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New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-08-2006, 09:06 PM   #1
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New Tool for HouseHunters

New online service that will allow you to enter an address and get values for that home and the neighbors as well as the vitals of the home. It shows the value history and current taxes.
The bad news is that it is in beta form and much work needs to be done.* However, all the major cities are loaded at least to some extent.* I tried my house and it came back as not being in the system----however, there it was anyway.* Showed the values for the homes on several surrounding blocks and they looked pretty accurate to me.* Showed* comp sales and a full description of the McMansion.* My only beef with the data was the 10 year value chart.* Showed the house taking a 30% drop between 97 and 99.* Nope, don't think so.
The nice thing is that there is no signing up.* Put in an address and click.* It will be very cool once they get the whole country covered.
www.zillow.com
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-08-2006, 09:52 PM   #2
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Cool! If someone offered me within $75,000 of what they estimated I would be outa' here.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-08-2006, 11:50 PM   #3
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Values are about 2X what they should be on my street. I can dream but these estimates are way too high!
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 12:03 AM   #4
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

About 40% over assessed value for the couple of houses I looked at.* *A little bit high, but not too far off the mark.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 07:46 AM   #5
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

worthless, they have my house valued at about 70,000 less than what it could sell for.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 08:12 AM   #6
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Yeah, it's pretty out-of-date for my neighborhood, too. I typed in my address, and the value came up with around $359K. Also typed in my neighbor's house, which sold early last year for $475,000, and it came up with $389K. Now my neighbor's house was bought strictly as a tear-down, because the buyer wanted to develop it, but then the environmental dept stepped in and halved the number of houses they'd let him build, so it just sat.

Anyway, I have the same amount of land, 4.28 acres, and a larger portion of my land is buildable (higher-up, not as swampy, fewer creeks cutting through it), so I'd presume my place to be worth at least as much, if not more. Plus, my property is right where the street goes from a 60-foot right-of-way to a 30-foot, so I figure that makes it worth more. Anybody up the street who wants to build is going to have to pay for improvements to the road, which would mean buying part of my property. But with my property, that extra strip of land is right there, adjoining the wider right-of-way.

Square footage is also off, as well. My place has been added onto over the years. Back in the early 80's, a front porch was enclosed, and a side porch was extended, enclosed, and turned into a laundry room. The county didn't catch wind of it until maybe 2 years ago, though, and bumped up my square footage.

I'm guessing this website just uses some rough, convoluted formula to arrive at an estimate.

Now I did punch in the address to my condo, which I sold in 2004. It came up with $242K, which is pretty close to what some of that style recently sold for. I'm guessing this website is more accurate if the address you punch in is in a neighborhood with a lot of recent sales, and similar houses. Where I live now is such a hodge-podge, though. At one end of the street, you have these old houses that were built mostly in the 1920's, and at the other end, another scattering ranging from the 1920's to the 1960's, with a few newer ones here and there. And then in the middle we have a neighborhood of McMansions that recently sprouted up. So as a whole, on my street the age of the houses ranges from like 1866 to under construction, lot sizes range from 1/4 acre to 7 acres, square footages from around 900 on up to 4000+, and sales prices for homes currently on the market from around $339K on up to $800K+.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

The places I checked looked to be priced fairly close to what I would expect. It was pretty wild seeing aerial shots of 2 places I used to live.

Thanks for sharing!

CJ
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 01:23 PM   #8
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

As we all know values are driven by "comps" and it is much easier to estimate value if several similar homes have sold within the last 18 months.* I am sure this is driven by calcuations of square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms from "comps" in the neighborhood.* It can't factor in the more subjective issues.* Take a look at the *** discussion where they comment about the variance of their estimates as measured against actual sales.* IMHO a seller/purchaser needs to talk to local realtors and do a lot of looking at their local market before making the leap.

We have been considering a relatively minor modification that would add a bedroom and ~350 square feet, and a major modification by adding a full bath.* Notice the tool that gives you an estimate of the value of improvements.* Very interesting.


