What Affects a House Appraisal

Features and Condition

The size and amenities a house has affects its appraisal value. Generally, buyers are willing to spend more money for houses that have higher numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms. Additional factors, such as square footage, yard acreage and storage options, can separate the appraisal value of similar houses in the same neighborhood. Appraisers take the overall condition of the exterior and interior of a house into consideration when making a house appraisal. Although minor blemishes won’t weigh too negatively into the assessment, dramatic damage can greatly decrease the perceived value of a house. For example, peeling paint in the foyer isn’t as harmful as termite damage in the foyer. Houses that feature expensive appliances, flooring and fixtures usually command higher appraisal values. Making cosmetic touch-ups and repairs prior to a house appraisal can bolster the appraisal estimate. Simply removing overgrown shrubbery or adding new windows can make the house more attractive to an appraiser.

Community Information

Although a well-maintained house can fetch a high appraisal value on its own merit, the house’s immediate surroundings do matter. Professional appraisers take factors, such as local real estate tax levels and quality of life statistics, to help determine an appropriate appraisal value. For example, a house located in a high-crime area will usually appraise for less than a similar house in a low-crime area. A house located in a topnotch school district has an advantage over a house located in a struggling district. Appraisers also consider other factors, including the overall business climate and the activity level of the housing market. For example, higher appraisal values are generally given to houses located in areas of consistent business growt, while lower appraisal values are generally given to houses located in stagnant business and housing markets.

Location

Location affects a house appraisal in a variety of ways. The perceived value of a house is often related to the popularity of the location. For example, a house that’s near a tourist attraction or historical landmark generally appraises for a higher value than a similar house that’s isolated from such a point of interest. Houses in suburban areas usually appraise for more than houses in rural areas because of increased business and tourist revenue. Besides being compared with the popularity and desirability of other locations, a house’s position within its own location is carefully considered. For example, a house located on a corner lot usually appraises for more than a similar house located in the middle of a street. Geographic conditions within a location can also affect a house appraisal. Being located in a flood zone can decrease a house’s appraisal value, while being located ocean side can increase a house’s appraisal value.