Best house sites can sometimes be hard to find, especially when moving or relocating to a new environment or city. To make it easier for you when in need of a house, we’ve compiled a list of the best house websites so that you can find all kinds of houses you need in that location.
Most buyers will ultimately partner with a real estate agent when buying their home.
However, many will do additional research online either before partnering with an agent or in addition to the information an agent gives them.
In short, they want the best real estate websites for buyers.
Best House Rental Websites to Think of
Here is a comprehensive list of the best house rental sites for buyers. The sites included in this roundup have easy-to-use features, data analytics, and tools.
Many of these will be familiar names if you have already begun your home search.
Even if there are a few newer websites, this list will give you insight into how the site functions and how best to use it to find the perfect home.
One of the largest real estate websites is Zillow.com. It was started in 2006 and stands today as the most robust website available for buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, agents, and home professionals.
Buyers can maximize their home search results and minimize their time by filtering their results by price, location, features, and home type.
You can also see unique features directly related to the home’s neighborhood, and Zillow will give you a walk score, commute times, neighborhood statistics, and even local schools.
Realtor.com is linked to the National Association of Realtors. It has 800 regional Multiple Listing Services, making it by far the most accurate home website.
On top of fantastic accuracy, Realtor.com has a lot of statistics and data available to home buyers.
There is information on home values, market forecasts, and inclusive details about schools and businesses in the area, and commute times.
The site even goes as far as to list crime rates. Realtor.com also has a wealth of knowledge about buying a home, and determining your mortgage payments and can help you assess what homes fall into your price range.
This site fills its pages with homes from the MLS and other real estate sites. There is a decent search engine for comparing homes in your search area.
A unique feature is that you can see how the property value has fluctuated. Insight into the property values can give you a sense of whether the neighborhood is gaining value, is stagnant, or is declining.
Its signature feature is Snap & Search. This tool allows you to take a shot of a home you like. It will match this snapshot with similar homes in the area to give you more options.
Real estate brokerage Redfin is located in Seattle. As a buyer, Redfin gives you an overview of the home and is interactive.
This feature takes the place of needing to see the home in person. The company uses its advanced technology to enhance the process for both the buyer and the seller.
They strive to make the entire process more user-friendly, from listing through selling. Redfin’s calculator gives you an idea of how much you can afford in a home.
The algorithm is based on your neighborhood, income, down payment, and total debt.
RealtyTrac gives you the ability to look at 120 million foreclosed properties. If you subscribe, you will also have access to the property’s address, loan information, and the locations and dates for upcoming auctions.
If you are looking for a great deal and do not mind some light to heavy remodeling, RealtyTrac is a great place to search for affordable properties.
All homes have a clean title, and you will not need to be concerned about any liens or back taxes. The biggest downside is if you win the auction, the total has to be paid in full and in cash immediately.
Offering around 30,000 properties, Auction.com gives buyers access to foreclosed and bank-owned properties.
Similar to RealtyTrac, you need to win the auction to get the property. If there is a popular home, the price can go up substantially in a bidding war. If you win the auction here, you will need to put down 10%.
MLS offers accurate listings and a host of valuable information. While real estate professionals most often use it, it is a free listing service that allows you to see various home types.
MLS lists homes for sale, new construction, lots, acreage, commercial property, and more. It also has resources for frequently asked questions, mortgages, and a calculator.
Like Zillow, Trulia allows you to locate homes in your area fairly quickly, and you can easily compare the properties. Trulia is a subsidiary of Zillow.
It has advanced filters, including narrowing your search by price range, home style, number of bedrooms, and more.
Trulia gives you an interactive map. With this map, you can see the neighborhood through the eyes of various filters.
The filters show you the statistics in the area. The map will also show you where the schools are, the community’s age ranges, commute times, and restaurants and stores in the neighborhood.
9. Neighborhood Scout
Data-focused Neighborhood Scout focuses on finding the best neighborhoods based on a buyer’s profile. They found a way to take over 600 features and populate options for you based on your specifications.
While looking at a neighborhood is not a new concept, this version lets you take a closer look at the level of going block by block, ensuring you find your perfect neighborhood.
10. Home Finder
While HomeFinder has similar functions to Zillow and Trulia, it also has an extensive offering of homes available to rent on top of the homes available to purchase.
You don’t have to make large purchases, and you can use the search to narrow your options by price, size, and home type.
HomeFinder also lets you look at properties that are no longer on the market, giving you the ability to see current market trends in the area.
