Zillow and the Neighbors

Don't know what it means to be"zillowed"? Well, it's the natural consequence of the nation's growing obsession with real estate. In the same way that you can use the Internet to find out information on a celebrity, you can now use the Internet to find out just what your neighbor sold their house for!

I have to say that this is a great tool for those who are interested in either buying or selling. Not only does Zillow.com list actual sale prices (from public records) but it also provides estimates of current values. Of course, these estimates are only as good as the site's calculations, but it can certainly spark some debate if you are interested in a particular property.

Want to know what the boss's place is worth? If you've got the address, you can! Thinking about a move to a new city? You can research the properties that your real estate agent is recommending, and all from the comfort of your own home.

Zillow.com isn't the only player in this voyeuristic game. You can also check out RealEstateABC.com and compare the results you get.

And you should compare. And even then you can't assume that the number you get is completely accurate (unless it's an actual sale price). While these sites say that they are within 10% of the "real" value of a property, that really depends on the quality of the data they have, and whether the comparison properties are the right ones!

However, if you are feeling curious, you might want to check out the current price of your own home. Just for fun.

Michael

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