House asset: track market value AND cost basis

There are several posts that discuss the inability of tracking both basis and market value of a house. Many of the posts suggest that the authors, though well-meaning, sometimes don't understand the differences between "basis", "cost" "book value" and "market value". Most seems to agree however, that muddling cost with market value causes a mess. There is an easy solution, and I can't believe it is not implemented, as Quicken knows how to manage multiple "values" for security investments. The solution of course, is to use House account transactions strictly for basis adjustments (just like securities), including improvements, and then displaying market value fluctuations in an account overview for a simple, one-asset "holding" called "House". Again, just like a security asset. This would satisfy everyone's needs. First, at disposition, a user can easily determine basis, as long as original basis (cost, or donor's basis, in the case of a gift, or date of death stepped up basis, in case of inheritance), and improvement costs are diligently and correctly entered. Yes, I know, many folks aren't tax professionals and may not know exactly what qualifies as a qualifying basis addition. But either annually or upon disposition, a tax professional can review and edit the list upon consultation. Then, upon disposition, gain/loss can be accurately accounted for. Second, the periodic change in unrealized gain/loss can be managed by manual value adjustments, including Zillow quotes, to reflect perceived market value, and net worth. Although market value changes would be driven by Zillow quotes (or manual entries) and not be a security quote available every 15 minutes for automatic updating, the function would support both market value tracking and basis tracking. With no muddling. Yes, "true" market value at any time other than sale is a best guess for a non-publicly traded asset. But, an educated guess is better than nothing, if determining Net Worth is goal of the program (which it seems to be).

Come on, Quicken, you already have most of the code to process this! Just do it! And while you at it, add this functionality for any kind of non-publicly traded asset.
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  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am doing this using 2 accounts, "House Basis" and "House Appreciation". The sum of the balances equals the Zestimate. How is your suggestion different from what I am doing?
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.