Curb appeal, appraisals affect home values

As the housing market shows improvement, many homeowners are once again considering putting their homes up for sale. If you are like many Americans, home improvement projects were put on hold for the last three years, so it’s time to reassess your home and decide what should be updated.

Real estate agents suggest that curb appeal and appraisal booster projects are the guidelines when deciding what projects to undertake before putting your home up for sale.

Curb appeal:
You can enhance curb appeal with these projects:

  • Maintain the landscaping
  • Keep up with the paintwork, both inside and outside of your home
  • Replace your home’s siding, gutters
  • Replace old window frames with wooden or energy-efficient ones

Appraisals:
Bringing your home up to your area’s standards is important. Banks and real estate transactions all use appraisers. And appraisers use what are called “comps” or comparables. Those are similar homes in the area that sold for a certain price and then that is used to determine the market value of your home.

Appraisers have certain things they look for as key determinants of value. For example, the location of the real estate (location, location, location!), the livable square footage of a home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, if it has a fireplace, what the home is constructed out of, what it “looks” like (curb appeal), etc.

What don’t they care about? Well, they don’t care what color your living room is or what brand of kitchen appliance you have. What you want to focus on with appraisal booster projects are high ROI projects that improve the appraisal value and comps. Appraisal booster projects are home repairs that will automatically boost the appraisal of your home, such as energy-efficient windows and doors, wood flooring or the addition of a fireplace. To avoid financial loss and disappointment later, remember to always consult with a realtor or renovations expert to determine how much value planned renovations will add to your home.

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