print’s Best New York City Real Estate Blogs

Night View of Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan

Night View of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan

By Serena Norr

Often dubbed “the Greatest City in the World,” New York City is a cultural melting pot that millions of people call home. Within this prime locale, residents have access to fine dining and nightlife, ethnic cuisine, museums and galleries, Broadway shows, sporting events and recreational parks and facilities.

With all of these unique amenities, it’s no wonder people from all over the world are moving to New York every year. However, once you relocate to NYC there is the issue of finding a place to live. There is no shortage of housing options in NYC with luxury apartments, two-family houses, buildings, condos and coops, brownstones, and even some houses with property; however these places don’t come without a sizeable price tag. In fact, when you move to NYC you will quickly find that locale determines the price of real estate. Due to these high-rentals (and desire for space), many people have moved away from Manhattan, opting for a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, as opposed to a studio in the Lower East Side. This real estate shift has greatly altered what neighborhoods are desirable in NYC; however the high-end Manhattan real estate shows no signs of slowly down with new development deals and luxury condos throughout the city.

From new commercial developments to residential brownstones on the market to celebrity deals, there is always something exciting happening in the NYC real estate scene. On the beat of the real estate industry are some extraordinary NYC bloggers that are on top of the latest industry news and trends and whose sites feature in-depth articles ranging from tenant’s rights to real estate taxes. Here are some of’s favorites:

Created by Jonathan Butler in 2004, Brownstoner covers Brooklyn’s real estate market, latest news, new housing developments and renovation projects. This also includes covering housing issues in Brooklyn, buying tips and pictures of houses, and listings of apartments, coops and condos on the market. The site has grown tremendously since it began that also includes a directory of services, a community forum, restaurant guide, links to various renovation blogs and a sister site called Brownstoner Philadelphia.

A free listing resource, How to Rent in NYC features no broker fee and no fee apartments. The site also includes a renters section where users can write reviews about their landlords, as well as place to read past tenant’s experiences. Created by Alicia Schwartz, the site also features a directory of no fee management companies and landlords, a helpful question and answer segment for renters, rental articles and a listing of moving companies to get you to NYC.

Covering all of Manhattan, NYC Blog Estate features current real estate listings, recent developments and informative articles about the industry. Users can also navigate their way through the site based on the neighborhood they are interested in. The site also has a buyer and seller section where interested parties can post their home or apartment for a direct sale.

A self-professed “real estate solider,” Property Grunt features the latest news on Manhattan’s real estate industry. The daily blog also provides commentary pertaining to current issues such as crooked real estate transactions, taxes and housing issues, problems with landlords, housing reports, tenant’s rights and pictures of local real estate developments.

A print and online edition, The Real Deal features daily content about real estate news, commercial developments, foreclosed properties and expensive deals throughout the NYC area. Stories can also be broken down by neighborhood and users can share their tips about real estate to the website’s editors. The site also has an event section and listing of offices, retail spaces and commercial properties for sale.

The New York Observer’s blog-The Real Estate covers stories about high-end real estate transactions, building developments, tenant experiences and market reports. They also showcase “it’s free to look” area where users can check out luxury apartments and condos on the market.

Published by the Heddings Property Group, the True Gotham blog delivers content that pertains to the inner workings of the real estate industry. Taking an open and honest approach, the site features market reports of transitions in Manhattan, industry news, podcasts and videos and a residential listing section.

As mentioned, in our Best Real Estate Blogs in Los Angeles post we are fans of Curbed and their network of websites. The New York addition — aptly named Curbed NY— follows a snarky and direct approach to covering the latest news and headlines of the NYC real estate market. The site also features celebrity homes on the market (Olsen twins home for $.45 million is just one example), real estate gossip and developments, commercial real estate news, real estate construction and a link to their flickr site showcasing gorgeous photos of real estate around the city. Sellers can also list their home and buyers can search through homes on the market at the Curbed Marketplace.

A comprehensive real estate site, Urban Diggs analyzes the Manhattan real estate market through the use of macro economics to determine real estate trends and investment strategies. Created by Noah Rosenblatt, the site provides in-depth articles, a user discussion section, charts of current trends and insider tips. The also site covers renovations, mortgages, inventory and features a contractor directory.

