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PLANO (CBS11) – When you’re buying a home, it’s easy enough to learn about school districts and crime rates. But until now, it hasn’t been so easy to find out how healthy a neighborhood is.

Now a new tool from the CDC can give home buyers plenty of new reasons to choose one community over another.

We want to live in neighborhoods with good schools and low crime, and many of us would also like to be surrounded by healthy people.

For Tricia Carter, a community full of chronic conditions and unhealthy behavior is probably one to avoid.

“How each area within it is impacted by different types of behaviors or health conditions in general would definitely lead towards helping me decide,” Tricia Carter said.

Carter is looking for a home in Plano for herself and her son. The CDC’s new 500 Cities website offers statistics on diseases and behaviors that can lead to health problems in the 500 biggest cities in America.

It allows users to drill down all the way to individual neighborhoods.

“Is there an area that there are excessive drinkers compared to areas where it’s less likely, I’m going to go for the area that it’s less likely to ensure that I’m setting the right example for him and that it’s not right in front of him all the time,” Carter said.

“The more information they have for a neighborhood or about a neighborhood, the more comfortable they’re going to be to move into that neighborhood,” realtor Jennifer Davis explained.

Davis said clients are increasingly interested in a community’s wellness, and the 500 Cities site will help her empower them to make informed decisions.

“Being able to check up on that and find out what changes have happened over the years in the event you want to sell, knowing that the area is retaining the value that you saw in it. I think that’s huge,” Carter said.

The site is designed to allow public health officials to identify problem areas, so they can direct resources to the neighborhoods most in need.


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