August 14, 2010

Redfin Highlights Schools Alongside Real Estate Search

Two months ago, I told you about how my wife and I used Redfin for practically the entire process of searching for and buying a home. If there were properties not listed on the site, we simply didn't see them, as we leveraged the company to track our favorites and discover new options. Even after finally picking one and moving in at the end of July, I haven't stopped window shopping - partly to ensure we made the right choice and to watch macro changes in the area - and I was pleased to see the service has added a new wrinkle to the site, displaying area schools with every single query - making area education options as important as any other facet when choosing a home.

Now, when you search for properties, not only due you see which properties are on the market, and which have upcoming open houses, but you also see school locations, as well as how they rank relative to their peers on a 1-10 scale, based on standardized test scores. Obviously, for a family with children, the higher an area school's ranking, the more appealing the property, and the lower the school's quality, the more likely it is that one's neighbors and neighborhood will have some issues.

Redfin Adds Schools to Real Estate Searches

The integration of education data in Redfin's real estate service is more than skin deep, as each school is now profiled on the site, with basic facts and even parent's reviews. According to Redfin's blog, the service will even soon let you search for homes within a specific district, a big deal for some families.

In the areas of the country served by Redin, the product has eclipsed Zillow and others in many ways, and it looks like it could deliver the same level of detail for schools as it has for new properties. You can even start with a school's description and find homes for sale in the neighborhood, effectively turning the real estate search process on its head. If you're looking for a home and want to find data on schools in the area, Redfin looks to be leading the pack.