5 Tips For A Higher Home Appraisal

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    If you’re hoping to refinance the mortgage on your home, there’s one big roadblock between you and that lower rate: the home appraisal. If your appraisal is low, you might not be able to refinance at all, or you might be facing less-than-optimal loan terms, including potentially paying for private mortgage insurance. If your appraisal results in a higher assessment, you’ll quite likely have more loan options available to you — often with lower interest and better payments.

    To start your appraisal prep, make sure your home is clean (inside and out). Appraisers are human, after all, and can be swayed by how pristine (read: well-cared-for) a home looks.

    Here are five more home appraisal tips to ensure your home appraises as high as possible.

    1. Make those small repairs you’ve been postponing

     Your house isn’t going to morph into a mega-mansion overnight, so some of the considerations for an appraisal (such as the number of rooms, square footage, and location) aren’t negotiable. But you canmake the most of your home’s features. “Make sure that all the major systems have been serviced and that everything in the home appears to be maintained and functional,” says Ingrid Vincent, a Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts real estate agent. For appraisers, the condition of a home often matters more than the year it was built. Tackle any DIY home projects that you’ve put off.

    2. Enhance your home’s curb appeal

    You might not pay much attention to your home’s exterior, especially if you typically enter and exit through the garage or a side door. But curb appeal matters to potential buyers, and it matters to appraisers too. The Appraisal Institute states that properly maintained landscaping can enhance a home’s value. If you’re wondering what else you can do (besides mowing the lawn) to boost curb appeal, Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping in California, gives these tips for a quick landscaping fix:

    • Strategically place container gardens
    • Mulch flower beds
    • Wipe down existing foliage and outdoor lights
    • Stage patios or porches with seating and pillows

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