Lynn Rand's Blog
Home appraisals are an important part of the buying and selling process. Lenders use appraisals to make sure that the home is worth what the borrower is paying. A home’s appraisal value is based on a number of factors, all of which we’ll discuss in this post.
Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or are just learning about the process of buying a home so you’ll be better equipped in the future, this article is for you.
How is a home appraisal different from an inspection?
While home appraisals and inspections are performed by licensed or certified professionals, they have to different functions. An inspection ensures the safety of a home, as well as whether or not it will need repairs in the immediate or near future.
Appraisals, on the other hand, aim to value a home based on its property value, the size of the property, and the location of the property. The condition of the home is a factor in valuing a home, which is why some people confused appraisals with inspections.
Who pays for appraisals?
Like most closing costs, a home appraisal is a burden that falls on the buyer. Typically, the lender you choose will work with will actually order the appraisal. The cost, which usually amounts to a few hundred dollars, can be added to your closing fees. You can find the cost for an appraisal listed on the Closing Disclosure document provided by your chosen lender.
Which factors determine the home’s value?
To appraise the house itself, appraisers will look at the condition of the home. They’ll also weigh the features of the home in their valuation--things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, for example.
However, the two key characteristics of a home that contribute to its value are its age and size.
Which external factors contribute to the home’s value?
As you might suspect, the location of your home matters greatly when it comes to appraisals. Homes are appraised based off of average prices for their neighborhood and region.
Other location factors include how accessible the home is, if it’s located on a waterfront, and whether it has desirable views.
When does a home get appraised?
While your experience may vary based on your specific circumstances, most appraisals occur after a buyer has signed a purchase contract. One this is done, the lender will take the steps necessary to order and process the appraisal.
How long is the home appraisal process?
Once the buyer has signed a purchase contract, the appraisal is usually completed and processed within 7 days. The appraisal report will be sent to the lender. This report contains the appraised value of the home. Buyers are entitled to a copy of this report, and should keep one for their own records.
Ready to purchase a high-quality residence for the first time? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer will want to do everything possible to learn about the real estate market. By doing so, this property buyer can improve his or her chances of submitting a strong offer on a dream house, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, easy home sale.
Submitting a strong initial offer on a home can be simple – here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer do just that.
1. Study the Current Housing Market Closely
A first-time homebuyer should allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about both buyer's and seller's markets. That way, a homebuyer can identify an opportunity to secure a terrific residence in any housing market and submit a competitive offer right away.
To analyze the real estate market, spend some time looking at the prices of homes that were recently sold in your city or town. This housing market data may help you differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
Furthermore, don't forget to check out the prices of houses that are currently available. With this housing market data in hand, you can better understand what it means to submit a strong offer that matches or exceeds a home seller's initial asking price.
2. Get a Mortgage in Advance
A first-time homebuyer definitely should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will enable a homebuyer to enter the housing market with a budget that he or she can use to narrow a home search.
To obtain a mortgage, a homebuyer only needs to meet with banks and credit unions in his or her area. Each lender meeting is exceedingly valuable, as it enables a homebuyer to learn about assorted mortgage options and receive answers to any mortgage questions.
In addition, those who are pre-approved for a mortgage will know exactly how much money they can spend on a house. And as a result, these homebuyers can submit a competitive offer on a residence from the get-go, improving their chances of securing a first-rate residence in no time at all.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a must-hire for a first-time homebuyer, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.
Thanks to a real estate agent, a first-time homebuyer can differentiate between a strong offer and a "lowball" one. In fact, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure a homebuyer can get the best price on a house, regardless of whether this property buyer is operating in a buyer's or seller's market.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to offer honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. He or she can provide expert insights to help a homebuyer determine exactly how much to offer to acquire his or her dream residence.
When it comes to buying a house for the first time, there's no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer can submit a strong offer and move one step closer to purchasing a home that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.
If you intend to sell your home, it often pays to hire an expert home appraiser. With this professional at your disposal, you can learn about the true value of your house relative to the competition and map out your home selling journey accordingly.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to work with a home appraiser, and these include:
1. You can gain insights into the housing market.
During a home appraisal, a property appraiser will inspect your residence from top to bottom. Then, this appraiser will offer a report that includes a valuation of your home.
A home appraisal report includes insights beyond the condition and age of your house. In fact, a home appraiser will look at the prices of similar houses in your area and evaluate your home in relation to comparable residences. By doing so, a home appraiser can provide a report that may help you prep to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
2. You can identify potential home problems.
Let's face it – no homebuyer wants to purchase a house with cracked siding or a leaky roof. Fortunately, a home appraisal can help you identify and resolve any potential problems early in the home selling process.
Typically, a home appraiser will look at a house's roof, its heating and cooling system and other interior and exterior features. If the appraiser discovers any home problems, these issues will be defined in an appraisal report.
