Monday, February 4, 2008

Zipskinny Give you Extra Info on Your Neighbors and Neighborhood

With the words "get the skinny on that zip" under the name Zipskinny, this site certainly can be a useful tool for people living in a neighborhood, real estate agents, buyers, sellers - or people who are curious about how a particular area is doing, even from afar. You can check on the demographics of people living in the same zip code or someone living across the country.

To see the site go to, located at

What information does Zipskinny provide for homeowners or prospective home buyers or sellers?

I checked a couple of zip codes just to see what I could discover. In one area, not too far from us, I learned plenty about the people living there. General information, granted, but enough to come to some conclusions.

Zipskinny notes how many people have lived in their homes for 5 years or more

This was good to see. A whopping 50% had lived in their homes for five years or more. We're among those 50 percent. People tend to stay put in this area or move to homes in the same zip code. I think that 50 percent figure is actually a bit low when you consider that most people are staying in the same zip code area.

Zipskinny provides information about Social Indicators

You can quickly learn if homeowners or renters in your area have an educational achievement level below or above the U.S. average. In our area, I learned that approximately 50% of the people had at least a bachelor's degree. This was interesting because income levels were significantly higher than one might expect. I wondered how important that college degree actually was! Gee, maybe we've been shelling out money to get our kids a college degree when they could have done fine (economically) without one. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to go to college besides the degree, so I won't make too strong a case about that area.

Zipskinny provides information about Marital Status: Because this information is based on census data, it can be a bit misleading because it takes into account anyone who is 15 years old - or older. We have plenty of
people who are teens in our zip code so I wasn't surprised to see that a whopping 30% of the residents had never married. I was pleasantly surprised to see that over 50% were married, leaving the minority to be divorced or separated or widowed.

Zipskinny provides information about household income:

The site gets to be pretty interesting at this point. Most people had an income below $200,000 (this may sound low to some but in our area of the country, that income would go a long way! ) . There was a wide variance of incomes, with the median being around 47,000, a figure which actually goes a long way in our area.

Remember, this is a median income and most people do pretty well, buy nice clothes and eat out regularly in our area of town. Anyway, you can compare your own area and see if you get any surprises. I did expect to see higher incomes, considering the fact that homes that are 3000 -6000 square feet are not a rarity in our zip code but the facts were there, apparently, on Zipskinny. Unemployment was extremely low.

Zipskinny provides info about people's occupations

Again, no surprises when I checked the site. Most people were in professional, white-collar occupations with the other primarily in sales and service professions. Plenty of doctors live in the area.

Zipskinny provides information about ages of people living in a zip code area

Median age for males in our area: 33 years old. Median age for females? 35 year old, proving that women tend to live longer than men - or that a lot of older women are married to younger men since we have a high marriage rate in our area....or I could simply be interpreting the data wrong. Very few people were over 80. I guess they decided to move somewhere without winters. We call them "snowbirds".

Zipskinny provides information about race, but it is pretty vague for our zip code

The percentages fell far short of 100% so I'm guessing that many people didn't volunteer their racial identity or that the census takers took a wild guess. There was a wide variation of races listed. The vast majority were of one racial group.

Zipskinny provides some surprising information:

I'm not really sure why they included info about latitude and longitude but it is there, for any zip code you choose.

Zipskinny allows you to compare your zip code to others in your state.
I guess you can see if your friend lives in a neighborhood with less married people or if the majority of homeowners in various areas are employed or in a certain income range.

Finally, Zipskinny has an optional chart that allows you to compare your zip code to the entire United States and see where you stand in terms of education, marital status, income, occupation, racial diversity and age. You can compare your zip code to the normal range for your state, too.

Zipskinny is one tool you can use when buying or selling a home:
I don't know about you but I'd like to know if people tend to move frequently or if the vast majority are unemployed or struggling. You can often get the same information by driving through a neighborhood but what if you are doing a preliminary search from a distance? Perhaps you'd like to find neighborhoods that have lots of young kids, good schools nearby (yes, the site give school info) or find areas that meet other criteria. Zipskinny can help with that.

St Patrick's Day Events in Indianapolis

When it comes to St. Patrick's Day, it seem like everyone wants to get in on the fun, whether they are of Irish heritage or not - and that is just fine. The fun spirit of the day seem to know no bounds when it comes to including friends, family and others. If you'd like to enjoy the day with your family, try stopping by Indianapolis.

Here's what you'll find to do with the family in Indianapolis - come St. Patrick's Day:

If you are a morning person, you'll be happy to discover that the festivities start bright and early at 6:30 am. You can join the Mayor of Indianapolis for the "greening of the Canal". Yes, the waters will literally turn green (on purpose). Not only that, but there will be plenty of live entertainment, free food and lots of prizes. This is one that shouldn't be missed, truly one that the whole family can enjoy on St. Patrick's Day. You'll even get to meet the Irish Citizen of the Year in Indianapolis!

Location for this event:
the corner of Ohio and West Streets in Indianapolis. The run starts and stops at Monument Circle, right in the heart of Indianapolis
431 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204

After that, be sure and take part in the Shamrock Run and Walk
If you are worried about this one being too strenuous for the family, you don't have to be stressed about that. This is one St. Patrick's Day event which is geared to whatever level of exercise you want. Bring the family along as you stroll through the course or go all out with a major run. The pace is up to you.

Obtain registration forms and details here:
Killyberg's Irish Shop
Nora Plaza
1300 E. 86th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Phone: (317) 846-9449

Highlights of the run include:
A trip to Irish Square and home of the first Irish settlers in Indianapolis, back in the 1850's. Participants will also have a chance to walk or run through some historic districts in Indianapolis. Imagine spending St Patrick's Day running or jogging or simply sauntering past Pioneer Fountain. It will be dyed green for the day.

There is an actual "St Patrick Street' which will be one landmark along the Shamrock Run and Walk. The Indianapolis Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, the historic St. Patrick's Church and many of the most historic areas in Indianapolis will also be seen. Not one to miss! If you want to be dressed just for the occasion, consider buying special long or short sleeve Shamrock Run and Walk shirts with a special log at Killyberg's Irish Shop (info above).

After the run, enjoy a party at the Columbia Club. Featured entertainment is live Irish music with the group Second Fiddle. The group will be playing throughout the day since participants of the run should be straggling in at various times. Race participants will be given prizes for the winners of both the run and walk parts of the race.

The Columbia Club
121 Monument Circle
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone (317) 767-1361

If running isn't your thing, don't miss the annual St Patrick's Day Parade. This is sponsored by Cathedral High School and will also take place downtown. There will be a tent party. Also included? Food, music and live entertainment.

Every year, the IndianapolisChildren's Museum has special activities for St. Patrick's Day. This year is sure to be no exception and the dining area generally has green foods of some sort, from cupcakes to specially dyed drinks. While the final calendar for the day is yet to be firmed up, we've never visited the museum that day without finding special St. Patrick's Day activities, history and food. So be sure and visit one of the top Children's Museums in the country, perfect for families.

Indianapolis Children's Museum or Children's Museum of Indianapolis (either name is fine)
3000 N. Meridian St
Indianapolis, In 46208
Phone (317) 334-3322

Call ahead for a list of special activities for the day.