6.01.2007

Yodlee hooks up with Zillow!

I have talked about Yodlee before. Let me re-iterate that this totally free service is amazing. I use it to keep track of over 20 accounts!

Now you are probably thinking that 20 accounts is a few too many, and I can understand that. But when you start to count each account you have, checking, savings, visa, discover card, Roth IRA, 401(k)/403(b), and then double that if you are married, you get up there pretty quick. When I bought my hybrid, I opened several credit cards with 0% balance transfers to get 0% financing over an extended period of time. So on and so forth. With a tool as nice as yodlee.com, why bother closing accounts?

So I have my mortgage set up in yodlee, and pay my bill each month there. But I had to create a custom entry and enter the estimated value of my home as a manual account to get a realistic picture of my finances overall. Until this week that is.

I was browsing around one night and saw a link called "Real Estate Center." I clicked it and there was an option to set up my address in a tool that automatically goes to zillow.com and grabs the estimate. If you own a home or are shopping for a home and have not checked out Zillow, you should. It complies local sales information and tabulates home values and contains tons of tons of great information on top of a really neat interface that uses google maps and microsoft's visual earth.

And like yodlee, zillow is free.

So now Yodlee goes out and grabs my account values as well as my home's estimated value and pulls all the info together and provides charts and graphs of changes in value, spending, and now equity in my home = zillow estimate - mortgage!

2 comments:

Joseph Ferrara. Sellsius said...

zillow is unreliable. It relies on public data which may be incomplete, inaccurate or stale. Here is an example.
http://tinyurl.com/nv243

Anyone who says they can value your home without looking at it, inside and out should be shown the door. Only the naive use zillow.

If you want to see extensive public data use propertyshark.com. It makes zillow look like a minnow.

Jouissance said...

I'm confused. You knock zillow for using public data and then recommend propertyshark which you praise for using extensive public data. Does propertyshark use people who look at each property inside and out?

I had not heard of propertyshark so I checked it out. The interface is terrible. Trying to add an address and find a property is tedious as you have to drill down to a location meaning you have to know all the detail about it and enter pieces of the address into separate fields. I do not see an estimate for the properties I do find. Furthermore, there are not many properties listed.

I live near Boston and my home is not even available through propertyshark. I have a relative in CA whose home is in propertyshark and was surprised that zillow actually has more complete sales data than propertyshark for his home.

propertyshark looks to have some good info, but it forces you to create an account and login to see more than its basic view.

So bottom line, I'll take the minnow as it actually has the data I am interested in- info about my home and other homes around the country! It also has a vastly more useful interface for finding locations and scrolling around nearby offerings through its map view.

Everyone should keep in mind that these tools are trying to organize vast databases of data which is nowhere close to 100% accurate. And these are free services so you get what you pay for. Use these tools to get a sense of things and as a starting point for doing research but never assume anything, especially an 'estimate' is accurate. Yodlee using zillow gives me a simple tool to offset my mortgage in the summary of my personal finances that yoldlee provides, but I know the numbers are not precise.