When refinancing or selling your home, it’s common to have an appraisal to determine exactly what your property is worth. Before going through with the process, it’s helpful to know what an appraiser will look at. This way you can take the right measures to get the best value on your home.
Although you have no real control over the perception of your neighborhood, most appraisers will perform some research before visiting your home. Some elements they will take into consideration include the average home value of your neighborhood, your proximity to local amenities and nearby schools. They may also factor in aesthetic qualities like if there are nice views.
2) Home and Lot Size
Prior to stepping foot in your home, an appraiser will examine how large your home and lot are. Generally speaking, larger homes and lots are more desirable than smaller ones. More rooms means it can accommodate more tenants.
It can also be customized with greater ease than a smaller home if future tenants want to make any adjustments. A good sized lot is beneficial because it’s possible to make home expansions at a later time if necessary.
An appraiser will pay close attention to what your home looks like on the outside and its overall structural condition. If the exterior is made of high quality and durable materials, it should raise your home’s value. Prefabricated homes or those made from cheaper materials will reduce the value.
They will look for any damage or abnormalities like cracks and leaks. Besides this, the roofing and foundation will be taken into account. If it’s obvious that home maintenance has been neglected, it is likely to be a detriment. On the other hand, a well-kept home that’s been properly maintained should help increase value.
4) Outdoor Amenities
If you have any extras in your yard like an in ground swimming pool, patio, gazebo or sprinkler system, they should work to your advantage. However, they must typically be permanent fixtures to be included in the appraiser’s valuation. Amenities or additions like an above ground swimming pool or small shed that can be moved won’t be factored in.
After moving inside, they will check out the basics like flooring, walls and the number of windows and doors. Just like with the exterior, an appraiser will look at the type of materials and the overall condition. Any major damage or defects will be a strike against you. Plumbing, lighting and kitchen appliances will also be investigated to ensure that everything is working correctly.
If you’ve upgraded your home with permanent fixtures like a security system, state of the art lighting, skylights and central heating and cooling, these will be assets. With the concept of “going green” rising in popularity, additions like solar panels, low-E glass windows and low-flush toilets can also boost your home’s value.
Preparing for an Appraisal
It’s smart to clean up the interior of your home and do some sprucing up outside to make a favorable impression on your appraiser. Having a freshly mowed lawn, cleaning your gutters and touching up any cracked paint should make the exterior look better. Sweeping, vacuuming and organizing will make improve the look of the interior.
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