Having your home appraised every few years can prove beneficial. The information you will receive can be used in many different ways. These can include:
- Reducing property taxes if the home is overvalued by the taxing entity.
- Raising the property’s value if it is undervalued by the taxing entity.
- Showing prospective buyers that your price reflects the appraisal or is a
- Providing proof of the home’s value when trying to obtain a mortgage or home equity loan.
If you are buying or refinancing your property, an independent appraisal can help you obtain a better deal. The cost of an appraisal can vary; it is usually a few hundred dollars. Compare this to paying less in taxes or in mortgage payments over the life of your loan. You should consult a tax expert to learn if the cost is deductible.
It pays to maximize your appraisal by performing different steps. These steps often do not cost a lot of money; you can perform many of them yourself. Here are six ways to obtain the best appraisal possible.
1. Research property values in your area by utilizing your local tax entity’s website. The site will explain how to look up the value of your home and surrounding properties. Your appraisal may be higher or lower than this figure.
2. Choose an appraiser that is familiar with your area. If the appraisal is for a mortgage or foreclosure, the law requires the appraiser to be independent or belong to a firm not in the employ of the mortgage company or lender.
3. Clean up the yard. Trim bushes away from windows and doors; remove any debris under the bushes and discard. Trim the grass away from all walks, stepping stones, patio, driveway and the house’s foundation. Plant flowers, shrubs or trees that will enhance the home’s appearance.
4. Make any necessary repairs to the home’s exterior and interior. A new roof, windows or doors will make a huge difference in the home’s appraisal. Repair any holes in drywall; repair or replace old or damaged wallpaper. Giving rooms a fresh coat of paint, updating furniture and window treatments will garner better results. Polishing wood floors, updating or repairing vinyl/linoleum or replacing worn out carpeting will also give the room a far better appearance.
5. Upgrading your home’s energy efficiency is a wise investment any time of year. If you have a house that is over twenty years old, potential buyers may see it as too expensive to heat or cool. An energy efficient home is worth far more than an inefficient one.
Select energy-efficient appliances for the home. Products that carry the Energy Star certification include:
- Ceiling fans
- HVAC systems
- Water heaters
- Exterior covering materials
All of these products result in lower energy bills for the homeowner. They also enhance the property’s value. With lower utility bills, buyers can afford better mortgages or loans. Point these out to the appraiser as he or she inspects each room.
6. If you are unsure of how best to improve your home’s appearance for a better appraisal, you can hire a professional house stager. He or she will point out items you can decorate, paint, repair or install to gain a better appraisal. Everything from new landscaping to renting stylish furniture will be done to help your home’s appearance.
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Derek is an active home improvement blogger. When he is not blogging or working, he enjoys doing some small projects around his house. The article above is for nj windows.