Everything is coming up green, which also rings true for the real estate industry. Green Buildings NYC not only covers the real estate segment, but design and construction projects in the greater NYC area. The content on the site is organized by neighborhood where users can discover the latest news and articles on green building and sustainability on office spaces, commercial real estate, architecture projects, environmental issues, energy efficient buildings, alternative energy sources, lawn development and much more. Through the site users can also learn about local events, engage in a community forum, locate jobs and search for green real estate listings.

print’s Best Real Estate Blogs in Austin

Today we take a look at Austin real estate blogs.

Known as an artists’ enclave, Austin is a diverse mix of university professors, students, artists, musicians and high-tech workers. The University of Texas is located in the city, but that is not what Austin is best known for. The official slogan of the town is “The Live Music Capital of the World,” and it is a fitting title. The city hosts the wildly popular SXSW Festival. One of the largest music festivals in the United States, SXSW sports more than 1,400 performers playing in more than 80 venues in Austin during four days in March.

In recent years, many in Austin have also adopted the unofficial slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” which refers to the eclectic and liberal lifestyle of many residents, as well as the unofficial campaign to preserve local businesses and resist excessive corporatization. Despite, or maybe because of efforts to keep Austin’s small-town character, real estate is booming. Moving companies are busy in the city and you can see moving trucks trundling along the streets daily.

As with our past real estate blogs, we were looking for sites that allow visitors who are thinking about moving to the city to view real estate offerings and get great real estate advice, while also exploring neighborhoods through local information, such as restaurants listings, the price of utilities and even lists of the best doctors, dentists  and veterinarians in town.

So without further ado:

Realtor Eric Bramlett, owner and blogger on, gives those interested in the Austin market some real insight with lots of local real estate news, property listings, information on green building and a very lively comments section.

The website and blog are linked to Bramlett’s One Source Realty (he is co-owner). He has been licensed to sell real estate since 2003 and his experience has given him great knowledge of the city. Green building is huge in Austin and Bramlett is all over it, so if saving the planet is your passion, be sure to visit this blog.

The Sky Realty blog features posts from several of their agents, each explaining what properties they are working with and where they see the market going. You can get some really valuable advice from these veterans. covers almost everything that is going on in the city, not just real estate. Here, you can catch up on restaurant news, great shopping, art fairs, charity events, current affairs and of course, the latest real estate news. With the linked Twitter feed, this blog is really connected to the people of Austin.

Austin Real Estate Eye Blog is run by Ryan Kucera, who updates his readers on the real estate market and the local happenings in the neighborhoods of Austin Balconies and Spicewood. During a visit to this blog you can learn where to get free mulch (seriously), perform a home search and get hard numbers on exactly how much the two neighborhoods have grown in the last couple of years.

The Real Deal, run by local newspaper The Statesman, gives real buzz on private and public real estate deals from all over town. This is the place to go if you are looking to buy a home, or see what shop is opening in that vacant spot downtown. The site specializes in business, commercial, restaurant, hotel and downtown real estate news.

Austin Real Estate Guy blog publishes information on current real estate market conditions in the Austin area, and developments that will affect the market in the future. Blogger Sam Chapman is also a real estate agent with Private Label Reality and posts real estate stories heard around town, personal observations and opinions.

In addition to real estate listings, Discovery Austin offers valuable information to visitors and those new to town. Lists of restaurants, watering holes, places to shop and even who is playing SXSW this year are all at your fingertips.

Austin Texas Real Estate Blog is run by Roselind Hejl, a realtor with Coldwell Banker United. The “About Austin” tab, located on the homepage, has great information for those of you who are looking for more information on the city. Spend some time going through details on neighborhoods, schools, Austin lifestyle and government services, just to name a few.

If you have any Austin real estate blogs that you love, send them to us so we can take a look and possibly include them in a future post.

