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 Los Angeles

The Picturesque California Sunset

The Picturesque California Sunset

By Serena Norr

As the second largest city in the United States, and the largest city in California, Los Angeles is renowned as a hub for glamour and entertainment, amazing weather, fine dining, attractions and breathtaking beaches.

This “City of Angels” is also home to some of the most immaculate real estate properties in the world with seaside residences, homes situated in the mountains, über modern architectural wonders and green design concepts. Although these housing options are plentiful, the area was hit pretty hard by the declining housing market, causing market price to plummet and foreclosures throughout the city. However, this area is now starting to see signs of growth with the rebound of home sales. Forbes magazine even named Los Angeles one of the top 10 metro areas in the U.S that is easing from the recession. Good prospects are up ahead and is very excited to cover these Los Angeles bloggers who are on the pulse of what’s happening in this (once again) burgeoning real estate market.

As part of the popular Curbed network, the Curbed LA edition covers anything and everything real estate throughout all of the neighborhoods in the City of Lights. This up to the minute blog is certainly on the beat of what is going on in the market through their informative, but fun articles. The site also features breaking real estate news and deals, developments in architecture, home improvement and design concepts and real estates listings, accompanied by gorgeous pictures.You can also find restaurant reviews and everything about LA fashion on its sister sites-Eater LA and Racked LA for the complete LA experience.

Covering the Westside of Los Angeles and Downtown, the Los Angeles Real Estate Blog features the point of view of real estate broker-Keller Williams and his first hand insight of this residential real estate market. Since the blog covers Downtown, most of the listings feature apartments, condos and coops, along with location information (restaurants, area amenities, etc) room features, floor plans, pictures and even YouTube videos that give users an interactive tour. The site also provides informational articles such as green living, analysis of home growth in certain areas and parking in LA with a dead meter.

Crafted by the Valerie Fitzgerald Group, Los Angeles Real Estate Talk covers the market in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, Malibu, Santa Monica and the Westside of Los Angeles. This luxury real estate blog showcases the latest buying and selling trends and listings, as well an a great resource for informational articles about home inspections, construction sites, loans, mortgage rules and tax credits. Buyers and sellers should be sure to check out the blogs resource page, where they can check out a payment calculator, moving checklist, budget calculator, closing costs, and understanding investment, among many other informational (and free!) resources.

The Malibu Real Estate Blog gives users the “low down” on high end real estate from techy/real estate agent, Michael Gardner. Auctions, listings and pictures, sales and real estate developments throughout Malibu are all covered on the site through Gardner’s straightforward tone. He even lists his cell phone number, so that users can call or text him directly with their listing information or any questions.

A Manhattan Beach real estate blog, the Manhattan Beach Confidential lists properties on the market and compares current asking prices to its previous sales, which gives buyers a comprehensive analysis on property values and real estate trends. The reviews also include open house times, location information and a straightforward review of a homes appearance. Recent posting such as: “First, there’s that exterior, with its hard-on-the-eyes adornments. It just doesn’t work” are just some of the brutally honest remarks regularly found on MBC.

Blogger/real estate broker, Irina Netchaev breaks down the real estate market in Pasadena through her site, Pasadena Views. This informational resource covers architecture, home sales, real estate market reports, as well as information about loans and mortgages. Home owners can also list their homes here, or buyers can search through the up-to-date free listing section. The site also features foreclosures, market statistics and profiles on Pasadena’s neighborhoods such as average home price and amount of time a place is listed on the market. The site also has a personal touch with Irina’s real-life stories of the buying/selling market, advice and insider secrets.

Covering Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Los Angeles, Malibu, the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and Westwood, the Los Angeles Real Estate Voice provides a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of real estate listing and housing news. The blog also features these areas through their own profile pages, as well as through lifestyle articles covering local restaurants, where the best schools are and an interactive video section where experts give their opinions on real estate in these markets.

Looks like brighter days are coming for Los Angeles, as the market is showing signs of some real change. Check out some of these blogs to stay up-to-date on current trends, real estate listings and industry news as they happen—we know we will!

print Announces the Best Real Estate Blogs in San Diego

California’s second largest city and the United States’ eighth largest, San Diego is renowned for its idyllic climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches and dazzling array of world-class family attractions. No wonder moving companies are doing such a great business in the area.

