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Is Your Zillow Estimate (Zestimate) Really Worth It?

Zillow and Trulia are two of the largest websites when it comes to shopping and comparing home prices within your local area.    Twenty years ago, most of who were shopping for a home typically contacted a real estate agent first.   Once we gave the agent all of our new home wish list, they would compile a ‘get in the car’ tour where you were whisked away to see 20 or 30 homes before you narrowed it down to just a just a few.   Then, after comparing prices and your options, you would make an offer on the property that best suited your family.   Now companies like Zillow and Trulia allow you to turn this funnel completely upside down.  Do the values shown on these websites really matter? What is a Zestimate®? (source: www.zillow.com) The Zestimate® (pronounced ZEST-ti-met, rhymes with estimate) home valuation is Zillow’s estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula. It is not an appraisal. It is a ...

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Preventive Medicine For Your Home

We all know that one the largest assets we will own in our lifetime is our home.   I’ve never really seen a ton of good articles on the cost of home ownership, but having personally owned over a half dozen homes, I can tell you that all homes required their fair share of upkeep.    Even though we may not be in the market to sell our homes, we are constantly watching the sale of our neighbors homes or checking out the prices on websites like Zillow to see where the value of our home stands.     We can convince ourselves that our home is in tip top shape until the time we get an offer on the home contingent on the dreaded home inspection.    A good home inspector gets paid in part to look within every nook and cranny in the house to find out what may be wrong with the property.    After the inspection, we can almost become incensed that ...

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How to Invest in Facebook With Less Risk (If You Still Want To)

By Ross Kenneth Urken (As Published On – www.dailyfinance.com) Even for expert stock pickers, it’s difficult to make a fully educated investment in the social media sphere. As Friday’s Facebook IPO — and its gory aftermath — proves, any theory one might have is ultimately little better than speculation. After all, the first few trading days following any IPO generally bring a lot of short-term plays with share values jumping up and down — and Facebook was no exception. It’s also difficult to predict — as Groupon likewise demonstrated this year — when a social media stock will tank. However, if you’re still looking to get in on the Facebook action, but want to mitigate your risks, the social media ETF from Global X Funds might be the right choice. A New Breed of ETF Much like a traditional mutual fund, an exchange-traded fund is an investment fund that offers a stake in a pool of investments — stocks, bonds, ...

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