Real estate investors who haven’t already should visit the new and improved Trulia.com. Trulia.com is a real estate search website that allows users to browse and receive information on property listings from around the U.S.
Trulia’s easy-to-use search criteria, mapping features and abundant demographical information make it a great site for investors.
Trulia can show users states where housing prices are particularly high or low with its “Heat Maps” feature. Trulia Trends provides up to date information on cities making the biggest moves in median listing prices as well as the 10 most popular housing markets.
Trulia provides basic information on particular homes and maps of the surrounding areas. Unlike its online real estate counterparts, Trulia also presents helpful demographic information on homes and the communities they are in.
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Trulia lets users compare pricing data, including the relative price of similar homes on the market and those recently sold.
Trulia’s real estate guides look at the communities around the home and include the test scores of local school districts, statistics on crime, community website links, median income and average commute times, among other things.
While investors previously had to access multiple websites to receive accurate information on home pricing and demographic information, Trulia wraps everything into one package. Trulia may become the one-stop shop for investors looking to research properties and communities on the Internet.
A new feature that could be helpful to investors is the RSS feed. This allows users to receive e-mail notifications when prices change on certain homes or when new homes which meet the user’s set criteria become available. So if an investor preferred a particular type of property for rehabs, they could set those criteria and be notified by e-mail once an appropriate property became available. This is similar to arrangements that many investors have with their real estate agents, but Trulia takes the agent out of the process and offers users access to the entire U.S.
Right now, Trulia boasts more than two million listings from regional and national real estate brokerages, but that is only a portion of the number of listings available on the MLS. The number of listings is constantly increasing, though, as Trulia forges new relationships with real estate brokerages.
While Trulia has demographic data on certain areas as well as a sample of home prices, it does not take the place of a good real estate agent. The website is most useful to investors as a resource to compile data on unknown areas or to further narrow the search for potential investment properties. Trulia can help investors gather information on a desired area and put them in contact with real estate agents who can do further research for potential investment properties.
At this point Trulia’s biggest flaw is the lack of listings. As more users add content to the site, though, it should continue to grow as a valuable resource for investors.