Cyber-sleuths, fellow writers, and information junkies take note! There’s a new site for us in the web neighborhood: Zillow.com. While Google’s great (some say the gold standard) for Internet snooping, Zillow zooms much closer, literally speaking, to the streets where we live.
Enter Zillow.com into your browser, then type in the address of a person you’re profiling. Voilà! – instant and voyeuristic access to satellite images, financial histories, and physical features of that home. If you’re curious, you can Zillow your home and those of your neighbors, or you can zoom in on the home specs of your business partners and celebrity crush. It’s a no-fee entry into people’s private quarters, yours included.
But all this access comes with a caution, let the browser beware. (For example, the description for my home omits some cool features, which ultimately brings down its price. Doesn’t matter to me, but inquiring minds, ahem, may want to know.) So if you choose to use Zillow, make note of their disclaimer — in lawyerly language and laid out in all caps: “ZILLOW.COM PROVIDES THE SERVICES ‘AS IS,’ ‘WITH ALL FAULTS’ AND ‘AS AVAILABLE,’ AND THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO SATISFACTORY QUALITY, PERFORMANCE, ACCURACY, AND EFFORT IS WITH YOU.”
Happy house hunting!