There are many reasons to get a home appraisal. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, receive a loan from the bank, or even filing for divorce or bankruptcy, there will be a time when an appraiser comes out to take a look at your house.
To make sure that you’re preparing your house to get the maximum amount appraised, here are the five key things that appraisers are looking for. Some, unfortunately, cannot be changed while others can be handled with some time and money.
5. Number of Rooms
You could have one of the largest houses in the world, but it won’t matter all that much if there aren’t many individual rooms. Homes that have more bathrooms and bedrooms are desirable for appraisers, especially if they’re full bathrooms.
Of course, most houses only have one kitchen, but adding a second one in a home that’s large enough to fit one will increase the value. Just remember that the more bedrooms, the better, but having more bathrooms is the best.
One of the reasons that any of us are looking to move into a new place is to have more room. When it comes to appraisals, the size of a home plays a big role in the value. This includes the square footage and acreage, as a lot of space both inside and out are coveted by a lot of people.
It’s not just about the sheer amount of space in the house, too, but rather the amount of usable space. Having an unfinished basement that can’t be converted isn’t all that desirable and won’t increase the home’s value much. A garage that’s large enough to double as a barn, though? That’s an increase.
It should probably go without saying that newer houses tend to be better for a home’s value (unless it’s a historic castle or something similar). It’s not the age of the house itself that appraisers are really looking for, though, but rather the age of some of the main components. A house that was built in 1910 can have a brand new foundation, roof, and HVAC units that bring its value up.
If those components are older, though, then they’re getting close to needing to be replaced. Some of these can cost tens of thousands at minimum to replace, too, hurting the overall home value. A brand new house will have brand new everything, increasing the appraisal.
2. Water Damage
You could have wallpaper tearing off and an incredibly dirty carpet, but appraisers likely won’t care about that one bit as they can be easily fixed in a matter of hours and not much money. However, if there is any sign of water damage on the inside or outside of the house, it can tank the appraisal value quickly.
Water damage is a much more costly and time-consuming fix, so appraisers suggest that anyone that may have damage get that issue taken care of before getting a valuation of their home. Pipes, ceilings, windows, you name it, if there’s water damage to any of those, they need to be taken care of right away.
You’ve probably heard the old adage “location, location, location,” and there’s a good reason for that. Above anything else, the value of your home is tied to the surrounding area. Homes that receive a higher appraisal will be in areas where there are other houses that are spread further apart and feature low crime rates and great school options in the area.
If there are a lot of tall buildings and apartment complexes in the area, the home’s price will drop. Appraisers also give a bump to homes that aren’t near any major busy roads as the area will be much quieter and family-friendly. If there are bodies of water nearby like lakes or an ocean, you can count on the home’s value skyrocketing, as well. There’s a combination of accessibility and family neighborhood appeal that appraisers consider when coming up with a final number.