Real Estate ValuationsFor my monthly “Net Worth” assessments, I’m toying with the idea of including the value of my home on the assets side for the first time.

In the past, I’ve left it off entirely because I never thought I was in a position to accurately estimate the value of my home. Enter Zillow.com.

I’ve played with Zillow for a few months now. Mostly to check in on what my house was worth at any given moment.

Okay, I admit it, it was to size myself up with all of my neighbors — oh yeah, and really pretty much everyone I’ve ever met.

It’s not a “keeping up with the Joneses” type of thing, but let’s face it, it’s fun to compare yourself to others.

Anyway, the city we live in recently completed its city wide home revaluation for tax purposes. The results came in a few weeks ago, and I was going to post about it, but never did because it was, well, a little to bland unless I got a little too personal for my own comfort.

The news, for me, and really everyone in the city was not good.

Average residential property went up a staggering 47% in the city since the last revaluation in 2002.

Thinking about it, from 2002 — the numbers sound reasonable, but the 2009 property taxes are going to hurt considerably, as are my mortgage payments because the property tax is paid through an escrow account linked to my mortgage.

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to the next escrow analysis Countrywide does on my account.

All of that aside — the report that each homeowner in town received in the mail, along with the bad news, held some really interesting information. Among it — the assessed value, the appraised value, and the replacement cost of your home. (and better yet, a link to anĀ internet site where you could look up everybody in town’s information too!)

I looked at the Appraised Value and liked what I saw. I then headed over to Zillow and their “Zestimate” on the value of my home was, well, within $2000 of what the city’s report said.

I then looked at the historical data Zillow offers to see what the “zestimate” was of my home back when I purchased it, and you know what? It was right around the price I paid for it. How about that?

So I’m thinking that for 2008, I’ll start to use an average of the city’s 2007 apparaised value and the current Zillow zestimate (weighted double to the appraised value as it’s more current) to semi-accurately track the value (and equity I have) of my home.