All about the Appraisal
You’ve probably heard of appraisals before. You have
them once a year to determine the amount of property tax you
pay. You have to have one conducted in order to be approved
for a home loan or home equity credit. You know it’s
important, you know you have to do it, but do you know exactly
what it is and what it means?
An appraisal is an assessment of your home that determines
its value in the current market. Your home may have been priced
lower or higher when you purchased the home, but as the real
estate market fluctuates, so does the value of your home.
For tax purposes, this means you want the value of your
home to be lower. For taxes, your house must be assessed for
its tax-value. The tax-assessed value is a type of appraisal
different than a normal appraisal, or appraised value. The
tax-assessed value will tell you how much property tax you
will pay each year.
For loan purposes, you want the value of your home to be
as high as possible, since what they want to know is that
your home is worth investing in. If your home is not as valuable
as the loan they are giving you, there is no collateral for
them. They have nothing in which to put their trust.
Countrywide Home Loans wants to help you earn your home loan
and home equity line of credit. They want to consolidate your
debt and not charge you more interest than is necessary. This
is why Countrywide only requests the appraised value of your
home when you apply for a loan.
Appraisals are professionals who are trained and experienced
in estimating the value of real and personal property. They
are familiar with the real estate market and the fluctuation
of value within that market. The fee varies between appraisers
and the geographical location in which you have the appraisal
The home’s value is appraised on several bases. First,
the appraiser looks at the general condition of the house.
This person will also look at the size of the house and/or
property, location of the home including neighborhood and
view, features of the home such as number of beds and baths,
major structural improvements or renovations that have been
made, highly popular architectural features like skylights
and/or fireplaces and the prices of other properties in the
area that are similar to yours. The last factor may be the
most important, as your home will not sell for a drastically
higher amount if it is the same as your neighbor Bob’s
Appraisals should not make you nervous. Although they may
come at high pressured times, approaching tax season or upon
selling your home, the appraisers are there to help you. They
are not out to rob you (why would they be?) and even if the
appraisal is not as you desired or suspected, come talk to
Countrywide and you will be given personal service that helps
you in your quest to sell your home or obtain that loan you’ve
been wanting. At Countrywide, your future outweighs your past.