Everyone is interested in how much their home is worth. There are several methods that can provide answers for you, and only one will cost you money to pursue.
Whether you are remodeling, selling, or buying a home, your first item to investigate is the appraisal of your property to determine its value. This is important for all remodeling projects; you don't want to spend money fixing up your home only to find out you have added more features to your home, which raises its value beyond the appraised amount.
When selling your home, you need to understand how your home's value relates to the other homes in your neighborhood. Setting your home's sale price too high is one of the top reasons homes do not sell quickly and languish on the market.
Lastly, if you are buying a home, you certainly need to know the appraised value of the home you are looking to buy. If the seller is asking more than the appraised amount, you may have trouble getting a loan. Also, you can negotiate with the seller to reduce their price.
Call a Real Estate agent in your area and invite them to come to your home for an appraisal. They will want to know the reason for the visit; tell them why you are interested in their service (i.e. remodeling, buying, selling, etc.). You may want to get more than one agent to review you property and then compare the results. This will give you a good sense of your property's value, as the agent sees it. They will document how they come up with their price, using comparably priced homes in your area.
Call a licensed Real Estate appraiser. You can find them in the yellow pages or online. Be sure the appraiser you choose is familiar with your neighborhood. There will be a fee for this service, generally in the $300-$500 range for a median-priced home.
This is a very thorough process and will give you the most accurate value of your home at a specific point in time. The appraiser will go over the report with you in detail and this report can become an excellent source of information when you list with an agent or are dealing with a loan company for a mortgage. If you are serious about selling your home, this option is well worth the money.
Visit you local city/county government offices and ask which department handles the home property tax appraisal. It usually will be the Treasurer's office or Recorder, or a similar agency. Go to the recommended department and find out if they have computerized the property data for city/county properties, which the public can access. Most have this capability. Be aware that the appraised value shown on the property tax statement may not be accurate; ask the Treasurer if the appraisal is market value. This means the value is a true market-based figure and not based on a formula devised by the government agency.
If your government agency does not have a computerized property tax database, look at your last property tax statement; the appraisal amount should be listed somewhere on the statement. Again, check with the agency to make sure the appraisal represents market value and not some convoluted formula.
Also, if your are buying a home and you cannot access a public database, ask your Real Estate agent to provide you a copy of the seller's last property tax bill. It will list the appraisal value.
Some important reminders. Check your home's appraisal value whether you are remodeling, buying, or selling a home. Use the information we have presented here to make your determination of value. Also, if using a city/county database, remember to verify the appraised value listed represents market value.
Ron has been a licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Licensed electrician, Director of Finance for a local non-profit, Systems consultant for Ameritech and Digital Equipment Corporation. View more detail at: