One of the powerful benefits of well done real estate search is the ability to learn about a community based solely on home values. This can give home buyers a good sense of the economic realities of various neighborhoods.
For example, one could look at the distribution of home prices in a city like Old Westbury, NY, and see that it’s an extraordinarily wealthy city:
Few communities have such a large percentage of active listings above $1 million.
On the other end of the spectrum, checking where homes are selling for at the bottom of the market may illustrate something about which neighborhoods are succeeding or struggling. For example, a map of homes selling for $50,000 or less in Minneapolis, Minnesota looks like this:
As a Minneapolis resident, that shows – as I know – that the quadrant of town known as North Minneapolis together with the neighborhoods directly south of Downtown, are the struggling today compared to more affluent areas near the Minneapolis Lakes or the Mississippi River.
Here are a few more examples of what $50,000 or less buys around the country:
Syracuse, NY. Syracuse University is in the SE quadrant:
Cleveland, Ohio: There are pockets in the city such as Little Italy that are the exceptions to this search.
Omaha, NE. The further west you go, the wealthier it gets.
Detroit, Michigan. More than 4,000 homes for sale for less than $50,000.
While poverty gawking can be interesting, what are some real-world applications of WhereToLive.com’s search technology?
With buyers, agents can easily show buers homes throughout an entire metropolitan area that match their search criteria. There may be neighborhoods or cities they hadn’t previously considered that suddenly become interesting once they get a better feel for what their money buys in their first-choice neighborhood or city (often overly optimistic). Perhaps driving another 10 minutes starts to look more tolerable once they see how much further their money goes?
With sellers, agents can show sellers how much competition they are facing from similarly priced homes nearby. Used well, it may help sellers face the reality check they need in order to set a truly competitive price for their property.
Every real estate website has this data, but few websites present it in ways that truly help educate buyers and sellers about the realities of their local real estate markets.