MRIS' Real Estate Web Site Is Quick, Up-to-Date
Carr, M. Anthony, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
If you're looking for a home in the mid-Atlantic region using the Internet, I've stumbled on a Web site you must bookmark. It's called Homes Database (www.homesdatabase.com) and is powered by the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc. (MRIS).
Because MRIS is owned and operated by local Realtor associations, you're sure to receive information that's more up-to-date, more quickly than when using other real estate Web sites. If this site is any indication of the future, regional multiple-listing service groups could give national Web sites a run for their money.
Take Realtor.com, for instance, the nation's No. 1 real estate Web site. The problem I find using Realtor.com is that when I see a house go on the market in my community, there's a delay between when the sign goes up in the yard and when the property information shows up on the national Web site. But that's what happens when you're the biggest - sometimes, you're not the most thorough. Homes Database could fill that gap. Because MRIS is the system used by local Realtors to market properties to one another, I found it to be pretty complete for the consumer as well.
Sometimes on Realtor.com, houses will be displayed that don't have anything to do with my search. Why did a house in Culpeper, Va., for instance, come up in a search for homes in McLean? It was a lot of house for the money, nevertheless.
The fact that Homes Database is drawing from a regional database also eliminates the chances of receiving bad information out of a database of 1 million-plus homes. Under the Home Finder section, you'll search through 65,000 active listings from 25,000 real estate agents, covering 22,000 square miles of real estate in five states.
In addition, you can have your search criteria continually roam the database and send its findings to your personal e-mail address.
Other parts of the Web site I enjoyed include the Mortgage Calculator, which gives you both estimated monthly payments for principal and interest only, as well as principal, interest, taxes and insurance - if you know what your taxes and insurance should be. …