Things You Should Know – What Affects a Home Appraisal?

No matter whether you are buying, selling, or refinancing a property, an appraisal is an integral component of the process. An appraisal allows mortgage lenders to ensure they don’t lend more than is worth.

An accurate appraisal can save both time and money by expediting the process of buying property. Unfortunately, however, an inadequate or low appraisal may derail your plans altogether or even lead to you forfeiting earnest money deposits. So, you need to know what affects a home appraisal.


One of the primary factors affecting home appraisal is location. Appraisers will consider aspects such as your neighborhood’s amenities and schools nearby as well as any potentially desirable views such as nearby landfills or power plants that might turn away potential buyers and reduce its value.

An appraiser will also consider the size of your garage and storage space when appraising your home. Buyers place great importance on having access to ample storage space, so properties with plenty of large closets or basement space tend to command higher values.

Some home improvements can have a direct effect on your appraisal, such as installing central air and updating kitchen appliances. Others, however, may fail to increase its value if they’re done improperly or do not adhere to local building codes.


Careful attention to minor home maintenance items can help increase the value of your appraisal. An appraiser will notice if you neglect such tasks as caulking tubs, cleaning grout and mowing the lawn.

Clutter can also make it more difficult for an appraiser to accurately assess your home. Make sure to clear away personal items before scheduling an appraisal appointment.

Substantial renovations completed without approval can significantly lower your home’s appraisal value as they may not adhere to local building codes and therefore decrease its appraised value.

Other factors that can have an effect on a home’s value include its foundation type, energy-saving features and overall economic outlook of its neighborhood. All these elements can alter median prices and final appraisal values in specific locations, which could cause mortgage lenders to reject loan applications or delay closing if their appraisal falls below standards.


Home appraisals are required of all mortgage loans, including those backed by the Federal Housing Administration or Veterans Affairs. FHA and VA loans impose more stringent criteria to ensure safe homes, so this step adds another level of scrutiny into the appraisal process.

Upgrades that reduce energy use like smart thermostats, low-flow showerheads and appliances rated with the ENERGY STAR rating can help increase the appraisal value of your home by making it more appealing to green buyers. Re-finishing garage floors or adding extra storage could also contribute significantly to increasing its valuation.

Do not go overboard with upgrades that you ‘want,” as these could potentially reduce your appraisal value. Unpermitted remodels or additions that violate local building codes may raise red flags with appraisers; so if you plan to make any improvements be sure to save receipts or any documentation of upgrades so you can prove they were completed properly.


Age can have an effect on how much your home appraises; in general, newer properties tend to fetch higher appraisal values because they meet updated building codes and may present less of an issue over time.

However, the age of your home doesn’t determine its value alone; maintenance also has a huge effect. So if it was built in 1917 but fully renovated and upgraded within 10-20 years, its appraised value may be equivalent.

Importantly, certain styles of houses can be more desirable than others; traditional colonials will likely appeal to buyers more than modern contemporary properties. Also noteworthy is clutter’s effect on an appraisal – an appraiser must be able to easily view and access all areas of a property so as to accurately establish its square footage.

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