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11. Clever Real Estate
Clever’s partner agents come from top companies like Berkshire Hathaway, Keller Williams, and RE/MAX, so you can be confident you’ll find the right agent to guide you on your home-buying journey.
By working with a Clever agent, you’ll get instant MLS alerts, on-demand showings, and an expert negotiator to help you craft a winning offer.
- Up-to-date, fact-checked guides to every step of the home-buying process
- Data-backed information about closing costs and average commission rates in your state
- Tips on how to get a cash refund when you buy a house
ForSaleByOwner.com is one of the best real estate websites for finding homes that aren’t listed on the MLS. It has fewer listings than sites like Realtor.com, so it shouldn’t be the only house-hunting tool you use.
However, it may include for sale by owner listings that don’t appear on other websites, which could help you find homes that other local buyers may not know about.
For sale by owner, homes often sell for less than market value — so you may be able to find a good deal. But there are some issues to be aware of when you purchase from a DIY seller.
This home-buying website specializes in short sales, foreclosures, city-owned houses, and other distressed properties.
Most of the homes listed on Foreclosure.com require a lot of TLC, but you’ll have less competition from other buyers, so you’ll have a much better chance of finding a deal.
Ever wonder what happens to foreclosed properties that had federally-backed mortgages? Well, they end up on HomeSales.gov. This is where the U.S. government sells all the homes that were once backed by USDA, VA, or HUD mortgages.
As you might imagine, the federal government is a dispassionate and rational seller, so buyers can find deals here.
But they’re not the most engaged homeowners, either; most of these properties are sold “as is” and can come with problems ranging from minor to major.
It can also be difficult to view the properties — some will even require you to put down an offer just to get a look at it in person.
Craigslist isn’t just a place to sell your vintage VHS tape collection.
It’s also where you can find local “for sale by owner” listings and other properties that may not show up on websites like Zillow or Realtor.com.
It’s not the most user-friendly home search tool, of course. You can filter by property type, price, size, and zip code, but you won’t find many other search options.
16. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is a lot like Craigslist. You won’t find every home for sale in your area, but it’s a good place to look for FSBO listings and undeveloped land.
Many sellers who advertise on Facebook also offer owner financing, which can be a huge benefit if you’re unlikely to qualify for a conventional mortgage.
If you’re thinking about building a new home, LandWatch is a great place to find land to build on.
Whether you’re looking for a quarter-acre lot in the suburbs or a secluded mountain retreat, you can find it here.
Another useful site that may not be on your radar is GreatSchools.org. Assessing the types and quality of schools is certainly important if you’ve got children, but it can also reflect long-term value for homes in that area.
Homes in good school districts typically retain and accrue a value very well, which is incredibly important if you ever want to resell (or tap into your home’s equity).
GreatSchools.org scores each school on a scale from 1 to 10, taking into account everything from test scores and college readiness to discipline issues and teacher-to-student ratios.
Like GreatSchools.org, Niche provides data-based rankings of local public, private, and charter schools.
This information can help you make an informed choice about where to put down roots and start a family;
However, you’ll want to visit the actual school’s websites to get more details on school district boundaries or if there’s a lottery system to attend a particular school.
CityProtect is a massive interactive crime map run by the tech giant Motorola that works in concert with 1,000-plus police departments across the U.S. to upload and display the latest crime reports.
This is a great resource if you’re buying long distances and want to make sure a house you’re interested in is located in a safe neighborhood.
Best House Hunting Sites for You in 2024
Unlike the MLS (multiple listing service) alone, which is a professional database with a wealth of property information for licensed realtors,
These websites aggregate MLS data and make it available to the public — and in a user-friendly way, to boot.
Chances are you know about Zillow; its home value estimates, or “Zestimates,” on properties both for sale and not for sale are helpful for home buyers.
But many other sites have various features and tools, including filters for prices, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, square footage, and more.
Here are some of the best sites for house hunters.
I spent months casually checking both Zillow and Trulia daily before buying my first house a few years ago. Zillow bought Trulia in 2015, so the two websites are pretty similar and very easy to use.
I would refresh the map of the neighborhoods I was interested in and their surrounding areas to see if there was anything new in my price range.
I’d start with the map and then click over to the photo column, though you can view houses in a list format if you prefer or view both sides by side on a desktop.
With Trulia, you can schedule a tour in person or over video chat, look at street views via Google Maps, or read school reviews, crime reports, and insight from residents.
Redfin is similar to Zillow and Trulia in the sense that you can view houses in map or list format, and you can easily maneuver around the site.
