Zats really cool…

Zillow has launched!

I just got an email from Zillow’s Director of Communications and she passed along the fact that not only is their blog live, but a beta version of their site is live as well… Rich and David flipped the switch!

So, what does Zillow do?

In two minutes of of a Skype conversation with my mom, we were able to find the “Zestimated” value of my home in Seattle, my mom’s home in Sacramento, and my grandmother’s home in Las Vegas… Very cool indeed, especially since my home value is zestimated to be worth $140K more than we paid for it two-and-half years ago!

From what I can tell, they’ve found a way to estimate the value of thousands upon thousands of homes (60,000,000+ homes by their count). For my neighborhood, they have lots of background information on each home… Not only does it tell you the size, square feet, lot size, etc. but it also gives information like a list of recently sold comparable homes. Very cool indeed.


The site is loaded with tables, graphs, and charts for each home.

Probably the strongest selling point so far is that creating a set of comparables is so easy. I’ve worked a fair amount with Anna to develop comparable market analysis, and I can tell you that agents may have access to slightly better data on each home, but Zillow’s system is SO much easier to use that I imagine many agents will turn to Zillow from now on…


Interesting, interesting stuff… It is interesting that the site has a complete lack of obtrusive ads and it will be really interesting to see how this plays out in the agent community. I’m not seeing a lot of negatives so far.

Here’s how Rich Barton explains their business model on the Zillow blog:

I’d like to make a comment on our business model, which I’ve found helps divine motives. will make revenues from advertisements on the site. We will always be crystal clear about what is content and what is advertising, just like any respectable content provider, and our advertising will not define our content. However, the beauty of “Web 2.0

DOJ-"opt-out" and a war with a "discounter"

A new Broker opens an office and has no listings yet. He goes to area brokers and asks if he can advertise their listings in his “window” to help get him started. Mostly they say yes. They are not trying to force out the competition and they are more than willing to help him.

Now they walk past his office and they see their listings in his window. No problem. Until they see this big sign on top of the houses for sale, which are their listings. “Our Mission: To reinvent the existing residential real estate business — an ANTIQUATED, INEFFICIENT, and COSTLY system of selling homes!!”

That is an actual statement from a website. It used to be pages and pages of “Help us fight the GREEDY brokers! Join our CAUSE!

Well, do you think the local brokers wanted their listings in that “window”? Would you? So the “window” is the internet, same difference isn’t it? That guy was using their listings to show homes on his site because he didn’t have any listings yet, and badmouthing them at the same time. Does that seem right to you?

The brokers didn’t opt out against this company because he was a discounter. They opted out against this guy because he was advertising their listings (VOW site showing other broker’s listings) while at the same time badmouthing them and calling them greedy SOBs! That’s the kind of “mud” that causes the “opt out” provision to be invoked against a “discounter”.

The local brokers said get my #%$## listings off that guy’s site now!

What do you think? Do you think the brokers should be forced to let this guy put their listings on his site, while he badmouths them on the site at the same time? I don’t think so. But I’d like to know what you think.

This is what the DOJ suit is about. The DOJ is trying to remove that right of brokers to say, OK, you can use my listings. But don’t sling mud at me from behind the picture of my listing! If you do that, I’m taking my picture out of your “window”.

Of course we could break his kneecaps, but opting out seems like a better answer 🙂 The brokers “opted out”. The new company didn’t have any homes to show on his site. He cleaned up the site a lot, though the Mission is still as it appears above without the CAPS, and a compromise was reached. Opting out is a negotiation tool to prevent companies from getting started on other broker’s listings while slinging arrows at them. There is another group involved. Same theory. EBAs. But they are “Johnny come lately’s to the suit”, so let’s stop at this example.

Tell me how you feel about all this.

ZIP, Zillow and ZAP – Part 1 of ?

OK, let’s “Get Real” for a minute.

On the one hand we have the consumer who wants what they need, no more; no less, for a price that seems reasonable.

Now, let’s look at the “service providers”, both as you know them, and as I know them as an insider. From an insider’s perspective there are three tiers of “service providers”. The traditional full service model, the “discounted” full service model and the stripped down to “you are mostly on your own” model. None of these are “good” or “bad” in and of themselves. It’s more a matter of what is good or bad for you, depending on your skills. But that’s for another day. Just wanted you to know that each of these is good for someone. Only question is which is right for you.

