Brad Pitt and Boston Home Values

David Bates / January 17, 2012-2:50 pm

My wife and I saw the movie “Money Ball” recently. Like a lot of married couples, we had different takes on the same movie. Her favorite part of the movie was Brad Pitt. My favorite part was the story of how a few renegades creatively used statistics to change the way many looked at the business of baseball. Obviously, I had a better understanding of why this movie might be nominated for an Academy Award and you are free to back me up on it… that is if you ever see my wife emerge from her Brad Pitt daydream.

This movie was great. It made me think about real estate. I mean, just as the high price of ball players made necessary a better understanding of what comprises their value, doesn’t the high price of real estate make necessary a better understanding on what influences its value? Consider this: In 2010, Major League Baseball owners paid out about $3 billion in player salaries, but in that same year, Massachusetts home buyers spent over $15 billion purchasing single family homes and condominiums listed in the Greater Boston MLS. With that much money on the line, couldn’t consumers use a few more numbers to understand real estate value? After all, nobody wants to be stuck with the Carl Crawford of homes, right?

Of course, many are already seeking greater insight into the value of homes and the quality of neighborhoods by flocking to numbers-oriented websites such as Zillow and WalkScore. Yet, for the most part, if you want a front-page story for the real estate section, show a picture of a pretty house with some interesting features or unusual history. I say, “value is the real real estate story.” Many of the posts on this blog have been efforts to reveal, showcase, understand and explain value and I assure you that I will keep posting on this fascinating and daunting topic until Brad Pitt considers starring in a sequel: “Money House.” That certainly would be a win-win for my marriage.