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Web site provides all the real estate info you wish

Cut the confusionIf you're in the market to buy a house or check out property values in a certain neighborhood, there's a Web site that may have all the details you'll need. SmartHomeBuy.com offers a wealth of information about residential properties -- whether or not they're for sale. That's what sets it apart from many other sites that show real estate.

A report from SmartHomeBuy.com includes the physical characteristics of the property -- lot size, living area, year built, bedrooms, bathrooms, land value and the value of improvements. There's also data on previous sales -- when it was sold and for how much.

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An area sales analysis lists up to 15 homes sold within the last two years that are located within a one-quarter mile radius of the subject property. It includes the specific addresses, how far they are from the subject property, recording date of the sale, price, square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, year built and the lot area.

That's already a lot of data to chew on -- but there's more. The report includes reports on public and private schools. The information available on public schools is much broader, covering student/teacher ratios, number of certified teachers, paraprofessionals, demographic data about students, and computer and Internet access. The private school information was pretty much limited to address, distance from the subject property, grades taught, number of students and religious affiliation.

Complete set of reports
Beyond that, there's a section detailing crime statistics, flood hazard areas, contaminated sites with details about the specific problem and an environmental risk report.

"The biggest challenge to consumers is they're not used to seeing this type of information," says Michael Moshay, product manager at SmartHomeBuy.com. "The difference is we package a complete set of reports. When people look up a property, the usual response is 'wow.' "

Moshay says the information is collected from public records. The core of the system is based on public record databases from each county. Moshay says there have been a few complaints, primarily from people who look up their own properties and say "Hey, I have three bedrooms, not two." Moshay says that's a complaint that needs to be taken to the county assessor's office.

The site lists a fee schedule for the reports, depending on how many reports you want. A little bit of the information can be seen for free so you can be sure the property you're interested in is in the database.

-- Posted: June 6, 2003

Quick take | A closer look | Cut the costs | Cut the confusion

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