It’s really, really hard to believe, but a certain street name can actually mean DEATH to your home value when compared to other homes in your area. Zillow, that online real estate listings giant that some love and some love to hate, has released a new tidbit of information that could have some, well, deadly effects on your comps if you’re not careful. Before we reveal the street name of doom, however, I want to mention something easy that you CAN do to improve your property’s value against those of local comparable competition. According to the experts at “This Old House,” one of the most common “home improvement” moves that sellers make is changing out their lightbulbs – and the results have NOT been what you would think. Get all the details on simple things that homeowners are doing in today’s market to improve the look and feel of their homes without spending an arm and a leg in REI Today’s News and Networking section.
Now, back to the nightmare on…well, it’s not actually on Elm Street. It’s Main Street. Here’s the deal. Zillow is the acknowledged 2000-pound gorilla in the room when it comes to real estate data, even if we don’t always agree with their “zestimates.” (more on that another time…) But the listing giant DOES have more than 110 million listings on their website and a LOT of information about most homes in the country at this point. So when they stop spitting out home values and start spitting out comparable values, we listen! And here’s one of the latest little items Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff, Chief analytics officer, Stan Humphries, and the research team have discovered: Homes on streets called “Main Street” are worth, on average, 44 percent less than the average US home.
44 PERCENT! That is a BOATLOAD, particularly if you are an investor buying sight-unseen based on comparable properties in the area, or if you are hoping to wholesale properties to other investors in the area. If you’re dealing with a “Main Street” home, your comps just plain may not hold up.
So what’s the deal? Does everyone just hate the word main? Actually, the answer has much less to do with the word main and much more to do with location. Main streets, whether in a town or a neighborhood, tend to have more traffic, making them inherently less desirable to main residents. While a downtown loft on Main Street may be appealing, it seems far more likely that more homes on more main streets, as the data bears out, tend to sell for less than other homes in their area.
Of course, while the main sensation is that huge price cut you could face if you miscalculate about a main street house, the good news is that you are probably facing a much smaller discrepancy when you look at a Main Street house on a smaller scale. In fact, while it will almost certainly still be worth less than other comps in the area, you might only (only, right?) be looking at a five- or 10-percent hit on your sales price, and in some areas where Main Street is the hip or trendy place to be, you might actually come out ahead of the other properties in the area.
The key, as you might expect, is to look at the LOCAL market and draw your own conclusions. Whether you are investing next door or in the next country, as long as you have access to the internet you can do the research you need in a local area to get the information necessary to make a good investment. And don’t let the word “main” always scare you off. Today, in the REI Today Vault, we’ve locked up a special “Main” word that actually is worth 75 percent MORE than other properties on other streets with Main in the name. Get the word by logging into the REI Today Vault at www.REI.Today/Vault and looking for the document titled “The Truth About Main Street.”
Not yet a member? Get access now by texting REITODAY no spaces, no periods, to 33444, and I’ll provide fast, free access to that entire interview as well as a lot more seriously insightful stuff that will make your real estate investing safer, faster, and more profitable. So just text the word REITODAY with no spaces or periods to 33444 or visit REI.Today/vault to get access now…
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And if today’s episode sparked some interest for you for investing in properties but you just don’t presently have the funds to get started, then you’re going to LOVE the next episode. I’m going to go through, in DETAIL with a guy who is probably the country’s foremost expert on the topic (at least outside of Washington), a case study that begins with a woman named Jinette losing her job and ends, less than three months later, with her happily AND profitably investing full-time in real estate. You really can’t miss this and it will demonstrate possibly better than anything we’ve ever talked about so far just how important it is to always remember REI Nation:
Your best investment is your OWN education.
Carole Ellis is the host of Real Estate Investing Today, a popular 9-minute daily podcast focused on educating real estate investors about the important topics that will make their investing SAFER, FASTER, and MORE PROFITABLE. She's also the editor of the Bryan Ellis Investing Letter. She has more than a decade's worth of experience in and reporting on the real estate industry and, additionally, has written dozens of courses on the topic. Carole lives in Kennesaw with her husband, Bryan, and four children. She believes wholeheartedly that your best investment is always your OWN education.