March 18, 2006

The Zillow real estate values craze continues. Check out their site – you’ll see how it’s almost a game, allowing anyone to see how anyone else’s (and I do mean ANYONE – all you need is an address) home investment is doing in the wild and wacky game known as “Let’s Play…Real Estate!”. But the site also has a pop culture attraction to it as well:

While some real estate data have been available online for several years through city and town assessing databases and registries of deeds, Zillow.com is the first website to pull together local data and enable users to get an instant estimate of a home’s current market value — a ”Zestimate” — by simply typing in a street address. While they are at it, users are looking up friends, neighbors, ex-spouses, family members, bosses. It also is a gold mine of celebrity trivia, if you know the celebrity’s address.

The Seattle-based website was an instant hit; it broke down under the stress of 300,000 hits in its first hours of operation last month. Since then, its popularity has continued to spread.

”I look up everybody,” said Shilepsky’s friend Nulsen Smith, a financial planner for Rinet Co. He says the Zillow craze is all about comparing your largest asset against those of your friends, neighbors, and relatives, to see ”if they’re doing better than you.”

I’ll bet some people – like the whack job in the cubicle across from me at work, who spends his entire day beating up brokers over properties he’s aching to acquire when he oughta be project managing – have become almost addicted to the charts, graphs, and info the site provides. If you’re in the northeast or California, look around and you’ll find most properties either stuck in neutral or doing a slow slide in value. If you’re in the southeast or southwest, you’re on “the sweet ride” right now.

(I know my dad and I had a ball back in December checking out the property values of everyone we knew – it felt like we had been invited into some previously unknown and forbidden world! – getting out the Christmas card list to check out the addresses of everyone we could find ๐Ÿ™‚ It was gratifying to both him and mom to see Zillow’s confirmation that they had sold their condo in Lowell a couple month’s back right-smack-dab on the bubble. Sweet…)

And then there was this item from Thursday that caught the eye of just about everyone around here. Anyone who has been here for more than a week can sense how rapidly the greater-Phoenix area is growing, but this is especially amazing, when you think of it:

Maricopa County, Ariz., which includes Phoenix, gained 563,000 from 2000 to 2005 รขโ‚ฌโ€ more than any other county.

Considering that Gilbert (epicenter of Goodboys Nation Weblog) and Chandler (3 miles south of where I and the rabbits behind me sit) are two of the nation’s top ten fastest growing cities mentioned in last year’s U.S. Census Bureau report, I can’t say I’m surprised: between 1990 and 2000, Arizona’s population grew by a whopping 40%; most people think it will easily surpass that this decade.

You wouldn’t think you could get any more people in here, but just take off on a flight towards the east and you’ll see there’s an incredible amount of room to expand here in “The Valley of The Sun” – in fact, Pinal County (to our southeast) is the fastest-growing county in AZ, and has been for some time. For a small-town guy like The Great White Shank, it’s all a little too much for me….

One final note on Arizona’s growth: Since, as former Speaker of the U.S. House, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill used to say, “all politics is local”, this is not without political consequence, as Jayson at Polipundit notes.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 13:02 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. Celebrity thumbs….

    Celebrity skin. Celebrity nudes. Celebrity baby names….

    Trackback by Celebrity tits. — September 21, 2007 @ 11:52 pm


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