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How to shop for a home online


Market analysis

Trulia and Zillow provide some market analysis and price trend information and Realtor.com releases a monthly housing report to help you understand the local market.

"While you can get some basic information online, you need to do your own research and look at homes yourself to understand the trade-offs you'll make in terms of your budget and your lifestyle," says Andrew Strauch, vice president for product innovation and marketing for MRIS, a multiple listing service based in Rockville, Md. "Market predictions are not necessarily accurate. If you're buying a home for the long-term you don't really need to pay attention to those predictions, either."

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