Imagine you’re out house hunting and want to know about everything that’s for sale nearby. Simply turn on your GPS enabled mobile phone and every listing in that neighbourhood is displayed in detail – and it changes as you move. Already underway through one major real estate portal in the USA this is just one of the new ‘toys’ buyers and sellers have to look forward to here in the next couple of years.
We’ve just come back from a conference where new technologies were revealed and with the internet now reaching more than 70% of Australians there’s masses of property info that’ll soon be on tap. Have a sticky-beak at www.trulia.com, another leading American site where someone moving cities can really get to know their new neighbourhood before they choose where to buy. Stats on household income, local schools, work travel times (more than 10% of Los Angeles residents take over an hour!) and the all-American favourite – crime rates are all dished up alongside listing info.
“Trulia Trends” shows you at a glance what suburbs in the USA have had the biggest gains and losses in median list prices and of course you can dream about the dearest neighbourhood – in Los Angeles that’s Beverly Hills right now with an average home at US$4.6m! Their “Heat Maps” show satellite maps of cities with the pricing data coloured across each suburb.
Americans thinking of selling can try www.zillow.com for an instant “Zestimate”, a computer generated estimate of the likely selling price of a home, based on data held for 70 million US properties. If you’re half serious about selling and would move at a magic price you can add it to the “Make Me Move” section. An interested buyer might just knock on your door with their pot of gold in hand. Just think – you won’t even need to speak to a real estate agent!