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Old 09-29-2019, 08:34 PM
 
10 posts, read 886 times
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Hi all, This has been really baffling me how so many real estate websites lack good functioning search engines and multiple choice options for the types of properties a buyer is looking for. Zillow for one and some of the information we find is confusing or incorrect information. How could this be? I thought information has to be right. We called on one property that was listed as having over 26 acres only to find out it had less than 1 acre.

We find that searching for property with a house and acreage that the choices for the search engine on most sites you can only choose one or the other such as 'House' or 'Land.' Unless I am wrong and am not using these sites correctly can someone tell me how to use the sites? If I am using them correctly can someone explain why I cannot find properties that include a house With acreage? This has been really hard to do any searching and I feel like we should have gained alot more from the hours and hours doing these searches and not coming up with much.

Last edited by taketwo2; 09-29-2019 at 08:35 PM.. Reason: correct spelling
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,338 posts, read 3,553,810 times
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If you want there to be a house on the property, you should never use "land". Land is intended primarily for vacant land. Properties under land that have buildings, the buildings are usually considered tear-downs or are of little value.

But you should be able to choose House parameters and then find in advanced search options, Lot size options. Be sure to note whether it's searching in square feet or acres. Always try to round up or down a little in your parameters to get properties that are real close to your search. If searching for 5 acre parcels, you probably don't want to miss a nice one that is 4.98 acres.

I didn't try zillow, because I don't like them and never use them, because they're full of wrong info... but I did just try Redfin and it does have Lot size min and max fields.

If you work with a Realtor in your search, we often have tools available for more specific searches on other good search terms, like equestrian, forest, view, or outbuildings like barns or shops.
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Old 09-29-2019, 09:21 PM
 
1,405 posts, read 2,109,267 times
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For Zillow, you choose 'House' but filter on the lot size (choose the 'More' option on the website) if you're looking for a house on some acreage. As for correctness, that can vary quite a bit. Quite a few of the errors are often typos, for instance, your example of a 26 acre lot being less than an acre could very well be the realtor who intended to enter .26 acre and just missed the 'point'. That's why it's important to read the description and look at the map (a quick look on the map will often immediately reveal if a 26acre lot is something even remotely realistic given the houses location. Also, when you're on the map, you can choose the 'Lot Line' view and it will show you the property boundaries. Again, not always accurate, but can give you a ballpark (go to the county tax website to pull up the legal boundaries).
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:21 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
4,893 posts, read 2,669,528 times
Reputation: 9638
Quote:
Originally Posted by taketwo2 View Post
Hi all, This has been really baffling me how so many real estate websites lack good functioning search engines and multiple choice options for the types of properties a buyer is looking for. Zillow for one and some of the information we find is confusing or incorrect information. How could this be? I thought information has to be right. We called on one property that was listed as having over 26 acres only to find out it had less than 1 acre.

We find that searching for property with a house and acreage that the choices for the search engine on most sites you can only choose one or the other such as 'House' or 'Land.' Unless I am wrong and am not using these sites correctly can someone tell me how to use the sites? If I am using them correctly can someone explain why I cannot find properties that include a house With acreage? This has been really hard to do any searching and I feel like we should have gained alot more from the hours and hours doing these searches and not coming up with much.
Did you miss the sticky at the top of the forum? It says "PLEASE tell us your location when asking questions."

In this case, it doesn't matter where you live, but it would greatly help if you would answer the question, "Where are you looking?"

If the location is less important than the type or size of property, you can simply enter search terms into your favorite browser and get something like I did when I used "house with 25 acres" and got the following:

https://www.google.com/search?q=hous...w=1124&bih=735
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Old Yesterday, 06:32 AM
 
10 posts, read 886 times
Reputation: 10
Default What other sites are free and useful?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
If you want there to be a house on the property, you should never use "land". Land is intended primarily for vacant land. Properties under land that have buildings, the buildings are usually considered tear-downs or are of little value.

But you should be able to choose House parameters and then find in advanced search options, Lot size options. Be sure to note whether it's searching in square feet or acres. Always try to round up or down a little in your parameters to get properties that are real close to your search. If searching for 5 acre parcels, you probably don't want to miss a nice one that is 4.98 acres.

