These days there is a bunch of poor information out in the "buzz" about what your home may be truly worth.
Ultimately your house is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. It would be nice if we all got offered way more than our asking price etc. Remember what a house is "listed for" does not mean that is what it "sold for."
Just because John's house is listed for $275,000 and it is smaller than mine and he doesn't have as big a garage, I have a nicer yard etc. etc. etc. So my house must be worth at least $295,000. Be careful with that line of thinking. Since your house is nicer or has some other features than the other guys' does not necessarily translate to value. It may be nicer to live in and easier to sell, but not necessarily transalate to $$$$$$
So how do I find out what its really worth!
Ask a professional, aka (real estate agent or two)/// use some of the internet value finders, they are usually fairly accurate and don't cost you anything to use.
Also you can use your local county office. All home purchase information is public record and can be used by anyone to find out what "John's House" really sold for.
But do not get that confused with a "true market value." This can only really be achieved by a licensed appraiser, sometimes the investment of a few hundred dollars can make a huge difference in the long run when you are making major financial decisions.
Also, don't make the mistake of assuming market average appreciation. Just because values went up 30% in 2005 does not mean that your house did. Also occasionaly a market will correct itself. In other words a house was purchased for $250,000 in one year when a premium price was being fetched by sellers. In two years maybe the market has slowed down because of many factors, and like houses are being sold for the same price that they were two years ago! This is unfortunate but John down the street may need to unload a house for a variety of reasons and this affects your value. This is out of your control.
Bottom line do not assume your value, do research and ask others for help, you will get a much more accurate picture of the true number.