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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 01:27 PM   #9
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Seems bad to me... they have my house about $25,000 too high.. and have it 25 K higher than my sisters house which is worth more than mine....

Then, they have my moms house in the hight 90s and she would be lucky if she could get 45 for it...

But, interesting to see.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud
Seems bad to me... they have my house about $25,000 too high.. and have it 25 K higher than my sisters house which is worth more than mine....

Then, they have my moms house in the hight 90s and she would be lucky if she could get 45 for it...*
Use their 'handy-dandy' tool to adjust for specific conditions and change the comps.* Click on the house address, then refine the value or change the comps.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 02:10 PM   #11
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

The Real Estate section in Yahoo has the most updated info on recent home sales. It even shows you how far the comps are away from the property you input. I use it a lot in my business with good results.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 05:07 PM   #12
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

I would say its dead on for my neighborhood.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 07:08 PM   #13
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus
I would say its dead on for my neighborhood.
Same here. It seems to add a % to property-tax assessments to reflect how sale prices have led the assessed value.

Looks like it's pretty accurate for a San Diego home we used to rent, too.

NYC residents seem to have a similar service from PropertyShark.com. Like Craigslist it seems to be spreading out to:
Nassau County
Westchester County
NY State (Albany to Youngstown)
New Jersey
Los Angeles
Florida (Ft Lauderdale, Broward, Miami-Dade, Orlando, Palm Beach)
Austin
Baltimore
Boston
Dallas
Houston
Philadelphia
Seattle
Washington DC
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 07:20 PM   #14
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

My house came in about 8% higher than my appraisal last August.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 08:30 PM   #15
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

I tried 3 homes in different areas around here that I know the value on. Way high on one, way low on another, and a good bit too high on the 3rd.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-09-2006, 10:17 PM   #16
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
It seems to add a % to property-tax assessments to reflect how sale prices have led the assessed value.
Yeah, I mentioned that mine came in about 40% over assessed value. What was yours? The rule of thumb around here is to price at around 30% over assessed value.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-10-2006, 12:01 AM   #17
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Hmmmmm.

Comps do not include houses that sold in the past year or two in my area; only houses several miles away.

The value shown for my house is WAY high by more than 3 times the going sales price for houses on my street. Maybe there is not enough data in the system for my area because it shows all the houses around me in the same relative value range of at least 3X expected value. It is also more than 3X my tax appraisal too. Sure wish it was accurate.....I would list it tomorrow.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-10-2006, 08:45 AM   #18
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

It looks to me like they might be doing a regional cost per square foot and then just doing a straight multiply by the home square footage. In areas where the lot sizes are small or fairly uniform, the results are better. In areas with highly variable lot sizes and/or very large lots...not so much.

I looked at a few neighborhoods in my area where there are some really nice subdivisions near some really crappy neighborhoods, maybe a half mile away. Not a lot of diff between two similar sized homes, one from each. Looked at the homes on my street and I'm coming up with nearly the same number when I divide their price by the square footage. Thats not a bad way to measure very similar properties, but it cant account for very localized situations, home conditions, etc.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-10-2006, 12:34 PM   #19
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Yeah, I mentioned that mine came in about 40% over assessed value.* *What was yours?* *The rule of thumb around here is to price at around 30% over assessed value.
About 40%, and that was typical of the last Hawaii real estate boom too.
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters
Old 02-10-2006, 04:44 PM   #20
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Re: New Tool for HouseHunters

zillow was spot on for my condo valuation.

I think this is a tremendously useful site; it's much more informative to find the zestimates of all the houses on a street where you are looking than to look at a few comps.

Of course you still have to look at comps and appraisals to verify the zestimates, but this will save a lot of time for a lot of people.

Just for kicks I did a search on craigslist and found two house adds already using zillow valuations in their house for sale postings. As real estate companies start using this in their ads, there is probably going to be some serious pressure to manipulate the estimates. But like google, they seem to be doing the good guy thing for now.
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