16 Real Estate Web Sites

Istockphoto_3022730_html_tagsYou’re bombarded with web sites every day.  WWW-this … WWW-that … NRVLivingBlog.com (you’ve already got that one bookmarked, right?)  Well, Money Magazine has compiled some addresses that have, according to them, have changed the game in real estate.  You be the judge …

Best Site To Find Out If You Can Afford A House

Mortgage-Calc.com – no ads, no popups, nothing but numbers.  Don’t forget, though, that you need to figure in taxes and insurance, among other things.  For an even more specific look at what your payment might be, email Mark Weddle at Salem Financial and let him work up a no obligation, Good Faith Estimate for you.

Best Site To Satisfy Your Inner Bob Vila

DoItYourself.com – step-by-step instructions for just about every home project.

Best Moving Calculator

Move.com – estimates are based on how far you have to travel, and how many furnished rooms you have.

Best Insta-estimate Of Your Home’s Value

Zillow.com – It’s certainly one of the most popular sites, but definitely not one of the most accurate.  The proof?  Case in point … this home on is listed on Trulia as having 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 5235 square feet.  On Zillow
4 bedrooms,
2.5 baths, and 4436 square feet
… and the lot size is off, to boot.  Not to knock Zillow, but the information on Trulia comes directly from the listing agent.  Zillow‘s system is great for getting a general idea of value, but for a more in-depth perspective, contact a local agent

Home Price Comparison Index – I really like this one, and use it a lot with clients moving into our out of the area.  Compare a home’s value in City A, to a home in City B … really a neat tool.

Best Way To Save Money Building A Dream Home

Homeplans.com – Thousands of blueprints, ready for delivery to your new home site.  They likely have the most extensive library of prints of anyone around, you’re certain to find what you’re looking for from either their library OR their in-house design team.

Best Listing Site For Sellers Flying Solo

ForSaleByOwner.com – they say it’s one of the most heavily trafficked sites in the world of For Sale By Owner … and I use it on a regular basis.  If you think you can sell it on your own, this is the place to go …

Best Site To Jumpstart Your Renovation

LetsRenovate.com – Offers guidance on whether or not to renovate or move, reviews of items you’re considering, even financing options.

Best Way To Steel Yourself For A Remodel

HouseBlogs.net – read up on what other remodelers have to say about their ongoing projects.  Started by Jeanne Olsen of houseinprogress.net (which is another fun one to follow, BTW), it’s kind of like an online community for remodelers.  Definitely a must to check out!

Best Site For Real Estate Window Shopping

Realtor.com – the #1 visited real estate web site, REALTOR.com has it all.  It’s not the best at providing the information you need to really make a decision, but if you’re just browsing, this is the place to start.  Then head here

Best Hourly Rate For An Attorney

Freeadvice.com – Remember that everything is local, so I’d be wary of gathering too much advice on a site like this.  But if you’re in a pinch, it might be an option.  Just don’t forget to consult a local attorney for more information.

Best Birds-Eye View Of A Neighborhood

HomePages.com – need to know where shopping, grocery stores or schools are in relation to an address?  HomePages.com can tell you, with their birds-eye service.

Best Way To Prepare Yourself For The Worst

Insurance Information Institute – it’s estimated that 66% of homeowners have inadequate homeowners insurance.  The III’s website will explain policies, help you determine the right fit, and even assess your belongings.  You can also check with Eric Johnsen of State Farm.

Best First Stop For Mortgage Shoppers

Bankrate.com – can’t argue with this one, Bankrate has some of the most comprehensive information around.  Then make Salem Financial and Mark Weddle your second stop.  We mention him because he’s the best – that’s the only reason.

Best Site To See Which Schools Make The Grade

SchoolMatters.com – It DOES matter, which is why SchoolMatters is so popular.  Test scores, teacher/student ratios and more, all by district and school.  It’s always best to check with the local schools for more information, or ask your agent to set an appointment for you to meet with administrators as a follow-up.

Best Site To Find A Renter For Your Beach House

CyberRentals.com – Organized by region, feature descriptions and photos, renters can search by availability and locations.  Cost is $158 a year, so you might want to consider bumping the rent up a bit.




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