what price this house?

I was reading an article in US News and World Report (May 7, 2007 issue) about Real Estate websites and decided to try them out by checking out the valuation on my house.

The article used 5 different websites: cyberhomes, House Front, Real Estate ABC, Reply and Zillow for determination of house prices. According to the article, the websites varied quite a bit as to accuracy of value and sometimes one or more of them didn't cover a geographic area at all.

For me, Real Estate ABC was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of the amount of information it gave as well as its accuracy. Unfortunately none of the websites gave me any feeling that I'm living on a goldmine. The value given for my house is approximately thesame as what I paid for it over 3 years ago. Sad, huh?

Here's my take on the 5 real estate sites:

Cyberhomes: The site generated an accurate map of my area populated with a number of other houses with generated values. There was no history of actual sales prices nor a justification for how these prices were generated.

House Front: Most of the information on this site was accurate though they thought I was the original owner of the house. I'm actually the second owner. The pricing information seemed more accurate but there wasn't any info on how it was derived.

Real Estate ABC: While I didn't like the valuation on this site very much, I'm afraid it's probably accurate ($148,000). This is the only site of the 5 here that had an accurate history of my house's previous sales. It also included the sales price for a number of homes in my immediate area and in a very easy to use format. I highly recommend this site if you're thinking of buying or selling--or just feeling like snooping on the neighborhood. LOL

Reply: This site didn't work in my area but from what I can see on here it looks like it might be a really good tool for areas which it covers.

Zillow: This looked very good also but didn't cover my area well. The map function worked well and included most of the houses on my block along with the Tax Accessor's Office valuation. Useful information but not as good as an actual sales price. I suspect this site is great in areas less rural than mine.


Anonymous said…
It's too bad propertyshark.com isnt really in NC yet. Their depth of property data is incredible.
kenju said…
The only one of those sites I knew about is Zillow. Thanks for the other links, Dave.
Nancy said…
Is this picture your house? Very nice. If you lived up here it would be worth a lot more than 148. But, you probably would have paid more to begin with.

My house has triped in value. Insane, I tell you. If someone actually paid that kind of money for it I would fall over. We did score when we bought it, though. And, every room has been redone.
rosemary said…
Your house is lovely...I have looked at Zillow...Idaho is weird because it is a non disclosure state, so there are no comparables..but the house we sold in Calif. 9 years ago for 180K and that was 2K above our asking is now worth 490K.
Yaeli said…
Why do you care how much it is worth? You're still gonna live in it aren't you?
utenzi said…
Ari, I'll give that site a look. I'd not heard of them before.

Judy, anything I can do to help! LOL

Nancy, that's a picture of my house that I took 4 years ago when I was looking to buy it. I sure wish my house had tripled in value! If you ever sell--I hope you get every penny of that valuation.

Rosemary, Wow. That's such an amzing increase in valuation but I constantly hear that CA and Vegas are like that. Even now that the markets are cooling off, they still lead the nation.

Yaeli, it matters because home equity is one of many ways to leverage money. If anything happens to my job, it's nice to know that I have that source of money to fall back on.
Thumper said…
I'll have to go play around a bit. I knew about Zillow and have been poking around it, looking at places we used to live, finding out what they sold for...but it was waaaay off on my parents' house, didn't even have the right # of bedrooms in it.

Here via Michele's tonight!
Bob-kat said…
It's always nice to know what your assets are worth.

I'm not sure if we have a similar virtual service here in the UK. I know what my house is worth though as I had to buy my ex husband out last year.
Linda said…
Wow - I'm going to have to bookmark this particular post! It just bugs the living daylights out of me that the house my ex-husband and I bought for $114,000 back in '95 has more than TRIPLED in value. To make matters worse, he has added a LOT to it, making it a lot larger than the current assessments show it, which means the value will probably triple again! ugh.

oh...yeah...Michele sent me!
hanulf said…
Thanks for the informative post with a lot of useful information!
MissMeliss said…
I worked in the real estate industry for so long that when we moved here and I had to rely on sources other than my friend at the local Title company, and my own access to MLS, I felt really disconnected.

Zwillow's great for urban areas, and I like the mapping function, the others I've never really played with.

This comment is sponsored by the lovely and talented Michele, but I was due to visit you anyway :)
Anonymous said…
Holy Crow! I nearly spit out my coffee! You have an adorable house that would be worth a gold mine here in the bay area. I just did a quick check with Real Estate ABC and comps in the immediate area are going for $680! It will probably come to no surprise to know that we don't plan to retire here - we'll cash out and live it up elsewhere. Love the crape myrtle!
srp said…
Zillow isn't so great in the city either. My brother was trying to find the valuation in a neighborhood where he was thinking of buying a house and it wasn't listed, though the subdivision has been there for a couple of years now.
tiff said…
I love messing around with stuff like this - it's fun to see what the valuations are and what your neighbor's homes are worth (and, for that matter, WHO your neighbors are.)

The county in which I live has a mapping feature through the tax assessor's office that has amazing amounts of info. easy to spend a lot of time there.
Anonymous said…
Oy, thinking about real estate makes me feel bummed. Being a poor graduate student still throwing money away on a rented apartment (because real estate is too expensive to buy).

Ari (Baking and Books)
Michael Manning said…
Nicehome there, Utenzi. As a kid I'd visit my grandmother in Royal Oak, Michigan. Back then it was a blue collar city with pill box houses. Those same homes are now in the $200k range! Amazing!!

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