Google Map Real Estate Value
February 10, 2006 4:54 AM   Subscribe

Real Estate Value + Google Maps Fly around a neighborhood with Google maps and see not only the houses but what they are worth. Click on an individual house for recent selling information, house details, tax assessments etc., all for free and no strings attached.
posted by caddis (53 comments total)
I think they eventually want to sell houses, but for those not in the market for a house, there is still this useful and interesting Google maps application. Most, or all, prior online real estate value services limited you to one or perhaps a few houses and then only gave you the information if you gave them an email or phone number - they were real estate agents trolling for a lead. So far Zillow has no strings attached.
posted by caddis at 4:54 AM on February 10, 2006

On first glance, their 'zEstimator' needs a bit of work. It's a neat idea -- however, they appear to be estimating the prices for an area based on the aggregrate prices of the surrounding street. While this works if you're talking about suburbia with 3 streets of the same 2 BR / 2 BA, it doesn't work if say you've got two condos next to two houses next to another condo. I checked a view streets in Miami and the 'zEstimate' was $210 when the street price is $350. Neat concept, though, I love naughty hooks into Google API...

It was really wicked cool to just pop in a zip code and see a whole bunch of house icons though. Thanks Caddis!!
posted by cavalier at 5:04 AM on February 10, 2006

Wicked cool is right. Nifty, too. Bookmarked. Thanks, caddis.
posted by Gator at 5:07 AM on February 10, 2006

I don't think their zone calculations work properly. I looked up my old neighborhood in Hoboken and found that although the "mean price" for the area was around $500k (yup), most of the houses that had been sold recently had gone for between $800k and $1.2M.

So the mean value actually seems to be double what the "zone average" is calculated to be.
posted by clevershark at 5:17 AM on February 10, 2006

It's says my home is wirth $15,000 less than I paid for it.

No sir, I don't like it.
posted by pmbuko at 5:29 AM on February 10, 2006

I looked up my house - including the tax information. Their data was from 2002.

Consequently, the value of DC neighboorhoods is off by about 30%.
posted by matty at 5:31 AM on February 10, 2006

I heard about this on NPR the other day and checked it out. It seems that the valuations for my neighborhood are pretty accurate, but like with any 'estimator' - it's good ole': Your Mileage May Vary.

I'm sure their formulas and techniques for valuations will require some tweaking over the coming months, but I think this will be an emminently useful tool for people looking to buy property. Most of this data was pretty difficult to dig up and put into a useful format in the past, and the easiest way used to be to deal with a real estate agent who would pull this kind of information for you.

Now I can sit back and watch the value of my home increase. Hopefully. Please? *gulp*
posted by tgrundke at 5:37 AM on February 10, 2006

I may be wrong, but it doesn't seem to display the actual market value of the home. Instead, those look like tax assessments, the kind that are a matter of public record.
posted by grabbingsand at 5:38 AM on February 10, 2006

Much of NJ seems to lack estimated prices due to lack of data, although they claim it is coming. They mostly just show tax assessments and I would take the z estimate with a grain of salt where there is limited data. Here I think you need the good judgement of a human being. With lots of data and a regular home in good condition valuation becomes much more formulaic. They seem to have much more data for California.
posted by caddis at 5:38 AM on February 10, 2006

Their Zestimate is way off for my neighborhood and shows my house lost a lot of value over the last year, which isn't true at all.

I'm skeptical of their information, but it's a cool site.
posted by vannsant at 5:52 AM on February 10, 2006

In my experience, tax assessment values are almost always a good deal less than the street value of a home (thank goodness).
posted by glenwood at 6:11 AM on February 10, 2006

Chked out my neighborhood and a few other towns I know. Seems pretty accurate for about 35 miles outta Boston.

Very cool site.
posted by beccaj at 6:14 AM on February 10, 2006

Very cool site, but the housing values in the DC area seem to be low by at least $150,000.
posted by empath at 6:18 AM on February 10, 2006

Yeah, tax assessments are pretty worthless when determining market value--even in my area, where property is undervalued, houses usually go for at least $10K above assessment. (Unless, as was the case with my house, the previous owners weren't maintaining things very well...)

