Your lender will require an appraisal when applying for a mortgage or refinancing your existing home. Simply stated, it’s a prepared report that determines the value of a home based on square footage, lot size, features, upgrades, and age.
Your assessed value is very different from the appraised value and the market value and is for property tax purposes. Appraised values can be used for securing a home loan or to appeal property tax assessments. Either way, the bank or Assessor’s Office isn’t looking to strike a bargain with you. They want an unbiased, accurate assessment of what the house is worth.
Market Value Vs Appraised Value
On a rare occasion the market value and the appraised value will be the same. Why? Keep in mind that your market value is based on market conditions. If the home is in good condition, with many upgrades, and is located near quality schools in the area, buyers may pay a higher price which raises the market value.
The appraised value, on the other hand is determined by a third party appraiser and your lender will base the home’s worth on the appraised values. The appraised value is based on similar homes that are in similar condition in the same neighborhood that have sold within the past four to six months. The appraiser is looking for any defects or improvements that may affect the home’s value.
Do Appraised Values Only Protect the Lender?
Good question; they do, and this is the main reason that lenders require an appraisal. However, buyer’s benefit from appraised values as well. They are protected from purchasing a home for more than its worth. Even if the buyer were willing to pay inflated prices, the lender would likely decline a loan that is for more than the home’s worth.
What Goes Into a Home Appraisal?
So what are home appraisers looking for? A lot goes into a home appraisal that many sellersand buyers don’t realize. It’s not just a matter of inputting a few figures into their computer, Appraisers look at a number of factors to determine a home’s value.
The appraiser will look at the home inside and out, comparing the home to other homes in the area. Layout, features, and upgrades are taken into consideration. They’re interested in any appliances that will be staying with the house as well.
Your appraiser will focus on similar properties that have sold recently. They are interested in square footage, location, upgrades, age, quality, and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Bottom line? They want to know what other homes in the area have sold for that are in the same condition, with the same features and square footage as the home they are appraising.
Features can increase your home’s value include luxury baths, central air conditioning units, gourmet kitchens, and depending on the area, a swimming pool.
Are you curious about appraisals because you are upgrading to a newer home? Or are you a first time buyer looking for a home in our area? It’s an exciting time in your life, and your Bergen County neighborhood experts are here to support you anyway possible (including understanding Bergen County appraised values); reach out today. Together we can make your plans to find your new “perfect home” a reality.