Zillow February 21, 2008Posted by pf in Home Purchase.
Tags: domania, foreclosures, homegain, real-estate, realestateabc, stimulus package, subprime, trulia, zillow
As I continue to keep tabs on our local real-estate market (Buying a More Expensive House: Update), I have found myself spending some time on sites that provide information on things like:
- foreclosures – going up / down? where?
- homes for sale – listings steady or declining? Seeing any changes month to month?
- home value estimates – steady? declining? by how much?
In particular, I have spent some time on Zillow.com where one can go and look at their house or other houses in whatever area you may be interested in to obtain a Zestimate of the value based upon some methodology / algorithm they have come up with. They also provide you with some data as to the zestimate accuracy for various markets (in my case, not too shabby at all).
In general, I don’t consider these zestimates to be the “gospel” as far as home values as they often have little detail about the houses and / or are missing specific information. HOWEVER, I find them to be directionally accurate and a good data point when combined with other sources to come up with a fair estimate of a home’s value.
More enjoyable, however, are the forums where people discuss the zestimates and how grossly out of whack they are with reality. Granted, sometimes the users have legitimate cases to be made about the zestimates. In response, Zillow allows homeowners to provide more details about their home online as well as create estimates of their own. However, often times, I find that the homeowner has just not yet come to grips with the reality of their local real-estate market (pssst…things ain’t so great folks, and prices are falling almost everywhere). In addition, zillow, along with similar sites often have news updates and other information that can be helpful.
If you are in the market for a house, using sites like this one can act as a useful reference tool – when combined with information from other sources. Here are some others: