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Old 05-02-2019, 10:05 PM   #41
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Hey, that is great! It's nice to see your property going up, especially if it tends to be realistic in your area.
alas we sold too early and lost that appreciation. We had several reasons for selling. A lot of it to take some risk off the table as far as retiring. We just moved to our vacation home

We are back to the 'hood pretty regular. The new owners joined up with the 4:00 pm dog group at the park. I tailgated at a football game with them last fall.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:10 AM   #42
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In many areas of the country, comps (solds) are not available except through the local MLS. That means that only a Realtor (and mortgage appraisers) will have access to that info. In those areas, everything else is speculation. Realtor.com is a nice place to start, most likely with the best info, however...

If you want the best estimate possible, contact an experienced (10 yrs +), local Realtor with knowledge of your particular neighborhood. Things like swimming pools, walk out basements, new decks, etc., will be taken into consideration on your home's valuation. Ask for a market analysis-you can most likely get this done for free, by a hungry Realtor.

Or, you can pay $400 (+/-) for an appraisal, by a professional mortgage appraiser.

I offer this not to pooh-pooh the fun of looking up a homes value online, only to help if someone reading is seriously considering selling their home.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:24 AM   #43
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Our zillow estimate has always been close to reality. Need to look at the three curves presented and come up with an average estimate. This will likely bring you to the true selling price. It's not necessary to pay for an estimate. I recall the zillow estimate for in-laws home was dead on the money. I used to record the estimate each year from 2005 through 2014. It followed a reasonable up and down path, just as I see now for our home. The only number I keep in mind for our home, is what I expect we'll get to keep after a sale in next 3-5 years, hopefully.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:15 AM   #44
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We just sold our suburban boat-anchor. Zillow was actually pretty close. Realtors don't like the high estimates, but it has driven activity and leads for all of them.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:25 PM   #45
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For those using USAA, I find their home value estimates to be very good. Conservative and pretty much in line with what I would estimate myself. I'm not really interested, but it shows up whenever I log on because my home insurance is with them, as well as a bank account. I'm mildly surprised they don't add another section for what our cars are worth!
When we bought our current house and was shopping for insurance, both USAA and Amica knew A LOT about the house already; Amica even had pictures from the MLS and previous FSBO marketing pictures. It was downright surprising to me how much information these folks know.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:34 PM   #46
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IMHO. Unless you live in a cookie cutter neighborhood, the estimates vary significantly. I wish my properties were worth the zestimate. I would sell and capitalise on the market inefficiency. However the real market prevails.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:44 PM   #47
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It feels like about once a month, Zillow does a major "repricing" of its estimates. Most days for our house, the estimate may go up or down a few hundred bucks, and usually within (say) $2-3K over the course of a week or two. But every so often, the estimate rises and falls by $30-50K (usually alternating, rising and falling, rising and falling, since trees aren't growing to the sky).

I've seen our house go from $318K (shortly after we bought it for $309K last September), then spend a few days in the $318-322K range, then jumped to $355K. At one point it rose to $362K, then a week ago back down suddenly to $319K. So I tend to think there are just occasional, substantial changes to their algorithm or how and what goes into the estimate. And other than that, just tracking deltas in regional sale prices from day to day (perhaps over a rolling time period).
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:46 PM   #48
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Zillow has been way off from reality where I am.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:18 PM   #49
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We sold my Mom's home recently. Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com estimates were all near to each other. However, what I found out is that those are "average" based on average per sf prices for those styles of homes.

In her area all the homes are pretty similar... one level ranch-style... generally 2 bdrm/2 bath with 2 car garage. However, what can variy widely is updates and maintenance level. We ended up selling for about 86% of the Zillow estimate because it needed a new roof and there was significant deferred maintenance.

Similar thing for our Florida condo... some are original and some are renovated and Zillow has no way of knowing and differentiating.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:31 AM   #50
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Help me out here, because I don't understand. Are you saying you check these data on a daily basis? Do other people do that?

I think there are two reasons this is a bad idea. One, this is a retirement forum, yet you contrive for yourself an extra task each day. A reasonable person might consider this counter to the concept of retirement. Admittedly, I'm a lazy lump whose retirement goal is to REDUCE the number of tasks I have to do each day, so maybe I'm an outlier. But I don't check my PF more than a dozen times a year, and even that's probably too often. Similarly, most days I purchase nothing, so there would be no need to track spending every day.

The second and more important reason is that, unless you have an asset allocation of 0/100, your NW is likely to vary a LOT. Real estate, stocks, gold, pork bellies, artwork, classic cars, bitcoins, etc.; they all bounce around constantly. If you follow your investments too closely, every fluctuation could potentially influence you to react in ways you'll wish you hadn't.



Sure, "one day" you'll roll your current equity into your forever house. But if that day isn't imminent, what is the urgency for checking it on a daily basis?

If I simply "do not get it", it wouldn't be the first time, so I'd appreciate if you could explain why you do this.
I use Personal Capital as a spending tracker, budget, etc. It is linked to my checking account, savings, investments, retirement, etc. and is MUCH easier to access and more user-friendly than my actual online banking, so I use this instead of my online bank. So, I'm on it almost every day... Not to check my home value and net worth, but I see all of that every time I log in.