Technology has added a fourth option that is not a “model” in the “service provider” sense, but one that many consumers at present are opting for, which I will call ZAP.

I have to use analogies because I am somewhat limited by my insider position in discussing commissions and companies. Straight shooter that I am, being a little vague is not my normal modus operandi, so bear with me. Hopefully my descriptions and analogies will be obvious enough for you to follow. If not, you can ask questions in your comments or by email.

Let’s discuss and eliminate the ZAP option first, since it is not a “service provider”, but a place where many consumers get trapped without knowing that they are getting ZAPPED. It is worth mentioning here that ZIP is not a ZAP. Now back to ZAPs. The most obvious ZAPs have a button that says “Find a Realtor”, or something of that nature. When you hit that button to find a Buyer’s Agent or Seller’s Agent you are decreasing your ability to negotiate the commission, without knowing it. The technology whizzes who create these websites take a portion of the commission, without disclosing that to you the consumer. They do not provide a service to you, the consumer. They provide a service , for a fee, to the agent who is a “participant” at a cost. There are many of these and we call them “lead generating” sites, “bottom feeders” or “troll” sites.

Let’s take a specific example of how these work, and there are many of these available to you. Let’s say you are a buyer, rather than a seller, of real estate. You go to look at property on one of these sites, which is how they reel you in. You then hit the “I need a Buyer’s Agent” button and are connected with an agent. Let’s say based on the price of the house you will eventually purchase, that the commission will be $9,000 as pre-set by the seller of that house when he listed it for sale in the mls. When you connect with the agent by hitting that button, you have generally spent in that process of merely hitting a button on the website, the money you could have negotiated toward your closing costs or repairs or against the purchase price.

The agent who “gets you” has paid for you. He pays for you out of the $9,000 on the table in your “transaction”. Sometimes he pays it up front in a monthly cost of say $1,000 a month. So if it took three months for that agent to “get you ” (“the lead”), he has paid $3,000 for you. When you try to negotiate something for you from the $9,000, the agent has already given $3,000 to the 3rd party ZAP company, and so you get zapped, as your ability to negotiate has been diminished or entirely eliminated without your knowledge.

Some other sites are not “pay as you go” for the agent, but “pay as you close”. In that case the agent will owe the ZAP a percentage of the commission, if and when you close escrow. Again, the monies you may have been able to negotiate with your agent have been sucked up in advance without your knowledge.

Some of these sites operate like the one sided mirror glass of an interrogation room that you see on shows like Law and Order and the like. I find these lead generating “Big Brother” website options to be exceptionally creepy, but hey, that’s technology at its “best”, I guess. When you sign up to the site to view and save property, you are assigned to an agent in the queue without regard to whether or not it is a good match. Those who have paid in to “look at you look at property”, get the leads kind of like the way a lottery ball pops up to the top and gets “pulled”. I’m trying to give you the facts without editorializing, but it’s difficult for me as I find these sites intrusive and deceptive.

OK, back to facts. The agent who “wins you in the lottery” of the moment, gets to see everything you are doing from the inside without your knowing he is watching you. He can see what properties you are viewing. He can see which ones you are saving vs. ones you are trashing, he can “get inside your head” a bit. He gets all of the info you have put in to register for the site. You then get an email from him, and maybe a phone call, saying “Would you like to go see X property”? You are dumbfounded and amazed and think he is absolutely clairvoyant! Or maybe you DO want to see that property and don’t think about how he “guessed” you might want to go see that property and you just go see that property without a second thought.

LOL OK, I can’t stop editorializing, can I? Don’t you find this just absolutely creepy? Maybe it’s me. I’ll stop here for today and will continue after some of you comment on this so far. Maybe it’s just me. What do you think? I’d like to hear from you before I go any further. After 5 comments I will go to Part 2 of ?

As to the Title of this entry, let’s review. We are mostly talking about ZAPs that ZAP you, the buyer consumer. ZIP is NOT a ZAP. While you all sit at the edge of your seats awaiting Zillow and it’s wonders, we’all (the insiders for lack of a better term) are sitting back expecting another exploitative ZAP type. Of course “No one knows, but the Shadow”, but at least know what to look for when it comes. My expectation is that it will not give you what you want. That being “What you need, no more; no less, at a reasonable cost” as noted in the second sentence of this entry above. (Someone let me know if that IS what the consumer wants, please. Thanks.)

