Selecting Between Two Homes

Information OverloadREALTORS® speak about “Location, Location, Location, as being the key factor in real estate. You can find homes with ease but then have to search multiple sites to learn about the neighborhood, community, schools and even the weather. 

Let me helpIt seems you have discovered everything available to you on the Internet but still lack information. If you haven’t previously, now is the time to contact a REALTOR who has access to a greater depth of information than is available to the average home buyer.

Let me save you time, money and frustration. I use a number of sources, most of which  are available only by subscription to REALTORS.

 I pay for this information in my Association Fees, Multiple Listing Fees and subscriptions to data sources; a costly annual expense. I provide this at no cost to my clients.


One of the most valuable is Brokers Tools; a service provided by Realtor’s Property Resources.


Broker Tools Realtors Property Resources[blockquote]What is RPR®?
Comprehensive data, powerful analytics, and dynamic reports for each of NAR’s constituencies

100% Owned by REALTORS®
Created by NAR for the sole purpose of providing REALTORS® with the data they need to meet the demands of their clients. There are no third party investors or silent partners.

Only available to REALTORS®
No third party or public access…guaranteed. The only way a non-REALTOR® has access to the data in RPR is through an RPR report that has been created, branded and sent by a REALTOR®.
provides me access to 117 million properties nationwide and 1.6 million active listings. This is data from the source; it is current and the most accurate available – your best source of in depth, real time market information.

One feature is critical when you have narrowed you search and basically choosing between two homes. You are satisfied with the design and price but are still lacking information on what is taking place in the neighborhood.

As you plan a strategy for negotiations, you would benefit from knowledge on such factors as the amount the owner owes on the loan and the homes sales history. For sure,  you don’t want to be blindsided by the discovery of an extra mortgage, notice of default or any other transaction on the property?

So let me be of assistance. We can define the type of information you need and I will pull reports specially formatted to meet your needs. A snap shot of the community and neighborhood, market trends (sales, listings, cancellations) in the exact neighborhood you are considering, detail on each home under consideration.

The following paragraphs explain the various reports available to you that will help in your selecting between two homes. I have added downloads of sample reports that help you understand their value.

Are you a researcher and like to go the the original source to make your conclusions? I have provided down loads of my data sources that will give you the facts you need to make your own informed real estate purchase decision.

The Property Report 

What to Look For? You immediately know what the owner paid and what he/she owes on the loan. How long it has been on the market and any price changes. You have an immediate snap shot of how the home compares in the market. Valuable information for us in setting an offering price. The key areas are summarized below.

Check deeper into a listing: Get the full picture on a home. Information on the sales history including time on the market and price changes over time. Add a history of the homes estimated value compared to the market area, any price changes during its listing history, the inventory of homes listed for sale and what price ranges are selling – what a mouth full! Any foreclosure activity will appear here as well.

Property Ownership Information: Key information critical to an informed decision. Who purchased the home and when, the original purchase price.

Financial Condition: Initial loan amount, any refinancing or second mortgages. Lender information, interest rate. With knowledge of the mortgage details, you will have insight to a home’s existing financial condition.

What will I find in this Sellers – Property Report

Subject Property Summary

  1. RPR 3Property Values
  2. Listing Price
  3. Estimated Value
  4. Estimated Value Change
  5. Refined Estimate Comp Analysis Result
  6. Home Facts – Extended Home Facts
  7. Property Photos
  8. Property History Tax and Assessment History
  9. Mortgage History
  10. Property Comparison Char
  11. Neighborhood: Housing Stats and Chart

Broker Tools Claus othersCLARUS MARKETMETRICS

Marketmetrics is my primary source of real time information on the market. I summarize it in my blog articles but the full reports are available to you. There are two reports:

Market Dynamics gives you up-to-date information on local real estate market trends and conditions. Current and historical data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is used to produce detailed, highly visual and easy-to-interpret reports. Fast way to look at what is taking place over time in sales, median prices and market inventory.

Market Pricing shows what price ranges are selling for both attached and detached homes. We can target a price range (say $50,000 over and under the price of a home of interest) and see scatter grams that help us visualize where the “target” price range “fits” into the market as a whole. Visually compare the sold, active, and under contract properties within that range from a price-point; DOM; and price reduction perspective.

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inside T logo

Inside Tract

When you are planning to buy a home, the ability to view a floor plan can be of great assistance in the buying decision.

If you are working with me as your buyer’s agent I will search out floor plans for the homes that captured your interest. I subscribe to The Inside Tract, a data source that is only available to Real Estate Professions.

The Inside Tract has information on homes built by merchant home builders in Orange County since 1965; the majority of homes listed for sale. Floor Plans helps greatly if we you live outside the area and we are trying to narrow down a list of home you want to see. Floor plans also are helpful after you have toured a number of homes they all tend to blur together.

Floor Plan

Look at this floor plan. It is what we call a Master Down two story home. It is a great alternative to a single story home. Not only does this floor plan show you how the home lives, it shows you the way it relates to the outside and adjacent homes.

A courtyard provides private space and becomes a central view feature for the family room, dining room and living room. The back of the home is set back on one side to create a deeper back yard. Note the left side of the home – windows are limited in number and up high to provide privacy to the next door home. Now imagine the fact that the right side of the home faces a similar blank wall of the adjacent home, creating your private yard space.

Floor teach you a lot about how a home lives, they even give you a way to imaging furnishing the home before you move.

I have worked with home buyers asking them what they want in a home. I have set the criteria for new floor plan designed and worked with architects and land planners in interpreting home buyer needs and aspirations into actual design. I can be of significant help to you in deciding on the home that best meets your needs.

Tract MapIn addition to floor plans we can also access the land plans, allowing you to see how adjacent home relate to your home. Critical information when you are considering a detached home in one of Orange County’s many small lot communities. 

Additional information I can provide includes the number of homes built in the community in which the home is located – even the number of homes with the same floor plan. Builder information, year built and the location of amenities are all available from this rich data source.


Lifestyle Search has a lot of built-in tools to help you with your search.

Just click on any neighborhood outline and you will see the demographic and economic profile of residents. The lifestyle tab allows you to  see the location of neighborhood shopping, schools, restaurants and other amenities. Most helpful is your ability to set a distance around an amenity (walking distance from a coffee shop) and see what homes are close to the lifestyle choices you value.

More than a home valuation site

Value MapValueMap is a quick and convenient way to check on the value of a home of interest and see the value on adjact homes at the same time.

You can also see homes for sale and recent sales  in the neighborhood. To moitor sales there  is a feature that will send you email alerts whan any nearby home sells.

Realist ValueMap differs from other home valuation Websites by using a combination of local MLS listing data and First American CoreLogic’s industry leading automated-valuation models.

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