For the first time in over three years, I estimate that we have full positive equity in our home.
This is a good thing, but it’s bittersweet considering that we put 20% down on our home in 2007. Part of the downside was automatic and would have been in any market (see below) but that’s still a lot of equity lost otherwise.
I estimate the top-line value (what a contract would say) of our home using four inputs:
- Tax estimates – The city tax bill gives the value of our home, and it’s generally been pretty accurate compared to market estimates
- The bank estimate – Our lender has always allowed us to pseduo-begin a re-finance application, at one point where it would give you a ballpark estimate of your home.
- Zillow – Even though this changes regularly, we use this as a fraction of the calculation.
- The ‘sniff test’ – I look at comparable sells in the neighborhood and will give a manual adjustment based on what I think is realistic based on what’s going around us.