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HotPads shows real estate rents, foreclosure, demographic heat maps

Looking to buy a house or rent an apartment? There are hundreds of web sites that can help you in your search. But HotPads takes a rather unique approach with its real estate search engine. Not only can you search by price, location, and number of bedrooms, but you can also apply a series of heat maps that give you a better sense of the neighborhood.

Want to know how crowded the area is? Just click the population density heat map option and you'll get a good idea of how many neighbors will be sucking up your oxygen. You can also apply heat maps for per capita income, household income, median age, and median rent. There are even heat maps that show you the foreclosure rate per household, and the rent ratio. What's rent ratio? It's a comparison of rental rates versus mortgage rates in an area. In other words, if you see lots of blue, it means you'll probably save money by purchasing a home, while if an area is red, you're probably better off renting.

If you're looking for more mundane information, you can also plot schools, universities, and subway stops on the map.

[via TechCrunch]

Tags: heat-maps, hotpads, real-estate, rental