Sunday 3 December 2006

Estimating your real estate equity

Real estate equity is just as much a part of your net worth as your stocks, bonds, cash and retirement accounts - especially if you own any investment properties. Although you can't get daily closing prices like you can with stocks, it is possible to get information that allows you to estimate your properties current valuation.

One such source of information is which provides property appraisal information. It's very quick and easy to use - I tested it with my Sister-in-Law's address in the USA and got a valuation estimate in less than 10 seconds:

Estimated Value Range: $201,157 - $334,134
Eppraisal for: nnn XXXXX Dr, Liberty, MO 64068

As they state on the website, the estimate has a large range due to it being based on recent sales in the area, but lacking specific details of the property being "eppraised". So, in order to use this data to track your own property, it would be best if you could calibrate the estimate by comparing the mid-point of the valuation range with an actual sale price (if you start tracking your property from the time you buy it), or else get a "real" appraisal done as a one off, and use that valuation to calibrate the eppraisal valuation, which could then be refreshed monthly to keep your net worth data up to date.

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