The Best Real Estate Search Sites
When looking to buy a house or move into a new apartment, there are a few essential real estate sites out there that you may want to first visit to complete your research so that you can find an ideal location for your lifestyle and for your financial situation.
Each has advantages and disadvantages, but when used in combination, you should be able to make an informed move. Do your research on these sites before making your move!
1. Padmapper – for Craiglist Listings on Google Maps
Whether buying a house or looking for an apartment, Padmapper is a mashup of Craigslist postings on Google Maps. Why look at Craigslist listings? For starters, Craigslist is a preferred site to list a house for those selling ‘For Sale by Owner’.
Also, if you’re looking for an apartment, you can often find discounted subleases and renters looking to rent out a room or two in their homes. Often times, you won’t find these postings anywhere else (because these people want to post for free).
2. Google Real Estate Search – for all Real Estate Searches
Google Real Estate Search is a real estate overlay on Google Maps. To get there:
- Go to maps.google.com
- Search for your desired city
- Click ‘My Maps’
- Click ‘Google Real Estate Search’
I’ve found Google Real Estate Search to have listings from most major real estate companies, who submit their postings to Google Base. It is one of the most extensive map listings out there, and you can even plot out your tour from one place to the next!
3. Zillow – for Pricing Homes
Zillow is the ultimate price comparison tool. Zillow maps recently sold homes, homes for sale, and ‘make me move’ homes for those not actively looking to move but are open to offers. If you are pricing how much a home is worth, you can see comparable nearby homes. Additionally, you can see what the home last sold for and what recent taxes on it were. All very useful data in helping you determine how much you want to pay for a home. One caveat is that the ‘Zestimate’ price often fluctuates wildly based on how much nearby homes have sold for. I’d take it with a grain of salt.
4. Hotpads – for Demographic and Neighborhood Information
Hotpads is another map-style search tool that clearly depicts rentals vs. homes. Prices for different numbers of rooms on apartment complexes are all listed. You are also able to overlay heat maps for demographic information including income and age as well as average rental prices. Use Hotpads to get a better sense of different neighborhoods that you are looking to move into.
Real Estate Search Discussion:
- What real estate sites do you recommend using?
- What site did you find your present home/apartment on?
- You May be Ready to Buy your First Home If…
- Your Home is an Investment?
- Should you Rent or Buy a Home?