Along with mortgages, home searches are a popular way to do research on buying a home. There are 2 sites that I think are great, and I wish they would combine resources and work together.
One is Realtor.com. They have all the current MLS listings for property for sale all over the country. You can search by city, state, zip code, price range and a varitey of home features. They usually have pictures of the property as well as a map. They also have a payment estimator that you set with the amount of cash you would put down on the loan and the interest rate.
The second is Zillow.com. They are basically a meta data aggregator for homes. They combine past sale data, tax information and google maps to give you more information on the homes you’re looking at or the one you own. They also figure out a change in market value monthly by looking at other comparable sales in the area and the market’s change. They will send you updates on a property when things change too.
They’re both pretty cool, check them out.