San Diego County encompasses 18 incorporated cities and many neighborhoods and communities, including downtown’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Coronado, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Escondido, La Mesa, Hillcrest, Barrio Logan and Chula Vista.

The city’s real estate market was hard hit during the past couple of years by the recession, but it is bouncing back. Home values rose in February of this year compared with February 2009, according to real estate professionals.

We thought this good news afforded the lovely city of San Diego a best real estate blogs post.

As with the other real estate posts that have gone up here during the past several weeks, the San Diego blogs can help a stranger learn about the city. Whether a user is thinking about moving or is just curious and looking around, the featured blogs offer opportunities to explore neighborhoods, taxes, mortgages and even prices of staples like utilities.

These blogs even help users find the best restaurants, doctors and dentists in the area, so if someone is planning on moving to the city, they can hit the ground running., run by Jim Klinge, has more than real estate listings for San Diego and the surrounding areas. You can find San Diego crime data and school information by neighborhood, as well as a short list of recommended service providers, which include everything from insurance agents to piano tuners to home contractors.

Klinge also has a video library that puts the user on the ground in San Diego with virtual tours of properties and luxury REOs in foreclosure, as well as tips and tricks for getting the most out of the real estate market.

The San Diego Home blog is run by Kris and Steve Berg, owners of San Diego Castles Realty. For more than a decade, they have helped literally hundreds of families purchase property, and sell homes and investment properties throughout San Diego County.

The site’s listings feed allows users to view the latest 25 properties that have come on the market in each neighborhood they cover. It’s a great way to take a virtual tour and see what is available in the city.

Peter Toner’s San Diego Real Estate blog features some great articles on home buying, the state of SD’s real estate market and tax credits, as well as fantastic tips for home sellers and renters.

San Diego Real Estate Market blog has a very healthy listings page, with hundreds of San Diego rentals and homes for purchase. The blog also offers visitors a real connection to the city through event pages that list large and small happenings in and around San Diego.

Users that are interested in the social scene will delight in SD Urban, which covers the city’s urban neighborhoods and features art, architecture, dining and community events. It’s authored by Paul Jamason, and really puts the user on the ground so they can see what is happening right now. A lively comments section and diverse blog roll add to the feeling that you are already part of the community.

Voice of San has a great home page with tons of SD housing news. The site is run by, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on in-depth and investigative reporting. They cover the issues that are crucial to the region’s quality of life: its politics, educational system, environment, housing, economy and more.

You can find really good reporting on this blog, and get an unbiased view of exactly where the real estate market stands in San Diego. Once you get your fill of housing, browse through the rest of the tabs and see what else is happening in this great surfer city.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Best Real Estate Blogs in San Francisco

Few cities take their real estate more seriously than San Francisco, so I figured I’d come across some outstanding real estate agent blogs when I poked around the offerings there from local agents.

I wasn’t disappointed.

I’m doing a virtual tour of real estate agent blogs nationwide, looking to see who’s doing the best job of building blogs that are useful for people who are thinking of relocating to that area.

Real estate agent blogs can be useful to learn more about a city, of course, but they’re even more useful when looking at particular neighborhoods in that city — these blogs tend to be micro-focused on neighborhoods that an agent serves.

It can be hard to find solid neighborhood content, other than the same old tired data you’ll find repeated on a lot of neighborhood Websites that aggregate this information. A good real estate agent blog can tell you a lot about a community. 

A few other criteria we look at:

Market data. People who are relocating want to know average sales prices, sales volumes, days on market, etc. Agents need to give it 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.

So with that, here are the top real estate agent blogs in San Francisco:

The Front Steps

The Front Steps from Alex Clark is a great guide to San Francisco real estate, including market observations, interesting tidbits on the city itself, nice photography and a snarky style that makes for interesting reading.

This is definitely not your typical real estate agent blog – and we can be thankful for that.

Sometimes agents can take the blog thing a little too seriously and never dare show a little leg when writing. Clark has no problem with that. His walkabout category is a particularly fun and insightful read.

