House Values by Address
House Prices in My Area
Today's economy, along with this real estate market, may have you thinking "I wonder how the house prices in my area are holding up?" Instead of simply wondering, take a look for yourself.
Online real estate Web sites make it easy to research home prices. So while you're at it, set up a chart or spreadsheet to track house values by address for as long as you want. Say you are thinking about selling your house in the next year or two. Begin comparing house sold prices in your area. Tracking these number from now till you list your house for sale, you will have a realistic idea of when is a good time to try to sell.
You may want to invest in a house or condo to rent out. These data can be valuable data to track house price trends. The data can help you make an informed decision about when to buy the right house at the right price.
Once you have your chart set up, you can do a quick search to update the numbers at any time, see if new houses have been listed for sale, and check on the house sold price history in your area. This chart can act as a house value estimator making it easier when you're ready to buy or sell a house.
Photo Credit: Alfred Jarmakowicz
Research Home Prices For Yourself
Dig in and research the housing market
Whether you want to sell your house in the near future or just want to keep a running tab of the real estate market in your city or area, it's easy to research home prices for yourself. Use the Internet to do most of the work for you and within an hour, you can have the start of a running tab of your own housing market forecast.
When you track home prices, you're in control of the exact information you want to find. Maybe all you care about are house price trends by zip code or maybe you're interested in house sold prices in my street. Whatever the parameters, by doing your own simple real estate market research, you will get the data you want.
Think about what real estate information you want and jot down a few notes.
Image Source: Grandma's Graphics
Find a Real Estate Web Site
Choose from the many online real estate sites
If you have a real estate Web site you already like, great. Use it. If you don't know much about researching house values by address, here are a few online real estate sites that offer plenty of information:
Take a look at them to get a feel for how they navigate and choose one of these Web sites that you enjoy using.
When possible, remember
it's best to buy low and sell
high (or if you're a seller,
maybe it's best to rent the
place until you can sell high).
Real Estate Can Be Lucrative
House Prices in My Area
Make your own house value estimator
Make your house pricing spreadsheet the way you want it so you can monitor house prices. If you're familiar with Microsoft Excel, use it to track the real estate market. If you're like me, I'd rather use a notebook and pen. Either way, here are some parameters to get you started with your own house value estimator.
This example is how I set up my real estate tracker to monitor house values by address to see how similar properties to mine are fairing in this economy:
1. In the first column, type or write "Address" for the address of the home.
2. In the next column, enter "Bed/Bath" to indicate the number of bedrooms/number of bathrooms in the home you're monitoring.
3. In the third column, enter "Date/$" for the date you check on the home at this address and the sale price the house on that date.
4. In the next several column, enter "Date/$" again. Repeat this as many times as you want. If you want to track homes in your area for six months total and check on their status once a month, you'll need six columns for each date you check the status. Adjust this according to your needs.
Remember that to accurately monitor home pricing in your area, the listing prices over time as well as the house sold prices are helpful in using this tracking tool as a house value estimator tool.
5. In the last column, enter "Sold Date/$" for the date the house sold and house sold price.
This chart is dynamic, meaning you can adjust the columns and data to track as needed. Add more specific information like "Garage," "Pool," or "Foreclosure/Short Sale," or any other parameters you want to include in your tracking, if desired.
Using the House Value Estimator
Use it how you need to
To use the house value estimator, you'll need to populate it with data. I like to start close to home so I often input my zip code in the online real estate site. Then I narrow it down to my neighborhood using the map feature to zoom in close to home.
Next, I look at specific streets then house values by address to hone in on exactly what real estate I want to track. Some Web sites will remove a listing entirely if it's been up for a long time--many months or a year or more--then they relist it at a "new" (read lower) price. The days on the market will change from an unsightly 420 to 2 days on the market! Poof. The magic of real estate.
As you check the different house for sale listings, you'll come up with ideas of what is important to you and change your chart accordingly.
House Sold Prices
The bottom line
Tracking house sold prices is the ultimate piece of information you can gather about the real estate market. You can look at how much houses are listed for sale till the cows come home, but the bottom line is the sale price of houses.
When a house sells, it is removed from the MLS (multiple listing service) and will be gone from the Web site. Don't panic. After a month or two, the house sold prices are added to the roster and you can find these sale prices by searching "Recently Sold" or whatever search tab your particular real estate Web site uses to list sold properties.
At this point, when you find a house in your area that you've been monitoring, you can add the sold price and date to your chart. Each time a house sells, you gather a little more information about the real estate climate in your neighborhood.
Do you rent or own?
Want to Try Your Hand at Buying Low? Just Make Sure You Have a Good Hand
Buying real estate and making a profit is still possible. In today's slow real estate market, the supply is still great in many areas of the country.
More people are renting, so if you're interested in buying a home or two, holding on to them, and renting them out, now might be the perfect time. Be sure to do your research first regarding the best area to buy and whether the house is a good short- or long-term investment.
My Neighbor's House - Tracking how long it's on the market
When I bought my condo a few years ago, I paid about half of what these units were selling for the previous year. Yikes! The real estate market in Phoenix is bad. Still bottoming out, it seems.
Recently one of my neighbors listed their unit for sale. The price is down considerably from what I paid for my unit, and yes, they are nearly identical so we're comparing apples to apples. I am tracking it using the simple method described here. This is the status:
- In late June they listed the unit for $38,900.
- It's now late July and the condo is still for sale at the same price: $38,900.
- Here it is early September 2011 and the condo is sitting for sale at the same price.
- Update for October. So far, this condo is still for sale, same price. Can you say stale housing market?
- Okay, this condo sold in November 2011 for $39,200. More than the asking price, but the seller may have made concessions (got a higher selling price but the seller paid some closing costs or something, I don't know). Any way, that is a sharp cut from what I paid for mine. I guess that means I'm staying here till prices rise, but then of course, whatever I want to buy will have raised in price as well. It's definitely a buyer's market these days.
- It's now the spring of 2013 and prices on the condos in my area are increasing. Finally! They are selling for around $60,000, which is a lot better than $40,000.
- Update: It's now fall of 2013 and prices are now up in the $70,000 range. What a fickle thing the real estate market is.
- Yet another update: Here it is 2014 and the prices are in the $85,000 range. Fickle indeed.