Friday, March 27, 2015

House Hunting Apps

When you're house hunting, searching MLS listings and going to open houses can consume you. It's an exciting process, and a local realtor who really knows the area will help tremendously. Neal and I have been casually looking, trying to pinpoint the neighborhood that feels like "us" before we commit. Along the way we've become pretty familiar with some of the popular apps/websites that are available.
Here's the run-down:

  • Zillow: Although the listings on this site/app aren't always the most current, the "zestimates" are helpful guides. Zillow creates these home value estimates basted on data from public records, homeowners, tax assessors, etc. It's not a perfect valuation of a home, but it can be a good guide as you start searching.
  • Trulia: Similar to Zillow, the listings aren't always the most current. However, this site can give you a better view of the neighborhood. It's helpful to see crime statistics, school locations, and local amenities like grocery stores and banks as you select the perfect place to live.
  • Realtor.com: Of all the sites, this one seems to have the most current listings. It's frequently updated with new info, so you can get alerts about price changes, sales, etc.
  • Redfin: You may have seen he commercials, but this is a similar platform for listings, backed by a team of agents. The agents aren't paid on traditional commission, so if you use Redfin instead of a traditional realtor, note that you'll have to put in more of a search effort and schedule your own home tours. 
We're gearing up for another weekend of open houses, in between bike rides, kayaking, and other ways to get out and enjoy the Austin sunshine! What's on your weekend to-do list?

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