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2007-07-17 14:22:00

Cell Phones Retrieve Information About Home Values


If you’re like most people, it’s probably happened to you more than once: You’ve driven through a neighborhood filled with beautiful homes and wondered how much they’re worth. The next time that happens, just reach for your cell phone, text message the home’s address, and within seconds you’ll receive detailed property information including estimated values, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and sales history.

This unprecedented access to instant information is possible through a new company called HouseFront. Launched just three months ago, HouseFront has expanded its coverage area this month to include information on more than 100 million homes, representing over 90% of the residential housing market. It takes only seconds: simply text message the home’s address, city and state to 46873 (which spells "HOUSE") and hit “send.” This free service is also available online at HouseFront.com.

Within the first 90 days, HouseFront has gained substantial traction with consumers and real estate professionals, resulting in more than 1 million property searches. The young company already has been highlighted by leading media organizations, including U.S. News & World Report.

“For the first time, anyone with a cell phone has the ability to access real estate information on more than 100 million homes,” said James Eberhard, chief executive officer of HouseFront, “and we save their searches online at HouseFront.com so they can access their searches, view home comparisons, map search history, or access detailed home information.”

“With HouseFront, we’ve taken real estate search to the next level, allowing more than 230 million wireless users to get information on a house anytime anywhere -- whether it’s for sale or not.”

Eberhard, 28, is a pioneer in the emerging mobile space. When he was just 19, he left college early and founded 9 Squared in 2001, one of the first providers of downloadable ringtones. In 2004, he sold the company for $40 million to UK-based Monstermob Group PLC, a publicly traded company. He launched HouseFront as a way to make real estate search information available anytime, anywhere, while linking home buyers and sellers with real estate professionals.

Through HouseFront.com, consumers can also view maps and aerial photos of homes, get information on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other details, including the home’s sales history.

HouseFront users also can view information on other homes by selecting HouseFront’s “Compare Similar Homes” feature. What’s more, the "My Searches" feature lets consumers view charts of the homes that have been queried, while "Compare Checked Homes" provides detailed, side-by-side comparisons.

Eberhard said consumers can save the houses they’ve searched for future reference by simply registering at HouseFront.com. Any HouseFront.com search completed online or by cell phone will be saved to their online account.

About HouseFront

HouseFront provides real estate search and home valuation tools directly to a consumer’s mobile phone or desktop computer, using its patent-pending technology. The company enables consumers to have access to property valuations, details, market trends and sales history on more than 100 million homes in the U.S., both through the mobile phone (by texting an address to 46873, which spells “HOUSE”) and works on all major wireless carriers and online at HouseFront.com.

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