HotPads.com, Fortune Magazine's "Need to Know" Web site, Launches New Tools for Housing SearchInnovative Features Help Users Navigate the Declining Housing Market to Find the Home of their Dreams
WASHINGTON, June 11, 2008- HotPads.com, http://hotpads.com, the leading map-based housing search and listing service, today re-launched to include exciting new tools for housing and apartment hunters navigating today's rocky housing market. Fortune Magazine recently listed HotPads.com as the "Need to Know" Web site for housing and neighborhood information.
"This launch ensures that HotPads will remain 'the place to find your place' for a long time to come," said HotPads President and CEO Andy Blacker. "The innovative tools we unveiled today are only the beginning of a series of improvements and updates we have planned."
The revolutionary new Web site features the very first online Rent Ratio Heat Maps allowing apartment hunters nationwide to visually see where it makes sense for them to rent or buy, based on the ratio of rental and for sale pricing. HotPads.com seeks not only to show housing availability, but also to educate the consumer on their best option in a sensitive economy.
"We all know that when it comes to renting a house or apartment, determining the cost of rent for a given area can be like playing a game of Russian Roulette," said Matt Corgan, co-founder and Director of Technology. "The Rent Ratio Heat Map takes the guess work out of choosing where to rent or buy by providing users with information on prices in a given neighborhood or location."
In addition to this new feature, the HotPads site also includes the first Buy vs. Rent advisor allowing users to compare homes and apartments for sale as well as homes and apartments for rent simultaneously on the same map-based search page. Results for Buy vs. Rent inquiries are calculated using estimated monthly costs.
According to a report released last week by the Mortgage Bankers Association, nearly 1 in 10 American homeowners with a mortgage faced foreclosure or fell behind in their payments in the first three months of this year. The period from January to March marked the worst quarter for American homeowners in nearly 25 years, the report states. In the down real estate market housing shoppers are grappling with the Buy vs. Rent decision. HotPads makes it possible to assess housing affordability with tools that help Americans to formulate sound financial decisions.
"Purchasing a home is always an important decision but it can be particularly nerve-wracking when there are so many market uncertainties," said Corgan. "HotPads helps housing shoppers decide whether renting or buying is right for them while assisting their search for the perfect home."
The revamped site also features a dynamic Foreclosure Heat Maps that show markets hit hardest by the ever-growing housing crisis and increased foreclosure rate. Users will be able to track the trends of the foreclosure rates in different markets by comparing historical foreclosure heat maps on a week-by-week basis, bringing greater transparency to the housing crisis. Foreclosure information is provided by RealtyTrac ( www.realtytrac.com )the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties. Housing shoppers will be able to investigate all of RealtyTrac's foreclosure information on HotPads' map-based search engine.
Hotpads.com launched its map-based housing search and listing service in November 2005. Since its launch, Hotpads.com has become one of the fastest growing active listing services on the Web. Founded by two Notre Dame roommates turned entrepreneurs, HotPads' goal is to simplify the process of housing search through superior technology and services. For more information, call (563) Buy-Rent [289-7368] or visit the Web site at http://hotpads.com.
co-founder and director of operations
(563) Buy-Rent [289-7368]