Google foreclosure maps

Barry sez,
Google Maps keeps evolving, expanding the ability to drill down into granular detail. The latest updated trick? Mapping foreclosures for sale. This great and terrible Google trick has been around at least since 2008 -- but it seems to have become much more robust earlier this year:

1. Punch any US address into Google Maps.
2. Your options are Earth, Satellite, Map, Traffic and . . . More. (Select "More")
3. The drop down menu gives you a check box option for "Real Estate."
4. The left column will give you several options (You may have to select "Show Options")
5. Check the box marked "Foreclosure."

I wanted to demonstrate the full extent of Foreclosures in the US, so after setting GMaps on foreclosure listings, I slowly zoomed out of the map. Voila! Most foreclosures that are for sale in the USA are now showing on your screen. (Note: This map does not reveal any of the millions of REOs that have already been sold by the banks that hold them).

Google Map Foreclosure Tricks (Thanks, Barry!)


  1. This is just the homes that completed the foreclosure and are on the market.

    Then there are the homes that the banks are not yet putting on the market.

    Then there are the homes where foreclosure is not done yet.

    Then there are the ones where the banks are holding off on starting foreclosure.

    It’s a lot of inventory, folks. Talk to your city halls and state house representatives about making it easier to seize bank owned homes by eminent domain and finding tenants for them.

    1. I’m not so sure. When I was looking at the map of San Francisco is listed numerous properties where foreclosures had not yet begun, but the mortgage holder had missed payments and might be willing to sell to get out. I am wondering whether or not the data sources might be different for different areas.

      Also, scary to see that there are *8* homes in some stage of foreclosure within a block of my house in Colorado Springs, out of…quick count…36. And that doesn’t count any that were already foreclosed on and resold.

  2. Wow – very sad to see all of those red dots on the map.

    And how sad to find out that the farm next to ours is in foreclosure and trying to sell quickly, which almost never happens with rural places.

    1. I also found out things about my neighbors that make me sad.

      That’s a powerful new tool, in both good and bad ways.

  3. I always wondered why business will let places sit empty and not lower the rental price…

    I guess if you “own” it out right then it’s really no ones business, but if you have a business loan or mortgage on the property it looks like it bringing in something is better than nothing.

    This applies to everything from housing to stores in the mall.

  4. I dunno, the map just seems to indicate population density when it’s zoomed out that wide.. are there any areas that notably stick out?

  5. Just be aware that the spot on the map doesn’t necessarily correlate with the actual house. When I typed in my address, it said my house was in foreclosure, and the description (1 bed, 1 bath) doesn’t even match!

    1. re Anon’s #8: I’ve noticed that when you go to a zoomed-in view on Google Maps, it will frequently point to a property three or four houses away from the actual property being searched on.

  6. I love Google’s Real Estate feature. I’ve been looking at what is around my city to buy. Sadly even though it would be a good time for me to buy, I’m not quite financially ready for a house. Although I don’t have any debt, I do live mostly paycheck to paycheck. And even sadder, paycheck to paycheck with no debt is probably 75% better than most Americans.

  7. I took a look around my city (Tucson) to see the local trends. Only a few in my neighborhood, but it’s been there for 60 years and has the university to keep it going.

    I see many clusters (over 20% foreclosure rate!) at the edge of town in the shiny new developments, which are right next to established neighborhoods with zero foreclosures.

    I wouldn’t buy a house right now… I’m glad I was able to sell a spare house into the crazy market instead of buying into it.

  8. I would buy the sh*t out of a foreclosure in Brooklyn, NY right now but everything on this map links to, a pay site where you have to join to get real info on foreclosures. Anyone used this site?

  9. Don’t know where they are getting the data, but just about every house I checked in the area I’m shopping for houses wasn’t actually a foreclosed house. Also, the options are OR and not AND, so checking “foreclosed” and “for sale” gets you all the houses foreclosed and all the houses for sale. If they can get good data, this would be an amazingly useful tool.

  10. Thanks for posting this! It shows me that someone has listed a rental property of mine – which is NOT mortgaged, I own it free and clear – as being up for foreclosure sale as a HUD repo. (Now to call that realtor and say, WTF?)

    1. From several things I have seen, owning the title to a property free and clear does not mean that someone won’t claim they can foreclose on it. There have been many cases where banks have foreclosed on properties that had either been paid off, or that another bank held the note on. It’s what we used to call fraud, but now call “an inevitable side effect of having a fluid and responsive marketplace in which to trade mortgages”. Yea! Good luck, btw – I hope it was just an error.

  11. I’m not sure how accurate is this. I also see the same dots for houses that are not in foreclosure, just regular forsale, on the map.

  12. I’m not sure how accurate this is. My parents’ next-door neighbor’s house is listed, and while it’s definitely for sale, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t foreclosed on. I don’t remember the details, but they moved because they got some sort of dream job offer back east. My parents even helped recommend a real estate agent.

  13. The whole-country view is pretty useless unless you have a screen that’s about 25 meters and 100,000 pixels wide. For my neighborhood the dots started overlapping by the time I was zoomed out to a view of 5 miles.

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