Your existing home’s market value will greatly affect how much you can afford to pay for your next home. The problem is, pinpointing your home’s exact worth can be a challenge. It’s ultimately worth what someone else is willing to pay for it, but what is that exact number? In the absence of certainty, here’s a home value guide with a few ways to make a strong estimate:
- Self-Assessment — Consider your home as an outsider would. Is the location desirable? Is the home in good condition? Does it have the amenities that the market desires at any given time? Recent upgrades to your bathrooms, kitchen and flooring tend to pay off more than updates in other areas. You may also experience greater value if a new roof or heating/cooling has recently been installed. Honestly assessing your own home can be challenging, which is why finding outside help is often the answer.
- Comparable Properties — One insightful way to estimate your home’s value is to look at comparable properties that have recently sold. This data is not always readily available, so it may be helpful to look for assistance from a real estate agent. Look for homes with a similar bedroom-bathroom breakdown, square footage, location, and more. Price-per-square-foot is a quick-and-easy way to compare one home to another, even though each home includes unique characteristics and nuances that can influence its worth.
- County Estimate — Your local taxing district is assessing your home on a regular (typically annual) basis. While this is not always an accurate estimate of market value, it can be helpful in comparing your home’s value in relation to others in the neighborhood — or homes in neighborhoods where you would like to live. Take a look at recently sold properties and their county assessments to get an idea of the spread in your area.
- Online Tools — The Internet is full of free home worth estimator tools. These estimators provide a good sense of where your home value stands, but remember that they are only as good as the information available and the data inputted by the user.
- Professional Help — When you identify your next home, your lender will send a professional appraiser to ensure the home is worth what you’re paying. If you’re looking for the best estimate of how much your home is worth right now, you can always hire an appraiser on your own. This appraiser will look at your home inside and out, and compare it to similar properties in the area. You’ll get experience and a full understanding of factors that influence your home’s worth. This is by far the most expensive way to get a sense of your home’s worth, but it can also be the most accurate.
A home’s worth is an important factor when you’re considering a move. The higher its value, the more you can likely afford on the open market. An experienced real estate agent can help you begin this process and share specific tools and resources that can help estimate your home’s worth. While nothing is guaranteed, professional assistance can help limit surprises when an official appraisal comes in. To start identifying your home’s value, contact Century 21 Core Partners today.