Have some time to waste and a keen interest in housing prices in your area (or anywhere in the US)? You have to check out the site zillow.com, but be sure you have some time set aside to play. Whether you are looking to buy, sell or you already own a home, there is fun in store for you and all the information is free. I went to check out the site and found 2 hours had passed when I was finally ready to write up this post.
The first thing I did was enter my mom’s home address. We’ve been considering what to do with it for awhile now because it is located in the middle of silicon valley and her entire retirement is locked up in it. The initial price came in at a cool $1.2 million and went up another $100,000 when I entered in updated improvements that have been made. Of course, I couldn’t stop there. I had to check out the values of my dad’s house and those of a variety of friends. I left shaking my head at California land prices…
Basically you enter a street address (optional) and zip code and the tool will pull up the estimated value of the home indicated. Better yet, it will also displays a satellite photo of the particular area with the prices of all the homes around the address you input. If you click on any of them, you can find out their square footage, rooms and baths. Then you can click on a “see more details” link and it will give the the price value of the home over the life of the house. It also has a estimator of what the value has done in the last week and provides a map of comparable homes in the chosen area. Fun stuff.
Buyers: The site provides maps so you can cope out neighborhoods of interest and look at what the current home values are. It also provides comps so you are able to review recently sold homes to get a sense of neighborhood trends as well as a “zestimate” the site’s name for the homes estimated value to the asking price.
Sellers: You can enter your address to get an idea of what your home is worth then use a 5-step tool to further refine the estimated market value of your home. As with buyers, you can review comps of nearby homes to arrive at a fair selling price. Basically, you can see all the information that your agent sees.
Home Owners: You can look at the current estimated market value and other data about your home. as well as update changes you’ve made to your home to arrive at a revised value. You can then use a tool to find out how your home stacks up compared to others in your zipcode as well as follow the price changes on a daily basis.
If you have any interest in real estate, you’re going to love this site.