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BofA offers online house hunting

Bank of America launches a service that lets consumers look up home sales and price data in 21 states.

One of the nation's largest banks, Bank of America (BAC), will announce today that it has launched a service that lets consumers look up home sales and price data in 21 states, including California, New York, and Illinois.

The HomeWorth service lets users check on specific properties or general neighborhoods and receive recent data on a nearby home sale for free. Additional information on as many as 30 comparable properties in the area can be purchased for $9.95, then printed out on the user's printer.

The new service is part of Bank of America's strategy to position itself as Internet-savvy and to raise the bank's visibility among Internet users preparing to finance or refinance a home. An online mortgage application is available on the site as well as mortgage interest rates, details on home equity loans, and information on setting up and financing a home office.

HomeWorth can supply sales date, price, square footage, year built, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other property features. Users can purchase lists of up to 30 property sales completed in the last 12 months within a half-mile radius of the address they entered in the system.

Property data for the service, collected from public records at county recorders and assessors, is provided by DataQuick Information Systems, a unit of online data provider Acxiom. DataQuick supplies similar data to a number of other Web sites, including MoveQuest, a service targeted at people who are relocating.

The HomeWorth service contains information about properties located in many counties in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.