To Zillow or not to Zillow

One of the reasons I particularly love using Mint is the property value feature that shows the current value of my home and car.  The car value estimate is provided by KBB and the home value is provided by Zillow – known as a Zestimate.

I have been enjoying my Mint account for about 2 years now.  Every couple of months, I find new ways to learn about myself and my relationship with money through my spending and investing processes.  I am really grateful that this tool exists.

Until a couple of years ago, I had never known the value of my home.  Then I started watching the Zestimate on my Mint overview page.  And it was great to watch!

I didn’t care that the interweb naysayers talked about how artificially high or low the Zestimate was in relation to actual value. I had a number I could look at and hold on to.  Plus, my number was going up!  How could I not appreciate that? (I bought my home at the extreem high of the housing bubble and tumble like a house of cards immediately after.  It was only in the last 3 months that my house Zestimated at the amounted I paid for it – 10 years later!!!!)

Then last month happened.  In the last 30 days, I have lost $22,000 of the value of my Zestimate.  And  with the way the Zestimate is incorporated into Mint, it is actually a $22,000 decrease in my net worth.

Sigh.

I feel like I have been doing so many things right which would build up my net worth.  Yet, to have something upon which I have no influence come along and drag me down is a bummer. My home accounts for 1/3rd my net worth.

The truth is though, much like how my 401Ks rebounded in value after the very painful gutting during the recession, my home value may likely grow as well.  I just don’t like feeling teased.

Zillow – the frenemy.

What tool do you use to estimate your home’s value?  Zillow? Redfin? Another?

Thrifty Image