Sunday, September 25, 2011

How accurate are Eppraisal and Zillow?

I was really surprised to find out our house value may be even lower than I had thought. So I wondered if my neighbors were in a similar situation. Turns out Eppraisal and Zillow vary quite a bit, but it's not always Eppraisal that comes in lower like it did in our case. Here are some samples:

Next door neighbor 1:

Next door neighbor 2:

Directly across the street:

Next door to across the street 1:

Next door to across the street 2:

Behind our house:

So only one of these looks similar to our house. The rest actually have optimistic numbers for Eppraisal compared to Zillow.

So I don't know who to believe. The best thing to do would be to have an appraisal done, but last time we did that it was $500. We had the appraisal done in order to refinance in Fall of last year. We were not qualified because we owed over 105% of the house's value at that time. I think the value was appraised at $200,000 at the time and we owed about $210,000. Now we have the mortgage paid down to a little over $183,000, and the interest rates are even better than the were last year, however it appears our house value has slipped even lower and we still owe more on our house than it is worth. I'd love to try to refinance at the great rates available these days, but don't want spend $500 for another appraisal only to be rejected again.

Anyway, here is one more example of how these could be completely inaccurate.  My parents live in a different part of town, so I put their address in and difference between Eppraisal and Zillow was huge!  $85,485 difference!  And Eppraisal had the higher value!

So, I don't think I will be including the house value in my net worth updates in the future because I don't have an accurate number. Even the mutual fund prices change so much, I might only do updates once every quarter for now on.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

You think our house is worth what?!?!

Does anyone know how accurate is? According to them, the value of our house is only about $165,000! 

That's almost $16,000 less than the already too low (in my opinion) Zillow estimate. I really hope this isn't true because I want to re-finance next year before interest rates go up and if this is accurate, we will owe much more on our current mortgage than our house is worth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Net Worth Update - September 2011

It's about mid-month again, so it's time to check in on my net worth numbers. Once again, the house value dropped! When is this going to stop? The gap between how much we owe on our house and how much it's worth is getting wider each month. I'd really like to refinance before the interest rates go back up because our mortgage is currently at a 5.75% interest rate. But, you can't refinance if you owe more on the house than it is worth in today's marketplace. It's making me start to think if I should try to pay down the mortgage a bit?

Anyway, here are this month's numbers:

Approximate value of house*: $180,900 (Down 1,100)
Roth IRA: $20,913 (Up $1,618, but invested $2,000 since last month, so it lost money)
Simple IRA: $4,759 (June 30 statement)
Savings: $5,516 (not including money set aside for property taxes)

Mortgage: $183,228

Total net worth: $28,860
Difference from last month: $210

*Value from so probably not 100% accurate.
At least the overall net worth has gone up a tiny bit since last month.  I'd love to see an even bigger improvement next month and have the house value recover some value by next month.

Friday, September 2, 2011

IRA Asset Allocation and Balance: September

My Roth IRA is now officially fully funded for 2011! Here a screen shot of my current balance.

Despite the fact I invested $2,000 this month, it's only $348.85 higher than it was on August 1st due to the not so great stock market. Oh well, I just have to remember my balance would be a lot lower if I didn't invest at all.

I did take Dave Ramsey's advice to increase my "growth" stock as well.  I was at 17% in June and now I'm up to 26%.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Christmas Challenge: August Results

This is formerly known as the "pay the taxes challenge", but now that I have decided to have extra money withheld from my paychecks, I shouldn't need to save for income taxes anymore. However, I still want to challenge myself to make extra money. Last month my goal was to make $875 outside of my full time job in the last 6 months of 2011. I was thinking since this challenge is to raise the money for the rest of 2011, I'll re-name this "Christmas Challenge". I figure between gifts and all the events during the holiday season, $875 is a good goal.

Here are the numbers for August:

Part time job: $12.39
Blog advertising: $143.24
Amazon affiliate: 14.52
Ebay (minus fees and shipping costs): $23.83
Craig's List: $65

Total: $258.98

Last month: $245.52
Total made so far: $504.50
Total left to make: $370.50

So I made pretty close to the same as last month, except I was better at diversifying my income by selling some stuff on Ebay and Craigslist. As expected, the blog income has gone down since interest in the topic is dwindling.

I'm happy to see I'm over half way to my goal! If I do as good the next two months, I'll hit the goal by the end of October!