How Hot Is Your Block?
HotPads is a map-based real estate search engine that allows you to look for home, apartment, and condo listings while manipulating factors like price range, number of bedrooms, mortgage terms, proximity to public transportation and much more. The recently launched Heat Maps feature is a very cool application that allows you to look at rent ratios (average cost of ownership / estimated annual rent) in cities across the country to determine whether to buy or rent. If you search a city like San Francisco, for example, the heat map ranges from light blue (great buying opportunities) to red (places to rent).
Even if you’re just casually looking at new cities or have a morbid fascination with foreclosure rates, this site pulls together a lot of interesting census and pricing information—search by criteria like Per Capita Income, Median Rent, and Population Density. I had so much fun playing around with the map that I thought I was playing SIM CITY for a second!
Rent vs. Buy [Thrillist]
Almost entirely unrelated: Tha Block Is Hot