Home Values Watchlist by Neighborhood

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The struggle to determine realistic home valuation is real for homebuyers and sellers of all ages.   My state of California’s exposure to price and value fluctuations is above average, but well below the scene in Florida, Nevada, and a few other states.  I have provided valuations on an immense variety of homes in a time long before the appearance of online tools, when I was trained to assist appraisers.  Then two years ago, I embraced a paid property research tool and investigated home values daily for local property investors.  I am confident that homeowners now have the tools to gain realistic home values today.  

A shortage of available homes has driven up prices and who knows how to best monitor your specific neighborhood for current trends?  That is you with the right tools and data.  Most homeowners don't have a clue without turning to a professional.  Yet before consulting a professional, you will be able to determine a realistic value by following this Nextwav Watchlist on Home Values.  To be honest, we receive no income from leading you to websites we recommend. As affiliate marketers we direct motivated and dedicated people to learn to do what we do on our website www.nextwavelite.com under Meet My Mentors. 

Let me explain why gaining this key knowledge is important to you.  Loss of past equity with uncertainty of market values is a real threat. So there is a need to determine realistic home value for at least 3 valid reasons: 

1.  You may pay or lose financially, if you don't set a current realistic value.
2.  Knowing at least what the other parties know, is just the start for your education.  
3.  There is much more than the Zillow to consult online to reach valid conclusions.  


What I am saying is the value determination and current trends can help you frame a realistic market value for your own home, while full-fledged appraisal is always the final word in pricing a home. Beware that many of these online services aren’t as accurate as usng a professional, but if used together, they can help determine an approximate value range before talking to a pro.  Without gaining personal education, you will either list it too low and leave money on the table or you will list it too high and it will stay on the market too long.  

Breaking this journey down in steps:  1) Start by collecting real estate flyer's of neighborhood homes to compare to yours both for sale with real estate agents and sold by owner. 2) Pick up local real estate books and newspapers to find properties for sale in your neighborhood. 3) Attend any "Open House" events of homes in your neighborhood. In each of these steps, compare your home to other properties based on the following: type and any updates, proximity size, room count, age, garage, amenities including swimming pools, fireplaces, fences, barns, lot size, topography and views, neighborhood (shopping schools, etc.) and access to jobs and transportation are all criteria that should be considered. 


All the online tools take advantage of publicly available data, which they then run through computer models to derive estimates of value.  Real estate has moved to an online environment.  According to data from the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of buyers use online tools in their home searches. Rather than waiting for agents to send them listings, they go online and tell the agents which homes they’d like to see.  Let me outline some sources for using market supported evidence for a current value of your subject property. As affiliate marketers we direct motivated and dedicated people to learn to do what we do on our website www.nextwavelite.com under Meet My Mentors.

Bank of America: This tool shows comparable neighboring sales on a map. It provides only a range of values, not a single number.

Chase.com: You'll also see recent sales of nearby homes that were used to calculate the value of the home.

eppraisal.com: This site uses data from aggregate property records, recent home sales, neighborhood info, and local market data.

HomeGain:  Offers more depth with market and census data in addition to home values as a marketing package supported by real estate agents.

Homes.com:  It also provides demographic information such as population growth, education, crime rate, schools, job growth, unemployment rate and median household incomes. There of pages of prepared Q and A hosted by realtors.

RealQuest:  This is a full real estate platform that markets to investors who want to choose comparable sales closed and in escrow from MLS feeds, including title and ownership information for each property. Allows a 30 day trail membership without cost, before you choose a data plan that might range from $50 to $150 a month.   You will benefit from features such as Electronic Appraiser Property Detail Report, Comparable Sales, Parcel Map/Assessor Map, Street Map, Flood Maps, and Transaction History.  

Realtors.com  Links to the original data source with more than 900 Multiple Listing Services across the U.S.

Redfin.com:  An online brokerage with online property valuation tool. This always leads you to a realtor to further your information gathering.  Redfin shows the last list price, not the sale price.

Trulia.com: Trulia allows you to search “sold listings” to gather comps, ideally sales within 90 days, and within 1 mile of the subject.

Zillow.com:  Calculates a "zestimate" value of your home based on your square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, homes sold recently in your neighborhood and more. This amount changes daily as info is updated into their database and values can vary by tens of thousands each day.


