23 March 2007

How green is your zipcode?

MarketWatch's real-estate writer Amy Hoak publishes a few links--with extensive commentary--to websites which provide information your average real-estate agent may not be able to provide. Setting aside the sex offender nonsense, the article provides some great links.

First (of course), the environment:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Web site has a tool that allows visitors to search a community by ZIP code for environmental facts about the area, including pollution statistics, the location of hazardous waste sites and information about the area's watershed.

Another site dedicated to helping the public retrieve information about local environmental health is Scorecard.org, which generates a pollution report card at the county level, giving information on such topics as air and water quality.
Acid Rain Cycle
Where in this picture would you like to live?

Second, another issue dear to me, schools:

A national database of school demographic information can be found on the National Center for Education Statistics Web site. Click on the "School, College and Library Search" tab at the top in order to view data including a particular school's student-to-teacher ratio or enrollment by race and ethnicity.

For a snapshot of academic performance and to compare schools, a prospective homeowner might browse the School Matters Web site, a service of Standard & Poor's.

Another site, Great Schools, offers similar tools.

Even as the internet threatens to inflict fully-fledged virtuality upon us, it also enhances the quality and quantity of information about place.


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