For real estate buyers right now it’s a crazy time. The fear of making the wrong decision can be paralyzing at times, so having access to information is critical.

I thought I’d share some of the tools I’ve been using in my own search.

What’s Happening on the Ground?

Trulia generates its reports from its internal database of property listings (most of which are pulled from its relationships with real estate brokers). Inventory is admittedly incomplete, but it’ll give you a good sense of the trajectories of the local markets.

Cyberhomes, on the other hand, gets its data from its records on over
100 million US properties. Their neighborhood overviews are a little slow to load but can give you a overview of what a zip code is doing and see the overall direction of the market.

Get the Big Picture?

Altos Research

Altos reports are real time market intelligence that deep dive in to what’s really going on in your market, right now. As a buyer, you can also get a snapshot of the trends in any given market. Altos founder Mike Simonsen claims their reports lead the Case/Shiller Index by three months.


Understanding the volume of foreclosures, bank owned properties and auctions that are hitting your is key to gauging where prices might be headed in your local market.


The 800lb gorilla in the foreclosure space. RealtyTrac has a fantastic amount of information despite a clunky web site. There is a monthly charge to have access to this data – but it’s well worth it, especially if you’re looking at these opportunities seriously.

California buyers may want to look at ForeclosureRadar, a “professional grade” search tool that tracks all foreclosure activity in the state. Designed mostly for Realtors and investors, it’s a fantastic tool that gives you unparalleled data and analysis. Too bad it’s not available outside of the Golden State, yet.

Bonus – Find Homes on Auction

Also, if you’re interested in getting homes at auction, check out Right now they are running auctions in California, Florida and Illinois.

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