Thursday, July 16, 2009

What is the Value of my Home?

Over the past few months many clients have struggled with the question of,
“What is the value of my home?”

This answer is as good as any in this market considering all of the foreclosures, short sales and
such going on. However; before you settle on a value number for your home, make sure you ask yourself WHY you are asking this question.
There are many ways to look at the so called value of your property!
Let me explain!
  • Are you considering selling your home? If you are, remember that your home will typically sell for an amount that a buyer is willing to pay you for it. No matter how much we all jump up and down, no buyer in their right mind – in this market - is going to pay us what we think our home may be worth.
  • If you are considering listing your home for sale, your best bet is to seek the advice of a
    professional “Realtor” ® before doing so. They can provide you with valuable information that you MUST have before deciding on the final listing price.

Are you considering refinancing? If you are, an appraisal will most likely be initiated with the transaction. The appraiser will give the lender, in the appraisal report, an opinion of what they consider to be the current market value of your home as of the date the property was

Couple of things about the appraisal:
1. You’ll most likely NOT agree with the appraiser’s value assessment. But, if the number
they come up with works, and you are able to proceed with a more favorable rate and
financing term, don’t get too bent out of shape with the value. It’s just an opinion.
2. You’ll most likely NOT agree with the comparables that the appraiser chooses. They
have strict guidelines that must be followed before a comparable can be chosen. One of
the most important being “recent sales in your most immediate area”. With all of the
short sales and foreclosures going on in most subdivisions, this guideline can be a real
value killer.

3. Once again, if the number they come up with works, and you are able to proceed with a
more favorable rate and financing term, don’t get too bent out of shape with the value.
It’s just an opinion; it’s NOT what you may be able to sell your property for at some time
in the near future.
Are you trying to dispute your property’s tax assessor’s value? Typically, the county “Tax Assessor’s Office” assigns an “Appraised Value” to your property.This value or number is used to calculate your annual property tax. It’s not a number that should be used to list your home for sale. Nor is it a number that a lender is going to use to consider lending you money on the property.
If you’re looking at the tax assessor’s property valuation and thinking, “Man, there is no way my home will sell for this amount”, then you may want to consider filing a dispute valuation with the taxing authority. Be prepared to fill out the necessary paperwork and provide them with evidence to support your claim. Be prepared to stand in line along with all of the other
thousands of property owners that are currently disputing their property value.

Are you trying to determine if you have enough homeowners insurance? If this is your goal, you really need to call your insurance agent and let them help you with this. At a minimum, you want to always make sure that your home is insured for at least 100% of
it’s estimated replacement cost. Replacement cost is not:

1. The market value of your home.
2. The home’s purchase price or the cost of the land.
3. The outstanding amount of your mortgage.

Make sure your insurance agent explains to you the difference between market value and
replacement cost for insurance purposes. You don’t want to find out the difference between the
two when it is necessary to file a claim with your insurer.

Are you considering buying a home or making an offer on a property? Make sure you talk to your realtor before deciding on this number. They can tell you what similar homes are selling for in the neighborhood, how long houses are staying on the market, and tons of other important information that MUST be considered.

Are you looking for general home sale statistics? I’ve listed below a couple of the most quoted sources in the media for home sale statistics. There is a bounty of information at both of these, so be prepared to be overwhelmed.

The National Association of Realtors -
Case-Shiller Home Price Indices -,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,0,0.html

Are you looking for a value estimate for your property as determined by modern automated valuation techniques? If you are, then the websites below may help you in your search for the perfect “valuation” number. Just make sure you’re sitting down before you plug in your property address and review the results you receive.

HomeValueBot - - -

In conclusion, let me say that there will always be many opinions on what your home is truly worth. Before you can really begin your quest for your specific valuation number, it’s important that you first ask yourself – WHY you’re asking this question – and then seek the advice of trusted professionals in the real estate industry.

I’m here for you! As a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist™, my role is to help you make sense of all the chaos and confusion in the market, so that you can make informed mortgage and home buying choices. I am committed, qualified and equipped to help you evaluate your mortgage and real estate options.

Please call or send me an email if I can assist you.

P.S. Thanks for the Article Johnathan! Great content for a message that needs to be conveyed.

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