Is there a Yelp! for real estate listings?
April 28, 2011 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Is there some nice shiny, futuristic way to peruse area real estate listings which gives one an accurate picture of what is for sale in a given area?

And if there's not, why not?!

So, I'm dreaming of the next home that I probably will not ever be able to afford because my current little house is underwater and the economy sucks and etc. As I drive around lovelier neighborhoods than mine and see a house that looks the same general size (maybe a little bigger) that are for sale, I try to note the cross streets and look them up later. They are often very difficult to find even if I remember the realty company (there are so many now!). Zillow seems pretty inaccurate. Is there a website that is sort of a Yelp! for real estate?

After all, with gas prices what they are, I can't afford to be driving around lovely neighborhoods all day with my house underwater and the economy being what it is and so forth....
posted by amanda to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, and FSBO homes? You find those on Craigslist, I guess?
posted by amanda at 4:29 PM on April 28, 2011

Have you tried Redfin?
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:29 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think Streeteasy fits the bill, though only for NYC metro area, so... I apologize in the very likely event that this doesn't help you.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 4:36 PM on April 28, 2011

posted by kelseyq at 4:40 PM on April 28, 2011

Trulia seems to have replaced Zillow as the latest and greatest tool for my real-estate obsessed colleagues.
posted by Perplexity at 4:40 PM on April 28, 2011 has free mobile apps. You can check for Nearby Homes for Sale and Nearby Open Houses. You can also Save listings that interest you.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 4:42 PM on April 28, 2011

In our area, the realtors all use a site that let's you search for homes the old fashioned way (by school district or town or zip code) OR by map.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:43 PM on April 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just tried Trulia, and it showed me a house that was in the next town over from where I was searching, yet gave the address as in my town of choice. Hmm. Not impressed.

I've had good luck with searching for "mls [name-of-town, state]". "MLS" is an acronym for Multiple Listing Service (or something more or less like that). Then you have to wade through the results a bit to find which local real estate site best implements the local database. But that should give you a nearly complete picture of the local scene, minus the word-of-mouth deals.

Also, the Yahoo real estate section can be pretty productive.
posted by bricoleur at 6:15 PM on April 28, 2011

Seconding You can search by zip code or just zoom in on a certain map area and have it show you what's for sale on the screen, and you can set lots of parameters (#of beds/baths, square footage, lot size, price, etc.) to narrow your searches. If you have an account (which is free), you can mark houses as favorites so you can keep an eye on the ones you like. You can also set it up to send you an email when something about one of your favorites gets updated (price change, open house, stuff like that).
posted by kitty teeth at 6:23 PM on April 28, 2011

Definitely and realtor's mobile app. They have EVERY listing, while the other usually just have a subset.

The only issue is that the descriptions are often missing or limited. On the realtor website the trick is to get the MLS # of the property and plug it into Google. Typically you'll find a more complete description elsewhere.
posted by The Lamplighter at 6:40 PM on April 28, 2011

Redfin was really great for when we were searching though I think they have limited coverage. But compared to the other big services (Trulia, Zillow) the information was more accurate, more comprehensive, and more current. And the interface is so much easier to use.
posted by Mrs Roy G Biv at 8:20 PM on April 28, 2011

Response by poster: Brilliant! Thanks, all!
posted by amanda at 3:53 AM on April 29, 2011

You're in Portland, right? Do you know about I used that when I bought my current house, it's great because the search fields make it easy to really zero in on what you're looking for. I found zip code searches and school zone searches to be particularly effective.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:31 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older A frog in a water nest?   |   Free or cheap DIY electric ukulele plans? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.