Can Zillow present an area map with color codes based on the median house prices? For buyers relocating to a new area, it would be nice to quickly spot which areas in a city are within the target price range. Also such a color coded map can give investors a top down view of where affluent neighborhoods and ghettos are relatively positioned geographically. Usually only professional realtors who know their neighborhood would have such info. Zillow can make such knowledge quickly available to all laymen. As the map zooms out further, the color codes can apply to the city level, then to county level and then to state level etc.
I agree with you that the Zestimates are just useless, not even good enough for rough estimate. In my neighborhood, all the houses were built 3 years ago with identical floor plans (some are mirror image of the other, with different decoration on the exterior wall, but inside s.f. are all identical), upgrade to the houses were similar too. But Zillow lists these homes between $0.8M to $1.3M. That is a half million dollar differences in similar homes. It is just totally bogus. How can a 3 year old house devalued so much while the other side by side in the same neighborhood didn't change?
For the track homes at Norwood Cir, Santa Clara, CA, the Zestimates deviated off the chart. There are only 3 models among the 30+ homes in that 3 years old community. Basically, every home was built the same way. The builder drops the price towards the end when they file for bankruptcy. e.g. two almost identical houses, one sold @ $1.3M in 01/2008 while the other one was at $1.0M half a year later, the latter one came with more free upgrades according to the builder. However, the Zestimate for the $1.3M house stayed put and that for the $1.0M house dropped to $880K. There is a half million dollar difference in the Zestimate of two almost identical homes with the better house being the loser. The Zestimate is way too crazy to be usable.