There is an old saying in real estate that everyone knows – The most important three factors are: location, location and location. Indeed, it’s the first thing to consider when valuing a house. So, what makes a good location? There are some general elements which are obvious like:
- How accessible the neighborhood is to the schools, shopping centers, restaurants.
- Adjacent neighborhoods: Are they equally desirable?
- Where the home is situated: A house located at the end of the street will generally be less noisy hence more desirable. If the street is a dead end it’s even better.
- The size of the lot, its shape and the square footage of the house itself.
In addition to these external considerations listed above there are many important internal elements that can affect the value of a house such as:
- Closets with as much additional storage space as possible.
- Split bedroom plans, with bedrooms on each end of the home are increasingly popular with buyers.
- Plenty of bedrooms, baths and restrooms.
- Large and convenient kitchen with as many cabinets and cooking space as possible.
- A spacious basement.
Alternate Ways to Assess a Home’s Value
Use online valuation tools: You can use public records like property transfers, deeds of ownership and tax assessments along with some mathematical modeling to get a rough idea of a property’s value.
Use the FHFA House Price Index Calculator: The Federal Housing Financing Agency’s house price index (HPI) calculator applies a more scientific approach to home valuation. Armed with millions of mortgage transactions gathered since the 1970s, the FHFA can track a property’s change in value from one sale to the next. This can then give you a good idea of its value in the current market.
We cannot emphasize enough the value and necessity of an extensive home inspection. Do not let anyone, not family of the deceased or their agents, dissuade you from having the property thoroughly inspected! A professional inspection can give you a clear idea of the home’s value and what may need to be done if it contains defects.
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