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Zillow home estimates
Old 05-02-2019, 08:05 AM   #1
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Zillow home estimates

I recently signed up at Personal Capital to track spending, net worth, etc., and I linked my home value estimate from Zillow, and my home value estimate is changing daily by swings of up to $50k plus. Yesterday my "Zestimate" was $338k, today it is $282k, and the day before it was around $300k. In all reality, it's not a big deal at all... It's just annoying seeing such large artificial swings in my net worth every time I log in.

Anyone else having issues with this? How accurate are their estimates? Does anyone know?
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:09 AM   #2
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Yes, I signed on a few days ago to see our net worth had increased by $100K. Figured out where it was coming from and am glad I didn't go out and blow that dough. They must be tweaking their algorithm.

Several realtors have told me they HATE Zillow - their estimates are not very accurate. People get really excited when they want to list a house and Zillow tells them it's worth way more than the market will bear.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:10 AM   #3
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Had the same problem. They also suddenly switched my house from a 2 family to a one family. I removed it. If you really need the bottom line, you can manually add your estimate for home value.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:18 AM   #4
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Yeah it's crazy - my home gained over $200K in value in a day.

Maybe trulia or realtor.com would be better.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:18 AM   #5
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Zillow isn't really a good estimator, and yes it can swing a lot as comps around you sell (or don't).

Aside from that, most of us here don't count our home in our net worth data, since it's not part of the assets that influence firecalc or other FIRE modeling results.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:27 AM   #6
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I find Zillow hilariously incorrect most of the time. (I do not include my (paid-for) home as an asset for any calculator. )

A modestly time-consuming, but far more accurate method is to scan listing prices and after-sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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I check home value on:
https://www.redfin.com/
They at least give you recent "solds" in your area and the date of the sale so you can see what they're basing the value on.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:32 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:39 AM   #9
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Zillow over-emphasizes square footage of the house and land, but does not bother with important nuances such as actual location (eg. busy street, behind commercial properties, next to railroad), condition of the house, curb appeal etc. Zillow is not great in calibrating factors that are not quantifiable. However, I am not sure if there is another source that is better yet still readily accessible.

We mark to market our house value once a year. We take a 10% haircut from Zillow estimate at the end of every year and forget about it until the following year. Any market fluctuations in between are not terribly relevant to us.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Glad I'm not alone. I may just unlink Zillow and manually put in an estimate.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:50 AM   #11
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I haven't had the same experience. The Zestimate of our home didn't exhibit the dramatic changes you have seen.

And when we sold our home last month, the Zestimate was just about right on the money (only about $10k low) compared with what we actually got.

Maybe it was just a coincidence.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:57 AM   #12
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Zillow is inaccurate in my neighborhood. A house just came on the market $300K above the Zillow estimate. Houses sell pretty quickly and it could go over the asking price.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
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.
I think if you log in and "claim" the home, you can then made edits and remove the photos. Most houses I've followed end up removing all but the main exterior shot within days after selling.
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:46 AM   #14
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On Trulia they have a picture of our house which is three stories and in the info they have one floor house .
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Maybe trulia... would be better.
Zillow owns Trulia.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:07 AM   #16
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Aside from that, most of us here don't count our home in our net worth data, since it's not part of the assets that influence firecalc or other FIRE modeling results.
+1

The value of your home should not be included in your investable NW, unless you are planning to sell it, invest the proceeds, and not purchase another house to live in.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:38 AM   #17
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I calculate it into my net worth because, well, it's part of my net worth. And we're not living in our forever house, so the equity is something that will be used one day.

But I don't count it as an asset when using any of the retirement calculators.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
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.
As mentioned before, if you "claim" you home on Zillow, you can remove the pictures.

https://zillow.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/...os-of-my-home-

Also, Zillow is a marketing website. They are geared to make homeowners want to SELL their home. What better way than to make unsuspecting folks think their house is worth SO MUCH MONEY!!!
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Zillow isn't really a good estimator, and yes it can swing a lot as comps around you sell (or don't).
That's for sure! According to Zillow my home is now worth 142% of what I paid for it less than 4 years ago. Realtor dot com says 139%, and Trulia dot com says 129%. Sorry, Zillow, you lose - - that value is just crazy! The real estate market is just not that hot here. Even if it's true, I'll never know because I wouldn't sell my Dream Home for any amount of money. I love living here and my life is all just one big bowl of cherries when I can awaken each morning right here at home in a house that is so nicely set up for aging in place.

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Aside from that, most of us here don't count our home in our net worth data, since it's not part of the assets that influence firecalc or other FIRE modeling results.
Exactly. At this point in my retirement I have no plans to ever move (until I croak), so I don't really have any use for a real net worth calculation. I do have a sum that is my immediately investable assets (investment portfolio plus bank account balances), and I calculate that instead.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerides View Post
Zillow isn't really a good estimator, and yes it can swing a lot as comps around you sell (or don't).

Aside from that, most of us here don't count our home in our net worth data, since it's not part of the assets that influence firecalc or other FIRE modeling results.
Actually it was fairly close to the asking price on the house we bought.
Some folks count their house as part of NW even though they don't include it in investment asset calculations.
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