We love a good app here at CandysDirt, and when RealtyTrac announced their new Homefacts app, we had to give it a test. We’ve reviewed several good real estate apps before, and some of them are great for just run-of-the-mill home shopping (Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin), some give you a more visual clue on a property ( Doorsteps App), and there’s even an app to see if you can afford a home before you get pre-approved.
But the Homefacts is a horse of a different color. It’s a much more comprehensive real estate app in that it uses GPS data or an address search to dissect areas not by homes for sale, but by other factors that may affect a neighborhood’s desirability, such as relative proximity to convicted sex offenders and former drug labs, school performance, unemployment, crime risk, median home value, and disaster risk.
“This new app will extend to mobile the revolutionary way that Homefacts helps prospective homeowners and investors perform due-diligence when buying a home,” said Jamie Moyle, CEO of RealtyTrac, owner of Homefacts. “The app enables homebuyers to view detailed property and neighborhood data from wherever they are, helping them make more informed real estate decisions.”
It does provide basic property information for an address, gleaned from appraisal district measures, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, and appraised value, but you won’t find any MLS data on this app, which would really make this app perfect for mobile homebuyers. Instead, it’s more of an accessory, or helpful tool to anyone who is looking for a home in an area or at a specific property in a neighborhood they aren’t quite familiar with.
Of course, as with many statistics, the Homefacts doesn’t provide the kind of important insight you can get from a Realtor or a neighborhood association. For instance, let’s look at the highly sought-after 75214 neighborhood in the Homefacts app. People love this inner-loop, East Dallas hood because of the walkability, great retail, fantastic architectural variety, proximity to mass transit, diversity, and of course, White Rock Lake. But according to Homefacts, this area is practically a minefield!
I do appreciate knowing these kinds of statistics, but I’m afraid it might scare off some people from otherwise fantastic areas. Just think of the awful rap Oak Cliff had less than a decade ago due to the misconception of the area as run-down and crime ridden. It’s most popular Zip code, 75208, look like this in Homefacts:
Perhaps too much information can be a blessing and a curse. What do you think?