The real estate that you own is an investment

The real estate that you own is an investment. Just like stocks and retirement funds, monitoring the value of your real estate investment is a good idea.
Most of us are familiar with Zillow’s “Zestimate”. It attempts to determine the value of your property, by comparing it to other properties. These “Zestimates” are sometimes loved or hated by owners, sellers, buyers, and most REALTORS®.
Another valuation resource just became available. It is
This new site helps you track your home’s value and to see how your home stacks up against others in the neighborhood. One nice feature is it allows you to explore remodeling options, and see how these may affect your home’s value.
You start by clicking “Update your home details” and enter your address. From there you can check to see if the information about your home is accurate. Check your home’s unique details like bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, car space and lot size, to name a few.
Next, to get an idea of your home’s value, click “Compare your home”. You can then view homes in your area that sold in the last six months, plus homes that are currently for sale.
One nice feature is that you have the ability to sort local homes in your area and just see the ones that are comparable to yours. You can also explore remodeling options and how they would affect your home’s value.
The site also allows you to switch back and forth from your home’s public view and your private homeowner dashboard. The public view is the general public’s view of your home, which is what you would normally see on a listing.
The owner’s view is just your private view. This allows you, as the homeowner, to view your home’s value and compare it to listings in your area.
Wondering if making improvements will increase the value of your home? Yes they will, although you normally will not get back a 100 percent Return on Investment (ROI).
A new front door will give you about a 91% ROI, but may also enhance your home’s curb appeal. The same applies to a new garage door, with a ROI of about 80 percent. A minor kitchen update will also return about 80 percent. What is not factored in is how these improvements will likely result in a quicker sale.
If you are making improvements to immediately increase the value of your home just before putting it on the market, you may want to forget a bathroom remodel, with a 65 percent ROI. The same is true of a backyard patio, with a 60 percent ROI, and a Backup Power Generator, with a 55 percent ROI.
On the other hand, if you are not selling in the near future, then you may wish to make these improvements. That way you can enjoy them.
Jim Weix is the Broker/Owner of The Real Estate Company, Inc., with offices in Stuart and Port Saint Lucie. He can be reached at 772-288-1900 or