10 Things An Appraiser Evaluates In A Home
Appraisers focus on the condition of the property, its layout and size. What they're not evaluating is the interior decorations, furniture or whether the side yard is a mess. A clean (or cluttered) home does not affect a home’s value. Appraisers see hundreds of homes a year and will look past most clutter, however, a good impression can help form a better opinion.
So what exactly does an appraiser evaluate? There are dozens of internal and external items on the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. We’ve broken them down below:
An appraiser will look in the garage to see if there are any health or safety hazards, the quality of the finish if any, and of course to measure the size of the garage. In addition, the appraiser will look to see if there is water damage that could indicate a roofing problem and look for signs of infestation.
2. Exterior Of The Home
Measuring for square footage and looking at curb appeal are major considerations. But an appraiser is also looking at the condition of exterior paint, exterior walls, gutters, screens, and checking for rotting or bare wood.
The roof of a home must have more than 2 years of life left, or it is required to be replaced. How does an appraiser know? By looking at the condition of the roof tiles or shingles and looking inside the house for signs of water damage. Appraisers are not home inspectors or roofing contractors but if the roof appears to need repairs they will require an inspection by a roofing contractor at a minimum.
Structural integrity is important to a home, so an appraiser will focus on the foundation of a home in addition to other structural aspects.
The kitchen is one of the biggest selling points of a home, and an appraiser will look at the quality, condition and materials used in the kitchen. For example, has the kitchen been updated with the newest features like granite, gourmet cooktops or new appliances?
Technically speaking, a room with a bed doesn’t make a bedroom - it must have two means of exit, like a window and a door that can be closed. An appraiser not only verifies the number of bedrooms in a home, but looks for a window, closet and smoke detectors.
Similar to kitchens, bathrooms are inspected for quality, condition and materials. An appraiser looks at whether it’s a full or half bath, whether it has a decent shower, updated lighting, quality counters and looks for signs of mold.
The type of heat and air in a home is a factor in your home appraisal. For example, homes with central air will be valued higher than homes with room by room ac units. Other considerations include: how old the system is, whether it appears to be working properly, does it emit a smell, is it fueled by gas or electric, and is there damage or corrosion on the exterior of the system?
9. Recent Home Improvements
If the home has had renovations since the last time it was appraised, it will contribute to the home appraisal value. Has your kitchen recently been remodeled or expanded? Have you added a bathroom? Newly updated kitchens and bathrooms hold a lot of value, but not all improvements need to be remodels. Upgrades like roof repair or a new HVAC system can also increase your home value.
Different neighborhoods will increase the value of your home, depending on comparable listings nearby. Other neighborhood factors include: low crime, highly rated schools, well-maintained roads, not located on a busy road, and more.
If a home appraisal is in your future, there are things you can do to make a good impression. Cleaning and decluttering, repainting or touching up the paint, and cleaning up the exterior landscaping are a great start. Wondering what repairs should be made? Take a look at this list of home repairs to complete before an appraisal.
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