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How can I improve the value of my property?
Outside of a homeowner's control, the biggest factor is market conditions. Other important issues are:

  • The condition of the property/Home improvements
  • Certain specific home improvements can increase the value above the cost of the improvements:
  • A remodeled bathroom: 81% return to owner
  • A bathroom addition: 89% return to owner
  • A master bedroom suite: 82% return to owner
  • Remember:  Quality pays! Well-planned, well-executed remodeling jobs are a good investment. However, bad work seldom enhances value or livability.
  • Neighborhood stability and safety : The safety and security of a neighborhood can affect property values, too. If you live in a high-crime area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the crime rate but give home values a boost, too.

Will buying a bigger home increase my profit?
Consider these questions before making a choice between adding on to an existing residence or moving up in the market to a bigger house:

  • How much money is available either from cash reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel the current house?
  • How much additional space is required and would the foundation support a second floor or does the lot have room to expand on the ground level?
  • What do local zoning and building ordinances permit?
  • How much equity already exists in the property?
  • Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy my housing needs?
  • Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual needs, the extent of work involved and what will add the most value.

How do I find out how much my home is worth?
A comparative market analysis and an appraisal are the standard methods for determining a home's value.
Your real estate agent will be able to provide a comparative market analysis.  (An informal estimate of value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood.)  Be sure you get listing prices of current homes on the market as well as those that have sold. You also can research this yourself by checking on recent sales in public records. Be sure that you are researching properties that are similar in size, construction and location. This information is not only available at your local recorder or assessor's office but also through private companies and on the Internet.  An appraisal, which generally costs $200 to $300 to perform, is a certified appraiser's opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including:  Recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.
 
What are the differences between market value and appraised value?
The appraised value of a house is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. (Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process.)
Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. An appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth.How much additional space is required and would the foundation support a second floor or does the lot have room to expand on the ground level?
How much money is available either from cash reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel the current house?

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