New neighbors Instagram fans? OpenHouse uses social media to find your dream house

Buying a home is a huge commitment, so the more information you have during the process, the better. The decision, of course, is about more than just the house or condo itself; you want to make sure that the neighborhood is right for you and that the place is truly somewhere you can see yourself spending years.

OpenHouse launched its new website and app Wednesday, providing unique tools for prospective home buyers. The real estate company uses listing information, social media, and demographic data to make recommendations to users about the homes, neighborhoods, and even real estate agents that would best suit their needs. OpenHouse learns users’ individual preferences and uses them to curate personalized real estate collections that are sent daily.

OpenHouse has specific filters that make it easier for users to find what’s important to them in a home, whether that be a safe neighborhood, good schools in the area, amenities like swimming pools, and so on. While searching OpenHouse’s listings, I found what may very well be my dream home — if I’m ever in the market for a $6.5 million home in the San Francisco Bay area, that is — right down to the wine cellar and solar power. (I can’t say enough good things about that wine cellar.)

The listings are extremely detailed, allowing users to see everything from the square footage of the home to the neighborhood income levels, average age, and even some of the habits and hobbies of the neighbors based on real-time social media and demographic data. (Apparently, people who live near my dream home read The Atlantic, enjoy the Golf Channel, vacation in Europe, etc.) OpenHouse also lets users create “showdowns” that provide side-by-side comparisons of homes, neighborhoods, and even cities.

“Adding the demographic data and social media component is a natural next step for buyers, sellers and agents, who are frustrated by the search-based processes,” said OpenHouse CEO and co-founder Mazen Fawaz in a statement. “With the launch of OpenHouse’s more personalized profiles, curated real estate collections and side-by-side showdown comparisons, people can now engage with real estate through a level of transparency never before seen by the industry.”

So far, OpenHouse is available in 14 metropolitan areas, from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., with additional areas to be added. Users can access the service on desktop and mobile Web platforms or download the iOS app.

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