A neat interface to a depressing market
June 16, 2008 12:09 PM   Subscribe

HotPads has one of the cooler interfaces to the real estate world. Especially worth looking at are the heat maps that show you scary, scary foreclosure rates across the country and the rent ratios that tell you whether it is worth buying in a particular area, among lots of other data.
posted by blahblahblah (24 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Buying into DC-area property based on current rent-raitios may prove to be premature.
posted by tachikaze at 12:18 PM on June 16, 2008

Wow. I live in one of the darkest, reddest areas on the east coast. Data-junkie's wet dream. Thanks for the link.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:19 PM on June 16, 2008

Nice interface and interesting information, though I'm not absolutely sure the color coding is absolutely accurate.
posted by maxwelton at 12:19 PM on June 16, 2008

Can anyone figure out if it's possible to screen results for acreage? I'm having a hard time finding that.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:23 PM on June 16, 2008

Looks like my wife and I bought just in time. Similarly sized homes in our area are going for twice what we paid.

posted by DU at 12:25 PM on June 16, 2008

Say, let's take a look at Baltimore...whoah.

Here in Baltimore, there are entire blocks that are just empty. Boarded up, folks gone. No cars on either side of the street. No trash, because the last trash pickup came and went a while ago, and there's no one to litter. Just empty streets.

Folks here are buying up side-by-side row houses, knocking out the middle wall, and fixing them up into self-deprecatingly-named "Double Wides", nice little homes. I dream about buying the whole block when they're $2000 each, and making a single home a block long.

the fine print: many of these properties are condemned or not renovatable, in addition to the foreclosure business. It's fun to think about though.
posted by sidereal at 12:32 PM on June 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I walked past a couple of foreclosures the other night during an evening stroll. I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I could manage the cash and the time to fix it up. Unfortunately, even those little (think original Levitt home), foreclosed, handyman-special starter homes are still going for a pretty penny around these parts.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:49 PM on June 16, 2008

Yeh, this is an interesting concept; the company has been around since 2005, and were shopping for VC money maybe two years ago. Some eighteen months ago they landed $2.3M first round financing from Meakem Becker Venture Capital, the proceeds of which apparently were going to be used to expand their development team, hire a CEO and some marketing staff.

I first heard about these guys from some buddies that do VC and got curious about the underlying business as I was fully expecting a real estate correction in the United States, and needed to know where I could get accurate price and foreclosure information in case I wanted to do a deal.

HotPads are sourcing their foreclosure data from RealtyTrac, so it should be pretty reliable. I'm not sure about refresh or the time delay, but if you'd like to see the underlying foreclosure data in tabular form, without the pretty mash up on top, the June 13th data is here.

Everyone probably knows the number one state in terms of foreclosures is Nevada, and Clark County is number one in that state (you can drill down to individual properties in the second link).

I've been paying a lot of attention to the real estate correction back in The States, as I'd love to buy Maw a place somewhere warm but she just won't leave the farm in Western New York (and its damn cold there in the winter!).
posted by Mutant at 12:54 PM on June 16, 2008

Wow, HotPads is pretty slick for searching for rentals. I've really been wanting EXACTLY this as I start another apartment hunt. Very nice indeed.
posted by Perplexity at 1:06 PM on June 16, 2008

A lot of that data is old. A unit in my building that sold like 6 months ago is still listed.
posted by Justinian at 1:11 PM on June 16, 2008

It's impossible to go to the website (realtytrac) and get more information about the properties, because realtytrac is a complete nightmare of a site.
posted by sondrialiac at 1:45 PM on June 16, 2008

I'm pretty sure the house that I live in is being foreclosed (we rent). It's a circa 1890 building that with TLC could be something really nice, but unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that we'll be the last people to ever live in it.
posted by drezdn at 1:48 PM on June 16, 2008

I live in Clark County, Nevada (*Las Vegas and surrounding area in the valley).
On my street alone, there are 4 houses that have been foreclosed on in the last 3 months. In my little neighborhood/developement, there is a foreclosure on every block. It's awesome.
posted by daq at 1:53 PM on June 16, 2008

Awesome in the sense of 'terrifying' or awesome in the sense of 'neato, someone's life is fucked!!'?
posted by spicynuts at 2:15 PM on June 16, 2008

Nice to know that the home across the street from me is selling for $750K.
posted by emelenjr at 2:42 PM on June 16, 2008

bad data.... my little village has many, many houses in foreclosure, and this only shows one...
posted by HuronBob at 2:51 PM on June 16, 2008

This is really useful, thanks. I will be using the various maps in talking to my girlfriend about buying/renting and our plans to move back to NY/NJ. I'm really visual, so it's awesome to just go scrolling around the geography, with vibrant colors to help assess the data.
posted by Eideteker at 3:16 PM on June 16, 2008

So what happens when the market completely collapses, and the banks and courts can't handle the flood of foreclosures? I think we're getting close to that point right now.
posted by pjern at 3:17 PM on June 16, 2008

What's up with using the super ugly clunky maps until you zoom in enough to get Microsoft Virtual Earth? Seems like you would just use MS the whole time. There's also something seriously wrong with the rent ratio heat map- there's no way rents in safe, suburban Alameda are the same as gritty West Oakland. In fact, the more I poke around, the less sense it makes.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:07 PM on June 16, 2008

Oh wait, I see what's up now. home prices/rent ratio.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:12 PM on June 16, 2008

I'm a little skeptical that Cambridge, Mass's price/rent ratio is 10.
posted by justkevin at 6:04 PM on June 16, 2008

Not showing my town in the correct location plus other data-sorting stupidity makes me doubt the accuracy of this website.
posted by D.C. at 6:05 PM on June 16, 2008

Wow. There's five houses on my street, including three with the same floorplan as ours.

I with this was useful enough to pinpoint the specific houses and show information, because there are a couple of these that (if they're the houses I'm thinking of) I'd happily make a bid.

Of course, I'm not behind on my mortgage, so I may have a bit of a sunny view on things.
posted by davejay at 6:05 PM on June 16, 2008


Most of them show addresses when you mouse over them (at least where I live).
posted by lukemeister at 6:21 PM on June 16, 2008

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