But it will WOW you with it’s technology, reel you in, and then sell you off to the highest bidder. No one knows yet, but if you hear anything new about it let me know and I will decipher the code.

Five comments from YOU, the reader, and then we will move to the actual means a buyer has to negotiate their commission, unless they have already “shot themselves in the foot” by being totally or partially ZAPPED without their knowledge, from the ability to negotiate.

Have a good day! Look forward to hearing from you!


Didn't Pay Your Mortgage? Don't Worry.

[photopress:garden_wall.jpg,thumb,alignright]I always enjoy reading the perspective of Slate economist Daniel Gross… and when he covers real estate issues, it’s all the better.

In Didn’t Pay Your Mortgage? Don’t Worry, David explains how banks are more forgiving than ever…

With the passage of the consumer-unfriendly bankruptcy law and the cram-down rampant, the personal finances of those with limited means are getting more precarious. But even in this Scrooge-y world, there are pockets of sweetness and generosity. At least one group of kind-hearted folks in the finance industry is willing to give customers a break when things don’t go their way: America’s heart-of-gold mortgage lenders, who are behaving with curious benevolence toward suffering clients. Even as housing prices have risen and grown more unaffordable, and as bankruptcy filings have soared, foreclosure rates have fallen. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the foreclosure rate has fallen from 1.49 percent in the third quarter of 2002 to 1 percent in the second quarter of 2005.

He goes on to explain that ” foreclosure—on anyone—is an onerous, time-consuming process. (Read: It costs money.) It also forces banks to get into a business far from their core competency.” In addition, “getting aggressive on foreclosure can damage a lender’s reputation.”

“It used to be that only gigantic banks and corporations like Citigroup and Chrysler were regarded as too big to fail. Today, the humble homeowner enjoys that status as well.”

It is definitely worth noting that if you are having trouble paying your mortgage, talk with your lender. For all the reasons that David notes in this article, it is quite possible that you can work a deal out that will allow you to keep your home until your finances improve!

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) for Real Estate

Duck Flapping WingsI can tell from some of the questions I got from my past post about RSS feeds that I was going over some people’s heads. As the resident geek here at Rain City Guide, I feel it is my responsibility to explain RSS feeds and why they are so cool… So let’s begin with the big picture…

Who cares about RSS?
Imagine that you could create a newspaper that only included content that you were interested in. Mine definitely would not include tables if yesterday’s stock quotes! But what would it include? My ideal newspaper would be completely personalized to my interests and include this type of information:

  • Current world, local, real estate, transportation, and tech news
  • Commentary from my favorite writers on world news, local news, real estate, transportation and tech issues
  • The latest photos of my friends and family
  • A photo and description of every new home that came on the market in Anna’s market area
  • Upcoming local events
  • Blog articles written by people who are moving to Seattle

But wait! I’ve already got that newspaper and it is delivered (digitally) to one place every day. Even better, it is delivered continuously throughout the day as new articles appear. My newspaper is ALWAYS up-to-date. It includes selected articles from the New York Times, the Seattle Times, the Seattle PI and 4500 other newspapers!. As a matter of fact, I’ve created such an awesome newspaper that I rarely search the web anymore for new content. Just about all the content that I could possible be interested in gets delivered to me! And best of all, this newspaper with articles, commentary, data and photos personalized to my tastes is delivered to me FREE!

How does this work?
Through the magic of RSS.

What is RSS?
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. The idea behind RSS is that a website (newspaper, blog, photo site, etc) publishes a text file on their site with a very specific (RSS) format so that other sites can “ping” this one text file to find the latest news, information, photos (or home listings!). The text file is pretty ugly to look at (here is Rain City Guide’s RSS feed), but that is beside the point, because users should never be looking at a raw RSS feed. Instead, users (that means you!) should get a feed reader that will parse all the ugly text and reformat it in a nice, easy-to-read package.

Have a lost you yet?
Stick with me, and I hopefully you’ll start to see what makes RSS feeds so cool (at least in a geeky sort of way!).

