Getting your home appraised in Houston is a critical part of the buying and selling process, as it determines the value of your property. The value of your property will determine how much a lender is willing to lend. There are several key items an appraiser must look for when conducting a home appraisal.
In this article, we’ll discuss how the home appraisal process works, what you should expect during and after a home appraisal, and what do appraisers look for at your home. While the process might sound overwhelming to both buyers and sellers, there are several ways to understand why an appraiser comes up with the dollar amount for your home.
An appraisal is the unbiased professional assessment of a home’s value. It is used in most purchase and sale transactions of real property. It is also commonly used in refinance transactions.
Items an appraiser looks for during an appraisal in Houston:
1. The overall condition of the home
To start the appraiser will look at the general condition of the home. They will look at the material used throughout the home, the condition of the property, and any safety concerns that may impact a homeowner.
This is one of the first things appraisers look for! If anything seems structurally unsound or unsafe to live in, they will take note.
They will also scan the home’s overall upkeep, such as missing door handles, leaking faucets, and other maintenance-related issues. While they won’t focus on whether or not the home is clean, they will look for signs of neglect, including broken windows, damaged floors, broken appliances, cracked walls, broken doors, ripped carpeting, etc.
2. The size of the property
The size of your lot and the size of your home are both important considerations for the appraiser. They are significant factors that determine an appraised value.
People tend to prefer larger homes and larger lots, so you can expect these to come into play when your house is evaluated. Homeowners like the flexibility of having a larger lot.
That affords them the ability to increase the square footage of the home for future needs. Also, larger lots create more privacy, and we all enjoy a little more of it in today’s world.
3. The age of the home
When appraisers are comparing properties, they use homes that were built within a similar time. Most appraisers won’t compare a home built in 1920 to a current build in 2021.
A new home will be more energy-efficient, up to date with new features and new materials that will last into the future. The age of the home can be a determining factor for an appraisal in Houston.
4. The home designs
If your home is dated and it hasn’t been updated in 25 to 30 years. It could definitely impact the value of your home. Buyers want updated homes that are move-in ready.
Also, the demand for property impacts the price. For example, most people are willing to pay twice as much to live in an updated home in a central location.
The demand is higher driving up the price and intern increasing the cost of ownership. An appraiser understands market demand and will adjust an evaluation based on the market data.
5. Home improvements
Any updates to the home that are similar to others in the comparable data will be looked at by the appraiser. Keep in mind that the updates need to be in line with what homeowners generally have and want in a given market.
If you live in an area where having a pool is a major inconvenience for homeowners and that is one of your updates to your home. Chances are it could have a negative effect on the valley of your home.
If home shoppers don’t want a pool and you have one. Chances are your home is going to sit on the market and over time lose value because the demand isn’t there.
How does the home flow? Does the home have great functionality where bathrooms are in the areas where they are needed? Is the laundry room outside where it is not easily accessible?
In addition, an appraiser needs to check the functionality of the home compared to other subject properties within the comparable data. Most home buyers are looking for homes with an open floor plan with an emphasis on entertaining. If most of the comparable properties in your area have these features and your property doesn’t. It might have a negative effect on the value.
7. The big five
An appraiser will check the big five components of the home. These are the HVAC system, roof, electrical, foundation, and plumbing. If you have major issues with any of these items. It could significantly affect the value of your home. These are the key items that an appraiser will look at during a home appraisal in Houston.