An engine that can.

Does anyone have an opinion on the best real estate search engine to use in the metro area? I’ve been browsing houses using edina realty’s search, but I don’t like it. (and I’m not sure why. Mostly I think because I always end up doing a radius search, which lands me in neighborhoods I don’t want to live in. Full disclosure: I’m picky.)

I know the best way to look for a house is probably to have a realtor… but right now, I’m in brainstorm/think mode, not actually buying anything mode. I just want to get a thermometer out on what’s out there, prices, what you get for the money, etc. Also, to daydream on my lunchbreak.

Anyone have a personal favorite?

10 Comments so far

  1. John (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

    Here’s my favorite that I’ve been using for years:

    http://www.minnesotas-real-estate.com/search-mls.htm


  2. Ed Kohler (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

    The big three in the Twin Cities market are edinarealty.com, cbburnet.com, and Re/Max Results’ site at minnesotahomes.com

    All have significantly different interfaces. It’s a matter of personal opinion which one is best. I’m biased, as I work for the company that builds MinnesotaHomes.com, so with that in mind, here are a few things that we think makes it great.

    Large photos, property comparisons, printable brochures, RSS feeds of saved searches.

    trulia.com – a national real estate search site – has an interesting interface as well, but I don’t believe they have all MLS listings for the Twin Cities market so you could miss out on some MLS listed properties.


  3. Erica M (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

    Zillow?


  4. Annika (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    I LOVE theMLSonline.com. It has a google map feature if that is your thing and a practical user interface. Another highlight are the 360 tours of homes which offer additional photos of the homes not shown within the normal photo viewing page.


  5. jenn (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 4:04 pm

    http://www.fishmls.com lists them all


  6. Grant (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

    For some reason I always use Roger Fazendin.

    http://www.rogerfazendin.com/index.cfm

    Not sure why though…


  7. IFR Pilot (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

    Easiest one out there is http://www.ziprealty.com -Its full MLS. Before you do anything else, read http://www.thehousingbubbleblog.com daily, then wait at least 24 months to buy. You may still be catching a falling knife (home values) so DYODD.
    (Do your own due diligence) Good luck. Oh, put 20 percent down, pay no more than 2.5 to 3 times your income, and no ARMS. Avoid a 30 year if you can- go 15.


  8. noodleman (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 12:32 pm

    Whenever I’ve used edinarealty.com, I always start with the particular zip code I want to first search. That quickly gets me to a specific area. You can move the map around easily enough (a la GoogleMaps) so you really shouldn’t have any trouble moving from neighborhood to neighborhood.

    P.S. A 20-year mortgage is also an option, often overlooked, that can make a payment more affordable than a 15-year. You can always add an extra $100 or so to each months’ payment to pay down your principal more quickly. With my 30-year, the extra $100/month will mean the house is paid for in 22 years instead of 30 … saving me tens of thousands of dollars in interest.


  9. Erica M (unregistered) on October 18th, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

    You can also do that thing where you pay half the payment semi-monthly instead of monthly. Cuts down on the interest over the long term.

    I can’t even fathom coming up with 20% down, having no prior house to roll over money from.


  10. Looking for a home (unregistered) on November 3rd, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    If you are looking for a bank owned home, go to http://www.fishmls.com. They post forclosures and Jason Borowitz is experienced at writing contracts on bank owed homes. He is also the broker of the company. I am currently working with him searching for a new home. A-1 service you won’t be dissapointed.



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