Is your mortgage still under water? Are you looking for a good deal on a home? How's the neighborhood grocery store? A new iPad app uses maps and an analytical engine to deliver the latest updates.
By CIO Staff
Since the great real estate bubble burst, many people have been keeping a close eye on the sinking valuation of their homes and hoping for an uptick. Others are searching for the best neighborhoods and homes at bargain prices. Nearly everyone has become a trend watcher.
Now there’s an app for that: Trulia for iPad (free), which made its debut as an iPad-optimized app today.
Aimed at home hunters, Trulia’s app lets users search for homes (and apartments for rent) via interactive maps—which renders nicely on an iPad rather than the smaller screen of the iPhone. The map shows homes for sale that are listed on the industry standard Multiple Listing Service, as well as publicly recorded home sales.
The listings are updated daily, although Trulia is working to accelerate updates. The map shows some 50 homes in a given area, which you can increase to show more homes. You can also drill down into a listing to check out details of the home, color photos, and contact information for the listing agent. A vertical bar on the right side of the map highlights pictures of a few homes.
With the latest real estate trends becoming more important to users, and home sellers and buyers checking on news regularly, real estate info has carved out an important niche on mobile devices. Trulia claims that more than 2 million mobile users visited Trulia.com last month.
“During peak usage times on weekends, more than 15 percent of Trulia’s traffic comes from mobile devices,” says Peter Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia, “and we expect this number to grow in the future.”
One of the cool features of the app is the color-coded heat map. Powered by Trulia’s analytics engine, the heat map shows differences between average listing price and sold price in a city or county, thus providing some insight into the movement of the local market. The heat map updates weekly.
Another neat feature is neighborhood insights. App users can learn about a home’s surrounding area, including what locals think about nearby restaurants and stores.
Trulia makes its money through real estate agent advertising. This means homes showcased in the vertical bar and appearing among the first 50 homes on the map are often those listed by agents advertising with Trulia. But Trulia is quick to point out that the app contains as much of the publicly available data in a given area as possible.