Best Place to Vent Your Renter's Rage (2009)

Launched in April of this year,'s appraisal feature—in which the site's readers assess how much a property on the market is actually going to get—is a fun little experiment in anger management. Here's how it works: 1) There is a bad, bad recession. 2) CorcoranBrownHarrisStevensDouglasElliman doesn't seem to notice, and lists an extremely narrow, poorly laid out, three-bedroom, one-bathroom house near the Prospect Expressway for $1.8 million. 3) Brownstoner posts the listing. 4) You read Brownstoner and fill up with rage. 5) You click on the blank space under the post, place your quivering fingertips on your keyboard, type the numbers 6-0-0-0-0-0, and press "submit." 6) You watch as Brownstoner's inner calculator computes and then spits out what readers—an average of 50 per post, including you!—think this house-under-the-highway is worth (because as much as this feature is about predicting what a house will sell for, you know it's really more about what we all think it's worth), and that number is low, low, low, and you feel VINDICATED! The seller—who bought high a few years ago, put in stainless-steel appliances and tells himself every night as he gets into his DWR bed that the house is worth $1.8 mil, easy—and the realtors, who continue to make you feel desperate and poor, are going to see that! And they're going to be pissed. And that feels good. (According to site founder Jonathan Butler, reader appraisals are about 15 percent lower than the final sale price. So it's not working yet. But we're the sane ones, people. Keep at it.)


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