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What's your home worth- Online Calculators



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 When figuring out your home’s value, you might be tempted to see what popular real estate
sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia have to say. When you use an online calculator to determine
your home’s value on these sites, it is just an estimate. It’s not an actual appraisal or the
“true market value.” These sites all have their own algorithms for coming up with their
estimates. For example, Zillow comes up with their “Zestimates” by calculating “public and
user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions.” 5

These online estimates can be a great starting point for opening up the conversation with your
real estate agent about your home’s worth. But even Zillow recommends that you use a real
estate agent for coming up with the actual market value of your home. The site says that once
you get your “Zestimate,” you should still get “a comparative market analysis from a real estate
 Having an agent like myself involved in this process is essential because we understand the market
better than a computer ever could. Agents are showing property in your city every single day, and
they know the particular preferences of buyers and sellers in the area. Young professionals, large
families, empty-nesters, and other groups are all looking for different things in a home. A local agent
has most likely worked with all of them, so they understand what every segment in your market is
specifically looking for.


 So, how does an actual real estate agent determine true market value? They’ll start by doing a
comparative market analysis (CMA). This means they’ll compare your home’s features to similar
properties in your area. For the CMA, the agent looks at the below factors to influence their
assessment of your home’s worth: 

Neighborhood sales - Your agent will look at similar, recently sold homes in your
neighborhood to see what they sold for and what they have in common with your house.

The exterior -
What does your home look like from the outside? Your agent will factor in
curb appeal, the style of the house, the front and backyard, and anything else that impacts
how the house looks to everyone walking and driving by.

The interior
- This is everything inside the walls of the house. Square footage, number of
bedrooms and bathrooms, appliances, and more all influence the overall market value.

Age of the home -
Whether you have a newer or older home affects the number your
agent comes up with as part of their assessment.

Style of the home -
The style of your home is important because buyers in different
markets have different tastes. If buyers prefer ranch-style homes and you have one, then
your home may sell for a premium (aka more money!).

Market trends -
Because a local agent has so much experience in your market, they have
their finger on the pulse of your area’s trends and know what buyers are willing to pay for
a property like yours.

Location, location, location
- This one’s probably the most obvious. Your agent will think
about how popular the area is and what schools are like.

 A computer algorithm simply can’t take all of these factors into account when calculating
the value of your home. The reality is, nothing beats the accuracy of a real estate agent or
professional appraiser when it comes to determining a home’s true market value.


 Determining a home’s true market value is a real estate agent’s forte. If you’re a seller,
your agent will help you find your home’s market value so you can list it at the right price.

 For buyers, your agent will help you determine the value so you can come up with a fair offer.
Your agent can also set up a personalized home search on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
for you so you’ll receive emails of listings that meet your criteria. This will help you see what’s
out there in your city and how properties are being priced.

Get a Complimentary Report With Your Home’s True Market Value

Curious about your home’s true market value? Call us to request a free, no-obligation Comparative
Market Analysis to find out exactly how much your home is worth!


  1. Zillow -
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What's your home worth- 3 types of value


What’s Your Home Actually Worth?
Three Types of Home Values


 It’s easy to look up how much money you have in your savings account or the
real-time value of your stock investments. But determining the dollar value of
a home is trickier.
 As a seller, knowing your home’s worth helps you price it correctly when you
put it up for sale. If you price it too high, it may sit on the market. But price it
too low and you may be losing out on a good chunk of money (nobody wants
that!). For buyers, it’s important to know a home’s worth before you make an
offer. You want your offer to be competitive, but you don’t want to overpay for
the property.
 Even if you’re not a buyer or seller right now, as a current homeowner you
might just be curious about the value of your home. Keeping track of your
home’s worth year over year helps you understand the trends in your market.
So when you are ready to sell, you can take advantage of a good window of
 The good news is, a trained real estate agent like myself —who understands
the nuances of your particular neighborhood—can determine the true market
value of your property … and at no cost to you!


 When you start the process of buying or selling a home, you’ll frequently hear
the words appraised value, assessed value, and true market value. It’s
important to know the difference between each one so you can make better,
informed decisions.

