Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Maps Again: the Art of Relocating, Exercise 33

In this exercise, we were required to shop around on different real estate sites. We made believe we were renters or buyers. The last time I relocated, the Internet was not the tool it is today. In most cases, you can really get a good look at places before you even drive by.

On the Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) site, there are many search criteria available. What school district do you want to live in? How many bedrooms or bathrooms? Do you want to live in a one story house? It was interesting to see how much the cheapest house was: $89,000.00, a fixer-upper, of course. And houses in the suburbs of Houston can be found in the mid-100s. I am now much more knowledgeable about shopping for a home online.

Google maps also has a Real Estate Search function, with very nice bulleted maps of all the homes in a certain zip code, etc. Clicking on each address took you out to the real estate site selling the home; some of the sites required registration, so although I liked the map feature, shopping for a home on Google maps was not as easy as the HAR site.

Another resource examined:, apparently a gateway site for people relocating. It presents categories such as real estate, entertainment, recreation, etc. Exercise 33 also asked us to look at the Walk Score website again. It would be worth checking out any potential address for its "walk Score" on this site. (I wrote about this site in my April 9th posting.)

Photo: Galveston cupola by KAO

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