Monday, October 11, 2010

Birthday Boots

I bought my new most expensive pair of shoes, and they have nothing to do with sports/athletics! (Prior to this purchase my most expensive shoes were my cycling shoes and my running shoes. And then I think my 'vegan' sport mary janes from Athleta?). Here they are:

They were originally $198 at Macy's, marked down to $179 in store. Then Macy's was having a shoe sale so I got 15% off. I also had a gift card from Matt's fam for my (belated) birthday (hence the title). I ended up paying $78 after tax, but it still counts! I am looking forward to wearing these with dresses and skirts :-)

But first, I have a bit more sandal-wearing to do! It was in the upper 70s all weekend and will be tomorrow too. And then I'll definitely be wearing sandals in the Caribbean too. I might be able to get in a wearing of the boots on Wednesday before we leave though!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Zillow - pulling stuff out their butts?

I like data. It makes me feel like I'm reducing uncertainty. But Zillow has been driving me nuts lately.

I've been using Zillow for a couple of things. One is the actual sales data - this seems to all be correct. It's how I know about all of the condo foreclosures/short sales in our zip code. I've also been using it to track our condo's value, but something seems to be off. There are 6 condo buildings in our neighborhood, thus there are at least 6 "perfect" comps for our place. One of them sold a year ago for $144K and is currently valued by Zillow at $148K. I saw the pictures of the interior when it was listed for sale - they had laminate hardwood flooring in the living room and kitchen, but our kitchen appliances/cabinets are newer and our bathroom looks nicer. Yet for some reason Zillow is valuing our place 10% lower?

I've been frustrated by that for months, but I just found a new issue. I was also using the Zillow Local data to guesstimate how much houses will cost in Leesburg by the time we're ready to buy (by taking the median home value and then correcting for current the rate of year-over-year change). Last month Zillow listed the median home value as $316K and the y-o-y increase as 2.4%, putting us at about $326K by mid-2012. The data updates once a month, so I checked today to update my figures. Zillow is now listing the median home value as $399K?? That's nearly $90K higher after the y-o-y correction is done. And yet Zillow only reported a 0.1% month-over-month change. I don't even know what to believe from that site anymore.

So the moral of the story is that a) I have no idea how much our place is worth/might sell for, and b) I have no idea how much money we will need. Rawr.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Vacation month is finally here! I will be in Florida in 9 days and on the ship 3 days later!