Buying a house but unsure of the ‘hood? Airbnb lets you try before you buy

slates calculator tells you if youre a gentrifier chicago neighborhood
Mark Baldwin/Shutterstock
If you’re thinking of buying a new home, it’s a pretty a big commitment. It’s not just the house itself but the surrounding area that you’re going to be stuck with for years. What if you move in and find the only coffee shop within stumbling distance is horrible?

Thanks to Realtor.com and Airbnb, you can now actually try out your new neighborhood before you sign on the dotted line, the same way you would test out a pair of new shoes. The partnership makes sense since Airbnb’s mission is already geared toward community-driven hospitality.

How does it work? Basically, the sites will be able to offer potential buyers a set of accommodations in different neighborhoods across the country, so that they can experience them as the locals do before agreeing to buy.

When users visit the Realtor.com site to view homes in new neighborhoods, they’ll be able to select the options “Airbnb before buying” (in neighborhoods where the services are offered). The option to do so will appear on both the homepage and the listing detail page. If you choose to do so, you’ll be able to view all of Airbnb’s accommodations and decide where you want to stay to get your real-life feel. You’re then redirected to Airbnb to book your stay.

Unfortunately, you’ll still have to pay for the experience yourself — unless you get lucky. The two companies are offering a Try Before You Buy sweepstakes, so you could win $500 toward your experience each week until August 23, 2015.

So, pack your bags and take your new neighborhood for a spin at Realtor.com. It just might save you from living in regret (or at the very least a terrible neighborhood).

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