Use a home appraisal report to understand assorted home problems – you'll be glad you did. Thanks to this report, you can take the necessary steps to mitigate various home issues.
3. You can establish a "competitive" price for your house.
As a home seller, your goal is to maximize the value of your residence. A home appraisal can help you do just that, as this assessment enables a home seller to define a "competitive" home price, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.
When it comes to selling a house, performing a housing market analysis may prove to be insufficient. However, after a home appraisal, a home seller can better understand how a residence ranks against the competition and price it appropriately.
Establishing a competitive price from day one is essential for a home seller. And with a home appraisal, a home seller can set a fair price for a residence, increasing the likelihood of a fast home sale.
Before you list your residence, you should consider the aforementioned reasons to work with a home appraiser. If you employ a home appraiser today, you can boost your chances of accelerating the home selling cycle and maximizing the value of your house.
Lastly, if you need help finding a home appraiser, you should consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer unbiased home appraiser recommendations and put you in touch with the best home appraisers in your area. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert advice throughout the home selling journey to ensure that you can get the best possible results.
Have you ever looked around your home and just felt that something was missing? Have you had the feeling that something was off in your home? There are certain design and decor mistakes that you can make inside of your home that may not be so obvious. We’ll give you the information that you need to fix these mistakes and bring back the balance in your home.
Not Enough Lighting
Either you don’t have enough lights in a room, or the lights are not in a good place. You need to make a plan with your lighting as you would with your furniture pieces. Make sure work areas have task lighting, that accent lamps are present to add personality and overhead lighting is spread or or set with a dimmer. This will diversify your lighting types and strengths to help every area of each room be properly lit.
Everything Is Against The Wall
If you enter a room and everything is up against the walls, there’s a problem there! It seems cold and kind of boring if a room appears this way. Make sure that things are at least a few feet apart within a room. Also, try and put some pieces of furniture at angles. Even if you simply put the area rug at an angle, it will make a difference.
There’s Too Much Clutter
If you have too much “stuff” in any room, it can be an issue. If there’s no focal point, it’s easy to overlook each piece. Decorate your rooms so that everything has a place to stand out. Purge your decor at least once a year in order to keep the things that you really love around. Get rid of the tired, boring decor that’s not adding anything to your home. You can also switch up your accessories a few times a year and put away decor that doesn’t gel with the season.
One Color Rules All
You shouldn’t have too much of one color in any room of your home. You’ll need to be sure that you mix it up. If the room is a beige color and your couch is also a neutral tone, place some colorful throw pillows on the sofa to get a pop of color and a bright effect in he room. Choose artwork carefully as well, helping to contrast the wall colors.
There’s No Personality In Your Home
If everything in your home is polished, there’s little room for you to shine through. The most important thing about home decorating is for your personality to be present. While following design rules is a good idea, don’t be so caught up in the “rules” that you forget to show what you like. Let your home represent who you are.
Ready to sell your condo? Ultimately, listing a condo can be simple, particularly for condo sellers who plan ahead.
Now, let's take a look at three questions that condo owners need to consider before listing their properties.
1. What do I need to do to sell my condo?
Condo rules and regulations vary. As such, you should consult with your homeowners' association (HOA) to find out if there are any requirements related to selling your condo.
For example, an HOA may require a new property buyer to receive HOA board approval to purchase a condo in a particular community. Or, if you have outstanding condo fees, you probably will need to pay off these charges before you can sell your property.
2. How much is my condo worth?
Although your condo community likely hires landscapers to help keep your property looking great, it is important to understand that a condo's interior plays an important role in the property's value. Thus, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your condo's interior. This will enable you to improve your condo's interior and help it stand out to property buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick condo sale.
In addition, completing a property appraisal usually is an excellent idea. A property appraiser will inspect your condo and evaluate various housing market data to help you pinpoint the value of your residence. Then, you can obtain a property valuation that can help you establish a competitive price for your condo.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
When it comes to selling a condo, it often pays to hire a real estate agent. However, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are identical, and you should try to find a real estate agent who possesses extensive condo selling expertise.
Let's face it – a condo is very different from a house. A condo owner does not have to worry about property exterior maintenance in the same way that a homeowner does. Conversely, a condo owner must follow HOA requirements; otherwise, this property owner may face steep penalties.
A real estate agent with condo selling expertise understands the pros and cons of owning a condo. Therefore, this housing market professional knows how to work with condo sellers and ensure these individuals can achieve their desired results.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a condo owner and learn about his or her property selling goals. After the meeting, a real estate agent will help a condo owner map out a successful condo selling journey.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent with condo selling expertise is ready to respond to a property seller's concerns and questions. This housing market professional also will go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed a condo seller's expectations.
Take the guesswork out of selling your condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can speed up the property selling process.