Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Estimating the Value of a Car or House

Sometimes, I need to know the value of a car or a house. Here are some useful sites for getting the data.

Used Cars

Edmunds - Used Cars

Kelley Blue Book - Used Cars

Nada Guides - Used Cars

New Cars

Edmunds - New Cars

Kelley Blue Book - New Cars

Nada Guides - New Cars


Real Estate ABC


Besides the comparing prices when buying or selling, I like to use these price estimators for following tasks:

Net Worth Assessment - These calculators will provide the necessary estimates so that one can do a more accurate assessment of personal net worth. I tend to overestimate the value of some possessions. These calculators provide an unbiased estimated I can use.

Insurance Coverage Decisions - Since insurance companies won't pay over the market value of a damaged item, it's good to understand the value of the insured property. For example, for me it's not worth paying $300 collision insurance per year for a car that only has a $2000 market value. Especially, if I haven't had an at-fault accident in the past 10 years. Also, it prevents me from over insuring my house. If the insurance company won't pay more the rebuilding costs, it doesn't pay to insure for more than that value.

Tax Assessments - Property taxes are based on the market value of one's home. Unfortunately with declining real estate prices, a home may now be worth less than the original price. If that is true, often one can get the market value of a home reduced for tax assessment purposes. The answers will help determine if it is worth contesting the current market value assessment of a home.

Finally, I have shown several market value estimators without endorsing any one. The estimators will give similar, but not exactly the same, value numbers. I find this useful since estimating is not an exact science and a range is likely better than a single number. For estimating my purchases, net worth and insurance purposes, I tend to use the low end of the range. For sales of my property, I like to initially consider the higher end of the range:-)

For more on Ideas You Can Use, check back every Tuesday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


Anonymous said...

You might want to look at getting 'gauranteed home' coverage for you house insurance. Not many companies offer it anymore but it's a good thing to have. It's not that much more. Basically, it coverage for you home in case of a loss, the insurance company covers the cost of rebuilding no matter what the costs are. Lumber and labor prices can skyrocket, but it wouldn't make a lick of difference to you. They cover those costs no matter what.

Super Saver said...


Great point for those where replacement insurance coverage is a available.

My insurance company used to have "guaranteed replacement" coverage, but have dropped it. They told me people who had the coverage often forgot to report improvements to their home, resulting in lower premiums. As a result, the insurance company was losing money on this coverage since there is no limit to guaranteed replacement.

In my case, my first house didn't qualify when the coverage was available. The house was 90 years old making it difficult to replace exactly.