Admit it, you've gone to those sites. Late at night, sitting on the couch fantasizing... It's ok, everybody does it! But if that's the only place you go to try to live out your dreams, it's eventually going to interfere with your ability to function in reality.
And here's why: Real estate portal sites like Zillow have lots of sexy pictures, but if you really look under their skirt you will see what's really going on. With all the lights on you'll find outdated listing information and photos, potentially permanent capture and use of not just your contact info but your IP address, and an unregulated database that can have you frothing at the mouth over a property isn't even on the market.
The very best, cleanest database of information on real estate in your area can be found on the MLS. But let's be honest, the MLS is kind of dull and boring. Sure it has all the facts, but you need a Realtor(R) to access it, and then you have to have 'The Talk', and if you're not quite ready to go all the way and buy a house, the whole experience is just awkward.
But there's a better way! If you're curious about home values or just want to do some wholesome window shopping, just head on over to your favorite Realtor(R)'s website and search on their portal. The best ones will let you search anonymously. You'll get a very pleasant aesthetic experience and can fantasize freely knowing that what you see on the screen is actually what's available to you.