2017 Year-End Review

2017 was a momentous year for Grandview Lake real estate with the approval of our siltation remediation project that will benefit our lake property values for years to come.

However, our 2017 market performance wasn’t quite as historic. While year-over-year sales across the state have increased by 10%, the Grandview Lake market continues to be an outlier. Only eight homes closed in 2017, as compared to twenty-three homes in 2016, resulting in a $10M dive in annual sales. This drop-off is the result of a very sharp reduction in resale inventory.

Buyer activity is strong, but they’re remaining very patient and vigilant in negotiations, often holding out for future opportunities. Buyers continue to prioritize the lot over the house. The average number of days on market for the currently active listings is over one year.

Conversely, new starts on the lake are up, with four homes breaking ground just in the last quarter of 2017 and more in the pipeline.

National economic indicators, real estate trends, and lending conditions remain extremely strong. If inventory loosens, or if buyers become more impatient, 2018 could be a great year for Grandview Lake sales.

If you’re thinking of selling, it’s a great time to stand out amongst the limited competition! I’d love to present you with a tailored marketing program and price analysis of your home. Have a wonderful year and see you on the water!

Lora Brumett, RE/MAX Ability Plus lorabrumett@yahoo.com

Grandview Lake & the Zillow® Zestimate®

Have you ever perused Zillow for Grandview Lake homes for sale and noticed that nearly all of the Zestimates are much lower than the listing prices?  The Zillow Zestimate is a data point that has become a source of confusion, false pretense, and general misunderstanding in our niche market of Grandview Lake real estate.  As both a Grandview Lake resident and real estate specialist, I’ll explain why the Zestimate and other AVMs can be an unreliable tool for buyers and sellers when evaluating property values on Grandview Lake.

The Zestimate is Zillow’s proprietary automated value method, or AVM.  AVMs are basically a giant math equation, or algorithm.  The algorithm is designed to make adjustments and calculations based on data points like SF, lot size, year built, and past sales.  This complex mathematical equation is secret and non-transparent to those who seek to learn how the equation actually calculates a given home’s Zestimate.

Zillow claims that its “algorithm’s accuracy is within 4.3 percent nationwide, meaning half of Zestimates nationwide were within 4.3 percent of the final selling price, and half are off by more than 4.3 percent.”  You can put Grandview Lake in the latter category, for the following reasons:

The problem with AVMs on Grandview Lake is that there are so many property features & intangibles that Zillow can’t possibly know based on electronic data points.  For example, Zillow’s AVM has no idea if a home has an elaborate boat house, whether or not the dock is made of wood or trex, or if there’s a second kitchen in the home.  Zillow’s AVM also has no judgement of value based on whether a home is located in the 7th addition cove, or whether it is located on the main body of the lake.  Zillow doesn’t know whether the water is deep or shallow, whether the driveway is steep, or if the neighbor’s boat house is blocking the view.  Unless a home has undergone a major structural remodel adding SF, Zillow doesn’t know to make adjustments for renovations.  So maybe you spent $100,000 renovating all your bathrooms and kitchen – Zillow has no ability to quantify that.  Zillow can’t capture value in things like a new roof, new furnace, panoramic view vs. no view… there are many more examples, but you can understand the implications of these lake home features that aren’t quantified in black and white data points.

The AVM method works well in neighborhoods like nearby Shadow Creek Farms, where all the homes are built on similar lots by the same builder, with just a few varying floor plans and selections.  But on Grandview Lake – just cast the AVM data aside, as it’s most likely incapable of accuracy.  Instead, talk to your local agent who is immersed in the market both as a Grandview Lake resident, and as a real estate specialist;)

Lora Brumett, RE/MAX Ability Plus lorabrumett@yahoo.com



Howell, David.  “How accurate is Zillow’s Zestimate?  Not very, says one Washington-area agent.”  The Washington Post 6/10/14

Fontinelle, Amy.  “Zillow Zestimates: Not as Accurate as you Think.”  Investopedia 9/15/17

Harney, Kenneth R.  “Zillow faces lawsuit over ‘Zestimate’ tool that calculates a house’s worth.”  The Washington Post 5/10/17

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