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    Some Useful Real Estate Buying Sites
    Interest rates have been creeping up but are still at a historical low. And the credit crisis has lowered housing prices. So, now is a good a time to buy a home. The following sites will eliminate a tremendous amount of running around and going thru reams of multiple listing pages.

    Some of the best Real Estate Sites

    These sites make significant use of Web 2.0 technologies and as such, they are incredibly useful and easy to use. In addition, below these eight sites are six more useful sites that may help you with your house hunting.

    1. Hotpads

    What it is: Washington, D.C. based HotPads offers more than 2 million for-sale homes and over 130,000 rentals. Users can search for available homes, see where the properties are located on the map, and view points of interest nearby. It integrates with both Microsoft Virtual Earth and Google Maps.

    Features: The Foreclosure Heat Maps visually illustrate the housing crisis. And users can see foreclosures by county and state through the use of color coding. You can save searches, sign up for e-mail alerts, and get RSS feeds of listings that match your preferences. Facebook users can share for-sale home listings with their friends, thanks to the HotPads Facebook Application.

    >>Go There: http://hotpads.com

    2. FrontDoor (beta)

    What it is: The home and lifestyle TV network (Scripps Network and HGTV) launched a beta version of FrontDoor which is meant to be a one-stop shop for home searching, home finance advice, videos, and online tools and calculators. It lists over 1.5 million homes. You can tailor your results by price range, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, square footage, amenities, and other criteria.

    Features: It is integrated with Google Maps. It also displays "hot" properties. Each listing offers information on the area's population, median household income, education, median home values, and quality of life.

    >>Go There: http://www.frontdoor.com

    3. Fizber

    What it is: Fizber.com is a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) site that makes good use of Web 2.0 capabilities.

    Features: Provides both Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth integration. There are six customized real estate widgets that can be introduced into a user's blog or Web site, including Search Box, iGoogle, and Home Values. Each FSBO seller can start a free blog. The site places its listings in over 70 other FSBO and social network Web sites.

    >>Go There: http://www.fizber.com

    4. Cyberhomes

    What it is: Cyberhomes is Operated by Fidelity National Financial. It is a place for obtaining property facts, value estimates, local and national changes in the housing market, and finding homes with its database of more than 100 million property, ownership, sales, and mortgage records.

    Features: This site provides Widgets to track homes, neighborhoods, and schools. You can also personalized a dashboard that displays the content a user wants to see.

    >>Go There: http://www.cyberhomes.com

    5. Trulia

    What it is: Trulia is a residential real estate search engine with over 60 million property pages, as well as reports on market trends. Search listings by price, property type, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and square footage. Searching for available homes in San Diego generated 12,812 listings. Search results now include foreclosures.

    Features: Trulia researches local market activity, price trends, local schools (with parent ratings), most popular neighborhoods, crime statistics, and more.

    >>Go There: http://www.trulia.com

    6. Zillow

    What it is: Zillow has become one of the most popular free real estate services on the Web. The company has partnered with 282 newspapers to extend its local listings, with over 1.7 million current listings.

    Features: Users can identify the most popular homes, recently sold homes, and homes for sale as displayed on a color coded map. You can also get custom mortgage quotes and use on-line mortgage calculators.

    >>Go There: http://www.zillow.com

    7. HousingMaps

    What it is: HousingMaps is a simple-to-use Google Maps mashup with listings from Craigslist. View places for rent, homes for sale, rooms, and sublets in the U.S. and Canada by city and price.

    Features: Listings can be filtered using keywords.

    >>Go There: http://www.housingmaps.com

    8. propertyqube

    What it is: Propertyqube is a social community that connects prospective buyers with property professionals and other home buyers. Search for foreclosures as well as homes to rent, buy, and sublet. Listings are powered by Google Base.

    Features: Propertyqube provides Google Maps integration. It displays upcoming local events for property listings, such as food markets and concerts.

    >>Go There: http://www.propertyqube.com

    Other Useful Real Estate Sites:

    Housing Panic: The Housing Bubble and Crash Blog with an Attitude Problem
    A blog on the ups and downs of the real estate market.

    Realty Thoughts
    A blog by real estate agents on topics such as technology, design, home trends, etc.

    Rotten Neighbor (beta)
    Identifies troublesome neighbors in an area.

    School Matters
    A service of Standard & Poor's, where parents can research area schools via detailed reviews and school ratings.

    Shak & Jill
    This blog features real estate news, advice, home improvements, investing, selling, etc.

    StreetAdvisor (beta)
    What people say about the street they live in.

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