If investing in real estate is your goal in 2022, then you must have heard of Zillow homes for sale. What are they and how can they help you?
Zillow is one of the largest real estate marketplaces in the US. By virtue of its size and popularity, it’s naturally the first place most new and seasoned property investors look for a rental property to buy. However, most people have no way of evaluating whether a potential investment in Zillow is profitable or not.
Zillow offers some information on the property that a buyer is interested in. However, the details are quite basic and aren’t sufficient to help you make a smart investment decision. You need more data and analytics tools to succeed as an investor.
In today’s article, we look at what this platform is, how you can search for Zillow homes for sale, and how to evaluate their potential profitability.
What Is Zillow?
In recent decades, the digital world has taken over most of our daily lives. The real estate scene has also experienced some changes. Most home buyers and investors now first look for properties online. Their first stop is usually online marketplaces to search for homes for sale.
This is how Zillow came to be. As we’ve mentioned, it’s one of the largest and most popular real estate marketplaces in the US. In the year 2021, the platform had over 135 million listings. While not all the listings are active, most of them are.
The listings on Zillow cover the entire US housing market. You can find homes from the smallest towns and rural areas in the US to the largest and busiest cities, such as Zillow Florida homes for sale. Here are some types of listings you’ll find on Zillow:
- Agent listings (coming soon listings, recent listings, and new constructions)
- For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listings
Foreclosure homes and FSBO listings are usually available, which gives potential investors a major competitive advantage. While many investors first stop on MLS listings, it may not always give them access to the best opportunities.
On the other hand, FSBOs and foreclosures give first-time investors an upper hand even when they might not have a huge budget or have limited financing options. These properties come at discounted prices while still offering the same rental income potential after repairs.
If you want to get into real estate investment in 2022, searching for Zillow homes for sale is a good way to get started.
What Are Zillow Features?
Aside from Zillow homes for sale, investors can find many other features on the platform. They include:
If you want to invest in a Pennsylvania property, you can search for Zillow PA homes for sale on the website using various criteria. They include basics such as property type, property size (square footage), and the number of rooms. You can also filter the results to only show specific amenities, such as properties with waterfronts or a specific number of parking spots. You can view the results using the map view to further filter the results to a certain geographical area.
Real Estate Agent Directory
The Zillow platform also has a large directory of real estate agents. You can search for real estate agents in your locality and also see their Zillow reviews from other users. If you know a certain agent or company, you can search their name to find them quickly. The platform also allows you to filter the agent results using specialty, service, price range, and even languages.
Zillow has a mortgage calculator to help you estimate your mortgage payments and also see how much you can afford. You can also see the current lowest mortgage rates and what your options look like.
Zestimate is Zillow’s home value estimating feature. Zestimates are obtained by using Zillow’s property valuation algorithms that account for the property’s details and tax history. However, these numbers aren’t quite accurate since they rely on a lot of publicly available data. This is especially for properties with limited information available or those located in less-populated neighborhoods.
How Can I Search for Zillow Homes for Sale Near Me?
Most people searching for homes for sale online are either just dreaming or actually serious about actually acquiring an investment property. If you’re dreaming, you are probably searching online for your dream home with a waterfront or undeveloped land. On the other hand, investors who want to make serious moves are focused on what they want and are probably searching for homes online daily.
Whatever your reasons are, we’re going to show you how to find Zillow homes for sale. Here’s how you can refine your search:
Focus Your Property Search
The first step to finding homes for sale near me Zillow is by typing in your preferred neighborhood or city. After that, set up the filters so that you can get homes that have your desired features. Here are some filters you can use:
- Listing type – You can choose to view all listings or narrow them down to foreclosures, new construction properties, existing homes, homes coming to market soon, or FSBOs.
- Home type – You can select whether you want a condo, townhouse, co-op, or manufactured home. You can also choose to only see lots where you can build your own property. You can select a specific home type or a combination of several.
- Price – Use this filter to only show properties within a specific price range or that fit your budget.
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms – This filter allows you to filter between studio apartments or large mansions with more bedrooms and bathrooms.
- 3D home tours – This filter allows you to only see listings that include a 3D home tour. The 3D home tour feature basically lets you “walk through” the property digitally. This way, you only have to visit properties in person only when you’re interested.
There are other filters, such as amenities for things like air conditioning, square footage, and upcoming open houses. If you’re looking for more specific property features that aren’t listed in the filters, such as a fireplace or Victorian homes for sale Zillow, you can type in the “More” drop-down menu.
Save and Share Your Property Search
Once you’ve set up your desired home features, the homes that match your conditions will appear as colored dots on a map. Click on the dots to see the property details.
