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Home Appraisals 101

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, or even refinance your current home at a lower rate, a home appraisal is a key step to confirming the value of a property. Lenders use professional appraisers to provide an unbiased opinion on the value of a home in order to ensure that, in the event of default, the funds they lend are backed up by the property. In this way, lenders have a bit of insurance that, even in the worst-case scenario, their investment is a safe one. So, what are the major aspects of an appraisal? What are the most important factors to know about that can affect the value of a home, and what happens if an appraisal comes in lower than the agreed upon price during closing on a sale? Let’s take a closer look at the details of appraisals and their importance on property investments from both buyers’ and sellers’ perspectives.

Professional, certified appraisers take into account comparable sales, home amenities and other key, quantifiable factors. Since property condition is a factor, keeping up with necessary repairs can provide a boost to appraised value.

You may have, at some point, rushed to clean up your home to get ready for an appraisal in order to receive a quick boost in value. While it couldn’t hurt, tidiness isn’t a major factor in appraisal value. According to Investopedia, appraisal numbers are typically a sum of factors including current market trends, your home’s amenities, upkeep and maintenance, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage. Another major factor to appraisals relates to recently sold comparable properties. As a result, taking the time to check out recently sold, similar homes in your neighborhood is a quick way to get a relatively close estimate when creating a list price on your home.

If you’re buying a home, expect an appraisal as part of the closing procedures....

The $700,000 Mistake Nearly 6 in 10 Millennials May Make

Via Catey Hill at Marketwatch.com. 

Most millennials say they’d rather rent than buy a home — a decision that could cost them more than $700,000 over the course of their lives.

Nearly six in 10 millennials (59%) say they’d rather rent a home than buy one, with just one in four saying they are either very or completely likely to purchase a home in the next five years, according to a survey of 1,300 millennials released this week by EliteDaily and Millennial Branding. (This anti-home-buying trend can already be seen: Currently, only about one in four millennials own a home, down from about one in three in the mid-70s and early 80s, according to data from the Demand Institute.) That’s “bad news for the real estate industry,” the report concludes. Read more.

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7 Tips For First-Time Home Sellers

From Marketwatch.com:

A number of economists are forecasting an increase in home sales this year, and some are predicting that more first-time buyers will be in the mix. That’s great news for sellers, particularly first-time sellers most likely to have the kind of starter homes these buyers will want. Below are some tips for those selling a home for the first time. Before selling your home, give some careful thought about where you will live next, said Hedda Parashos, owner of Palisade Realty in Spring Valley, Calif. “Planning ahead will save the time and money associated with moving multiple times or trying to get out of a deal after you sign a purchase agreement,” she said. “Your Realtor can help you locate a new home or rental before you close escrow or negotiate a lease back.” Read more.

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