Author Topic: Mint and Zestimate  (Read 6007 times)

HappyHoya

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Mint and Zestimate
« on: June 14, 2016, 07:23:29 AM »
For those of you that use Mint and link it to a property with a mortgage, how do you make sense of all the changes to a properties value with Zestimate updates and Zillow always changing the formula? I like having an estimated property value in there, as it's motivating to me to see that our mortgage payments are going somewhere and I like seeing the difference between the amount owed and value grow. Only problem is that it varies so much that it makes our net worth swing pretty wildly and then it's more difficult to see the results of other progress and set goals based on overall net worth. Anyone else have this problem? Do you just ignore it, or have you found a workaround?

dandarc

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2016, 07:29:50 AM »
Your mortgage payment creates progress regardless of the value of your home - every payment reduces the amount you owe.  I do have it linked in Mint, but I hardly ever look past the investment accounts.  In my spreadsheets that I use more frequently / seriously, I have the house recorded at cost.

ketchup

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2016, 08:03:03 AM »
I think I have my properties set at a static, fairly conservative value.  Zestimates would overestimate my net worth by about $120,000.  With a five-figure actual net worth, that would indeed throw things off quite a bit.

HappyHoya

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 08:25:42 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions! I am going to try to set it to a low static number, instead of disconnecting it. I live in an area where I don't worry about not being able to get anything for my home, but I don't want to overestimate its value and cheat myself out of money I think is there but really isn't. Living in a neighborhood where prices are going up but where a lot of homes get passed down through families (so sales are for ridiculously low numbers as it's effectively just a transfer), is making any estimates a little bit nutty.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 08:51:18 AM »
I have also had this problem. Some empty lots around my neighborhood sold and some other homes sold for very little. and blam! My zestimate dropped over 20K and seems to fluctuate a bit every week. This has been going on for more than 6 months. It's really annoying, but I try to think big picture. I didn't realize you could set it at a static number though....

boarder42

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 09:00:25 AM »
i use personal capital to track and set my home to a fixed rate b/c i know my area market and i subtract sales costs.  you can do the same on mint.  - you should know the value of your home its not hard to educate yourself on it if you dont. 

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 09:11:22 AM »
i use personal capital to track and set my home to a fixed rate b/c i know my area market and i subtract sales costs.  you can do the same on mint.  - you should know the value of your home its not hard to educate yourself on it if you dont.

Yeah, I don't pay too much attention to the zestimate bc I know the value of my home. It just makes the graphs and net worth calculation a bit wonky. I will play around with setting it at that number and be done with it. Thanks for the info!

HappyHoya

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2016, 09:14:26 AM »
Since there are so many ways to assess home value, how do you all do it? We bought recently so have a recent appraisal, but I know there are problems with that number, but it seems like the most objective. Id like to take a conservative approach and deduct the costs of selling.

Beaker

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Re: Mint and Zestimate
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 09:21:59 AM »
I pretty much gave up on Mint's net worth calculations, partially because of the Zestimate and partiaully because I never connected our 401k accounts to it.

I actually keep a spreadsheet with the breakdown of each payment (principal, interest, escrow), remaining balance, and my (very conservative) notion of the house value. Takes a few minutes to update it each month, but I kind of like doing it. Gives me a chance to notice that each month we pay off an extra buck or two of principal, pay an equivalent amount less interest, etc. And I can easily look at where we were a year ago. Plus knowing the P&I number is useful when considering whether to pay off the mortgage, since that's the only part that would actually go away.