A home appraisal is a crucial part of the refinancing of your home loan and usually runs you between $200 and $400. Should you come away with a higher assessment of your home, you will end up with many more loan options. If you end up with a lower assessment of your home, you could end up paying a higher rate along with private mortgage insurance costs. Even though an appraiser is in charge of deciding what your home is worth, you have a small part in that as well. In an effort to get the most out of your home appraisal, here are some tips to help you get started.
Make the Proper Repairs
Before the appraiser comes in to check everything, you want to make sure all your systems are working properly and there are no blatant issues with the home. Some of the best things you can do to your home is service your systems, caulk all the doors and windows, and fix any leaks. While you can't change the square footage or age of the home, you can change the condition of the home, which will help add value to the appraisal.
Invest in Your Landscape
One of the best ways to increase your home appraisal is by enhancing your curb appeal. In fact, maintaining your landscape can increase your property's value, according to The Appraisal Institute. Mowing your lawn is a great way to start, but you have to be willing to put the gloves on and do a little more. This can include adding mulch to the flower beds, washing and restaining the deck, and even staging your patio. By doing all of this, you will not only give off a great first impression, but it could help increase the amount of the home appraisal.
List All the Improvements
Once you have made improvements to your home, you need to be able to prove it. This is important so that your appraiser has all this information during the appraisal. It is a good idea to take before and after photos so the appraiser can see firsthand all the work you have done to the home. Additionally, you want to keep records of how much you have paid for the improvements.
Check Out the Comps Yourself
To really get an idea of what your home's appraisal will be, you need to know what similar homes have sold for. This can be done by visiting the local county office and getting records of any home that has sold recently near you. This will help you challenge your appraiser if you end up with a low insurance appraisal. If you do challenge them on the price, then you want to do so respectfully and courteously.