Best Aggregation of Massive Amounts of Housing Data

For those who say that nothing good ever came out of aggregating massive amounts of public records, the definitive counterargument comes in the form of the local venture "From sale records, we get the statistical information about the homes, such as square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, the lot size," says Zillow's Amanda Hoffman. And the price of the units? "That's also part of public records." By syncing up the information from recently sold properties from about 3,000 counties in the U.S. and putting them on an idiot-friendly, search-savvy Web site, you've got a surefire addiction. Who wouldn't want to feel like Sherlock Holmes without getting out of bed? "We've received very few complaints," adds Hoffman. "This is public information. Most people agree that a transparent market is a fair market; and the more information at your fingertips, the better."—Karla Starr

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