Thursday, February 09, 2006

DIY Appraisal

I like knowing about real estate appraisal, and the tech tools appraisers use, like this new website:

While the price for HumphreyHouse (in its current condition) seemed too generous, the trend graphs and data available here is truly amazing. It even lets you select your comps and make adjustments (like for a finished basement, for example) just like a real appraiser. And integrating hi-res satellite imagery as an overlay was a neat bonus!

Reposted from WSJ's Real Estate journal:

There's a new, well-designed, free online service for finding the value of a home that doesn't require you to identify yourself or to communicate with an agent or broker, and provides heaps of information directly to consumers. It's called Zillow, and it is launching today, in beta, or test, form at

Zillow uses data such as tax records, sales history and the actual prices of "comparables" -- homes in your area that are similar to yours -- to come up with an estimate, which it calls a "Zestimate." It backs up the estimate with lavish data -- aerial photos and maps showing prices in a neighborhood; loads of charts and graphs displaying historical data and price movements, as well as details on the size and room totals of a home. It even allows you to enter information, like the types and prices of recent renovations, that might change an estimate.