Homefacts App Provides Complete Picture of Neighborhood to Buyers With School Data, Crime Stats, and Demographics, But is it Too Much?

 

Homefacts App Home Page Homefacts App - School Details Page

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.

The sought-after 75214 (Lakewood) area of Dallas looks like a minefield on the Homefacts app.

The sought-after 75214 (Lakewood) area of Dallas looks like a minefield on the Homefacts app.

 

photo 1 photo 3

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:

North Oak Cliff has experienced a resurgence in the last decade, but you wouldn't see that with the Homefacts app.

North Oak Cliff has experienced a resurgence in the last decade, but you wouldn’t see that with the Homefacts app.

Perhaps too much information can be a blessing and a curse. What do you think?

 

3 Comment

  • I just downloaded this and put in my address. On paper or on app there’s no way in the world I would have moved into our hood. This I feel is a negative tool. Had I gone on stats only I wouldn’t live here, but by going on a feeling and the quality of home I bought the best house in the city because I love my neighbors and the love of serving others that our neighborhood has. Our neighborhood is great, we have parties together, we do service projects together, we help each other out. Nope I don’t like this app at all. False readings.

    • mm

      I totally agree, Tami. There are so many intangibles to a neighborhood that I’m afraid many people will see this glut of data and be scared away from a fantastic place to live. As always, I consult people to contact Realtors who either live in or extensively know the area in which they want to move, and contacting neighborhood associations before you buy is an important step, too.

  • mm

    Our mantra: Real Estate is LOCAL! L-O-C-A-L. Just back from Inman and dying to tell you how hard, how very hard the VC world is trying to automate and computerize this whole process but I don’t think it will work. Why? The human factor.