Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Home Appraisal: More Than Just House Value

by Bill Wehr Most people, when buying a home, are first given a copy of the appraisal at the closing table. In the excitement and stress of signing the final mortgage papers, and arranging to get the keys to the new house, the appraisal may be tucked away with the other closing documents to be forgotten. There is information on the report worth knowing. The lender probably told you what the home value was soon after the appraiser completed the appraisal. Now that you have a written copy in front of you, it offers much detail, and tells you a lot about your home that you may not have considered. When you get home pour some coffee, pull up a chair and look it over. The first several pages of the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report offer an in depth profile of your property. The neighborhood section will reflect the appraiser’s analysis of whether the housing trends around you are increasing stable or declining in value. The high end and low-end prices and predominate values are given. This may be important to you as a benchmark to think about if you are planning to resell in the next several years. The section on improvements is where the appraiser gets to observe the general condition of the home. The comments could range from noting the upgrades such as new roof, interior painting or new carpeting. The flip side would be warning about lap siding now in good condition but subject to premature deterioration. Any negative comments about condition may be something that could be corrected by you to maintain or increase value. The page on comparable sales gives you the opportunity to see the exact homes with addresses that your home was rated against. You will read how the appraiser made the adjustments to each home’s value relating to square footage, rooms, garage, lot size and a number of other line items to come to a bottom line. There may be a page called “location map” that will have arrows showing where each of the comparable homes are located. You could take a little time and go for a leisurely drive to check out the curb appeal of each of the homes. These are just some of the highlights of the appraisal. In the back pages there will be photos of the home and likely photos of the comparable homes. The appraiser will go into more depth relating to the neighborhood description, additional features of the subject home and how the sales comparisons were analyzed. There should be a page reflecting the floor plan of your home as measured by the appraiser. In addition to the diagrams, there will be the calculations for total area a breakdown of each foot of living area. The appraisal will be a fairly complete picture of your home and will give you a sense of what a financial asset you really have. Bill Wehr publishes useful articles about mortgages at http://www.mortgagejourney.com Bill is the owner of Great Pacific Northwest Mortgage, a residential mortgage company serving Oregon and Washington. If you are buying or refinancing property in Oregon or Washington & need mortgage information please call Bill, or complete a secure on-line application at http://www.portlandoregonmortgages.com. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bill_Wehr

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