Awesome online resources I have been using for researching properties

46 Replies

I want to begin by saying that I have no affiliation with any of these sites/apps. Full disclosure.. I am just relaying some sources that I use so that it may help someone else. Also, these are online references. Obviously, talking to realtors and neighbors is the best approach. This is for the people who research at 2am because they can't shut their brains off (like me).

Researching Rentals online:

- #1 - CraigsList

- #2 - Rentometer

- #3 - Zillows

- #4 - (here you can search by property type, ie multi, single, etc) but limited to only places looking for tenancy, like CraigsList

- #5 - MapLiv

Neighborhood Research:

- (Great for abundance of data)

- (breaks out data in 7 easy categories: Amenities, Cost of Living, Crime, Education, Employment, Housing, Weather) You can customize searches on how important each category is. I highly suggest it.

RE Apps in my iPhone (All are FREE. I've never paid for an app):

- Bigger Pockets (of course)

- Zillow

- Redfin


- MeetUp

- LoopNet

- HomeSnap (good for when you don't know the address. You take a pic an it gives you the property info).

This is a list that I have come up with, and I think it could be advantageous to begin a thread so that other people can add to the list. 

What other sites and apps are others using? (please no pitching of personal affiliated sites)

and I have excluded MLS sites as they are regional. However there is always a wealth of information if users have access.

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I am finding it to be pretty accurate for the areas I am using it for. Those are pretty much metropolis areas though (NYC, LA, Miami). I have heard in the more rural areas, that the data can be spotty.

@Jon Huber

Decent list.  I've used all of these, some more than others.

@Jesse Waters  

My experience with Rentometer has been good.  It's pretty accurate, but make sure you do not consider "historical listings" and always get your agent to run a "rent comp" report to verify before you set your rental rates. 

@Jon Strishak  ZipSkinny is pretty cool. It's the first website I have seen to show school demographics.

I like for looking at rents because you can click the map then see the actual ad it was pulled from.  It lets you see how your rental stacks up against the comparable in terms of amenities vs. just getting a number.  Sometimes the ads are expired but I've generally had good luck finding at least a few current ones in the area I'm looking.

Thanks so much guys. 

I've played with most of these resources on a regular basis, but some were new to me. MapLiv, HomeSnap and ZIPskinny really have my juices flowing. I'll be putting them through the paces tonight about 2:00 am. 

Thanks again. You guys rock!

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@Tom Mole   Glad to motivate you! HomeSnap was definitely a cool find for me. I tested it out with random homes and it seems to do a good job when you can't find the address on the house.

@Jesse Waters  I'm still in the process of figuring it out :) I'm looking to buy my first property so I'm trying to leverage as many tools as I can. As far as I can tell, seems like a good indicator of rents, so long as you are smart with your search. What I do is find my property and input the number of bedrooms. I then go to the individual properties that are listed and do a google map search to see if the property "looks" similar. I then tailor what my expected rents would be based on this information.  Not the most scientific approach, but I feel like it shouldn't throw me off the mark too bad. 

I've recently realized that the best approach is to cruise through the neighborhoods, find "for rent" signs and call these up. I figure thats what a prospective tenant would do, so why shouldn't I. 

@Account Closed  I just stumbled upon the following website I think this could be valuable when determining the demographics of your potential renters. 

@Louis Leone   Just realized RichBlocksPoorBlocks give a number of free searches and then want you to pay to see the rest. That's a shame. They have some good insight on there I was hoping would be completely free.

@Jon Huber  

Yes, you're right Jon.  I wish it was free also, although I think it's only $30 for the whole year.  I like how you can really drill down quickly on different areas and stats.  There are definitely places you can go for free to get the info though.

I agree. The features are great! ... but I will hold off until I can find one for free.