The Best (and Worst) Home-Buying Sites


What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Looking to buy a house? These sites will either lead you to the home of your dreams, or waste your time.

Still think the housing market is in a slump? Realtor Magazine begs to differ. According to its research, houses are flying off the market in some areas:

  • San Francisco, Calif. – 45 days on the market (median)
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. – 45 days
  • Bakersfield, Calif. – 44 days
  • Fresno, Calif. – 43 days
  • Anchorage, Alaska – 43 days
  • Denver, Colo. – 33 days
  • Oakland, Calif. – 24 days

If you live in one of those markets, you’ll need to hustle to find a house before someone else snatches it up. If you live outside of those markets, you’ve got a little more time – about 84 days on average, says the magazine.

Home-buying websites (and their apps) may be speeding up that process. They’ve got loads of listings, tons of photos, and easily sorted databases that could save you time. But in reality, some are a waste of time. We checked out the biggest…

1. Zillow

Zillow is my favorite home-browsing site, if only for the sheer volume of information available. You get listings, mortgage rates, advice columns, and local info. In my area, they have more listings than any site mentioned here. They contain photos, information about the property, the number of days it’s been listed on Zillow, and the selling price. And best of all, Zillow estimates your monthly mortgage payment in the listing – so I don’t have to do the math before I think, “Whoa, I can’t afford that.”

Zillow also has apps for Android, Android tablet, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Windows Phone.

2. Trulia

If you browse the Sunday home listings in your local paper, then Trulia’s layout will look familiar. The listings are posted down the front page, starting with the newest. You can sort them by the usual ways – size, location, and price, for example – but Trulia also has a few unique search features:

  • Type of listing – sort by price reductions, newest listings, and upcoming open houses
  • Foreclosure type – sort by houses under a notice of default, those going to auction, and real estate owned property
  • Keywords – sort by anything you want

The only problem I found with Trulia was that the site automatically pulled my location – and missed it by about 40 miles.

Trulia also has an app for the iPhone.

3. Homes.com

In my opinion, the layout of Homes.com is its best feature. The listings are posted in a grid, with the two most important things prominently displayed: a photo and the price. In fact, this was one of the few sites that showed large enough photos on the home page that I didn’t have to open the listing to see if I liked the house.

Of course, if you want more information, Homes.com has that too. You can search by specifics such as listing type, year built, size, and features.

Homes.com also has apps for Android, Android tablet, iPad, iPhone, and Windows Phone. They also have a mobile website accessible on any smartphone.

4. HomeFinder.com

HomeFinder.com had a few features I liked. For example, every listing shows information about the neighborhood, like the percentage of renters vs. homeowners, nearby schools, and recent tax assessments. But I couldn’t get past the ads – multiple ads on every page. And their mortgage estimate info links to a single mortgage company.

HomeFinder.com also has apps for Android and iPhone. There’s also a mobile website for smartphones.

5. ChoiceofHomes.com

ChoiceofHomes.com is an ironic name, considering that other sites found more than 100 listings in my ZIP Code – and this site found only one. And they’re the only one of these sites without an app.

Those are my five favorite (and least favorite) home-buying sites, and while they may help you find a house, you’ll still need to do another search for a mortgage. Do that with the Money Talks News search tool.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 50 Ways to Make a Fast $50

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,011 more deals!