You’ve likely seen comments on our site recently from the “Financial Samurai”, and wondered, “Is that spam?” It’s okay. We wondered the same thing, and we’ve dug a little deeper and found him to be legit. We were tipped off to one of his posts that uses Zillow to back up his claim that “Net Worth Is Rubbish. We’re not so concerned with the look into net worth, rather than the fact that ” in a span of 3 months, [his] primary [San Francisco] residence gained a whopping $300,000!” Gotta love those Zillow Zestimates.
These values mean NOTHING. Zillow or an appraiser can say a property is worth whatever they want, but unless they’re willing to write you a check, don’t bank on it. Yes, I admit I feel a little bit more buoyant now that the stock markets are on fire, and the property market has rebounded a little bit. However, until I have no mortgage on my rental property [both properties of which are in San Francisco], I don’t include this as an asset even though it generates positive cash flow.
Strike your private equity, rental property, furniture, and bunny rabbit from your net worth calculation. Your illiquid assets are only worth as much as someone will pay for them. Even though we are out of the recession (Tim Geithner told me), and are back to the go go days (hard to get restaurant reservations on the fly anymore), don’t trust for a second your assets are worth as much as some appraiser or website says. Write your assets off, and revisit them once you’ve liquidated.
–Financial Samurai [website]
4 thoughts on “Zillow Says My SF Residence Gained $300,000 In Value In Three Months!”
Hey Alex! Thanks for sharing my post. I think I do comment a lot, but that’s b/c I’m a real estate fanatic and a personal finance addict! :) I’ve also been a reader of TFS since inception.
What’s really more interesting than the value of my residences (which I don’t believe) is the direction of the charts. It would be GREAT if as many readers as possible can Zillow their own properties and share with us here whether there has indeed been a rebound in property prices.
Looking forward to hearing from the community.
My own comp as of today and according to the sales within the past weeks: around 2.2m – but again, the zillow house is not the house we live in – beside the address and a few concrete steps… there is little left from what we bough. If the house was the same, I believe it would have peaked way lower than Zillow at 1.6, and it would be around 1.5 today. which is what zillow should say, as it doesn’t know about our construction work.
I can tell you that we are hit in the face by each sale… including the 2.8mil that zillow still has at 800sqft, and vice versa, the .8 empty lot that zillow still has at 1400sqft. (an immediate 100-150.000 correction within 2 weeks)
Too many discrepancies between REAL usable sqft and recorded datas to mean anything. not in SF.
I agree with Sophie that Zillow is full of misinfo, but so long as the mis info is consistent, then the direction of the chart is most important, no matter what the value is.
Sophie, going from 1.5 mil in April, 2009 to 1.8 mil in Sept, 2009 is a nice 20%!
Nobody wants to share their Zillow love findings? August home sales up 6.5% today, and vols now at March 2007 highs. Good indicator for higher prices.
Ok, well a couple friends of mine in DC said Zillow showed about a 10% rise this summer as well.