Photo: Flickr / Casey David
If you haven’t checked to see how much your home is worth lately, you might be in for a pleasant surprise.Nationally, the median list price of a single family home is $189,900, up 5.6 per cent compared to March 2011, according to Realtor.com.
Here’s another good-news statistic: Inventory of for-sale single family homes is down 21.5 per cent on the national level.
But, like the weather, all real estate is local.
In Phoenix, where I live, you could hear a collective sigh of relief sweep through the Valley after news that the median list price jumped a whopping 23.5 per cent, to $179,000. The inventory of total listings is down 48 per cent.
Unfortunately for Chicagoans, median list price fell 9.5 per cent there, to $190,000, even though inventory also declined nearly 16 per cent.
For folks who are going to buy or sell a home this year, knowing this kind of information is crucial. Even if you’re staying put, it’s smart to know where you stand when it comes to your biggest investment.
Several real estate websites — and their companion apps — will help you do just that.
Type in your address — or any home you’re curious about — to see what the “Zestimate” is. If you’re a homeowner and disagree with a Zestimate, check to see if the facts about your home are wrong or out of date. You’re allowed to update your home facts, but you can’t remove your home from the site.
If you’re an investor or curious about what your home would fetch in monthly rent, Zillow also provides a Rent Zestimate for properties.
Keep in mind that estimates are only starting points. They’re no substitute for a professional appraisal or a comparative market analysis.
Be sure to check out Zillow’s fun Make Me Move feature. If you’re not quite ready to put your house on the market, this could be a good way to test the waters and alert potential buyers. Name your “can’t refuse” price and see what happens!
At Trulia, you can get an estimate of your home’s value simply by entering your address. Edit or add facts about your property if information is wrong or missing.
Trulia is an excellent tool if you’re house hunting. It’s helpful whether you’re looking to move across town or across the country. Search for homes for sale by city, state or zip code.
In addition to standard searches based on price range and number of bedrooms and baths, Trulia allows more creative searches, too. Already know the market and just need to see new listings as they come up? Confine your search to listings that have been added in the past seven days. Still want to search without a Realtor? Search for open houses only. Looking for a bargain? Try searching just by new price reductions or look for houses in foreclosure.
Trulia’s unique Heat Maps provide a graphic picture of an area’s sales, price trends and popularity. Adjust the Heat Map by neighbourhood, city, county and state. You’ll also find school ratings, information about nearby businesses and comments from local residents. Have a question? Try asking it in the Q&A forum and get advice from a local real estate agent.
More than 900 Multiple Listing Services across the U.S. funnel home listings here — the official site of the National Association of Realtors. If you’re serious about selling your home and want an informative report on your home’s value and comparable sales in the neighbourhood, this is the place to go.
Click past the front page and Realtor.com becomes a trove of information about mortgages, real estate trends and other topics. In the Home& Garden section, for instance, you’ll find advice about how to tackle common home improvement projects and save money on energy.
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