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Searching for a new home has to be one of the most time-consuming and frustrating experiences of a person’s lifetime. So any little help to get a jump-start on the local market is most welcome.

Seattle-based Redfin announced that it has updated its iPhone and iPad app to let you know within 15 to 30 minutes of when a new listing hits the market. That’s faster than most pizza deliveries. After all, in real estate, a head start can be vital to finding the pad of your dreams.

The app covers several major U.S. housing markets, including Seattle, Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago and more.

The update may come in handy as the market heats up. As the Seattle PI reported in May, housing prices in the Emerald City for April were up 10.4 percent over April 2011; and home sales were also up 8 percent. “More than 8% of homes go pending in three days or less of being listed,” reports Redfin about the Seattle market.

Redfin’s app also provides data including homes listed by broker, by owner and even foreclosures. And remember, in real estate, as with love, there are no rules. Well, except, your federal, state, city housing and lending institution’s rules…but then, the hunt is on. For reals.

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