Related Articles:
The Best Real Estate Blogs in San Francisco
The Best Real Estate Blogs in Minneapolis/St. Paul
The Best Chicago Real Estate Blogs

print Announces Washington D.C.’s Best Real Estate Blogs–Part II

We’re back with part two of our Washington D.C. real estate blogs listing.

As with our first post, we searched for sites that catered to visitors looking to relocate to the city, as well as those just wanting to take a peek and get a feel for what’s happening.

These blogs allow a person to explore neighborhoods, view real estate offerings, see the price of utilities and even find a dentist.

So, on to the rest of the list:

Capitol Homes is written by Pat Kennedy, a realtor of 27 years and author of The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate: Buying, Selling and Making Money. This is the place to go for some sound real estate advice, whether buying in D.C. or not.

Kennedy is also a connected source of information when it comes to D.C. real estate trends.

Greater, Greater Washington was created by David Alpert, a man devoted to improving the vitality of Washington, D.C. and walkable neighborhoods in Alexandria, Arlington, Bethesda, College Park, Rockville, Silver Spring and Tysons Corner.

This blog is loaded with insightful information that will take someone who has never been to D.C. on a virtual tour, neighborhood by neighborhood.

Weichert realtor Dewita Soeharjono is behind the Urban Trekker Blog, a good place to find real estate news and trends. The regular Real Estate News Roundups compile links to interesting R.E. news pieces from across the country.

Prince of Petworth was created by Dan Silverman in November 2006 and has since been quoted by a variety of trusted news sources, including The New York Times, the Washington Post and Financial Times.

The blog does a great job of chronicling the happenings in Washington D.C.’s neighborhoods with a particular focus on Petworth, Columbia Heights, Park View, Pleasant Plains, U Street, Mt. Pleasant, Logan Circle, Shaw, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Georgetown, Chinatown/Penn Quarter, H Street, NE and Capitol Hill.

In addition to real estate news and listings, you can find in-depth information on neighborhood happenings, restaurant information and great photos. Best though is the bustling comments section, which gives you a great lay of the land as to who is thinking what in Capitol City.

RealAstute, run by realtors Kevin Shirley and Michael Dillon from Long & Foster real estate, blog about their lives as realtors with hilarious RealtorRant posts, and give readers really valuable information in the Feeling Nosy posts. Perfect for those of you who do not plan on moving this very second, but are still interested in poking around various neighborhoods. The posts also contain lots of current listings that have just come on the market.

So, that’s what we have. If you have any Washington D.C. real estate blogs that you love, send them to us so we can take a look and possibly include them in a future post.

Related Articles:
The Best Real Estate Blogs in San Francisco
The Best Real Estate Blogs in Minneapolis/St. Paul
The Best Chicago Real Estate Blogs

print Announces Washington D.C.’s Best Real Estate Blogs–Part I

This week we take a look at the best real estate blogs in our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. The only problem is there are so many great blogs relating to the city we needed to divide the post in two. Read part one today and you can catch part two on Wednesday.

What’s so great about these blogs? Well, they can help a stranger learn about a city, of course, and they give the reader access to that city’s real estate options, albeit virtually.

Whether you are thinking about moving to a new city or just curious, checking out real estate blogs is a great way to explore neighborhoods, get details on city government, taxes, housing and even prices of staples like utilities.

These blogs can even help you find the best restaurants, doctors and dentists in the area, so if you do make the jump, you will be set up from the very first day.

And Now, Anacostia, run by blogger DG-rad, meticulously details changes in the Anacostia real estate landscape. The neighborhood, located east of the Anacostia River, is a gorgeous and well-known historic area in Washington, D.C.

The site features great pictures of homes for sale, homes under renovation, green building and general neighborhood news. If you are thinking of relocating to this section of D.C., you better visit here to get acquainted., run by blogger Jesse Kaye for D.C. Building (which specializes in the construction of high-end custom homes and the restoration of historic homes in Virginia), connects buyers and sellers to the heart of the D.C., Virginia and Maryland real estate markets with up-to-date news from on the ground.

