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If you ask people what their homes are worth, chances are they'll tell you it's difficult to put a price on them. That's because they are evaluating them through an emotional filter filled with happy memories they had while living in the houses. In reality, homes are assessed every day to see what tangible value they have on the open market and the factors used have nothing to do with emotion.
Considering Home Improvements?
Generally, the purpose of remodeling projects is primarily to make the home more suitable for you and your family. That's good, since the cost of remodeling is rarely recovered when a home is sold. But it's also important to evaluate how a project can potentially affect your home's resale value. Some changes have widespread appeal - although popularity varies over time - and can significantly add value when it comes time to sell. Renovating the kitchen or adding a bathroom will likely bring a higher price, as well as increase the sales appeal of the house. On the other hand, a wine cellar may be an owner's pride and joy, but don't count on recouping the cost when selling, since a wine cellar may have limited appeal on the open market. Another point to consider: You may have heard that it "doesn't pay" to own the nicest house in the neighborhood. That's because the selling price of a home depends partially on the characteristics and condition of the other homes in your area. Even if added improvements are popular, an owner may not be able to recover the cost if the enhancements price the home too far above others in the neighborhood.
To understand how houses are rated, you need to begin with a clear definition of "market value." In real estate terms, market value is the price at which something can be freely bought and sold within a reasonable period of time. The concept refers to the conditions necessary for a fair sale, meaning the buyer and seller are acting wisely and knowledgeably, and the price is not affected by any artificial stimulus. A reasonable time in real estate parlance generally means between one to three months.
Why is This Important?
Key Points in Determining Home Value
Site characteristics - Is your home in a desirable neighborhood with good schools? Is public transportation available? How accessible is the nearest shopping by car as well as other means of transportation?
Design and appeal characteristics - Is the layout designed for convenience? Does the house have curb appeal, meaning, is it attractive when viewed from the street?
Construction quality - Was the original construction of high quality?
Age and condition - If it is an old house, has it been properly maintained? Are there visible problems with the roof, siding, etc? Is the outside in need of a coat of paint?
Improvements - Have you remodeled the kitchen or bathroom or added extra rooms?
Amenities - Is there a deck, swimming pool or other special features? Is the backyard large enough to be used for parties and barbecues?
Other Important Aspects
Another yardstick for measuring market value many realtors recommend is calculating the price per square foot. The method most commonly used is to divide the amount of livable square feet into the house's latest appraised price. You can usually find the appraisal price from a property tax bill. Next, compare your result with the price per square foot of some of the homes that were recently sold in your area. You want to ensure that the price per square foot is in line with the neighborhood norm.
Finally, current market conditions are an important consideration. Real estate prices rise and fall regardless of the quality of the individual properties. Interest rates, the state of the economy and the local job market are all factors that affect the market value of homes in a particular area. When the market is down because of negative influences, such as high unemployment, the market value of your house can be lower than you think. Conversely, when the economy is booming, home values can go through the roof.
Bottom line: Whether your plans include selling your home, refinancing it, or just protecting your investment with adequate insurance, periodically reevaluate what your house is worth on the open market. Knowing what your home is really worth can be a valuable financial planning tool to help you deal with future events as life unfolds.
complements of homeactions
HORSHAM REAL ESTATE
John Handschuh Accredited buyers representative, Seniors Real Estate Specialists®
RE/MAX Action Realty Maple Glen, Pa. 19002 office 215-358-1100 direct 215-358-1108
Horsham Real Estate Search for available properties www.johnhandschuh.com RE/MAX Action Realty Call John 215-358-1100 X 1108
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Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.