There are more than enough bugs to go around in the NuHabitat beta that officially went live yesterday, but the brand-new real-estate listings website does have one killer feature with the potential to shake up Houston’s real-estate landscape. To registered users, NuHabitat coughs up a set of details that until now were available only to real estate agents: date-by-date, blow-by-blow pricing histories for listed properties — even if the MLS numbers have changed. With these little kittens wandering out of the bag, there aren’t a whole lot of top-secret MLS data fields left to the exclusive domain of real-estate agents.
The screen shot of NuHabitat’s Price Tracker feature posted above, for example, lets drop a few details from the sad history of strip-center king Jerry J. Moore‘s former auto-and Francophile palace in Sherwood Forest — details that until now were available to agents but not to the general public (unless, of course, you read about them on Swamplot). Such as: the $3.75 million the current owners bought it for in April of 2010 from Moore’s estate (it had been listed for $6.5 for a little more than a month, on its way down from $7.4). You also get to see the price the new owners plopped the same property back on the market for a year later ($8.9 million, after gutting its legendary interiors) and its 2 subsequent price drops (to $6.595 million last August and $5.65 million this past January). That’s particularly useful information if you’re in the market for an interior-free mansion.
HAR’s own public website does indicate vaguely when prices have dropped on a property, but not how many times it’s happened. It lists the date of the most recent cut — as long as it’s in the last 3 months. Exact sales prices? Listing histories under other MLS numbers? Sorry, ask your Realtor. Sawbuck Realty’s website reveals dates and amounts of significant pricing events, but also gets tripped up by MLS number changes. The Price Tracker on NuHabitat, a Houston startup, may not look as pretty or succinct as the more limited info on other websites, but the straight data dump can be extremely helpful to a potential buyer (or real-estate stalker) hoping to come up to speed on a property’s until-now-mostly-secret pricing past.
- 306 E. Friar Tuck Ln. [NuHabitat]
- NuHabitat to launch website for proprietary home listing and sales data [Houston Business Journal]