Real Estate Insider Blog

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If you have great neighbors who take care of their yards and keep their homes in good repair, you are very lucky. When it comes time to sell your home, they won't bring down your property value. How can some else's loud dog, unkempt lawn and peeling paint affect the value of your home?

Like it or not, no one is going to want to pay top dollar to move next to that. The closer you are to the problem neighbor, the more it will impact whether a potential buyer will walk away. This problem is even greater when it comes to condos and townhouses in close proximity. The good news is that this also works the other way around. Living by homes with maintained lawns and nice landscaping increases your home value as much as 11 percent, according to a report from Virginia Tech University.

Even if a home is in good shape, if it is in foreclosure, the market value for the home will drop. This impacts other homes for sale in the area, including yours. Even if Realtors exclude these properties from their CMA valuations, a study cited by "The New York Times" revealed that a foreclosed property next door drops your property value by 1.3 percent. That might not seem bad, but in reality, a foreclosed home is also likely to be in disrepair.

There is little you can do to make your neighbors turn over a new leaf. If you suspect code violations, you can call the local municipality to report them. However, it may take time to get any results. More...

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Are Sites Like Zillow Reliable When Estimating Your Home's Value?

In this day and age, it's not surprising to learn that we now have websites capable of estimating your home's value like Zillow. On the surface, it may sound like a great resource for determining home prices, but in reality, can a computer database hope to compare to the knowledge, experience and professional training of real estate agents?

About Zillow

Zillow is a company that provides free real estate valuation services for residential homes and rentals. The company is located in Seattle and was founded by two Microsoft executives; Lloyd Frink and Rich Barton in 2006. Today, Zillow operates and updates a database featuring 110 million houses in the U.S.

This data is intended to be helpful to consumers looking for information about home selling, buying, financing and renting. One of the main purposes of their business is to provide estimates of the market value of homes using Zestimates.


A Zestimate can be used as a tool for both sellers and buyers trying to determine the value of a home. The company claims, these estimates are a good base for determining the value. Unfortunately, many folks using the website fail to remember or understand that this is truly just a starting point and not necessarily the real market value.

According to the site, Zestimates are calculated from user-submitted data and public sources. Data collected may include:

  • Previous selling prices of the house
  • Selling prices of nearby homes
  • Some market...
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