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.

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A reader writes:

Dear Candy:

I was wondering if you could provide some unbiased perspective on the market in the nice areas of Preston Hollow/Park Cities, say the 1.5 -3.5 million range.  My wife and I are going to be  moving back to Dallas after about 8 years away, and despite the downturn prices seem much higher than we were last there in 2002.  At the same time I have been watching the MLS and most high end properties seem to just sit or be taken off the market to reappear a couple months later as a new listing.

What are your thoughts? Is this a buyers market or would waiting make sense with the expectation of further softening?  The last thing we want is to buy a house and have it drop 15% in value over the next 2 years.

Cheers,

J

Dear J: Despite Bob Shiller’s gloom and doom message last week, which applies to the entire country, Dallas real estate is hanging in there. Prices are still higher than they were when you guys left here in 2002, but not as high as they were at the peak, 2006. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University,¬† 10,628 existing single-family homes were sold in Texas last month. That’s a 2¬†percent increase over a year ago. It’s not a huge increase, but the arrow is still going up.

The median price was also up 2 percent from January 2010, at $139,100. There was a 7.3-month inventory.

2043 homes were sold in Dallas in January, which is down 8% from last January (THINK: first time homebuyer’s credit) but you will love this — the average home price in Dallas is up 7% to $150,100. There is a little over six months of inventory on the market, which is considered normal.

Are there more foreclosures coming? Yes. In fact, you ought to look for one.

My advice: buy this year, wrestle the best deal you can. Costs associated with buying are gong to get higher even if prices drop a point or two.

Candyland, what do you think? The comments are open!