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WHY CAN'T I SORT BY WATERFRONT OR CANAL?THIS IS WHY I DON'T USE ZILLOW...TOO TIME CONSUMING

Been looking elsewhere not wanting to sort through all properties, all the time to look for waterfront or canal etc.
Also what's the deal with listing foreclosures with zero info on them??

  • January 02 2011 - Englewood
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Answers (8)

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The best way to find waterfront property is to zoom the map to the water feature of interest, and pan the map along the water-front.  This will give you much better information much faster than any MLS search for the word "waterfront".

Besides, Zillow does have a search feature for waterfront or even canal.  It is called their "free-form search".  It is not advertised yet as it is still in beta testing trying to get it to be more useful and comprehensive; but it is available for anyone to try.

On the home search page, where the address search box is, type in not only the city and state or Zip code of interest, but also type in your keywords you want to search for, such as "waterfront" or "canal".  If the listing agent put it in the description, it will show up in the filtered results.

As for the "foreclosure" issue, that is due to an "arrangement" that foreclosures.com has with Zillow as well as another prominent foreclosure website.  Most of the ones that have no address are not even for sale as they are only "pre-foreclosures", meaning that a 90 day late notice was issued.  Most of those properties will not be for sale.  Foreclosure.com and the other foreclosure site only do it to sell monthly subscriptions to their database service.  It is pointless and deceives many.

The "solution" is to add some additional filter criterion on all your searches, including a minimum price, a minimum # bedrooms, a minimum # bathrooms, and a minimum # square feet.  Those that have no data because nothing is for sale will then just not appear in the search results.  (Besides, no one wants a house that has 0 bedrooms, 0 bathrooms, and less than 200 sqft, even if it was less than $100).

  • January 03 2011
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Thanks for all the input....learned more and also how to use Zillow better.
  • January 04 2011
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Zillow has a lot of good info, but they don't have all of the MLS listings.  You can zoom in on a local agent's site with an interactive map and find more local "for sale" listings.  Zillow will have more data on homes not for sale.

There are also "undisclosed address" listings on the waterfront quite often.  These usually can't be found with a map search, you have to use the MLS advanced search.

  • January 03 2011
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Zillow's database integrates hundreds of different MLS data sets.  Some data is incompatible, and some isn't available to companies that are not licensed brokerages (as Zillow is not).

Waterfront real estate is fairly specific to a locale.  In Seattle we have waterfront on "the Sound", which wouldn't compute elsewhere.  Waterfront in FL on  a "Key" wouldn't really work here.  You should just have a local agent put together a list for you.
  • January 03 2011
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For a detailed search like such as this, it sounds like you need parameters only available with an agent who has access to their local MLS.
Good Luck!
  • January 03 2011
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To answer your question about no information on foreclosures. I can not speak for Zillow or any other search engine you choose, however the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) used by professional Real Estate Agents requires more details to be disclosed. We also are linked to the local Property Appraiser site for Tax information and past history on properties.

Your time is valuable! Why not use the experience and expertise of a qualified Realtor! We save you Time, Money and Head aches!


  • January 03 2011
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The easiest way to zero in on these types of properties is to ask your Realtor to set up a search for you that is based on the waterfront parameters you seek.  Then, you will get all active Multiple Listing Service listings that fit your parameters within the area you specify.
  • January 03 2011
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I can't speak for Zillow, I am just a Florida real estate agent a little south of you, but I do know Zillow's scope is nationwide and canals are plentiful mostly on the Florida coast.  Most people across the U.S. aren't looking for canals and waterfront property.  We're the lucky ones who have all this waterfront! 

In regard to foreclosures with very little information about them, it's gotten customary for agent's who list bank-owned property,  to not show all the detail.  These are "distressed" homes offered at the lowest price and lenders just want to sell them as quickly as possible to mitigate their loss.  No fluff.  Given the volume of foreclosures, it just makes it more expeditious for agents to show a minimum of  information for a quick turnover.
  • January 02 2011
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