Is Your Neighborhood Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?

Moving to a new neighborhood and want to know how it compares to your current digs? Now you can! Today Redfin added community and school information links on every listing detail page, you even can do head-to-head comparisons. Currently available for Washington and California listings, we’ll add new markets as we expand so you’ll be able to check out those areas too.

Scroll down a bit and look for the above box on the left-hand side of the listing detail page, usually below the “Sales History” box. Note: clicking on the links will open another window, leaving your Redfin search intact on the original page.

I checked out my own Zip Code (98109 in the Queen Anne area of Seattle) and immediately homed in on education level and school test scores. I think I secretly wanted to know if my neighbors could hold their own on the new hot game show where “smart, educated” adults pit themselves against a handful of Golden State fifth-graders. I learned some fascinating conversation topics for my next cocktail party or playground chat with a neighborhood fifth-grader … I’ll crush them with my local knowledge.


A few things I learned about my area (which you can discover about your current or prospective one too!):

  1. The median age is 36.28, not 9 (the average age of a fifth-grader).
  2. Summer break comes at just the right time. July’s average high is 74 degrees!
  3. The bachelor-of-arts crowd dominates at 31.2 percent, beating the fifth-graders at only 1.4 percent.
  4. We’re under average for murders, but we must have easy-to-steal cars because the motor vehicle theft rate is more than 300 times the national average.
  5. Earthquakes are the biggest weather risk – eek! A reminder for Seattleites to go to the mailbox and vote … tunnel, viaduct, both or neither?! sigh
  6. Another cool thing you can do is compare cost of living, down to how much more or less your clothes will cost.
  7. Out of 15,395 people, there are only 63 fifth-graders. Majority rules!

Warning: the comparison feature is addictive! I looked at a couple different cities I’ve lived in:

  1. If I wanted to move back to Redondo Beach, Calif., I’d need to get an 11 percent raise to maintain my “Bud Light” lifestyle.
  2. I could go back to Pullman, Wash. and get by with 37 percent less money (a round of drinks at the Coug on me!).

We also added open house information, when available. In the next couple months, they’ll be easier to find, but right now you will see the information under the house photo on the listing detail page.

Look for the above box under the listing’s main photo

An added bonus for you trivia hounds out there (real questions from Are You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader? – no cheating!):

  1. Which U.S. border is longer – Canada or Mexico?
  2. Name the ship the pilgrims sailed from Plymouth, England to the Plymouth colony in America in 1620.
  3. How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?
  4. How many U.S. states border the Pacific Ocean?
  5. If you mix equal amounts of red and yellow paint, what color do you get?

Stumped? Comment or shoot me an e-mail and I’ll give you a hint – cynthia.pang(at)


  • anonymous

    this is a really great addition to redfin. please keep pushing the envelope in terms of adding comparative tools like this – anything that helps the buyer/seller get more solid data will help change the real estate business.

    you guys do want to change things, right? please think about more “web 2.0″ features — more user-uploaded data — pix of neighborhoods, comments on listings, agent ratings, neighborhood tips — and especially the SELLING PRICE of all MLS listed properties that close escrow.

    that’s a keystone to changing the system. and you guys want to do that, right?