Today we launched an update to our website expanding our mortgage guide to a home buying guide and improving the usability and performance of our search experience. Here are the full details on what’s new:
Closing on a home demystified
There’s a lot to know when buying a home. To help you understand it all we’ve been working on a Home Buying Guide that’s free, online and easy-to-read. It’s jam-packed with insider tips from our agents and all the partners we work with (lenders, inspectors, appraisers, etc.).
A few months ago we launched a mortgage guide as our first section. Today we’re re-launching it as the Redfin Home Buying Guide as we’ve added a huge section explaining what to expect once your offer has been accepted. This Closing the Deal section covers everything you need to know about:
- Purchase and sale agreements
- Earnest money
- Title reports and issues
- Getting a mortgage
- What to look for during a final walkthrough
- The signing appointment
- Getting your keys
For some topics, a picture really is worth a thousand words. That’s why this new section includes a hot interactive home inspection thanks to the hard work of our designer Angela Salvo, our coder Jason Brackins and our writer Bryan Howell:
Just click on the yellow hot spots to get an explanation of what to look for. Aside from the explanations, this interactive feature contains over 200 photos of common inspection issues contributed by home inspectors from all over the country. Thanks go to:
- Robert Wittenberg and HomeFront Inspection, LLC.
- Rich Aiello and I-Spy Home Inspection LLC.
- Scott Dana and Dana Home Inspections Inc.
- Larry Robbins and Veterans Home Inspection
- Will Johnson and Inspection Perfection LLC.
- Gary Cornia and Cornia Consulting, LLC.
Here’s a peek at some of the photos we have explaining roofing issues:
We also know that buying a home involves some confusing paperwork. To help you sign the dotted line with confidence, we’ve created interactive forms that explain every detail. The first two forms that we’ve tackled are the GFE (Good Faith Estimate) and the HUD-1 settlement statement.
What’s next for the Home Buying Guide? We’ve got a few more interactive forms on the way, including a loan application and a sample title report, and we’re writing up full sections on how to search for a home, what to look for in an agent and the best ways to write a winning offer. If you have any feedback or suggestions for us, just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to Redfinnians Janelle Saylor, Chad Dierickx and Lucretia Lease for their feedback on the new features.
Making it easier to search on Redfin
Today we also made it easier to search for homes by updating our search result box to give you quick access to commonly-used features like search options, email alerts for new listings and neighborhood stats & trends. We also have a stylish new loading bar and map cardinal control.
Beyond searching for homes, we now have text search to help you find our agents or quickly get to where you need to go in our Home Buying Guide. Just look for a search box like this on content pages:
For those of you with hundreds of favorites (and the few of you with thousands) we updated our favorites page to load faster. Plus we made it easier for you to delete all of your off-market favorites and x-outs.
And for Firefox users: we made some performance updates just for you.
That’s it for this week.
We have a bunch more updates coming in the next week or two, so stay tuned!
Thanks to all the Redfin folks who worked on this website upgrade, with a special thanks to all our agents, customers and partners who gave us early feedback to make it awesome. If you have any suggestions or find a bug just let us know in the comments below.