Ducks at LakeWhy go through all the hassle to get a site’s RSS feed when you can just go to the site whenever you’re interested in reading their content?
The beauty of the RSS feed is that updated information is brought to you! Ever since I’ve started using a feed reader, I find myself searching the web for interesting information a lot less because interesting information is brought to me! To give you an idea of the diversity of feeds available, here are some of the things that are delivered to the inbox of my feed reader every time new information is published:

I mention these items just to give you a picture of the diversity of feeds that are available. In reality, over 100 of my feeds are all from bloggers, but the options for different feeds are massive and growing every day. I’ve really enjoyed being able to read articles and see photos from all of these sources within one place (a feed reader!), which brings me to…

So where do I get one of these feed readers so that I can create my own on-line newspaper?
There are a ton of feed readers available. Some of them are desktop-based and some are web-based. Most of my experience has been on the following three web-based options, so I’m going to limit my opinion to these three, but feel free to search beyond my experience:

I began using MyYahoo years ago, and then a while back (months? years?) they added the ability to add any RSS feed to a user’s MyYahoo page. I took advantage of this and enjoyed it so much that MyYahoo page became extremely cluttered. I clearly needed a better option which is when I turned to Bloglines. Bloglines allows you to categorize your feeds into an unlimited number of folders and it does a great job of keeping track of which articles you’ve already read, making it extremely popular and easy-to-use program. Plus it is 100% web-based so that if you log into the service and read an article on one computer (let’s say at work) then when you log in from home, your home computer will know that you’ve already read that article… Bloglines is a great way to keep up on your favorite news, blogs, etc.

Ducks PlayingI’ve also been playing around with Google’s new feed reader called GoogleReader. It’s a great option as well and I really like that it has an “relevance” option that brings the things I’m most likely to be interested in to the top of my list of things to read.

What’s next?
My hope is that if you’re new to RSS feeds, then at least you are starting to see that they have a ton of potential. They are everywhere and Scobleizer (over at Microsoft) would even argue that they are essential for new web companies! Feeds are only going to become more popular, so if you want to be a web-savvy individual, it is time to hop on the band wagon and try it out!

And if you’ve made it this far, you’ll start to notice orange RSS “badges” all over the web. These badges are letting you know that you can read this site’s content from your blog reader.

For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to assume you are using GoogleReader… To add Rain City Guide to GoogleReader, here is what you need to do:

  1. Go to GoogleReader
  2. In the search box, type is “Rain City Guide” and click “Search for New Content”.
  3. Where you see “Seattle’s Rain City Real Estate Guide”, click on the Subscribe button. This will add Rain City Guide’s RSS feed to your GoogleReader.

It is that simple to add a feed. In addition, most sites offer an “+ to XYZ” buttons like this one (Add to Google) from Google. There are bunch more feed readers on the market, and I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to add Rain City Guide, so I’ve added a button for all the ones that I’m aware of on my sidepanel.

Also, if you are interested in real estate feeds, feel free to grab the real estate feeds that I follow by downloading this file to your hard-drive and using the “import” feature within GoogleReader to add these feeds. (To do this you will need to (1) click on “Your Subscriptions” and (2) on the pull down menu that says “more actions”, click on “import”. Then (3) just follow the instructions to import the XML file.)

So why all the big fuss about RSS feeds? And what does this have to do with real estate?
I’ve been playing around with some ideas I have for an RSS feed of real estate listings and before I announce anything, I needed to have a post I could turn to where I could say “This is what an RSS feed is and why you should care!” There’s nothing I’m ready to present yet, but if you’re interested in being an alpha-tester, let me know and I’ll pass along a link soon enough!

Is it Time to Refinance to Cash Out?

rubber duckThe Seattle Times posted an interesting article giving the pros and cons of refinancing homes in order to take out an cash (or a line of credit). Interestingly, the number of people doing this is extremely high with “nearly three out of four homeowners who refinanced through Freddie Mac between July and October cashing out.”

What are the downsides to “cashing out”?

  • By carrying more debt (secured by your house), you put your assets at greater risk if you lose your job, get sick or run into other financial difficulties.
  • More debt also means higher monthly payments, especially if you opt for a 15-year payback term.
  • Refinancing typically costs much more in settlement and loan-origination fees than home-equity lines, unless you have your closing charges rolled into the note rate.

With that said, there are several good reasons to strongly consider an equity line:

  • Convenience and control
  • You pay interest on only the amounts you’ve pulled out, not the approved limit.
  • Most lines allow immediate access to more money using credit cards or checks

Hacking Your Dream Home

[photopress:Living_Room_shadow.JPG,thumb,alignright]While we’re thinking $100M huge, here’s a question to lighten the mood up:

What sort of “neat” things and convenience features would you design into your dream home?

