Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate

Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate

by Spencer Rascoff, Stan Humphries


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


How do you spot an area poised for gentrification? Is spring or winter the best time to put your house on the market? Will a house on Swamp Road sell for less than one on Gingerbread Lane? The fact is that the rules of real estate have changed drastically over the past five years. To understand real estate in our fast-paced, technology-driven world, we need to toss out all of the outdated truisms and embrace today's brand new information. But how?

Enter Zillow, the nation's #1 real estate website and mobile app. Thanks to its treasure trove of proprietary data and army of statisticians and data scientists, led by chief economist Stan Humphries, Zillow has been able to spot the trends and truths of today's housing market while acknowledging that a home is more than an economic asset. In Zillow Talk, Humphries and CEO Spencer Rascoff explain the science behind where and how we live now and reveal practical, data-driven insights about buying, selling, renting and financing real estate. Read this book to find out why:

It's better to remodel your bathroom than your kitchen
Putting the word "cute" in your listing could cost you thousands of dollars
You shouldn't buy the worst house in the best neighborhood
You should never list your house for $444,000
You shouldn't list your house for sale before March Madness or after the Masters

Densely packed with entertaining anecdotes and invaluable how-to advice, Zillow Talk is poised to be the real estate almanac for the next generation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455574742
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/27/2015
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Zillow's CEO Spencer Rascoff was listed as one of America's most powerful CEOs under 40 by both Fortune and Forbes. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University and is an alumnus of Goldman Sachs and TPG Capital. He founded Hotwire, which he sold to Expedia at age 24, and was one of the founders of Zillow in 2005. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife (a pediatrician), three young children, and their dog, Fido.

Stan Humphries is Zillow's chief economist and the creator of the Zestimate. Stan has built out the industry-leading economics and analytical team at Zillow and is a frequent commentator on housing trends for CNBC, Bloomberg TV, and Fox Business News. Stan has a B.A. from Davidson College, a Masters of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining Zillow, he worked with NASA and the Peace Corps.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Leaving Home Our Real Estate Journey Begins 1

Stealing Home: Scoring a Data-Driven Deal on a new House

1 Warren Buffett Is (Always) Right: Why Buying a Home Is Still a Realty Smart Investment 19

2 Stats and the City: Timing Is Everything When Deciding Whether to Buy or Rent 27

3 2-4-6-8, Neighborhoods That Will Appreciate: Predicting the Next Hot Spot 35

4 The Starbucks Effect: How Lattes Perk Up Home Prices 49

5 It's the Worst House for a Reason: Why You Shouldn't Buy the Worst House in the Best Neighborhood 57

6 Do Your Homework: Finding a Great School District in Your Price Range 65

7 ARMs and Legs: Fixed-Rate Mortgages Aren't for Everyone 71

8 Apples and Oranges: How to Determine Whether Buying a Foreclosure Is a Good Deal 83

9 What to Expect When You're Inspecting: How to Pick the Right Home inspector 93

Moving Out: The New Rules of Selling a Home

10 America's Next Top Remodel: Not All Home-Improvement Projects Are Created Equal 99

11 Magic Words and Dangerous Descriptors: How to Write an Effective Listing 107

12 March Madness: When to List Your Home 119

14 Real Est8 4 Sale: Use Superstitions to Your Advantage 127

15 The Price Is Right: How to Determine Your Asking Price 133

16 Nine Is the Magic Number: How to Sell for More by Asking for Less 141

17 Appraising Real Estate Agents: Reviews Correlate with Performance 147

The Data-Hood: A New Look at Our Nation of Neighborhoods

18 The Gayborhood Phenomenon: Property Values as a Bellwether of Social Change 159

19 What's in a Street Name?: What Street Names Tell Us about Property Values 165

20 Empire Real Estate of Mind: Analyzing the Oddities of New York City 177

21 The Wild, Wild West: America's Most Volatile Housing Markets 187

22 Statistics Are People, Too: Looking at the Housing Bust in More than Just Dollars and Cents 197

23 What's Walkability Worth?: How Walkable Neighborhoods Affect Property Values 211

This Old Housing Market: Rethinking Real Estate In America

24 Owning Isn't for Everyone: The Case for Decoupling Homeownership and the American Dream 221

25 The Third Rail of Real Estate: Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction Really the Best Use of $100 Billion? 231

26 Down by the Seaside: How Waterfront Property Plays by Us Own Rules 239

Conclusion: Follow the Data to Find Your Way Home 249

A Note on Our Methodology 255

Acknowledgments 257

Notes 259

Index 267

Customer Reviews