I didn't try zillow, because I don't like them and never use them, because they're full of wrong info... but I did just try Redfin and it does have Lot size min and max fields.

If you work with a Realtor in your search, we often have tools available for more specific searches on other good search terms, like equestrian, forest, view, or outbuildings like barns or shops.

Thank you Diana I appreciate your info. I have used the filter like you say but even then we get results that are everything but what we are searching for. That's what makes it so frustrating. I really thought searching online would be a valuable tool but its more frustrating than anything else.


You mentioned "Redfin" I have never heard of that. Is that a .com? Do you know what "Redfin" stands for?
Also are there any other sites?
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Old Yesterday, 06:40 AM
 
10 posts, read 886 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by austinnerd View Post
For Zillow, you choose 'House' but filter on the lot size (choose the 'More' option on the website) if you're looking for a house on some acreage. As for correctness, that can vary quite a bit. Quite a few of the errors are often typos, for instance, your example of a 26 acre lot being less than an acre could very well be the realtor who intended to enter .26 acre and just missed the 'point'. That's why it's important to read the description and look at the map (a quick look on the map will often immediately reveal if a 26acre lot is something even remotely realistic given the houses location. Also, when you're on the map, you can choose the 'Lot Line' view and it will show you the property boundaries. Again, not always accurate, but can give you a ballpark (go to the county tax website to pull up the legal boundaries).
t


Thank you Austinnerd, Yes I agree on the errors I guess just like anything else online you can't count on anything being correct. Thanks for the info on "Also, when you're on the map, you can choose the 'Lot Line' view and it will show you the property boundaries" I didn't know that so now I have another useful tool to use! Also, " (go to the county tax website to pull up the legal boundaries)" Yes, thank you I should of known that but haven't really thought of that.
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Old Yesterday, 06:43 AM
 
10 posts, read 886 times
Reputation: 10
Default my appologies

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
Did you miss the sticky at the top of the forum? It says "PLEASE tell us your location when asking questions."

In this case, it doesn't matter where you live, but it would greatly help if you would answer the question, "Where are you looking?"

If the location is less important than the type or size of property, you can simply enter search terms into your favorite browser and get something like I did when I used "house with 25 acres" and got the following:

https://www.google.com/search?q=hous...w=1124&bih=735



Yes SFBAYBoomer I realized that after I saw another posters' post and realized I forgot to do that. Not used to doing that on forums. I hope to remember to do that from now on. Thanks for bringing that to my attention
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Old Yesterday, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
6,338 posts, read 3,553,810 times
Reputation: 17188
Yes redfin is a real estate website. They tend to be more accurate because they are an actual brokerage that pays for membership to MLSs and therefore gets information from the source.

Zillow historically has not been, their information comes from copying data off of other public facing sites. That means they sometimes get things wrong and they don’t automatically update or correct listings. Clients too-frequently send me stuff they found on Zillow that is wildly wrong or hasn’t been on the market in a year.

Punchline for you is redfin.com is a better site ... try it.

If you’re not a savvy looker or savvy with search engines, I would recommend engaging a buyers agent in your area to start looking for you. They can set you up on a custom search and help filter out some of the bad listings that aren’t going to be of interest to you. They’re good at this, you can let them do it for you and just send you the good stuff!

Last edited by Diana Holbrook; Yesterday at 09:14 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 09:02 AM
 
Location: NC
6,749 posts, read 8,310,695 times
Reputation: 14133
Each area seems different on the acreage data. Here in NC the Zillow acreage data appears accurate, even if the land which was once 6 acres is now 80 townhouses on 3000 sq ft each.

In CA I find that the data on Zillow would still be listed as 6 acres, but for *each* townhome. It's so aggrevating. And yet since Zillow is an aggregator of public information, it means the website that Z has access to does not correct the old data, and even years later the updated record reads as 6 acres for each tiny home. Same whether there are 4 or 80 homes on that original 6 acres.

At least our counties in NC don't hide information. The public can eventually find the real numbers on the county tax websites as a cross check. But some states, or counties in those states, make discovery difficult because they force you to make a formal request for each piece of info.
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Old Yesterday, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,180 posts, read 18,277,844 times
Reputation: 6868
Why not hire a local agent that can set you up with MLS notifications?
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