This question was recently posted at Ask Metafilter and there have been some wonderful responses. Here are some of my favorite:

  • Built-in bookshelves
  • Stereo speaker plug-ins in each room, run to a central stereo. Each room has a on/off switch for the speakers.
  • Built-in main computer area with either good WiFi, or cabled access throughout house.
  • Skylights, as many as possible
  • Japanese soaking tub
  • Good reading light over the toilet
  • Secret room
  • Gas-powered outdoor firepit

It is such a fun question! I found it interesting to see where people focused. Some responses were all about the kitchen… Some all about light… and others all about keeping the bugs out!

Thanks to Fraser at Toronto at Home.

Yahoo Maps is Now Driving Innovation!

Yahoo Map of Seattle DestinationsI’ve been waiting (and searching) for a mapping site that gives multi-destination directions and the new (still in Beta) Yahoo Maps definitely delivers!

Here are some of the features that I have wanted to see in an on-line maps and how the Beta Yahoo Maps stands up:

  1. Multi-destination: This allows you to type in a bunch of addresses and get directions from one site to the next all on one map. This feature alone should make Yahoo Maps (beta) the default online mapping program for all real estate agents (and home buyers!). Thank you Yahoo!
  2. Best routing of destinations: theoretically, you’d be able to hit a button and have the mapping software tell you the most efficient route to get between multiple points. Yahoo does not have this feature (yet?), but they do let you manually change the order of your destinations! To do this, you simple have to drag the address within the sidepanel above (or below) another address.
  3. Remembering addresses. It is nice that Yahoo maps is integrated with my Yahoo Address book. The only problem is that I haven’t used my Yahoo Address book in years so all the addresses (and there are 100s) are old (including my “home”). It looks like it might be time to return to my Yahoo address book!
  4. Mobile Phone Integration: Getting directions via my mobile phone is currently a pain. I have a blackberry with internet access, but the current mapping sites are too slow and any misspellings require retyping things… I did try out Yahoo Maps a few weeks ago (and I liked that I had access to my on-line Yahoo address book), but, again, the addresses in my address book were so outdated, that it didn’t do me a lot of good. Seeing has how the Yahoo Maps has the “email map” and “Send to phone” options, it looks like it might be time to update my Yahoo address book!
  5. Live Traffic Data: I also like that Yahoo has integrated live traffic data (like freeway speeds). I’d be interested to see them add traffic cameras (Along the lines of Bus Monster).

Ideally, I’d like to be able to map out a bunch of homes while sitting at my home computer and email a set of directions to myself. All the addresses would be remembered (by Yahoo Maps) so that I could easily get an updated set of directions while on the road via my mobile phone. It looks like Yahoo is definitely going in that direction, but when I tried to email myself a map with four destinations, it only returned a generic map. I had similar problems trying to get a “printable version” of the map so I’m thinking that my problems might be related to the fact that I’m working on a Mac. Hopefully they will fix these issues soon!

And speaking of bugs, the beta version of Yahoo Maps did not work for me while using Firefox on my Mac. I had to revert to IE in order to see the graphics. Again, hopefully they will fix this bug soon!

One last thing before I call it a night… I played around with some of the programs that have been created with the Yahoo Map API, and it looks like they are finally at a level that is competitive with Google… My favorite mash-up so far maps out local events based on yahoo’s event calendar. Note that it would be really nice if this event mash-up had a city/zip search bar so that I could easily navigate from SF to Seattle, but instead, I had to zoom way out and zoom way back in is really nice that this program DOES have a city/zip search bar. (As Toby says in one of the comments: “For moving around in the events browser, you can highlight the city name above the map and type in a city or zip. It’ll jump straight where you want it to go.”) . Other than that issue, it It is a nice little program which I’ll definitely use again! I’m especially jazzed (or is it “rocked”) that I found out the Red Elvises are playing at the Tractor Tavern this Saturday! 🙂

Update 1: After posting this article, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one excited about the Local Event Browser. Jeremy Zawodny gives a good round up of all the excitement by Yahoo staff regarding the new map capabilities. I especially like that Yahoo has made an API for their geocoder. A free and easy-to-use geocoder is a major missing link from the Google Maps API. (what is a geocoder? In the simplest sense, a geocoder gives a latitude and a longitude for a given address.) It will be interesting to see if Google responds by opening up an address geocoder as well.

