Robbie has just released what may be the most addictive home search tool I have every used!
Search Tool Codename: Zearch!
Some obvious highlights include:
- Dynamic map of color-coed listings
- Geocoded Rain City Posts
I know the search is addictive because earlier today I showed this to a friend who is in the market to buy a home in Seattle and we couldn’t pull ourselves away from bouncing around the map. To get an idea of what I mean, follow this link to the detail page of this listing in Ballard.
You should see a few things:
- Photos of the listing
- Lots of color dots
The color dots all represent different homes that are currently on the market in the nearby area. Light blue dots mean the house is far below the average listing price while dark red mean it is far above the average listing for that area. The addicting part is that you can click on any of these dots to bring up the home details (and photos) for that home. With my friend sitting beside me, we kept searching for light blue dots amid lots of red hoping to find a “deal”. Very interesting stuff.
You might also notice on the map that there are some raindrops. These represent Rain City Guide blog posts that have been geocoded. This is subtle, but very powerful, as it essentially represents a mapped-based archive page for Rain City Guide’s posts. The cool part about this is that as you’re searching for background on a home, you can see what RCG posts have said about the neighborhood! And as we continue to add more neighborhood content on Rain City Guide, I’ll continue to geocode the posts, which will automatically add more background data to the home search tool…
What else has Robbie done?
For starters, he didn’t mess with the stuff that works well. You can still use the site to:
- Export of home search results to RSS so you can get updated homes that fit your criteria directly in your blog reader
- Export of home search results to Google Earth
- Valuation tool (including a “Zestimate” comparison)
- Search by remarks (i.e. fireplace, tudor)
- Search by school district
Some other things to notice about the new detail page is that whenever you move around on the map, all the nearby active listings show up. More impressively, you can also toggle on the nearby schools, gas stations, grocery stores, and other points of interest associated with every day living. Again, the color coded pushpins show that homes in Medina are bright hues of red, many homes in Renton are purple, while most of the homes in this area of Tacoma are blue. So much cool stuff, so little time!
On a side note, today was my last day as a transportation engineer! For the next few weeks I’m unemployed! 🙂