Remember that news about Google kind of getting into the mortgage game? New news means it looks like the search giant is serious about getting into helping you buy homes--Google's quietly pulling together a real estate database.
As part of ongoing tweaks to its real estate listings, Google's rolled out individual pages, or summary sheets, for all those properties listed in Google Maps. The information includes location info, photographs, video Street View scenes containing the property, local transport info, and adWords adverts. Basically it's all the info you'd need to help you make a choice on looking at a property in person when you're on the market to buy a new home. To help sort it all out you can email yourself the relevant data. And if you don't like the particular property you've found, but you like the area, then there's a "search nearby" capability.
The other neat trick is that Google's automated the detection process--more successfully than Microsoft did with the irritating pop-up paperclip for sure. Simply by typing "homes for sale in xxxx" it'll launch the new system.
What's Google trying to do with all this? For sure it's going to irritate other real-estate aggregators, but for Google the benefits are obvious. When you're engaged in a search for new homes you'll spend a lot of time browsing through details, changing your search parameters, trying out new price ranges and new locations. That all means you'll be spending a lot of time in one database--and Google figures that may as well be on Google's site, where they can serve you ads. It's all about money.