Zillow for Android provides real estate street smarts

by Ian Black

Never buy or sell a home without scoping out Zillow. The web site rocked the real estate biz when it first launched by providing easy-to-use, map-based home-price info, rental listings, mortgage advice and more. Now, Zillow offers a free and useful Android app that brings this power to your phone.

Regular Zillow users will notice something cool when they first launch the app. Using your phone's GPS, the Zillow app loads a map with your current location with home-price info layered overtop. This is an improvement over the web site, where you have to type in your location. From here, you can filter what you see by setting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need or your price range for a purchase or rental. You can also display or hide the categories that interest you – homes for sale, recently sold, rentals or Zillow's special "make me move" class where homeowners post a price that would get them to sell, and see if they raise any interest.

The app lets you switch back and forth between a list format or map. On the map, you can layer satellite imagery, traffic or street view. Tapping any home or rental brings up the details for it, including address, price and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can also bookmark specific homes or searches.

One interesting criticism that I found in the comments left by other Zillow downloaders – the ads at the bottom of the page are placed very close to the navigation controls, frequently causing accidental ad clicks. They say this is new to this 1.21 version, and that the previous version didn't have ads. Hmmm.