the 5 best real estate websites for the house nerd in you

September 20, 2012

{all the photos in this post came from google images after searching “Father of the Bride” house and “mid-century modern homes”}


Hi, my name is Heather and I am an OnlineHouseHuntingAholic. Since we’re sort of kind of planning to move, I have been spending a lot of time on the web, surfing through homes, putting in my criteria and then refining the searches. It’s like smoking, only you don’t get cancer. Unless we find out that too much time on the computer gives you cancer, which we probably will…but I digress. That’s depressing.

Looking at houses is not, so let’s do that: (hat tip to Erin) – also has an excellent app for your smart phone. This helps while you’re out and about, in finding homes for sale near you. Despite too many ads on the website, is clean and easy to use. (hat tip to Allison) I love how specific you can be with your searches on this site.


Edina Realty – good ol’ Edina Realty is still one of my favorites. It feels simple and straightforward to me and seems more frequently updated than many sites. It also seems to have more information in detail including where all the bedrooms are in the home, etc.


Barker Hedges – I’m pretty much totally in love with Barker Hedges and the simplicity of searching by neighborhoods. This site stands out in that way which makes it feel faster to me. I probably use this site more than any other.


Zillow – Zillow is totally popular and has extras that other sites don’t have. Like a zestimate, in which zillow is making a gander at the actual worth of the home depending on size and updates and neighborhood, etc. Of course, that’s not an exact science and it probably drives realtors crazy…but it’s something for novices to take into consideration when browsing. My opinion is that map searching on zillow is easier than on most other sites.

None of these sites can find the most perfect house of all perfect houses. That house is on Pinterest in all separate little pictures. And you know what Pinterest is–a place to inspire, not a place for finding real things that you have to emulate exactly and then can’t and then end up feeling bad about yourself. Not that I’ve ever done that before.

I mean, speaking of perfection. Sure, I’d like a 4 bedroom and 2 bathroom house with all the bedrooms on the upstairs level and I would like it to be a mid-century modern home with lots of light and open spaces or maybe a  house with a wide open entry and stairs in the middle like the Father of the Bride house and then I would like beautiful wood floors and we’d still have all the bedrooms upstairs oh and main floor laundry and a big fenced in backyard with nice grass and perhaps this house will need to be on a cul-de-sac or on a corner and have new siding and a roof and central air and a two car garage with maybe a shop and an upstairs apartment for my Auntie Kay because in 50 years she’s going to get older and need to live with us and a front porch with a swing and everything freshly painted and a breakfast nook and a pantry and lots of built in storage and kitchen cabinets that close quietly and a prep sink and a ginormous awesome fridge…

See? Even if I could search for that house, it isn’t out there. We would have to build this house and that seems like a bad idea for people who have been doing home renovations and updates and improvements for eight years. We need move-in ready, yo.

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming up perfection, unless you get mad when you can’t find it. So for now, we’ll just keep browsing all of these sites for funsies and finding really lovely places. It’s not like we can move right this second anyway, but that won’t stop me from feeding my addiction.

Peace out.

{All photos courtesy of Google images after searching “Father of the Bride House” and “Mid-Century Modern homes”}


Kelly V September 20, 2012 at 9:54 am

MLS# 4178775
In my hood.
Overpriced, but we can talk ’em down, right?
Serious potential!
Plus an extra kitchen for Auntie Kay!
Won’t you be my neighbor?

Heather September 20, 2012 at 10:15 am

I searched for that number and it said no listings found. I wanna see! Send link?

Suzanne September 20, 2012 at 11:22 am

True fact: I because a real estate agent JUST so I could have access to the MLS system to look at houses. I never did any actual work – I just browsed listings all day. And you’re totally right about Zillow driving Realtors crazy :)

Slightly related, on your dream list for your dream house (which sounds almost exactly like my dream hosue), I’d say my current house fits about 75%. And yet I find myself annoyed with it more than I think “Man, what a great house!” It was a nice little reminder that I’m super lucky, even if we don’t have a fenced back yard and a playroom in the basement.
Suzanne recently posted..Caroline: 21 Months

Sara September 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

I almost skipped this one since we have no intention of moving at all. I love our house, though I’d like a mud room and an upstairs bathroom and more electrical outlets, and of course the big dream is to finish the barn and move my office out there. But mostly I love our house and yard and neighborhood. But then I saw the picture of the pantry with the French doors and the bookcases on either side. Oh, envy.

Natasha September 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm

If you’re not already familiar with it, you would love the blog Hooked on Houses! It has tons of celebrity homes & homes from movies. And lots of regular homes that are full of eye candy =)

Robin September 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I spend way too much time on real estate sites, because we are looking for a new home in the near future. And YES…to get everything I want in a house, I would have to build it or gut something that could contain it. I wish! I wish! I wish! Good luck with your house hunt :)
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Kazzy September 21, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I love looking at houses! And your last photo of the mid-century is my fave of all.
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Jess September 22, 2012 at 6:55 am

I am addicted to house hunting online too!! I think I enjoy the possibility of house hunting more than actually choosing a house and living there. I may be an online house hunter forever!
Jess recently to look forward

Jess September 22, 2012 at 6:58 am

oh, and thanks for the sites! I have only ever tried this is a whole new world!
Jess recently to look forward

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