 Appraised Value

 A professional appraiser is in charge of determining the appraised value of a
home. These appraisals are typically required by a lender when a buyer is
financing the property. And while the lender is the one requiring this information,
the appraiser does not work for the lender.1 Your appraiser should be an
objective, licensed professional who doesn’t have allegiance to the buyer, seller,
or lender—no matter who is paying their fee.
 The number the appraiser comes up with (the appraised value) assures the lender
that the buyer is not overpaying for the property. For example, imagine a seller
lists a home for $400,000. They reach a deal with the buyer to sell the home for
$375,000. However, if an appraiser evaluates the property and determines that
the appraised value is actually $325,000, then the lender will not lend for an
amount higher than that appraised value of $325,000.2
 When figuring out this number, an appraiser will compare the property to similar
homes in your neighborhood, and they’ll evaluate factors such as location, square
footage, appliances, upgrades, improvements, and the interior and exterior of the

 Assessed Value

 The assessed value of a home is determined by your local municipal property
assessor. This value matters when your county calculates property taxes each year.
The lower your assessed value, the less property tax you’ll pay.3
 To come up with this value, your assessor will evaluate what comparable homes in
the neighborhood have sold for, the size of your home, age, overall condition, and
any improvements or upgrades that have been made. However, most assessors don’t
have full access to your home, so their information is limited.
 Assessments are done annually to determine how much property tax you owe. Many
counties use a multiplier (typically between 60%-80%) to calculate the final assessed
value. So, if the assessor determines that the value of the home is $300,000, but the
county uses a 70% multiplier, the assessed value of the home would be $210,000 for
tax purposes.4
 If your assessed value isn’t as high as you envisioned, don’t sweat it. Many homeowners
appeal their assessment in favor of a lower valuation so that they can save money on
property taxes. 

 True Market Value

 True market value is established by your real estate agent. It basically refers to the
value that a buyer is willing to pay for the property. A good real estate agent is an
expert in determining true market value because they have hands-on experience buying
and selling properties. They understand the mindsets of buyers in your market and know
what they’ll pay for a desirable house, townhouse, or condo.
 As a seller, knowing your true market value is important because it helps you choose how
much to list your property for. It can also help you decide if you want to make any
improvements to your home before putting it on the market. As your agent, I can help
you figure out which updates and upgrades will have the biggest impact on your true
market value.


  1. Chicago Tribune -
  1. SFGATE -
  1. ValuePenguin -
  1. Movoto -


Renters for a Weekend or a While: What’s the Best Use of Your Investment Property? Part 1


The residential rental market is now the fastest-growing segment of the housing market. In the United States, the demand for single-family rentals, defined as either detached homes or townhouses, has risen 30 percent in the past three years.1 And in Canada, rental units now account for nearly one-third of the country’s homes, with particular demand for multi-family units, including apartments and condominiums.2

 At the same time, the short-term, or vacation rental market is also booming. The popularity of online marketplaces like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO has helped the short-term rental market become one of the fastest-growing segments in the travel industry.3

 Now, more than ever, there is an abundance of opportunity for real estate investors. But which path is best: leasing your property to a long-term tenant, or renting your property to travelers on a short-term basis?

 In multi-part blog post, we examine the differences between the two investment strategies and the benefits and limitations of each category.


 Before we delve into the differences between long-term and short-term rentals, let’s answer the question: “Why invest in a rental property at all?”

 There are five key reasons investors choose to real estate over other investment vehicles:

 1. Appreciation: Appreciation is the increase in your property’s value over time. And history has proven that over an extended period, the cost of real estate continues to rise. Recessions may still occur, but in the vast majority of markets, the value of real estate does grow over the long term.

 2. Cash Flow: One of the key benefits of investing in real estate is the ability to generate steady cash flow. Rental income can be used to pay the mortgage and taxes on your investment property, as well as regular maintenance and repairs. If appropriately priced in a solid rental market, there may even be a little extra cash each month to help with your living expenses or to grow your savings.

 Even if you only take in enough rent to cover your expenses, a rental property purchase will pay for itself over time. As you pay down the mortgage every month with your rental income, your equity will continue to increase until you own the property free and clear … leaving you with residual cash flow for years to come.

 3. Hedge Against Inflation: Inflation is the rate at which the general cost of goods and services rises. That means as inflation rises, the money you have sitting in a savings account will buy less tomorrow than it will today. On the other hand, the price of real estate typically matches (or often exceeds) the rate of inflation. To hedge or guard yourself against inflation, real estate can be a smart investment choice.

 4. Leverage: Leverage is the use of borrowed capital to increase the potential return of an investment. You can put a relatively small amount down on a property, finance the rest of the investment with a mortgage, and then profit on the entire combined value.

5. Tax Benefits: Don’t overlook the tax benefits that can come with a real estate investment, as well. From deductions to depreciation to exemptions, there are many ways a real estate investment can save you money on taxes. Consult a tax professional to discuss your particular circumstances.

 These are just a few of the many perks of investing in real estate. But what’s the best strategy to maximize returns on your investment property? In the next post, we explore the differences between long-term and short-term rentals.


  1. USA Today –
  2. The Globe and Mail –
  3. Phocuswright –
  4. com –
  5. Turnkey Vacation Rentals –




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