Here’s an interesting new site: SmartZip.

They have a simple scoring system for determining which homes in foreclosure markets are good buys. Their ratings are based on their own proprietary scale:

The SmartZip Score is a rating based on a quantitative evaluation of a property’s return on investment over a 10-year holding period, which investors and homeowners can use to assess and confirm purchase decisions.

SmartZip Score considers hundreds of macro and micro market attributes spanning economic, market, housing, government, community, demographic and lifestyle data. Both historical trends and predictive models are used. And we examine each property across geographic spheres of influence – national, state, metro, county, city, tract – all the way down to the neighborhood and property levels.

For more info, see the FAQ here.

Category: Real Estate

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “SmartZip”

  1. rob says:

    Had an interesting discussion with a fellow today that has been shopping for a mortgage. The lender told him they were scared of a new fad going around called “Sale and Bail.” The way it works is that someone that is wanting to scale down would purchase a new home in addition to their existing home. (With the intentions to use one as rental) But after purchasing the new home, it becomes their primary residence and the buyer then lets the old home (often underwater) go back to the lender. This guy has great credit history and stable employment, but the bank told them he didn’t qualify for a new loan because of the “sale and bail” scare. He would have to have enough income to make the payment on both the new and the OLD home before he could qualify for a new loan. They wouldn’t even talk about it being a rental property and the income off of that. Amazing!

  2. Kort says:

    Time Magazine just did a cover story on Las Vegas and profiled the Sale-and-Bail and the real estate agent they profiled (with her name and photo) actually encourages her customers to do it, and she says she herself did it! What’s worse is, while the old home is undergoing foreclosure process (which they say can take 9 months), the deadbeat owner is renting it out! And real estate agent mentioned had to put $7K into her new home so it could qualify for Fannie Mae….nice cycle we have going on here.


    As for SmartZip, unless I missed something, it only works for FLA or CA so it has a long to go to be useful for me.

  3. Thor says:

    Rating might be based on their own proprietary scale but I notice that it values homes (if you take the dollar per square foot and multiply it by the square feet) at exactly the same price as zillow . . . .

  4. Onlooker from Troy says:


    The scheme is indeed a problem. And you have to expect the banks to try to protect themselves from it. It’s one of those unintended consequences of this whole debacle.

  5. Onlooker from Troy says:


    Can you believe that woman would admit to committing fraud and allow her name and photo in a national magazine. It just goes to show you how the moral hazard genie is out of the bottle and sliming everything.

    That’s why the whole damn thing needs to come crashing down to cleanse ourselves of this crap; for at least a while.

  6. mathman says:


    With the Bush administration as a model, all manor of fraud and scandal is now openly going on, both by the corporate sector and private citizens, Wall Street to Main Street, by big banks and small real estate people, and from our so-called “watchdog” agencies down to local politicians. Our government no longer works as designed, is totally corrupted by capitalism and is expected to rot out from within in our lifetime. i almost expect anarchy in the coming years.

    There’s always been a fair amount of fraud and corruption in politics, but Bush (like Jerry Springer with TV) elevated it (horrible human behavior) to the status of openly acceptible (ie, no need to worry about prosecution – everyone’s doing it).

  7. sailorman says:

    I don’t know where they get their metrics from. I compared two cities in Florida I know very well: Trinity and Sarasota. They give Trinity a life style of 10 and Sarasota a 5. Trinity has no good beaches and parks; the bars suck and it has no culture. Sarasota has beautiful barrier islands with great beaches and nightlife, opera, ballet, symphony and three venues for good theater — not to mention the south coast blues society and the Sarasota film festival. Plus, Sarasota is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

    Go figure.

  8. Christopher says:

    Hey sailorman,

    If you were considering dipping a toe or three into FL real estate in 2-3 years what area would you be looking? What areas would you avoid?

    Thanks much.

  9. jhudson says:

    The SmartZip idea is certainly great, but Neighborhood Scout really did much the same thing many years ago. As an investor, I find http://www.FinestExpert.com and then InvestorLoft to be better choices because they are more concerned with the investment fundamentals, such as the cash on cash return or the current price discount. Kiyosaki and many others tell us that you make your money when you BUY, not by speculating on future appreciation. After all, that is why so many CA and FL homeowners are in such bad shape right now.

  10. petepeterson says:

    It looks like the Zillow and SmartZip scores are a little different to me… must be a slightly different model. My guess would be that Zillow is skewed towards comps and SmartZip more towards the 10 year performance…. this would tip a little to the investor.

    I guess Investor Loft is somewhat similar, but you have to pay to see property details… at least for now SmartZip is free. Does anyone know if they’re moving to a paid service?