This article is sponsored by Zillow.
Whether homeownership is a long-term goal or an item on your current to-do list, chances are the Zillow app is one of your daily go-tos on your phone. And for good reason! Since launching in 2006, Zillow has been on a mission to make home a reality for more and more people by providing tools and information that help streamline the whole process.
In 2023, Zillow is taking consumer-driven innovation to the next level with a ton of new features and functions to make your home search even easier. And while affordability and low inventory remain challenges for many, the company is committed to helping home buyers find the support and resources they need.
Check out some of the cool enhancements Zillow has recently launched to help make your experience even more amazing.
Get super specific with the AI-powered natural language search
Zillow’s new natural language search feature harnesses the power of AI technology to let you shop for a home as though you were shopping with help from your bestie.
Now, instead of starting by filtering by location and price, you can type detailed requests like “Atlanta homes under $400K with a garage” or “homes near me with four bedrooms” directly into the search bar, and the app will push only the houses that fit your criteria to the top.
Lose the clutter by making sure you never again see the house you passed on
See a house for sale that fits some of your criteria but isn’t quite your vibe? Simply use the “hide homes” feature right in the listing to ensure that it doesn’t come up again in future searches!
While the housing market is starting to rebalance, there are still more buyers than homes for sale, which means the search process can be as long as three months for some, according to Zillow. If during that time you start to have second thoughts about a home you blocked, simply open the “hidden homes” tab and bring that option back to life.
Easily compare homes you love
Once you’ve homed in on the ideal features, location and budget you want for your new home, each of the listings that fit your search criteria can appear to be better than the last. And frankly, relying on your memory or having to switch back and forth between listings is simply not the wave.
With Zillow’s “Homes to Compare” feature — available on both the app and the website — you can now look at as many as five listings you love side by side. Once you’ve gathered your potential homes together, the feature allows you to examine as many as 70 key listing details, such as price, square footage, lot size, property conditions, architectural style and interior features. And just like that, one of those five “perfect” listings could prove itself to be THE one.
Get inside without actually going outside
How amazing would it be if you could feel confident that the home you’re going to tour has all the features you’re looking for before ever going to see it in person? Zillow’s 3D Home interactive floor plans make this possible and can save you a ton of time and energy.
This new tech has changed the game by letting users look around a home virtually through a series of 360-degree images. It fuses still photos and AI-generated floor plans to provide a listing that very closely resembles an in-person viewing, and provides an accurate sense of a home’s flow and space, so you can weed out the homes that do not pass your vibe check.
Three Words: Down Payment Assistance
According to Zillow, saving for a down payment is one of the biggest barriers for people looking to buy their first home, putting financial security and generational wealth building out of reach for far too many.
Picture it: You’ve found THE house. It beat out all of the other ones that caught your eye. The AI-generated floor plan helped you with the vibe check. And once you arrived for your in-person tour, it was everything you’d hoped for. Next is financing — which includes coming up with a down payment. But the current state of the economy is still … what it is. And historically, first-time home buyers who come from underserved communities have little to no other sources of funding to rely on other than what they’ve managed to save.
Zillow has a new tool that can help you boost your buying power through local programs that offer down payment assistance. Thanks to Zillow’s partnership with Down Payment Resource, each listing on the platform allows you to quickly identify programs in your area that may help alleviate some of the stress of securing your dream home. All you have to do is answer a few basic questions. According to research by Down Payment Resource and Zillow, on average, down payment assistance programs can help eligible buyers lock in approximately $17,000.
This editorial is brought to you in collaboration with Zillow.