HomePredict.com, and knock yourselves out

We’re constantly introduced to new technology to help the home buyer, hinder the real estate agent, and put money in the pockets of the company behind the technology. So, we’re doing our part and bringing it to you.

Introducing, HomePredict.com. The concept is pretty simple (we think), where they crunch current data, take your predictions, to determine where the market will be in a year. This is what they came back with for condos worth $800,000 in San Francisco:

Things are looking pretty good (especially the +$7,999,920 “home value impact” they give condos in ’08…condo owners rejoice!)

However, we think it should look something more like this value they give “Houses” worth $500,000 in San Francisco…do they really still exist?

The moral:

New data crunching goodness is all around and they all profess to provide the second coming, but there is always room for error and they need to be taken with a grain of salt (or browsed on your iPhone during incredibly boring meetings.) The site did become more informational as you enter zip codes, but still…not that great.

Personally, we found it an incredible waste of time, because the data is not presented in a manner that is easily understood..

Are we missing something?

-HomePredict.com [website]

6 thoughts on “HomePredict.com, and knock yourselves out”

  1. Interesting site. Who knows.

    All i want to know is what my fellow renters are doing as the stock market gets crushed? I like the idea of buying Alcohol companies!

  2. Thanks for the write-up. You are right, those condo value predictions are worth celebrating (if you own)! Seriously, its a system glitch and does not reflect the aggregation of individual predictions. Thanks for pointing it out. The broader point is that there is a lot of data on the site that gives you both current data on market conditions and what people are expecting for various future time periods. We just want to people get the facts and empower them to understand and debate towards collective intelligence. The goal: save people a buck or two when buying or selling.

    Best wishes,

    Karim Tahawi

    CEO

  3. @ Karim,

    Thanks for a bit more explanation, but can you elaborate on how we can understand and debate the data you present. We at tFS are all for new technology and transparency and are very happy to promote sites that help both buyers and sellers, but I’m just not clear as to what kind of value your site would provide that something like Zillow or Redfin, or Altos Research, or my own sfnewsletter reports would provide that isn’t already available. Like I said, “are we missing something?”

    Regarding “what people are expecting”, who are the people? Can you police the feedback, or could a malicious commenter like (40 Year Od Renter…LOL!) just go in there and mess up all of your future predictions?

    thanks,

    alex (the editor)

  4. Hi Alex,

    We are in the business of aggregating individual opinions about FUTURE housing values. It is people powered. Zillow is machine based current home valuations. Redfin is discount brokerage. Altos is current home statistics. I love all these companies and they do great work but they are different. We are predicting future home prices by area.

    For those theoretically inclined, here goes: We based our approach, now called <a href=”” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing=“”Crowdsourcing on a lot of work being done in various areas where the only possible solution to very complex problems is to open up the problem and get people to work together. An example, Netflix is offering ANYONE $1,000,000 if they can improve their recommendation engine by 10%. They have a problem and want someone, anyone, to solve it. A book that popularized this is called <a href=”” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wisdom_of_Crowds=“”Wisdom of the crowds. To sum it it up with a Japanese proverb, none of us is as smart as all of us. A premise of Crowdsourcing/Crowd Wisdom is that we have a diverse set of participants tackle the problem. You never know which person or group of people has the best information. In fact, it is often (usually?) the case that no one individually knows more than the aggregated opinion. That is, full information comes in small slices that are meaningless individually but substantial when complied.

    So Your fear that ’40 Year Old Renter’ will mess things is valid only in circumstances where there are not enough participants – that is, where his or her opinion is artificially large. A real possibility in the short-run but over time, people looking to demonstrate expertise will just seize markets that result from manipulation or poor information actors and “correct” them as a means of raising their own community standing.

    Ok, I hope that helps. We are soft launching a new site next week called ProOffer that will start to create some real financial incentives for participation at HomePredict.

    Thanks again,

    Karim

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