Home Appraisal 101: Determining a Home's Value

Before a mortgage lender can determine a loan amount on a home, they must determine that home's value. In order to do this, an objective appraisal must be performed by a professional who uses a number of factors to calculate what a house is actually worth. What are the main points that a professional appraiser is looking for in a home when they decide on a final appraised value? Read on to find out.

Size Matters

While bigger does not always mean more value, the appraiser will certainly look at the total square footage along with the size of the overall property that the home sits on. They'll also factor in things like how many bedrooms and bathrooms the home has. The more bathrooms, the higher the value in most cases. 

The Outside of the Home

Of course, appraisers want to ensure that the exterior of the home they're evaluating is not only appealing to buyers, but that it is well maintained. The condition of the roof and driveway as well as the quality of the landscaping are some of the items they will notate. Another big factor is the home's foundation and if it is structurally sound. Anything that stands out or looks concerning is notated and could affect the value.

The Inside of the Home

The condition of the inside of the home is certainly a factor for appraisal value as well. The flooring, doors, and windows will all be looked at in addition to plumbing and electrical components. The appraiser may also evaluate the condition of major appliances like the refrigerator and oven. If problems are found, like electrical wiring issues, an appraiser will most likely advise you to get those problems corrected both for safety and to increase the value of your home.

Other Features and Additions

If your home has extra "goodies" like an outdoor gazebo or a swimming pool, your home's value will almost certainly be increased. Even things like a newer central heating and cooling unit and an alarm system can improve the total dollar value. If you're unhappy with the appraisal, ask what you can do to help increase it and then make the changes needed. Things like a bathroom upgrade or new windows can often make a huge difference in the total home value. Once you've made the necessary improvements, you can ask for a reappraisal and see if the assessment has increased. If you're trying to sell, these improvements can be well worth the effort. If you're looking for a real estate appraisal service, consider getting in touch with a company like Shaske & Zeiner Appraisal Consultants Ltd.