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July 30, 2018

Why Buyers and Sellers Should Be Wary of Zestimates

Is Zillow’s Zestimate tool a reliable method for determining home value? Let’s find out.

 

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If you’ve ever so much as considered buying or selling a home, then you have likely encountered Zillow’s popular web-based value tool: the Zestimate. But how accurate are these Zestimates?

 

Before we get into that, let’s first take a look at where Zillow’s information comes from. Zestimates pull data input by its users, as well as from public records made available by the county assessor. Yet it’s the information Zillow doesn’t account for that really poses a problem.

 

For example, Zestimates do not reflect any improvements made to a home. Zestimates also can’t account for demand. This results in a major disparity between the property’s true value and the one indicated by its Zestimate.

 

The stakes are too high in a real estate transaction

to trust something as faulty as a Zestimate.

 

In fact, there is typically about a 10% margin of error in Zillow’s Zestimates. And Zillow is well-aware of their Zestimate feature’s shortcomings. They have even gone so far as to put out an offer of $1 million to anyone who can improve their algorithm.

 

With so many gaps in what a Zestimate can detect regarding home value, it simply isn’t a reliable tool. The stakes are too high in a real estate transaction to trust something as faulty as a Zestimate. It’s always best to get a professional’s opinion on your home’s value.

 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 13, 2018

Renting vs. Buying: Which is Right for You?

What key differences are there between renting and buying, and which option is better?
Today we’ll discuss this important subject.

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Want to Sell a Home? Get a Home Value Report

 

There are a few important differences between buying a home and renting one, so today we’d like to highlight the pros and cons of each, as well as the costs associated with both options.

Let’s begin with some of the expenses involved in purchasing a home. First, there’s the matter of the earnest money deposit (around 1% of the purchase price), as well as inspection costs, which tend to be between $300 and $500.

The down payment is the next major expense associated with buying a home. First-time homebuyers should expect this to cost between 3% to 5% of the home’s price, while those buying a second, third, or even fourth home should plan on putting down at least 20%. There’s also the matter of closing costs, which are around 3% of the purchase price.

As far as renting goes, one of the most significant initial expenses will be the security deposit. This usually matches the first month’s rent, which is another cost to expect. Pet owners should anticipate a pet deposit as well. Sometimes this is a straight fee and other times it can is a monthly expense.

Now that we’ve discussed some main expenses of each option, let’s move on to listing a few pros and cons.

 

Renting is a great temporary solution,

but ownership is better suited for those seeking

a long-term place to live.

 

The main advantage of homeownership is that the property becomes an asset that can grow in value based on appreciation or sweat equity. Homeowners also enjoy tax benefits, as well as the ability to rent out their property for additional income. Finally, owning a property allows you the freedom to do whatever you want with the property.

Renting, on the other hand, offers another kind of freedom. There are restrictions as to what can be done with your home, but all the maintenance is taken care of for you. Those with a very busy lifestyle may find this appealing.

So, what’s the best way to choose between these options? It all comes down to how long you’re planning on staying in the property and what goals you have. Renting is a great temporary solution, but ownership is better suited for those seeking a long-term place to live.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Nov. 24, 2016

A Tip for Selling in Todays Market

Posted in Real Estate Tips