One of the best things about online anything is our ability to immediately get an answer. Want to know the square root of pi? Log on. Want to know how many gallons of water in the California aqueduct? Log on.
Want to know what your house is worth? Log on ... not so fast. The advent of valuation websites is all the craze. You can now walk up to your co-workers and proclaim how much equity you have in your home and tell them "in your face!" And if your co-workers ask how you know about your newfound riches, just tell them Zillow told you. Now get ready to watch them laugh.
Think about it, if you have 100 of the same exact thing well then it's pretty easy to tell you what each one is worth. But what if you live in an area where almost every house has a different look and appeal? Like here where we live. The whole reason we moved to this county was to be different. It's impossible for a computer to recognize your beautiful redwood deck and compare it to your neighbor's yard filled with cars, weekend projects and all the items you noticed on the way home that said "free stuff."
So if you can't trust Zillow, who can you trust? A local real estate agent or someone like Sergio Angeles at Prime Home Loans who is a mortgage expert and a pro at home valuations and anything real estate can help you (I'll stop at nothing to promote myself). Getting the right value on your home is going to take careful consideration of numerous factors.
Appraising is not a science and is very much human. In recent months Zillow has been caught in legal battles with homeowners who claim that Zillow's valuations are low and this has adversely affected them. I don't see how but hey, this is America, you can sue anyone.
More importantly, why do you want to know your home's value? Unless you're thinking about selling or refinancing it's probably best to find out that there's 59 million gallons of water in California's aqueduct.