Tuesday, March 6, 2012
While in the past I’ve certainly not been the biggest of fans when it comes to real estate, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like to research various possibilities regarding homeownership. Our first -- and last -- homeownership experience cost us a heck of a lot of money, and certainly temporarily deterred us from re-entering the real estate market; however, I have still kept an eye on the market in several different geographic locations.
Here are some of the sites that I like to use to research and gain valuable insight into a variety of housing options in different locations.
I like the Zillow.com site because it provides a variety of estimates regarding not only a home’s particular current value, but its value over time, as well as the area’s value in which the home is located. It provides an estimated price range for a home’s value as well as its estimated rent estimate range and a 30-day change valuation. I can also see information such as sales price histories and changes, as well as property tax amounts, assessment histories, assessed valuations, and adjustments over the years.
I can also find information regarding a property’s tax rates, its valuation, as well as the trends of the area’s home values and price changes while on the market at Trulia.com. I also like this site because I can pull up information regarding comparable homes and find information about area sales trends.
I find Realtor.com to be an easily searchable site that provides a range of data on an area’s available housing. Like some of the other sites on my list, it includes information regarding area schools, listing “Parent Ratings” and “Great School Ratings” to help me get a better overall feel for how good an area’s school system really is. It can also provide sales history and tax history for properties.
I enjoy using realestate.yahoo.com as a real estate resource because it can help me gather information not only about specific homes within an area, but about the area a whole. I like to gauge what the market in a particular area is doing by using the site’s “Market Value Change,” which enables me to view trends over a 1, 5, and 10-year timeframe.
Using the “Real Estate Market Snapshot,” I can also get a feel for how many homes are for sale or in foreclosure in a particular area, which can help me better understand why prices or sales activity might be moving the way it is in a certain place.
Homes.com is a good overall site when searching for homes and gauging prices in a particular area. While maybe not offering some of the in-depth statistical detail of some of the other sites on my list, it’s still on my list of sites to search when it comes to homes, and it does offer comparables that are currently on the market in a particular area as well as those that have recently sold. This can help me get a better overall feel for what a home in the area may really be worth versus what the owners are asking for it.