What is a Home Appraisal?

Part of the home buying process involves getting a home appraisal. An appraisal sets a fair market value for a home or property so that a bank can lend the proper amount for the mortgage loan. An appraisal is carried out by a qualified appraiser that takes into consideration a home’s age and condition and it’s unique features, and then compares it to the value of local homes that are similar. 

The home appraisal process can last a few hours. During this time, the appraiser will examine and measure the home’s dimensions, evaluating the condition of the home inside and out. They are looking for the home to be well maintained, and will write down anything that appears to be neglected or broken. They will most likely take pictures and notes as a part of the process. Remember that the yard, and the curb appeal can affect the appraisal of a home as well.

Much of a home’s appraisal value is derived from the value of similar properties in the area that have sold recently. Other features that are heavily considered in an appraisal are number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the home’s floorplan functionality, amenities and square footage. An appraisal will also be interested to know about any improvements that have been made recently to the home that would help determine value, so documenting those as they are made can be helpful in the future.