Incidentally, they've got my most recent tax assessment up. Interesting to see the range on my street.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:29 AM on February 10, 2006

Out of date information and no worky with Safari.
posted by terrapin at 6:30 AM on February 10, 2006

Something about their "tax-assed value" for homes on Long Island, NY is really off ... it's showing ~million dollar homes at around $2k.
posted by Godbert at 6:33 AM on February 10, 2006

Actually, wrong neighborhood. The million dollar homes are listing as around $8k, and the ones that have got to be at least $200k - $300k are around $1k - $2k.
posted by Godbert at 6:35 AM on February 10, 2006

I didn't check DC but I did look at my neighborhood in Northern Virginia. I think their estimates are about 10-20% too high. Then again, I say this based on the fact that I think the local housing market is going down right now. Maybe the rest of the posters in this thread are more bullish on housing? Check out inventory. Watch it rise. Watch supply and demand in action. :) That's another rant, though.

The "neat" factor of this site is off the charts, but unless they reveal exactly how they arrive at their prices I'd find it relatively useless as a buyer or seller. The *only* data I'm interested in as a potential buyer is recent comps(recent sales price of comparable houses in the neighborhood). If I could get Zillow to-instead of their estimate-show me the last sales price and date of sale for each property that would be something of value. I can get that info from the Washington Post but it's tedious. Being able to see it in graphical/map format would be very nice.

As it stands now, there are several houses from my neighborhood offered at prices less than Zillow would rank them at. They've been sitting on the market. For a long time. My suspicion is that when the market turns quickly-as I believe it recently has in this area-Zillow is going to lag behind.
posted by MjrMjr at 6:36 AM on February 10, 2006

What area are you looking at?

I'm in Centreville, VA and I find their prices to be at least 10% too high. I've not surveyed other areas.
posted by MjrMjr at 6:37 AM on February 10, 2006

It says my (old) home is worth over $100k more than I sold it for.

/Me no like.
posted by devbrain at 7:03 AM on February 10, 2006

As others have said, their figures don't seem to be uniformly from the same year, even from neighboring locales, making the app a cool idea, but not that useful yet. Goes in "check again later" folder.
posted by poppo at 7:08 AM on February 10, 2006

Cool, thanks for the link
posted by Outlawyr at 7:08 AM on February 10, 2006

A friend showed me this yesterday. And it shows my house as being sold 11/04 (mostly right), but with a value $93,500 more than I paid for it. Could it have appreciated that much? I can only hope.
BTW, I live on Long Island.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:12 AM on February 10, 2006

This is great. Some of the info was a little dated. For example it had our purchase price in 1999, but didn't have updated square footage and tax records reflecting out remodel. Using the 'add features' gave us a warm fuzzy feeling, as the price we came up with is the same as the SWAG price a friendly real estate agent who was selling the house across the street came up with.
posted by fixedgear at 7:14 AM on February 10, 2006

Actually, I would like to retract this statement; first time I just put in my zip code and lower overall results. After putting in my actual address, it shows my the value according to my current assessment and seems to be just as up to date for all my neighbors.

Apologies to Zillow!
posted by poppo at 7:14 AM on February 10, 2006

In my county, Westmoreland, PA, tax assesments have very little to do with the value of property. They don't re-asses on any regular shedule so your taxed value may be ten or even twenty years out of date. At least, that's how I understand it. That explains why my condo is valued at 27K in this map, while similar ones have sold for 130K recently. When I lived in the city of Pittsburgh in the nineties, the house that I owned hadn't been re-assessed since the fifties and was valued at something like 9k! The county that the city is in has changed their system since then but my rural county doesn't seem interested in bothering.
posted by octothorpe at 7:15 AM on February 10, 2006

Tax assessments are not fair market value assessments. Communities use an assessment ratio which reflects the ratio of the assessed value to market value, often expressed as a percentage so that a ratio of 20 would mean that the assessed value is twenty percent of the market value. If you know where to look you can find the assessment ratio for your town. If you do the calculation and it shows a market value below what you think is fair, rejoice, your taxes are lower than they should be.
posted by caddis at 7:45 AM on February 10, 2006

Strange, it shows my house in Arizona estimated about $20k lower than what comparables have been selling for in the past few months.