Determining home value involves more than finding three recent sales in close proximity. You must use your personal judgement regarding certain factors of evaluation to compensate for the online systems.  First, the distance depends on the suburban or rural nature of the area, with which you will be keenly familiar.   In most cases 1/2 mile to a mile will be a good guide, while you consider conformity of the neighborhood in your strategy to find realistic values.

Regardless of the comps found in the online sources, keep the bedroom numbers the same and keep the square footage within 20%. Some comparable homes have a functional open layout while others were functionally obsolete and now benefit from rehabilitation. Layout and recent upgrades or improvements are predictors of value. Just the idea of curb appeal will influence the level of value. The majority of house hunting is done online with videos made by the homeowner or professionals. Take advantage of their products. If videos are not available, evaluation of comp properties requires a drive-by view, not always provided by the online sources.  

There are other drawbacks shared by valuation tools which can lead to uncertainty without understanding the your potential remedies.  Those issues are discussed below.

Market cycle and market timing along with knowledge of the history of the demand in the rental market for the area will be important to understand the motivation of buyers. There are terms to understand like buyer's market and seller's market that pertain to available inventory of homes. While identifying the sold properties it is vital to group them as closed through escrow, in escrow, or withdrawn from the market by the seller. 

One very obvious area where inaccuracies can occur is with property condition of the comparables. The description written by the home owner or the real estate agent for the comp home does not include either the value added by improvements or subtracted by a distressed sale situation, so you will have to take these considerations into your value strategy. You might start with confirmation of recent history of the property, looking for investors who flipped the property in the last 12 months.

On your own you can easily obtain local building permit information in person or perhaps free online. This will help you check inside your neighbors’ houses and pinpoint exactly what they’ve done to improve their properties, assuming, of course, that your neighbors got building permits for their projects. You might have to visit the house to see what kinds of fixtures and finishes your neighbors chose, but the permit history for each house will reveal the big-ticket improvements that support major leaps in value, such as bathroom additions.  It is also good to have a reputable home inspectors to help determine the value and level of repair needed for your house, before setting the value.

Understand you are given the listing price and not the final price at close of escrow, which would reflect necessary repairs or other points of negotiation.  The only remedy might be to find out which realtor closed the sale and phone or email the realtor to get the final price and other details. The For Sale by Owner transactions should be analyzed along with all other sales in the area.  You will also have to take into consideration any below market motivations such as transactions between family members, by checking public transfer of title records on recent sales.  

Online tools may lack market trend insights. For example, comparables might be pulled from areas in different school districts, which can give an inaccurate indication of market value. It is important to counter that need by consulting the federal government's FHA website.  A unique tool allows you to plug in known sale prices into the FHFA’s House Price Calculator to come up with a comparative market analysis and map of values for houses near yours.  In addition, the FHFA House Price Index shows the home value trends for metropolitan areas from Akron (OH) to Williamsport (PA).  You can use the trend to see where values are headed in your area: up, down or stagnant.  This shows you the momentum of your local market, which helps you know how to pace your expectations. Look for the newest FNC Index report underneath the “Latest News & Media” section on FHA home page

We encourage that you build a team to satisfy all your future needs after you have gained personal education on key topics.  Personal education is what we specialize in at Nextwave.  We are not realtors.  That is good for you because we can teach you things the realtors probably won't let you know. We have worked in appraisals, home inspections, home insurance, remodeling, interior photography, home tour videos and online marketing. Our knowledgeable tips from each of these fields will help you connect with serious buyers and navigate through the process.


Stay informed with Nextwave Watchlist on Home Values.  A shortage of available homes has driven up prices -- particularly among starter homes that tend to attract first-time buyers. This is the case even with lower interest rates and down payment assistance programs available to this generation. The concern may be ratio of housing debt to housing value for most owners.  There were 3% fewer homes on the market so far in 2017 compared to a year ago, according to a recent report from Zillow, and home values are up nearly 7%, with a lot of variation nationwide.

At Nextwav, we are committed to self education to promote your own economic interests while bringing you opportunities to increase your income through affiliate marketing online. We can also help you gain valuable knowledge about our actual source of income, known as affiliate marketing. Learn more at www.nextwavelite.com under Meet our Mentors.  Simply like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nextwav and you will be given notice of a future watchlists like "Real Estate Buyers Hiding in Clear Sight" with steps to learn to find qualified buyers in your area using online websites, no matter what type of home you are selling, self-improvement and self-education is your key to succeed.  Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nextwav 







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