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Cool site shows housing value, satellite maps, and more

House
I stumbled across a site tonight which has some pretty cool information on housing prices, satellite photos, square footages, and more. Ever wondered what your neighbors paid for their house? Time to check!

Apparently, Zillow.com is raising some eyebrows around the real-estate circles. Using their site, you can get pretty detailed information on your house, general housing areas, appreciation graphs, and more. I’d guess that appraisers and other people who make a luxurious living off of the various scams involved with buying and selling homes might stand to lose the most if the info is accurate.

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2 replies on “Cool site shows housing value, satellite maps, and more”

Usually I’m sceptical about the quality of the data presented by
these types of sites but I spent some time cross checking various
actual real estate transactions in my area and in almost every case
the numbers they reported for sales prices were accurate.

It’s actually not surprising that this data should be accurate
since almost every “conforming” loan that is processed in this
country in some way goes through government backed companies such
as fannie mae and freddie mac. Not to mention the data in the various
nationwide Multiple Listing Service (MLS) databases. Which most people
only think of as forward looking but it contains historical data as
well for realitors. Just ask any decent realitor in your area and
they can give you quarterly and monthly reports of sales data.
Therefore all this data is available but usually not packaged as
zillow has done.

For example, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight
(OFHEO http://www.ofheo.gov) uses this data to track housing prices with
something they call the “house price index”. They track appreciation
rates for major metropolitan areas, states and the national level.
The really nice thing about zillow is that they have presented the
data at a finer level of detail.

The prices are not at all accurate- for my community and surrounding area, they are 30% off the correct appraisal prices. Rather than using recent sales databases, this site bases its prices on square footage and is completely off!

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