Still, it's nice to see their listings for all the houses in the neighborhood. A useful tool, if combined with a number of others that give more accurate estimates.
posted by darkstar at 7:53 AM on February 10, 2006

At first I was shocked that my house was worth so much. Then I discovered they were missing one bedroom, and had added another bathroom. So I dug deeper and made changes and found comparables, and came up with a price that seems quite realistic...although I'd add another 10k for wiggle room.
posted by Gungho at 7:53 AM on February 10, 2006

I checked a house that I know is being sold right now and the estimate (this is on the East coast) was at least 25% too high. The other information seemed OK, but as someone said I think it might not work as well in mixed markets.
posted by mikel at 7:54 AM on February 10, 2006

This thing says that my 850sq foot house in Salt Lake City is worth $900,000. I only paid $130,000. I'm rich, bitch. All my neighbors have million dollar homes apparently. And some people call this the ghetto.
posted by trbrts at 8:14 AM on February 10, 2006

Yes, ooooold data. We recently bought, so I saw the old assesed value, and got a reassesment. The map lists the old value, which is less than half of the more recent figure.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:18 AM on February 10, 2006

Darn, my house (12 months old) isn't on there. Certainly a useful tool for the habitual criminal, providing, that is, authorities don't use the same tool to decide where to create their elaborate traps.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:29 AM on February 10, 2006

In my area of western Mass, every clapboard-exterior house shows up on here as stucco. Dates of construction are wildly wrong. On the other hand, value estimates are pretty good.
posted by beagle at 8:33 AM on February 10, 2006

I can see my house from here!
posted by Kibbutz at 8:36 AM on February 10, 2006

It shows my house here in Atlanta at its mid-1990s tax value, which has more than doubled since then. (In fact, we are in the middle of appealing our last reassessment with the county.)
posted by BoringPostcards at 8:36 AM on February 10, 2006

Utterly worthless for NYC, in general. Too dense.
posted by fet at 8:37 AM on February 10, 2006

The "Zestimator" is good for laughs. I deducted one bedroom from my house (that room has no closet and is really a study), and the value went up. I'm guessing the algorithm adds value for improvements in the ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms.
posted by beagle at 8:40 AM on February 10, 2006

*sings* We're in the money, we're in the money...

It might not be accurate, but it sure as hell tells me what I'd like to hear! I choose to believe.
posted by scratch at 8:42 AM on February 10, 2006

(Doesn't seem to work for co-ops though.)
posted by scratch at 8:44 AM on February 10, 2006

Looks like their data is at least 3 years old, at least where my house is concerned.

Makes me happy to know that I've got a horrendous amount of equity now, for doing nothing but just living here.
posted by thanotopsis at 8:58 AM on February 10, 2006

As above, Zestimator seems a lot more, well, zesty, than fuddy duddy Show Comparables, at least where I live. (Moreover, I know those comparables. They are not comparable.)

Needs work.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:12 AM on February 10, 2006

I finished my basement and suddenly the value of my house doubled, just for an extra crapper and guest room.
posted by docpops at 9:12 AM on February 10, 2006

Zounds. Zillow got too popular too fast. The site's been overwhelmed.
posted by ThusSpakeZarathustra at 9:46 AM on February 10, 2006

Site's not working for me.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:08 AM on February 10, 2006

"We're sorry, but we have no home data for ZIP code 20500 yet, Please see our list of areas where we have data."

Pity, i was eyeing this little place on Pennsylvania ave. Right around 16th street.
posted by quin at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2006

very nifty.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:08 AM on February 10, 2006

Now I know how much my landlord paid for the building...
posted by pembleton at 12:21 PM on February 10, 2006

Interesting. I was seeing a number about $65,000 higher than comparable homes are selling for in my neighborhood -- so after reading a comment above about editing house data, I went in and corrected the bathrooms (from 2 to 1.5) and specifying the roof type (shingle composition). Suddenly, the estimate is right in line with comparable homes in the neighborhood.

So not bad, not bad. Still more cool as a showcase than as a tool, but interesting nonetheless.
posted by davejay at 12:22 PM on February 10, 2006

It got the price I paid for my house right, and the estimated value is about what my real estate agent thinks it would be.

I'm shocked at the prices some of the other people have paid in my neighborhood, though!
posted by madajb at 12:34 PM on February 10, 2006

Wow, I'm living in a brick house ! I would never have known.

Great link though. Very cool - a bit creepy too.
posted by troutfishing at 10:41 PM on February 10, 2006

This is odd. There's homes where homes ain't, and no homes where homes oughtta be. And I'm not just talking about recent developments -- I mean houses dating back to the '20s in some cases.

Either they're a bit mistaken, or my home has been demolished since I've last visited. Unlikely, since the rest of my family still lives there . . . or so I think. . . .
posted by booksandlibretti at 12:19 AM on February 11, 2006

I'm missing 500 sq ft on my home, and it's worth 15K more than I think it would be.
posted by hockeyman at 4:50 PM on February 11, 2006

« Older Abramoff says Bush is lying.   |   Vault Radio Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments