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12 Factors to Consider for Your Next Home Appraisal

There are several factors that may impact your home appraisal value. The main purpose of
an appraisal report is to give a value opinion. Each factor within an appraisal report has its
own impact on the final value of the property. A home appraisal is crucial to place your
home on the market fairly, based on a comparable set of standards and the surrounding
area.
Check out these 12 factors that can influence your home appraisal value.

Location

One of the factors taken into consideration when valuing a home is its location. The location
includes not just the neighborhood your home is in, but where it is positioned within the
neighborhood. A larger lot in the back of the neighborhood may (or may not) be worth more
than a corner lot parallel to the main road.
A neighborhood’s value is based on factors including proximity to schools and hospitals, the
rating of nearby school systems, and surrounding amenities such as parks and shopping
centers.

Overhead view of neighborhood

Structural Materials and Updates

Another factor taken into consideration when determining appraised value is the materials
used to build your home and/or recent updating completed. The value may increase if your
home was built more recently with modern materials. The appraiser also considers updates
that have been made to items such as the roof, siding, or windows. These things improve
the overall efficiency and safety of the structure of your home, but are often be considered
maintenance items. (You wouldn’t consider purchasing a home with no roof would you?)
However, there are other updates that can be made to make a home more appealing to the
current market, such as remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, replacing floor covering, and
fresh paint.

Age

A newer home doesn’t always appraise higher than an older home. There are pros and cons
to older and newer homes. New homes, built within the last 10-20 years, are less likely to
have major issues and are lower risk to buy. This may increase the home’s appraised value.
On the other hand, in some markets, older homes located in historic districts may demand
higher prices in the market.

Design Style

A home appraisal also takes into consideration the overall design of the home. In some
markets (but not all), design differences can mean differences in values when all other
things are equal.

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal and general landscaping of the home may also impact a home’s value. Although
it may/may not be possible for an appraiser to make a specific dollar amount adjustment for
your nicely landscaped yard, it is taken into consideration in the overall condition and
quality of your home. Consider an easy-to-care-for layout and clean landscape design to
appeal to most buyers.

Front of house

Number of Rooms

The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your home may also impact the overall value of
the home. A home appraiser will compare your home to others in the area with the same,
or similar, number of bedrooms and bathrooms to make a value comparison.

Real Estate Market

The current status of the local real estate market has a great impact on the final appraisal
value of your home. If the market is saturated with buyers but there aren’t enough sellers,
home values will typically be on an upswing. On the other hand, an appraised value is
expected to be lower in the middle of a market that is saturated with many homes and
fewer buyers.

Recent Renovations

Recently renovated homes, especially those with upgraded kitchens and bathrooms, have a
major impact on the appraisal value of homes. Renovating these areas before putting your
home on the market is a great idea and can help realize a high return on investment. But, be
careful not to “over-improve” your home. Get advice from someone who knows your
neighborhood and what buyers expect. You may not want to put in that gourmet kitchen if you won’t get a return on your investment should you need to sell, because buyers aren’t
looking for that in your neighborhood.

Garage

An appraiser considers various factors when assessing a home’s garage (or lack thereof). This
includes:

  • If a garage exists
  • How many cars can fit

In general, where a home buyer is able to park their cars will influence the appraisal value.

Storage SpaceCloset storage space

A home with ample storage space such as closets, a basement, or a large attic is typically noticed by appraisers and may or may not impact value. Many home buyers are looking to upsize their home, including their storage space. Appraisers can consider this factor when determining a home’s value.

 

Heat & Air

The type of heat and air your home has is a factor in your home appraisal value. Central air
and heating results in a higher appraisal value than homes that require individual units in
each room. Outdated systems will also lower the appraisal value of your home.

Square Footage

Appraisers observe the square footage of homes. Once the total square feet number is
determined, an appraiser considers how the space is distributed throughout the home.
Appraisers will consider things such as:

  • How much square footage is useable
  • How much square footage is live-able space
  • How many stories your home has

Consider this list of factors prior to having your home appraised, in order to get the most
value. Additionally, consider strategically placing your home for sale during a time when the
market is filled with buyers. Check out the various things included in a Definitive Homes appraisal report here.


 

Definitive Valuations is North Alabama’s premiere appraisal firm. Our mission is to provide superior valuation and consulting services in Huntsville, Alabama, and surrounding areas. Our staff strives to understand your needs and to provide the best solution for your situation – whether for financial planning, relocation, tax dispute, legal matters, pre-listing, or any other purposes. Discover more here.