Author Topic: Home Appraisal Values  (Read 1944 times)

Insanity

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Home Appraisal Values
« on: May 19, 2015, 07:19:45 PM »
We just had our home appraised and it was about $20-$30K less than I anticipated.  It actually impacted our rate slightly (not to the point of PMI or anything like that).  The reason for the refi is the 5/1 ARM was coming due (I always do ARMs as I want the lowest rate now possible -- yes, I realize I am taking a slight risk in the future, but with a cap on the percentage, I'm not really all that worried about it) so I did a rate/term refi.

We are a corner lot off of a main road and that is where the driveway goes.  This looks like it impacted the appraised value by roughly $15-$20K from what I can tell on the appraisal sheet (5 properties on it).  The question is:

If I shift the drive way to go out to the side road (which is where our address is) and landscape with trees to hide the main road, will it change that appraised value or not?  I'm probably going to do it anyway, but I'm trying to gauge what I can expect the investment to return (besides probably 15 years of sanity and not having to worry about my kids riding bikes or driving cars while leaving the driveway onto a busier road).

The other question is around adding a fourth bedroom by splitting a family room into two rooms.  It was originally a 4 bedroom house, but we converted one to an office.  We have since finished the basement, so converting the family room into an office/sitting room/library and making the office back into a bedroom seems like a viable option.

Thanks for the help!

Zamboni

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Re: Home Appraisal Values
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2015, 09:27:57 PM »
^What percentage of the home value is $20-30K? 20%? 10%? 5%? 2%?

It doesn't matter whether you call or use the room an office or a bedroom.  If it has a closet, then it will be compared as a bedroom in most situations.

Insanity

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Re: Home Appraisal Values
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2015, 07:31:30 PM »
^What percentage of the home value is $20-30K? 20%? 10%? 5%? 2%?

It doesn't matter whether you call or use the room an office or a bedroom.  If it has a closet, then it will be compared as a bedroom in most situations.

$30K is about 10% (a little under). 

The closet was removed for a built-in shelving unit.  As of now there is no closet in another room but the 3 bedrooms that were identified.

Thanks for any assistance.

Bearded Man

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Re: Home Appraisal Values
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2015, 07:43:48 PM »
I would say no, but I'm not an appraiser, though having bought a few houses in the last few years, including one on a busy street, let me tell ya; anything that is close to a  busy road is going to sell for less than something that is not on a busy road, regardless of whether you have bushes to hide the road and change your driveway. The road is still there, you didn't change the location at all, and the location, location, location is the key factor here.

Sure there are exceptions, some places on busy roads in NYC for example might demand a premium because of what they are close to, but generally, it's not the case

All just my opinion...and I would never buy another house on a busy road, it's the first thing I look at when I check a listing these days...

Another Reader

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Re: Home Appraisal Values
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2015, 07:44:19 PM »
You have done things to the house that are useful for you, but decrease the value to a typical buyer.  Cutting up rooms and removing closets detract from value.  That's why the appraisal came in low.  It was valued as a three bedroom with odd improvements.

You can't do much to change the location.  Screening the busy road and moving the driveway will improve your lives, but probably won't have a huge effect on the value.  Buyers will see the road coming in and adjust the price they will pay accordingly, if they are even interested.  The pool of buyers willing to live siding to a main road is much smaller than the larger pool of buyers for homes in your area. 

Insanity

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Re: Home Appraisal Values
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2015, 08:17:22 PM »
Thanks guys.  I am not worried about the 4th bedroom issue.  I figured that took away from the appraised value.  I would probably pull the built-in out and put the closet back in if we ever went to sell the house and we don't do anything else. 

We have some really odd things the way the house was built.  For instance the family room and laundry room share the same exterior wall.  There are two exterior doors (one in the laundry room and one in the family room) that goes out to the patio.  So, essentially you have two doors within 3' of each other that go into two different rooms.  No contractor or real estate agent (or the appraiser) can tell us why in the world they would do that.

Oh, and the other issue with this house it is a true split level.  I hate it.  I hated it when we bought it.  Still do.  Things we do to make "happy wife"... Now, if it only did make "happy wife" and "happy life"