Home Appraisal 9 Things a Home Appraiser Looks For

If you are thinking about selling your Florida Home, the best place to start is with a home appraisal. When you price your home according to what other comparable home in your area are selling for, you could be selling yourself short. There are nine main things an appraiser looks for that can make the value of your home higher.

Location and Proximity

The appraiser will usually begin a home appraisal by looking at location and proximity. Proximity is how far the comparable homes are to your home?  Typically, the appraiser will look for comparable sales within ½ mile to a mile from your home, unless your home is in a rural setting. Five miles is the desired distance for comparing rural property.

Location is more specific. Does your home back to the railway or is it a water front property? How about being near a top-rated school district or popular areas in the city? Some locations help a home appraisal and some can adversely effect the home appraisal and drastically reduce the value of your home, such as being located near water treatment plants, shooting ranges and factories.

 Square Footage

When comparing your home to homes in the area that have sold or are sale pending, the appraiser will look for homes that have a living space square footage at around 20 percent more or less than your home’s living space square footage. For example, if your home is 1000 sq.ft. on the main level, the appraiser will look for homes that offer 800 to 1200 sq.ft of living space.

Lot Size

Sometimes lot size is important and makes a big difference in the value and other times it doesn’t. It just depends on the area. The appraiser will attempt to bracket the lot size. This means that the appraiser will locate one sold property with a smaller lot and one property with a lot larger than yours. The square footage of your home will usually be more important to the bank and the appraiser than the lot size.

Age of Home

The appraiser will look for comparable sales of homes that are up to 5 years newer or up to 5 years older than your home.

Garage and or Outbuildings

Many times garages, sheds, barns and other outbuildings can make a significant difference in the value of your home. The appraiser will locate homes with similar outdoor buildings, comparable to the ones on your property.

An appraiser will review around 30 different criteria to determine your home’s value. The six criteria above are some of the most important. Below are three criteria that, when present, can significantly increase the value of your home. These are examples of improvements you can make to your home before you put it on the market, to increase your selling price.

With many ways to make a house eco-friendlier or greener, a lot of potential home buyers are asking whether the builder used green building materials. Answering yes to that question, makes your home much more valuable and desirable.

Health Benefits

About 95% of our time is spent inside the house which means that our environment indoors should be safer than the environment present in the outdoors. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may be present inside the house because of the types of paint used on walls. Before listing your home for sale, repaint all interior was with zero-VOC paints. You will spare the buyer’s family a lot of respiratory problems and the value added to the home will far out-weigh the cost of painting.

Energy Conservation Benefits

A common problem among families is high energy bills. An energy efficient home makes a huge leap when it comes to home appraisal value. If your home builder used certified lighting fixtures, energy efficient windows and doors and solar panels, your home’s value will be greater and you might get some tax breaks. Before selling, consider replacing the exterior doors, windows and appliances with energy efficiency rated products. Then give the exterior of your home new, quality paint or maintenance-free vinyl siding and the value of your home will skyrocket.

Environmental Impact

The use of green building materials when building or remodeling increases the home’s value while reducing the carbon footprint of that property. The use of recycled construction materials such as floor tiles and wall panels reduces manufacturing of such products. This means more trees and other natural resources are protected from depletion.

Increased Home Appraisal Value

The health, conservation and environmental impact benefits of using green materials, gives a property an upgraded selling value and a quicker sale. The average stay on the market for eco-friendly homes is 15% shorter than non-green homes. The demand for eco-friendly homes is pushing many home owners to implement green redesign and remodel methods to their existing homes prior to selling. According to many home experts and economists, the energy costs of an eco-friendly home can be as much as 75% lower than the average home.

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