Lively comments section as well. It’s the kind of blog I’d read just to see what’s going on San Francisco real estate wise, even if I wasn’t moving there.  

The Marin Real Estate Guide

The Marin Real Estate Guide from Ginger Wilcox is a solid entry point for anyone who’s looking at real estate in tony Marin County. Her Marin Neighborhood breakdown is helpful for folks who don’t know the area, and her market reports page is useful for someone who wants to check in occasionally to see how the market is doing.

Bonus points for solid design – not something you always find on real estate agent blogs, lamentably. (So many sites have good content but lousy design. Agents: spend a few bucks to keep people from feeling like they’re transported back to the late ’90s when they hit your site.)

Wilcox excels in explanatory articles, like this recent translation of a Fed statement and its effect on mortgages.

Absolutely Foster City Blog

 Absolutely Foster City Blog from Jim Minkey gives you a nice feel for the community, with a great mix of local events including contests, local school ratings and discussions about local events. Again, consumers looking to move to your community want to get an idea of your community is about. A Christmas lights contest might seem goofy, but hey, it gives you an idea of the community spirit.

I like this little insight into real estate agent life, as Minkey recounts a debate he had with an overheated homebuyer.

Blogs are about personality, and Minkey’s has loads.

Living Well in San Mateo

Living Well in San Mateo from Raymond Stoklosa, Rebecca Williamson, and Chris Williamson does a nice job breaking down the local neighborhoods in San Mateo (like Hallmark), as well as some real estate basics stuff for novice homebuyers or just homebuyers who could need some brushups about current real estate issues, including this post on questions to ask when buying a short sale

The White Oaks Blog

The White Oaks Blog ( from Chuck Gillooley focuses on the White Oaks neighborhood of San Carlos. In addition to the usual postings on market data and interesting properties for sale, Gillooley takes a particularly close look at issues affecting the community, especially the schools. He also does a very nice job writing about local community issues, as well as issues affecting the real estate market, like this post on home appraisals not meshing with sales prices, and the effect it can have on the transaction.

San Mateo Real Estate Blog
Vicki Moore’s “Official” San Mateo Real Estate Blog is an interesting, newspaperish-feel that does a good job in covering all things real estate (though we’re unsure how it attained its ‘official’ status, but let’s not quibble). This is a nice post on Pedro Point.

Marin Real Estate Blog

Marin Real Estate Blog from Mark Lomas offers good and frequent updates on market conditions, as well as some reports on goings-on in the community.

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The Best Real Estate Blogs in Los Angeles

So here’s a special kind of torture: Research Los Angeles real estate blogs from a dreary office in chilly, rainy New York.

All these blogs feature the things that make Los Angeles so special: sunny skies; beautiful, happy people; palm trees swaying in soft, ocean breezes. In New York we have cloudy skies; surly people; still-yet-to-bloom saplings nearly bent to the ground by hurricane-force winds off the Hudson.

So I enjoyed losing myself for awhile in these blogs.

As readers of this feature know, I’m doing a virtual transverse of our nation’s largest cities to find real estate blogs that are helpful for people looking to move to a particular community. I’ve looked at Minneapolis and Chicago thus far.

For people who are moving, these blogs are a great way to learn about neighborhoods, learn about real estate in those neighborhoods, and maybe even find a real estate agent who knows their assessments from their elbow (and is a likeable person, to boot).

I try to avoid blogs that are just a series of listings, and posts shouting ‘Now’s a great time to buy a home!’ (I assume that if people are on the blog, they’re ready to buy — and if they’re not, the plaintive cries of a real estate agent won’t convince them to do so).

So that said, here’s the best of the best that I found in the LA area.

San Fernando Valley Real Estate Blog

Judy Graff’s San Fernando Valley Real Estate Blog is really good. A nice mix of humorous pieces about real estate life, tidbits about the communities she serves, and analysis of the current housing market.

She even gets a bit snarky. This post rips overpriced homes near freeway off-ramps, and this one recounts a nightmare home showing (hint: naked guy!).

Judy’s blog gives me a very good idea of what kind of agent she is: open, honest, knowledgeable and funny. Not a bad combination for someone who’s trying to find me a home — and look out for my interests when buying it. 

