Queen Anne compare to Queens? In short, I haven’t found a good technology solution as of yet.

I moved to Seattle a little over a year ago. One of the first major decisions I had to make before relocating was “where do I want to live”? As I was researching that question, I found myself opening browser windows side-by-side in order to compare data about cities and neighborhoods in the markets I was looking at. I wanted to know neighborhood and city home value trends, age distribution, crime stats, test scores of local schools, the local weather, distribution of types of homes, what stores are located nearby, local events, etc.

I eventually settled in Auburn, WA, but never did find a decent solution to quickly compare neighborhoods — instead, I spent numerous precious hours (that I’d like to spend doing something else) scouring over websites such as Zillow (my employer), Trulia, John L Scott and Windermere.

Obviously, I am not the only relocating home buyer who needs to answer the question of “where do I want to live”. That said, I’d venture to say looking at browser windows separately seems like a less than ideal technical solution. So, why don’t more real estate sites allow people to compare neighborhoods or cities side-by-side? Are there any good sites out there that I’m missing? It just seems like it would be a very useful tool for many buyers in the relocation process, and I imagine it would be fairly simple to build with existing data available (either via the Zillow API or other sources).

The best comparison tool I found was the one on, but I think there is a lot of room to improve. For instance, two additions I can think of are giving the user the option to compare cities in different states and allowing comparisons of neighborhoods rather than just cities.

Compare two cities on