The first thing appraisers look at is the outside of the home. Curb appeal does matter, because the condition of the exterior of your house, including paint condition and the landscaping, directly reflects the interior of your home. A good looking lawn implies that the interior is taken care of as well.
A common misconception is that adding a new roof or a new heating and cooling unit will boost your home’s value. If the appliance or fixture is in obvious need of repair or replacement then yes, you should take care of this as signs of deterioration can strip a significant amount off the home’s value. Otherwise if there are no signs of disrepair, it will make no difference on your appraisal.
While many homeowners have a finished basement on their wish lists, appraisers are not looking at this feature to add value. A recently finished basement with a half bath may add only 2% to the value of the home. Appraisers do not view an underground basement like a first floor space, and do not include it into the square footage of the home.
While comparable sales are important to the appraiser it is best to only use comps that have closed their sale in your area. It won’t matter if there have been homes in your area that have recently gone into contract above their asking price. Appraisers will only look at comps that have closed their contracted sales.
Many people decide to remodel their home in belief that it will boost their home’s value. This may not be the case for everyone. An important rule of thumb in remodels is to keep with the historical period of the home, and appeal to the masses. Trendy renovations and expensive custom pieces could actually be seen as a negative deduction to your home’s value. This is because such renovations are assessed at the cost of removing or replacing what was done. •