Best Home Buying and Selling Research Websites

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Whether you're looking for information on the real estate market, listings of homes for sale, or are ready to compare mortgage rates and terms, here are the most accessible, consumer-friendly websites to check out.

Nolo's Real Estate Law Section
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/real-estate-rental-property/
Real estate law explained in a way anyone can understand. If you're buying or selling a home, you'll find valuable tips on the real estate process and mortgage and financing information. There's also a section for existing homeowners that includes rules for settling neighbor disputes and information on taxes and home improvement.

Bert Sperling's Best Places
www.bestplaces.net
Dedicated to helping people find the place in the United States to live. You'll find more than dry statistical data here -- the site contains reports on everything from the best cities for dating to the worst ones for contracting respiratory infections.

Department of Housing and Urban Development
www.hud.gov
The place to find out about federal government programs to help homeowners.

Bankrate
www.bankrate.com
A leading aggregator of 50-state mortgage and other loan rate and related financial information. The site also offers original articles to help consumers make informed financial decisions.

Homefair
www.homefair.com
This site offers calculators to estimate moving costs, school reports, city reports, and crime statistics, as well as property listings (through Realtor.com).

HGTV's Frontdoor
www.frontdoor.com
Contains not only property listings and informative articles, but fun features such as interactive city maps showing restaurants, parks, and schools; and regular home sweepstakes.

Mortgage 101
www.mortgage101.com
A handy place to check on mortgage interest rates or get actual quotes, as well as access calculators and articles.

Moving.com
www.moving.com
While the primary focus is on linking people up with licensed moving companies, the site also provides tools and articles for planning and executing a move, including school reports, city comparisons, and demographic data. Click the "Learn & Explore" tab.

National Association of Realtors (NAR)
www.realtor.org and www.realtor.com
NAR is the professional association of Realtors across the country. Realtor.org, though primarily for member agents, is a good place to get industry-wide statistics and news. Realtor.com has information for the public, including home listings, prices of comparable properties within a certain state, city, or zip code (using an interactive map), mortgage rates and calculators, and informational articles.

Owners.com
www.owners.com
A website for anyone selling or buying FSBO (for sale by owner), with property listings and advice.

Trulia
www.trulia.com
Focuses on bringing you local information such as median list prices for a certain zip code; a Q&A board where you can pose questions to local real estate agents; home listings complete with aerial views and a well-designed search engine (allowing you, for example, to limit your search to foreclosures, price-reduced homes, or upcoming open houses, and to receive email updates); and blogs and articles discussing mortgages, the real estate market, and more.

The Wall Street Journal's Real Estate Page
http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-real-estate-homes.html
A rich source of the latest news on mortgage rates, homebuying behavior, and other real estate trends. Also includes home listings, although our searches brought up fewer results than other sites displayed.

Zillow
www.zillow.com
A site that's packed with offerings, including home, rental, and mortgage rate listings, calculators, "Zestimates" of home values, blogs and advice, and the famous "Make Me Move" feature, where homeowners can publicize a price at which they'd be willing to sell even if they hadn't been planning to.

Nolo's Real Estate Tips for Home Buyers and Home Sellers
www.realestatelawtips.com
This blog has tips for anyone actively shopping for a home or trying to sell their house.

Updated by: , J.D.

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