Friday, October 22, 2010

Zillow is a free real estate service that provides information on home values (price, square footage, number of bathrooms). You can also search for homes that are for sale, recently sold homes and apartment rentals. The application is very simple to use and makes home shopping infinitely easier and allows you to save on gas.

On the home screen, you can look at a map powered by Google in street or hybrid view. If maps aren't your thing, you can view a list of homes near you. To update your current location, simply push the circle with the four lines on it in the upper left corner. If you don't even want to bother with homes out of your price range, click the filter button in the right corner where you can sort listings by price, number of beds, lot size, etc...

To find homes that recently sold in your area, click on the yellow arrows. To find homes for sale, click on the red arrow, which symbolizes a home. Under the arrow, as you can see in the photo (left), the price of the home is displayed. Once you have clicked on a red arrow, you can find the details of the home in question. There, you can find the address, the number of bed / bath, the square footage, etc... There are usually photos of the home on the detail page.

There is a lot of valuable information on the detail page besides square footage. You can email an agent, save this house as a favorite, and my personal favorite - check out a Zestimate of the home, which is Zillow's estimate for the home in a range, with a 30-day change. On this chart, you can find out the property value over the last 1, 5 and 10 years. Under the graph, you can find the last sale and tax information, as well as a property description.
If you see something you like, you can email the listing or call a listing agent featured at the bottom of the page.

All of these features make shopping for a new home so easy. This will make my future home shopping infinitely easier. I also feel like this application has an untapped potential for journalism - I'm just not sure what it is yet. Stay tuned...

Red - For Sale
Yellow - Recently Sold
Purple - For Rent
Blue - Make Me Move (a price you put on your home before putting it on the market)

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