Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

October 31, 2006

National Websites in the News

by @ 11:27 am. Filed under Technology

Two nationally known websites that we’ve written about before are in the news today. Internet giant Google just acquired a company called JotSpot, the creator of a “Wiki tool developer.” For those of you unfamiliar with the term, “Wiki” according to Wikipedia (the most famous Wiki of all) is is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content. We have long wanted to launch a Wiki on LowellDeeds but creating and installing the required software is a relatively complex process, until now, at least. Our Wiki would be about registries and real estate. Users would be able to add and edit content. Once Google digests and regurgitates JotSpot, a simple-to-use Wiki function should be freely available through Google. Once that happens, we’ll launch our version of it.

Zillow.com emerged on the scene about eight months ago, providing anyone with an Internet connection with free real estate valuation data. Now, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition has lodged a complaint alleging that Zillow has misrepresented the value of property in low-income neighborhoods. Zillow maintains that it uses a complex formula that is usually quite accurate, but that in neighborhoods where few sales occur, reported values may be more imprecise. It seems unlikely that Zillow would intentionally understate the value of anyone’s real estate. Still, if there’s a flaw in their software they should address it since understating values can have adverse consequences for homeowners who try to sell or refinance their properties.

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