THE APPRAISAL PROCESS
Appraising a home is the act of assessing that home’s value in order to get a proper estimate of its cost. This is done by an expert, trained specifically to identify the various factors that increase and decrease the property’s value. Appraisals are important parts of a home’s lifespan as it changes hands, as it helps buyers and sellers act fairly in their transactions.
WHY GET AN APPRAISAL?
Now that you know what an appraisal is, let’s discuss why you’d need one. Obviously, homes sold by owners – and not through a real estate agent – require appraisals so that there isn’t a misrepresentation or misunderstanding of value. But there are other situations in which an appraisal is vital.
For example, when people pass away, their estate, including their home, will need to be evaluated so lawyers have a proper understanding of their clients’ property. Additionally, divorces require appraisals quite often, as the value of homes and property is a key factor in ensuring fair proceedings.
SELECTING AN APPRAISER
Years ago, homeowners had a say in who their appraiser was, but after the housing crisis, the federal government took over the process for the states. These days, banks have an approved appraiser list, and they will semi-randomly select and rotate through this list of appraisers.
An approved appraisal is someone within the bank, and their licenses cover the entire state they’re in. However, most appraisers need to know their area, so once they’ve settled in a specific locale, that’s where they become experts.
MODULAR HOME APPRAISALS
Before an appraiser steps foot inside a home, they’ve already visited the county tax office and learned all there is to know about its construction. Therefore, they already know it’s a modular home before they visit. When it comes to modular homes vs. site-built homes, appraisers do not differentiate at all.
The outcome will be the same, regardless of how the home was built. In fact, as Chuck explains, if he had not viewed the tax records, it would be nearly impossible to really tell the difference, as site-built homes are pretty much the same as modular once they’re finished.
EXTERNAL ELEMENTS OF AN APPRAISAL
When evaluating a home, appraisers start by looking at the neighborhood and its history, in an attempt to figure out which direction the area is going. A common myth of neighborhoods is that one bad house or good house in an area can make a negative or positive impact. This is not really the case.
External influences like industrial businesses or popular businesses nearby can affect the value, and appraisers look for these factors before even entering the home. Modular and site-built homes don’t differ at all when it comes to the way they’re appraised. In the last decade or so, modular homes have become even more valuable, as they’re more customizable than ever.
VARIABLES OF THE HOME
When it comes to the home itself, there are countless factors that appraisers will examine, including contacting the current homeowner and attempting to get details and context on various parts of the home. They will take pictures, examine the inside and outside, and evaluate the information.
The two most expensive and noticeable rooms of any home are the kitchen and bathrooms, so these are also the two rooms that appraisers and buyers tend to focus on. When it comes to the exterior and landscaping, it’s difficult to evaluate how much it’s actually worth, so many appraisers will focus instead on the home itself – like granite countertops or updated fixtures.
MORE DETAILS ON MODULAR HOMES
When it comes to the finished home, modular homes are the same as site-built homes. As we discussed in our other blog post, the difference is in where and how they are built. If you’re interested in learning more about a modular home or purchasing one for yourself and your family, we’re ready to talk with you. Fill out a contact form and start the conversation today. We’re excited to hear from you.