Tax Reform Hits Home…

[photopress:soccer.jpg,thumb,alignright]CNN reports on some of the tax-reform proposals that have recently come out of a presidential panel. (note that none of these changes are law… yet… but rather they are just proposals and still have to go through congress.)

The panel recommended lowering the mortgage interest cap, which is the amount of a loan on which home owners would receive a tax break for interest paid, from $1 million to the average regional housing price in the range of $227,000 to $412,000.

The deduction would be converted to a credit equal to 15 percent of interest paid on mortgages up to the interest cap. A credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of the taxes you owe, while a deduction only reduces your taxable income by a percentage equal to your top tax rate. Deductions benefit high-income taxpayers the most and are limited to those taxpayers who itemize on the federal tax returns.

Generally speaking, the higher your mortgage loan and the higher your tax bracket, the more likely it is that you’ll see less of a tax break than you would under the current system. That’s because under the current system those in the highest tax brackets benefit most from the deduction.

CNN has more on how these changes could affect your tax bill here…

I really enjoyed Daniel Gross take on the issue in his article in his Moneybox column: Tax ’em Till They Turn Red.

In particular, he has a great description of the myopia experienced by both sides (i.e. blue-states vs. red-states):

Many of the people writing and talking about these issues suffer from one of two kinds of myopia. There’s blue-state myopia. Classic sufferers: Moneybox, Moneybox’s editors, many of Moneybox’s readers. These are people who think you have to pay seven figures to get a nice house with a nice yard in a nice suburb, or who think its normal to borrow $800,000 to buy a two-bedroom condo in a dicey neighborhood.

Then there’s red-state myopia. Connie Mack, the Republican ex-senator who is co-chairman of the tax advisory panel, is a classic sufferer. When asked by the New York Times Magazine whether limiting the deduction could “hurt the middle class and discourage people from buying, say, a $500,000 house?” he responded: “It depends on how you define middle class. I don’t think that there would be a large percentage of middle-income families that would have a $500,000 house.” Mack has obviously never spent much time in Staten Island, N.Y., where Vito Fossella, one of the few remaining Republican members of Congress in the Northeast, has already come out against the panel’s ideas. In the high-population, high-income states—the states that, by the way, produce a disproportionate share of federal income taxes—plenty of middle-class people live in $500,000 homes.

His analysis is definitely applicable to the Seattle market, where many people who would consider themselves squarely in the “middle-class” are living in $500k homes.

Trulia better real estate search

Just as the pun is obvious, the implementation by Pete Flint and his crew at RealWide of a new real estate search engine is obviously awesome… Their new real estate search engine available and can be found at:

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, then you know I’ve been following the development of new mapping technologies pretty darn closely and this is far-and-away the best implementation yet. Pete and his crew didn’t take anything for granted and put together a whole new real estate search engine! I mentioned that this site was coming out a few weeks ago, and the implementation lives up to everything Pete told me it would be.

So here’s some features I like love:

  • The search interface is as simple as entering a city name or a zip code! The UI is beautiful.
  • The filtering by other features like Price, Bedrooms, Bathrooms and Price is fast and very intuitive!
  • When click on more detail for a listing, you get the VERY useful information like the price per square foot, the days on the market, as well as details for other recently sold homes and similar homes in the area!
  • The color coded recently sold homes is awesome!
  • I really like the the location of your search is stored in the url. This allows me to easily save and or send an area of interest. For example, here are the homes for sale in the part of Los Angeles where I grew up: (Also notice that it has neighborhood facts on this page.)
  • It has RSS feeds so that I can subscribe to my zip code and be updated each time a listing comes on the market.
  • And the best part is that I’m sure there’s more I’m going to like, but I’ve only had a few minutes to play!

I really liked the site when I first saw it, but the more I play the more my opinion of the site improves. The best part is that I’m pretty darn sure that if I keep playing with the site, I’m going to find more gems! This site is a true work of art! Thank you Pete!

The only problem I see with it is that it is not available for Seattle (yet!). THIS IS A HUGE DRAWBACK. I want Trulia! And Pete, I’ll wait for a little while, but I’m not a very patient person! 🙂

UPDATE: I just got an email from Pete and he says “You’ll be pleased to hear our primary focus is building out coverage to other states. No promises when Seattle is live, but we’re working hard on it.” I’ll try to be patient!