Sometimes, you may like what you see but still want to see other properties or revisit them later. Luckily, Zillow homes for sale allow you to save the properties you like so that you can see them quickly the next time you log into your account.
You can also set up email alerts so that you can be notified by email as soon as matching homes hit the market. This is a great feature for investors who’re ready to buy now and are looking into competitive markets.
If you’re shopping for a property with a partner, you can use the Zillow mobile app to tag the property features and what you like about it then share it with your partner via email. The more you save a home and share it with others, the more specific the home recommendations become.
Once you’ve saved a few homes and would love a side-by-side comparison, you can go to “Saved Homes”, select the specific properties you want to compare, then click “Compare”. This feature lets you see all the details for the selected properties in one place.
Mashvisor: A Zillow Homes for Sale Alternative
Many real estate investors have over the years used Zillow to find properties for sale. However, the platform has been found to fall in a couple of areas. For example, we mentioned that its Zestimate figures have been found to be inaccurate.
This is where Mashvisor comes in. Before we can look at what this vital tool is, make sure you book your demo today and find out the best rental markets to invest in.
For starters, Mashvisor is an online real estate platform designed to help investors learn how to invest in real estate and find accurate and reliable data for their real estate investments. It uses AI and machine-learning algorithms to offer comprehensive and predictive analytics for investment properties across all housing markets in the US.
The algorithms use historical property performance data to offer insights into the future trends and expected property performance. Here’s a list of what you can get on Mashvisor:
- Property search in US cities and neighborhoods
- Calculation of return on investment metrics, such as cash on cash return and cap rate
- Comparative market evaluation
- Property potential assessment
That said, Mashvisor offers investors many tools to streamline their day-to-day activities. We’ve broken down these features for you to understand:
Mashvisor Property Search
When you get to the Mashvisor website, the first thing you see is the search bar where you can type in your desired city, neighborhood, or zip code. Once you’ve typed in the location, click Search.
The listing results will be displayed on a map of the location you entered. You have two options when you get to this section:
Mashvisor’s heatmap is a great option if you desire to pick a lucrative neighborhood first. You can choose a profitable neighborhood by clicking on Heat Map Data Set to display the filter options. The filters include:
- Traditional cash on cash return
- Traditional rental income
- Airbnb cash on cash return
- Airbnb rental income
- Airbnb occupancy rate
- Listing price
Use these filters to find results that match your investment goals. For instance, if you want to find a short-term rental property, you can use the Airbnb cash on cash return, Airbnb rental income, or Airbnb occupancy rate filter.
The Mashvisor heatmap is color-coded. Green colors represent high-performing neighborhoods, while red colors represent dormant markets.
The Property Finder is a great tool once you’ve identified a profitable neighborhood. You can filter the listings based on the following metrics:
- Budget (listing price)
- Cash on cash return
- Cap rate
- Property type (condo, townhouse, single-family, or multi-family)
- Square footage
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Traditional rental income
- Airbnb rental income
Just like finding Zillow homes for sale, Mashvisor Property Finder also allows you to filter using the listing type (for sale, pending, sold, or foreclosure).
If your search doesn’t bring any results, it means that no listing matches your criteria. In this case, try tweaking the filters or searching in another location.
Mashvisor offers you many tools to carry out investment analysis and help you identify the best place to buy rental property. For now, we can focus on the two most important ones.
While the property search feature allows you to see your desired neighborhood’s real estate data, the data displayed here isn’t enough. You need more neighborhood data to carry out a comprehensive neighborhood analysis.
This is why Mashvisor has the Neighborhood Analytics page. This page presents you with the following information:
- Median property price
- Mashmeter score
- Traditional and Airbnb cash on cash return
- Traditional and Airbnb rental income
- Price per square foot
- Airbnb occupancy rate
- Optimal rental strategy (traditional or Airbnb)
- Walk score
Rental Property Calculator
Mashvisor’s rental property calculator helps investors calculate a property’s profitability. Investors can use our investment property calculator to estimate the following metrics:
- Rental income
- Rental expenses, such as taxes and maintenance costs
- Cash flow
- Occupancy rate
- Return on investment
The best thing about this tool is that it provides estimates for both traditional and Airbnb rental strategies so that you can select the ideal rental strategy for you. There are also rental comps to help you determine the property’s selling price.
Zillow vs. Mashvisor: Verdict
Zillow homes for sale provide a great starting point for real estate investors looking for investment properties. The platform has many great tools to help investors find everything under one roof.
However, there have been constant complaints about the platform’s data accuracy. The Zestimate tool pulls data from publicly available platforms.
Mashvisor, on the other hand, gets its data from reliable platforms. For example, short-term rental data is pulled from Airbnb and other vacation rental platforms. You’re assured of data accuracy and reliability.