I’ve known about Google’s foray into real estate search for some time now, but since the feature set pales in comparison to the offerings over at Redfin and Estately, I haven’t really spent much time with it.
However, today I learned of an interesting feature that Google seems to do a much better job at than any of the current competitors: Foreclosure search.
Over on the left side the first option is “Listing type” which allows you to check “Non-Foreclosure” or “Foreclosure.” Here’s a look at the Magnolia / Queen Anne / Ballard / Fremont area:
[Update 2011/01/26 – Unfortunately, Google has decided to discontinue the real estate features on Google Maps as of February 10, 2011.]
Note that when you are zoomed further out, far fewer homes appear on the map. You have to zoom in to about the level shown above before it shows you all of them.
The downsides are that apparently Google is pulling this data from a variety of sources, “foreclosure” may mean anything from homes that have received the initial notice of default to fully bank-owned houses, and some of the addresses are only approximate, with the full details behind a third party pay wall. Either way, it’s still interesting to poke around with.
Hat tip: Calculated Risk