Pasadena Views
Pasadena Views from Irina Netchaev provides a good snapshot of the Pasadena area, with a nice mix of information about the area and its amenities — it even has restaurant reviews. This post on walking areas in Pasadena is a good example of a real estate agent who’s plugged into the community.

There are also market reports on Pasadena housing, and information about mortgages, including this humorous post comparing some mortgage brokers with the stingy “Soup Nazi” of Seinfeld fame. Anybody who likes Seinfeld is an agent I could work with…

Beach City Real Estate Info

OK, deep breath before pronouncing the next blog: Beach City Real Estate Info. Rolls off the tongue, eh?

Good blog, though. It focuses on Manhattan Beach and Redondo Breach, and the pictures on the homepage make me pine for sun and palm trees, preferrably together and even more preferrably with a fruity drink adorned with a little umbrella.

But back to the real estate. This blog has a thorough listing of homes for sale in the area and other market data for the would-be buyer. There are also posts that are helpful to first-time buyers. This analysis is helpful for people looking to buy in the area.

Malibu Real Estate Blog

Malibu Real Estate Blog from Michael Gardner has a homepage that makes me even more depressed to look out my window at a dark, soul-less monolith (aka, the Goldman Sachs building).

To drive myself further into depression, I tralloped over to a post about what to look for in a Malibu beach home. It’s a nice source of information about beach property in Malibu, and I’m figuring if anyone wants to live in Malibu they should aim for the beach and not with the Malibu low-lifes who reside inland.

 This is an interesting article about how beach depth can affect the value of the property. In my case, it’s the difference between “There’s no way you can afford this,” and “There’s no way in hell you can afford this.”

Still, this is a nice site if you’re interested in moving to Malibu, or just interested in dreaming about moving there.

Um, the latter for me.

Red Square Homes Blog

The RedSquare Homes Blog focuses on Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo beaches (random new theory: life can’t suck if your town has the word “beach” in it).

Red Square has an array of listings and occasional posts on homebuying tips, including this one on what to look for when checking out agents’ Websites.

Phyllis’ LA Real Estate Blog

Phyllis’ LA Real Estate Blog is an eclectic mix of just about everything and everywhere in Los Angeles: market reports, tidbits about the community she serves, humorous observations about life in general, and tips for both home buyers and sellers.

Long Beach Real Estate

Laurie Manny’s Long Beach Real Estate offers market reports on the Long Beach real estate mark, along with things to do in Long Beach, tips for home sellers and homebuyers, and other notes about Long Beach communities.

I thought this post offered a pretty exhaustive overview of things to do and see in Long Beach — it’s geared for Valentine’s Day, but I think it’s useful year-round, for both residents and nonresidents alike.

Up2Date Real Estate

Deena and Doug Willis’ Up2DateRealestate is focused on Pasdena and is heavy on market report,s which it covers exhaustively, and features an active community of people who comment on posts. This is a particularly good (and smart) post on homes for under $400,000 and the kinds of repairs and costs you might face.

Palos Verdes Lifestyle

Norma Toering’s Palos Verdes Lifestyle is a good source of information about Palos Verdes, and also a source of tips for homebuyers and market stats about the area.

Terra Firma

Terra Firma from Christopher Hain is a great place to find the market data about communitites you’re considering. (BTW, I just learned this: Terra Firma translated is “Firm Terra.”) It’s written well and has an insidery feel that helps you trust that the author knows of what he speaks.

The analysis of trends is also top-rate — check out this post on foreclosures.

Other stuff to amaze and excite you in the Blog:

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The Best Real Estate Blogs in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Minneapolis/St. Paul gets a bad rap for the cold.

Sure, Minnesotans do welcome spring with the ritual ‘Counting of the Fingers’ to account for any digits lost to frostbite the previous winter. But really, it’s a lovely place. I should know — I lived there for 10 years.

So as I put together my best real estate blog list for the Twin Cities, I had more than a passing acquaintenance with the neighborhoods, which can be a bit of a negative.


