To buy or not to buy? To sell or not to sell? Questions military families face more frequently than the typical family. How, in this volatile market, can you make decisions about home values!? When my husband and I decided to purchase a home, we used a few sites to help us figure out how much the home we were interested in cost according to online resources and compared it to the values of the homes in the neighborhoods we liked.
First, it is helpful to know the difference between estimated market value and tax assessment value (sometimes these values can be different). The estimated market value is what a buyer would pay for your home in today's housing market. The tax assessment value is the value used by your taxing authority (county, city or town) to determine how much tax is due. USAA now has a service that can help with this.
The home value monitoring system provides information on median sale prices in your area, as well as estimated tax value, estimated market value, estimated rebuild cost (which the other sites do not provide). My favorite feature of Home Value Monitoring is the ability to save your information, and view it easily when you log into your "My Accounts" page. You can use USAA's mobile application to access Home Circle, where you can also search property listings (for sale and for rent).
Using these services will help you determine the approximate cost for a certain house in a particular neighborhood, but by no means should this replace a professional appraisal. The key to making informed decisions is to take time to research using multiple resources, the homes and neighborhoods you are considering. The more information you have the more negotiating power you will possess!
What tools do you use to determine the value of your home or one you are looking to purchase? Please share your experiences in the comments!
The home value monitoring service is provided by CoreLogic. USAA offers the home value monitoring as a service to members and is not responsible for the accuracy of the data.
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