And I check my investments online EVERY single day. I don't let the ebbs and flows of the market influence my decision to hold onto good investments. I don't get spooked and sell (though if I have cash, I will use downswings as a time to buy). I just enjoy checking my stocks and reading the pertinent news articles, financial statements, etc. You may dislike this and consider it another task. I enjoy it, thus it's not another task for me.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:14 AM   #51
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I use Personal Capital as a spending tracker, budget, etc. It is linked to my checking account, savings, investments, retirement, etc. and is MUCH easier to access and more user-friendly than my actual online banking, so I use this instead of my online bank. So, I'm on it almost every day... Not to check my home value and net worth, but I see all of that every time I log in.

And I check my investments online EVERY single day. I don't let the ebbs and flows of the market influence my decision to hold onto good investments. I don't get spooked and sell (though if I have cash, I will use downswings as a time to buy). I just enjoy checking my stocks and reading the pertinent news articles, financial statements, etc. You may dislike this and consider it another task. I enjoy it, thus it's not another task for me.
If you enjoy it - and volatility doesn't cloud your judgment - then more power to you. I have a number of friends, stalwart yeomen of stout heart and strong mind, who love nothing better than to track their money. It's their natural hobby; if investing had not been invented already, they would have invented it. They happily spend hours each day at it, and reap rewards commensurate with the effort. You sound like their kindred.

But as for me, well, I'm the guy Clint Eastwood was thinking of when he said "A man's gotta know his limitations". That's the real, unexpurgated Mdlerth: just an ordinary guy subject to ordinary impulses. The constant ups and downs of markets would eventually wear down my resistance, and I'd be day trading my way into bankruptcy. Before you knew it, I would end up either on welfare, on Valium, or on the news.

So my money and I maintain a cordial but limited relationship. I don't bother it much, and it seldom bothers me.
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:24 AM   #52
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If you enjoy it - and volatility doesn't cloud your judgment - then more power to you. I have a number of friends, stalwart yeomen of stout heart and strong mind, who love nothing better than to track their money. It's their natural hobby; if investing had not been invented already, they would have invented it. They happily spend hours each day at it, and reap rewards commensurate with the effort. You sound like their kindred.

But as for me, well, I'm the guy Clint Eastwood was thinking of when he said "A man's gotta know his limitations". That's the real, unexpurgated Mdlerth: just an ordinary guy subject to ordinary impulses. The constant ups and downs of markets would eventually wear down my resistance, and I'd be day trading my way into bankruptcy. Before you knew it, I would end up either on welfare, on Valium, or on the news.

So my money and I maintain a cordial but limited relationship. I don't bother it much, and it seldom bothers me.
I guess I can never say never, but so far it hasn't clouded my judgment. I try my best to follow the advice of Warren Buffett, and his thoughts on letting day to day stock changes affect one's longterm investing goals are well known. I always keep the longterm time horizon in the back of my mind when it comes to this.

I also remember a good family friend who lost a ton of money in '08 and '09. He ended up staying stalwart on his investments for quite awhile, but then got spooked and sold all of his equities to take a cash position right at the bottom. Then he held onto his cash position until well into the recovery and lost a ton of money. Had he just stuck it out, he would have been just fine. I always keep this in mind too.

Not checking often, like you do, is probably the best way to do it. But I don't have the self control to NOT check mine often.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:57 PM   #53
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Our estimate was under, however, they missed sq ft by a third, and we seem to have a 3 bedroom 13 bath house. It's bad around here when it is time to scrub the toilets!
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:18 PM   #54
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You should always "claim" your house on Zillow if for no other reason than to prevent someone else from doing so. Once there, modify the entry based on what you want:
* If you want anonymity, remove all photos, modify the house parameters, make sure no PI info is left.
* If you want the Z*Estimate to be as accurate as possible, then make the profile accurate. Sq. footage, add-ons, improvements, etc.
* If you want to sell or showcase the property, stage and add appropriate pictures.
* If you don't care, do nothing.

What you SHOULD NOT do is whine and complain about the legacy/auto-generated house profile values that you could have updated yourself.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:22 PM   #55
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...we seem to have a 3 bedroom 13 bath house. It's bad around here when it is time to scrub the toilets!
You must have a HUGE septic tank!
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:31 PM   #56
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Our estimate was under, however, they missed sq ft by a third, and we seem to have a 3 bedroom 13 bath house. It's bad around here when it is time to scrub the toilets!
A quote I remember from a Dr. Phil show that DW was watching when I walked by:

Quote:
Never buy a house that has more bathrooms than you want to clean.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:41 PM   #57
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A quote I remember from a Dr. Phil show that DW was watching when I walked by:


More appropriate for a thread about decluttering/downsizing, but there was one something like:

Quote:
Never have so much clutter that you’re relieved if the house catches fire.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:27 PM   #58
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I compare between several sites-Zillow, Redfin, etc. Of all the various ones, I've found Redfin to be the most reliable.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:33 PM   #59
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Zillow is notoriously inaccurate in rural areas, so much so that it has a little rental we own worth more than an oceanfront compound we own. Both properties are in the same town. The rental was overvalued by about 80k, and the ocean house was undervalued by about 500k. Wouldn't put too much faith in Zillow.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:05 PM   #60
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What I don't like is the pictures of my home when it was for sale 4 years ago. Inside and outside pictures. I really don't want anyone to know what it looks like for defensive purposes. Our community has too many cat burglars out there scouring the internet and Facebook looking for citizens on vacation and especially those with fine homes to burglarize.

We've gone into a defensive mode including installing a new, stronger front door unit, new monitored alarms, beefed up door locks and door jambs. And it doesn't hurt to have a 130 pound Rottweiler living as a house dog.
I claimed my home on Zillow and deleted the pictures posted by the realtor who sold us the house. That was back in 2015. I don't know whether the ability to delete photos still exists.
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