You can take a virtual tours of D.C. condos while on the blog, as well as read great articles on how to keep a home from selling (something none of us want), how to talk to a condo board, and what to do if your condo association goes bankrupt. Sound like a lot of condo advice? You’re right. The blog is very condo heavy.

In addition to being a website, BeyondDC is also a non-profit organization owned and operated by J. Daniel Malouff, a professional urban planner who currently works for local government in Northern Virginia.

While you won’t find any real estate listings on the site, you will find buckets of local neighborhood development information, neighborhood news, transit information and maps, and really fantastic photos of D.C. and the surrounding area.

Redfin’s Washington D.C. and Baltimore blog, Sweet Digs, is written by Redfin realtors Tim Ellis and Crissy Hall. They give you the scoop on past sales, good deals, open houses and what’s on the market. is a site for buyers, sellers, developers and anyone who wants to be on the inside track of D.C.’s real estate market. The real estate agents who report regularly on the site have been working with developers for years, so they are able to not only see where the RE market has been, but foresee where that market in going in the near and not-so-near future.

Especially great is the info on developments yet to be built. As the information is boasted to be always accurate, this is a fantastic tool for those who plan on moving to the city.

Okay, there’s plenty more where that came from! Tune in on Wednesday for part two of Washington D.C.’s Best Real Estate Blogs.


Best Real Estate Blogs in Miami

In the past, our regional best blogger posts have always been a favorite with all you out there, so we’re bringing them back.

This time we take a look at Miami. Why? Well, for one, we here at are currently holed up in our New York office during the biggest snowstorm of 2010 (so far), so warm-weather anything sounds like a good idea. Second, Miami is humming with real estate news and the blogs are reflecting that.

So what makes a best blog? They need to be able to help a stranger learn about a city, of course, and they need give the reader access to that city’s real estate options, albeit virtually.

We, like you, want to see updated and original neighborhood content, so what better person to write about what is opening and up-and-coming than an in-the-know real estate agent?

A few other criteria we look at:

Market data. People who are relocating want to know average sales prices, sales volumes and days on market. Agents need to give that information to them.

Explanatory articles about real estate, whether the basics or current issues. People looking for a home come from varied backgrounds as far as real estate knowledge, so the agent should attempt to give them information about a variety of real estate issues. For example, blogs about buying a foreclosed home are very useful in this market.

And here are our favorites:

The Blog That Ate Miami
Real estate agent and blogger Maggie Dokic not only has really fantastic dining and entertainment guides, The Blog That Ate Miami has a really robust backlog of helpful articles for both buyers and sellers.

The dining and entertainment guides are reason enough for anyone who is planning a trip or relocation to Miami to visit the blog. Daily updates to the entertainment guide include big and small community-related events; it’s kind of like having your own tour guide take you around the city.

HouseKeys, Buying, Selling, Insuring Your Property
Real estate agents Julie Patel and Paul Owers co-host HouseKeys, a great nuts and bolts blog that covers Florida’s real estate, property insurance and utility industries. Rules and regulations change from state-to-state and city-to-city, so when buying a property in a location new to you, it’s imperative to know local law.

The blog is part of local newspaper, The Sun Sentinel, so you know that the information is accurate and updated regularly. And happily, while the information is cut and dry, the writing style is engaging and informative so you want to read it, not just have to.

Miami City Diggs
Real estate agent Jamey Prezzi hosts Miami City Diggs, a veritable launch pad for the real estate market in Miami. With a hopping comments section, you can start conversations with people who are passionate about all-things-Miami before even thinking about making a call to a moving company.

Fantastic photos, a blogroll that is fun and informative, and lively posts about the Miami market will give you a realistic and real-time look at what is happening in the city.

Miami Condo Investments
Property guru Lucas Lechuga gives us Miami Condo Investments, which has all the information you need on  newly-built Miami condos with his amazing Miami Condo Ranking. At a glimpse, you can see a property’s proximity to restaurants, grocery stores, shops and nightlife; the quality of the building as well as quality of the units in the entire condo development; and risk: the number of foreclosures, short-sales and percentage of closings for newer buildings. This recently updated key to the city will help a buyer make the best condo choice possible without ever getting on a plane.

Here are some of our honorable mentions: Eye on Miami, Miami Condo Forum, Miami Real Estate Cafe, Miamism, South Beach Condo Blog and Bosshardt Blog. All these blogs give fantastic overviews of the Miami real estate market and are definitely worth a visit.

Related Articles:
The Best Real Estate Blogs in San Francisco
The Best Real Estate Blogs in Minneapolis/St. Paul
The Best Chicago Real Estate Blogs


The Best Chicago Real Estate Blogs

One of the best ways to get a taste of a neighborhood you’re looking at is to look at some blogs from real estate professionals in the area.

Real estate agents are getting savvy about using the blog to talk to you – people who are interested in moving to their community — about the community. At their very best, these blogs are like local newspapers, without the obituaries or scintillating reports from the local public utilities commission.

Of course, the agents would LOVE to eventually represent you in a sale, but they also know that if they’re too salesy in their blog reports, you’ll bolt. The hope is that if you like the blog and find it a valuable resource for learning about a neighborhood, then you’ll like the agent as well and maybe want to talk business.

So we’re going city by city to find the best real estate blogs. I try to find sites that have a low sales quotient, and give you a good insight into the community that agent represents. The more ‘insidery’ the better.

First up: Let’s look at Chicago and the best blogs in the Windy City (in no particular order).

Robert Darrow’s Your Windy City Guide excels in all the types of information that’s important to new residents: some numbers and analysis of local real estate market with some good insight for buyers, and with just the right amount of local color – interesting stories and great pics.

He also does a very nice job of discussing a variety of neighborhoods and then making it easy for you to search them with precise tagging (that’s not something you’ll find on all of the Chicago blogs).

Definitely worth your time if you’re looking to move and buy in Chicagoland.

Fran Bailey’s Chicago Metro Real Estate is also first-rate, and she has some good war stories from the Chicago real estate biz — personal stories like these help you get a feel for a real estate agent’s personality and knowledge.

As you read these blogs, think about whether you could mesh with them as you go about your real estate hunt. I’ll ignore the post on ‘5 Good Reasons to Buy a Home now’ — agents, please avoid the obvious pitches on buying a home; if I’m on your site, just assume I’m already pretty serious about buying a home.

However, bonus points for her post on finding Chicago rentals, a classy post that shows she wants to help people moving to Chicago, not pitch her listings.

Chicago Real Estate Local from Eric Rojas offers a really good insight into life in Chicago with a good overview of the types of property in Chicago and some amusing insights on properties and neighborhoods, as well as discussion of the overall real estate market in Chicago and in particular neighborhoods. It’s the kind of stuff that gives you a feel for the city and some insight into where you might be looking to live. is also a good blog about life in Chicago. Check out its neighborhood lists for some good insight into various Chicago neighborhoods. The Real Estate Lounge Chicago is good, but I’d like to see more information about neighborhoods in there.

Jennifer Ames’ Live and Play in Chicago is probably the best-looking blog in this group, and has a lot of good information on neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago if that’s an area you’re interested in. Definately should be on the list of blogs to check out if you’re interested in Chicago.

Closing on Real Estate is more about the financial side of the equation, but the lawyer-author does a really nice job of focusing on issues that a first-time buyer might face. Here’s an example:

“I represented a buyer earlier this week at a closing and we used this to sock away $5k just in case there’s a special assessment in the next six months. In my particular situation a review of condo board minutes over the last year suggested a couple big projects may be happening soon so I just wanted to protect my client. But in a soft real estate market, why not use this as the default position on the Buyer’s side. Protect your client for another year.”

This is good stuff to know if YOUR real estate agent isn’t thinking about stuff like this. Bonus points for not using legalese like ‘pursuant.’

Finally, Arc Chicago isn’t a real estate site, but it’s an interesting compendium of real estate architecture in Chicago and some of the interesting architecture by neighborhood. Not that you should pick your new neighborhood by the archicture, but it could be a factor.

Any I missed? Of course there is! So why not help out our community and leave some other Websites that are worth a perusal?

— Tim Johnson, Editor