Because I like to look at these blogs the same way you do: As someone moving to a new city who wants to learn about the local community, learn more about the local real estate market, and maybe even find a real estate agent — but without getting buried in a blizzard of listings and a bunch of ‘Now’s a Great Time to Buy!’ come-ons.

But still, I will put on my journalistic-objective glasses and chip away.

One of the best sites I came across is the St. Paul Real Estate Blog from Theresa Boardman, who’s greatly revered in real estate social media circles as someone who’s very smart about blogging and all social media.

The praise is well deserved: St. Paul Real Estate Blog is a great mix of real estate news, tidbits about the community and about events like the Winter Carnival, as well as some personal insights and photos from the author, but not so much as to make you feel like your aunt is showing you her favorite scrapbook. Boardman’s also got some nice photobooks of the Twin Cities area — the photography here is a big plus and gives you more insight into the community than a simple narrative could.

Big bonus: it’s pretty amusing. She told of a recent showing of a bank-owned property where she was asked to bring her own screwdriver to pry the plywood off the door. And I don’t know if she was being funny when she wrote this, but it still was:

“I took [this photo] in Mears Park downtown last summer before it got so cold that I can’t take pictures without freezing my camera off.”

Yep, she said “summer” and “freezing” in the same sentence. Welcome to St. Paul!

Homes MSP Real Estate is another good site with a nice feature on neighborhoods and listings in those neighborhood.

It’s written by Sharlene Hensrud (a solid Nordic name, the type of which you’ll encounter often in Minneapolis/St. Paul).

There’s a good deal of information for first-time buyers, and she also has posts from a home inspector, lender, home-stager and a transitions coach. A well-rounded approach to your entire relocation process.

It’s written well and organized well, to boot, so as a consumer, there’s no wasted time trying to find content that’s useful.

Barker and Hedges sounds like a cheap pack of smokes, but it’s actually a real estate shop that has a very nice blog, Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog. I came across this late in my search, and I’m glad I did.

It looks fabulous, with a great design and nice photos, and the content is incredibly useful to people looking at relocating to the Cities. Take this post — Twin Cities Blog Round-up. This kind of thing is de rigeur for most blogs (and yeah, I do it as well).

But it’s also good — well written with really interesting links about the Twin Cities that a newcomer would find very engaging and useful (that word again, useful). The writer clearly put a decent amount of research into it.

Other posts are also interesting, including extensive profiles of communities around the Twin Cities. Just one note to Barker, or Hedges, or whomever: throw some pics or maps in there. You’re punishing your writer — not to mention your readers — with having to produce so much text for something that can be best described with pictures.

Jennifer Kirby over at Minneapolis Real Estate Blog does a nice job giving you a virtual tour of Minneapolis – she deals more with higher-end property. Her site still contains a wealth of information for people looking to buy and sell. She has a gift for writing and a knack for identifying all sorts of topics that come up when people enter the real estate game.

Also check out her blog Minneapolis Luxury Real Estate Blog. Busy busy is Miss Kirby.

Scott Ficek’s Minnesota Investment Property Blog is geared more to the real estate investor, but it’s still an interesting read for would-be homeowners and do-it-yourselfers, and anyone who has renters. He has a great feature called Stupid Property Repairs, many of which I’ve tried myself and can verify that yes, indeed, they are stupid, and often painful.

If you’re interested in the north metro area (don’t fret about the ‘north’ part, the south metro is nearly as damn cold as the north), check out Theresa Eckholm’s MN Real Estate Update Blog.

It’s definitely worth a look if you’re considering the northern part of the Twin Cities area, with some particularly good insight into areas of the market like foreclosed lakeshore properties, which might appeal to second-home buyers looking for a bargain.

Finally, while not a real estate blog, it’s one of the best darn mortgage blogs you’ll find anywhere on the Web: Alex Stenback’s Behind the Mortgage. He makes mortgages come alive. Or at least doesn’t induce one into a coma. Let’s take what we can get.

There you have it. And I know I missed some fine blogs — I’m just one guy.

So help me out. If I missed a fine Website, instead of emailing me with your indignity, leave a comment here (with some indignity), or tell me about some other blogs that you like.

Tim Johnson — Editor,

Related article: The Best Chicago Real Estate Blogs