Zillow maintains a foreclosure and pre-foreclosure list of properties headed back to their lenders, and it can be useful for seeing what’s available.
On the other hand, you have to be careful not to rely exclusively on their data, or you can be misinformed.
Take, for instance, 187 Stanwich Road, scheduled to be sold at auction tomorrow. Zillow gets the last sale price right: $2.615 million, in 2007, but then describes it as a one bedroom cottage with “a good rental history”. In case that strikes you as odd, it is; Zillow’s confused the guest cottage with the restored, 1800 main house.
It doesn’t matter, really, because between the amount owed on the mortgage and the numerous state and federal tax liens, which come ahead even of the mortgage, there’s no bargain to be had here. The point is, don’t take what you find on Zillow as the gospel truth – sometimes it is, sometimes not.