Friday, April 7, 2006

Propsmart.com: Real Estate Listings and Google Maps

Author: Nick
Category: Money
Topics: ,

Earlier this week, news broke of Google’s latest venture in its quest to take over the world: combining its mapping service with real estate listings on Google Base. I first read the news on Consumerism Commentary, but I added a comment saying it looked like Google’s offering was too little, too late. Thanks to the easy-to-use Google Maps API, at least one similar service has already popped up–one that extends its listings to include MLS. In the four months since its launch, Propsmart.com has already won awards and put together a beautiful interface that can be used to find homes for sale all over the map.

After spending some time playing with Propsmart, I have to say that the coolest thing about it is that I used the mapping interface to find places in Maryland that I didn’t even know existed! Here’s the area where we live…

Propsmart.com, Rockville, MD

See that empty space in the lower-left corner? Until today, I really thought that was just a big empty space in Maryland. But as it turns out, there are some houses scattered here and there that are more affordable than those in my area…

Propsmart.com, Poolesville, MD

Wow! A town in the middle of nowhere! That is, if you consider “nowhere” to be 30 miles from Washington, DC.

I’ve also heard good things about Trulia, but it doesn’t seem to cover Maryland yet. Many other real estate map services are sure to open shop over time, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for the best one to use in our own home-finding quest when it begins later this year.

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