With information from the MLS, Redfin provides important details about each property, as well as a market competition rate and “walk scores” and “bike scores”, so you can see how dependent you might be on owning a car.
And, if you buy a house with one of the real estate agents employed by Redfin, part of the commission is given back to you through a program called Redfin Refund.
As the official site of the National Association of Realtors, Realtor.com is said to have the most up-to-date information available from the MLS.
Along with property information and list vs. map views, this website provides market summaries and information about the neighborhoods and their nearby schools.
I’d say navigating through the listings isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Zillow or Trulia, but all the information is there if you know where to look for it.
Homefinder.com is another well-organized site it presents listings by category, like new construction, foreclosures, and classifieds;
But I found I couldn’t quite zoom in as much as I wanted on its map feature, which meant it took me outside the neighborhood I wanted.
Though it takes an extra few seconds to zero in on the information you’re curious about, HomeFinder does what its name suggests.
Estately has been around since 2006, but I’ve only recently become familiar with it.
It’s easy to use and provides the crucial information you’d want to know about a property, including nearby schools, taxes, flood risk, walk scores, “sound scores” (how loud the area is), air pollution, and even internet speeds.
Properties not for sale might not be updated as often as they are on Zillow, but there’s plenty of useful information to be gleaned from this site.
This site has some of the most in-depth demographic information and market analysis for neighborhoods;
Displaying information as specific as average commute time, weather risk broken down by type of occurrence, even sortable nearby amenities, and a detailed inventory of market trends.
Listings can be sorted by all kinds of criteria, and you can even get a free home value estimator report. Visit realestate.com today.
This site is pretty self-explanatory — here, you can find listings of homes that are being sold sans a real estate agent.
Here on Forsalebyowner.com, you can search for homes on the market, list your own home for sale, and even find plenty of resources for both buyers and sellers:
Guides, checklists, and important information to make sure you don’t forget anything if you decide to sell or buy a home on your own.
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Best Vacation House Rental Sites
Hoping to rent a house or apartment on vacation? You’ve got plenty of options—maybe too many.
Travelers looking for the best vacation rental sites have to weed through big online travel agencies, small specialty sites, and everything in between. The process can be overwhelming.
Many people aren’t aware that most of the best vacation rental websites are owned by a handful of large companies—so you could find yourself wasting time searching the same inventory on multiple sites.
The name of this site is almost synonymous with short-term rentals these days, and its reputation as one of the best vacation rental sites is well deserved: Airbnb offers abundant listings in the most popular travel destinations, and its site is cleanly designed and easy to use.
There’s a prominent map of properties on the main listing page, so you can quickly browse by location—or you can turn off the map feature if you don’t find it useful.
Booking.com lists just about every type of accommodation imaginable, from hotels and B&Bs to vacation rentals and apartments.
This is a perk for travelers open to a variety of lodging options, while those who know they want a vacation rental will have to take the extra step of filtering out extraneous search results.
(That’s easily done via an “Entire Homes and Apartments” button at the top of the results page or search by property type.)
Like Booking.com, Expedia offers a variety of accommodation types, but it has a dedicated vacation rental search page, so you can skip the filtering step.
The site offers a good selection of results, though for certain searches, I got some listings that didn’t seem like vacation rentals (TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Outer Banks Motel).
Expedia isn’t the best vacation rental site if you prefer to use the map view to browse; although a map is available, it doesn’t have the site’s filter options, so you’ll have to set your preferences on the main listing page first and then toggle over to the map.
The prime advantage of HometoGo is that it’s a meta-search site, which means that you can search many of the best vacation rental sites (including most of the others on this list) with one click.
Persistent pop-ups and offers to sign you in with Google or Facebook are annoying, but once you’ve cleared them away, you can view tons of properties, visible in a clean listing format or on a map.
Like Booking.com, Hotels.com lists a wide array of accommodation options, so travelers who know they want a vacation rental have to use the “Accommodation Type” filter on the search results page to weed out hotels, hostels, and other options.
I appreciated the honesty of the note at the top of the page: “How much we get paid influences your sort order.”
That said, you can sort your results by star rating, distance from a given landmark, guest rating, and price, and refine the list with a variety of other filters.
(The sites share inventory, so searching Tripadvisor will turn up properties from the other two sites.) There are plenty of listings, which you can filter by price, several bedrooms/bathrooms, distance from a landmark, and many other factors.
The site also lets you change the order of your results based on nine different criteria, including online booking, traveler rating, and several bedrooms.