Know What Your Home Is Worth

There are many benefits to knowing the value of your home. Find out how you can get an appraisal or use online resources to get an estimate.

For many homeowners, the only time they are concerned about the value of their home is when they first purchase it. Many homeowners make the mistake of believing their home value remains static, but there are many situations where a home may either increase or decrease in value. There are multiple fees associated with the value of your home. For example, if you want to leverage your house to secure a loan, you must know the current value.

How much you pay on property taxes changes based on the value of your home. If your home has decreased in value, you may be paying more in taxes each year than necessary. Your insurance rates similarly change based on the value of your home. If you ever decide to sell your home, you must also know how much the value has changed to get a fair price. If you are planning to leave your home to a family member when you pass away, you must know the total value of your home. Fortunately, there are multiple tools available to find the total value of your home.

How Home Value Changes

Knowing how much your home is worth is important, but so is understanding why the value of your home changes. With this knowledge, you do not have to worry about constantly checking your home value and instead can check based on major changes. Many of the biggest influences to your home value are out of your control.

For example, your neighborhood has a large impact on your home value. Three of the biggest factors with your neighborhood include what employment opportunities are available, the quality of nearby schools and how close you live to shopping centers or other recreational areas. Your proximity to public transit, highways and utility lines also have a small impact on home value.

One factor you have more control over is the condition of your home. If you take good care of your home and make improvements, the value may increase. Major changes, such as adding additional rooms or replacing your roof significantly increase the value. Even small changes, such as painting your home, installing environmentally friendly appliances or replacing your kitchen cabinets has an impact on your home value.

Hiring a Professional Appraiser

One of the ways to find out the value of your home is hiring a professional appraiser. If you are not confident in your abilities to look up your home value, or you do not have the time, hiring an appraiser is a good choice. Appraisers carefully look over your house, comparing it to similar properties in the area. They also consider the current housing market and expected growth of your neighborhood to give you a final value.

Professional appraisers are able to provide the most accurate value of your home. However, you must pay for their services. As a result, professional appraisers are typically used when selling a home, when you need the most accurate result possible to ensure you get a fair deal.

Comparative Market Analysis

Another way to find out your home value involves a comparative market analysis. The analysis is performed by a real estate agent. The process is similar to a home appraisal, but not as involved. Many real estate agents will provide this service for free, if they believe you will hire them as an agent. If you are not planning to list your home, the agent is more likely to charge a small fee.

Online Estimates

In the past, the only way to accurately determine your home value was hiring an appraiser or realtor. Thanks to the internet, there are now a number of free resources available to determine the price of your home. These online resources provide a general estimate of your home value based on publicly available data. Smaller changes to your property are harder to predict in the estimate.

  • One of the largest real estate websites is Zillow. Zillow has a friendly user interface. All you do is put in your address to see the current value. You can also make a free account, place a claim on your home and get regular updates whenever the value significantly changes.

  • Trulia provides greater details about your home property. In addition to listing an estimate of what your home is worth, Trulia also includes a listing of nearby properties around your house, along with their overall value. This makes it easier to track whether your home value has changed as a result of something happening to the neighborhood. Trulia also has a list of recommended lenders, if you are planning to sell your home.

  • Redfin is one of the more advanced real estate websites available to the general public. Like Trulia, Redfin provides many details about the neighborhood, including estimated property taxes. The website also includes an immediate estimate tool, with a detailed breakdown of how certain factors change the overall value of your home.