What Do Home Appraisers Look For?

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A house assessment is a vital step in the process whether you’re buying, selling, or even applying for refinancing a home. Because of this, it’s important to know what an appraiser looks for when they come. Let’s examine a typical appraiser’s checklist in light of this and how the various items may affect their assessment.

Basics of Home Appraisal

Generally speaking, house appraisers examine the size and overall state of the property. They will also take into account the cost of the facilities and any house renovations that have been made. They will also take into account a number of factors that are unrelated to the property itself, including the area and comparables in the nearby market.

Checklist for Home Appraisers

The most typical elements a house appraiser will consider are listed below.


  • Property age and size
  • The condition of the property compared to neighboring homes:
    • Foundations
    • Windows
    • Exterior walls
    • Roof, gutters and downspouts
    • Front and backyards
  • Driveway and other parking amenities, including the garage and the number of vehicles it can accommodate
  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
  • Utilities:
    • Gas, electricity and water systems
    • HVAC unit
    • Sewer/septic tank
    • Solar panels and other energy-efficient systems
  • Pool, porch and other outdoor amenities
  • Evidence of pest and water damage


  • Floor plan and gross building area:
    • Total number of rooms
    • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Building materials and their condition:
    • Floors
    • Walls
    • Trims
    • Doors
  • Type and condition of appliances:
    • Stove
    • Oven
    • Washing machine
    • Dryer
    • Fireplaces
  • Style of home and type of decor:
    • Modern
    • Dated
    • Evidence of mold, pests, water damage, etc.
    • Home improvements and renovations
  • Attic and basement condition:
    • Renovated/habitable
    • Unusable space
    • Storage potential
    • Sump pump in the basement


  • Location;
    • Rural
    • Urban
    • Suburban
  • Zoning:
    • Compliance with local laws
    • Condition of streets and neighboring properties
  • Local market:
    • Number of properties sold in the area
    • Are prices rising or dropping?
  • Proximity to desirable amenities:
    • Schools
    • Shops
    • Public transit stations
  • Proximity to undesirable amenities:
    • Landfill sites
    • Power plants
    • Airports
  • Likelihood of being affected by natural hazards:
    • Flood zone
    • Hurricane or tornado risk

What May Raise the Appraisal Value of a House

Every item on the checklist will have some bearing on the estimated worth of the house. The appraised value will almost always increase if the amenities and structural components are in good working order and condition. Energy-efficient amenities and any recent renovations (as long as they were done to a high standard) will also be a plus.

Having quality materials in the home, such as granite countertops and hardwood floors, will also typically increase the value compared to homes decked out in cheaper alternatives.

What May Lower the Appraisal Value of a House

The value of the house will decline due to a number of circumstances. For instance, a property in need of repair will be worth less than one that has recently been renovated. The biggest issues are structural flaws, such as problems with the roof, the foundation, or the walls.

Minor issues like mold, water damage, pest infestations, or even outdated furnishings and appliances can lower a home’s value. One thing to keep in mind is that older homes will typically be valued lower than new construction because they are perceived to need more maintenance.

Buying or Selling in 2023? Here’s How to Prepare Now

This year has not been at all boring for the Canadian real estate market. Early in the year, prices reached record highs, but when interest rates started to increase, the market swiftly came to a standstill between buyers and sellers. More than 1800 Zoocasa readers participated in a survey, and 60% of them said they planned to buy soon. Many people are clinging to the optimism that spring would bring more inventory and the end of interest rate increases. Now is the time to start planning if you want to enter the market in 2023. Although we are unsure of what the market may hold for us next year, we do know how you can get a head start on being prepared for it. Here’s how to prepare for the 2023 Canadian housing market.

Talk to a Mortgage Broker Now to Learn What You Can Afford

Many would-be homebuyers and current homeowners who have mortgages are obviously concerned about mortgage rates. In an effort to control inflation, the Bank of Canada has increased interest rates six times this year. The next announcement is planned for December. Inflation was 6.9% in September, and by the end of 2023, the target rate should be approximately 3%. If inflation doesn’t start to decline in 2023, it’s feasible that interest rates will have to go much higher. The prime lending rate for anyone looking to obtain a new mortgage, renew their current mortgage, or who is currently paying a variable rate would, of course, be impacted by this.

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Speaking with a mortgage broker is the first step in getting ready to enter the market. Your debt service ratios will be discussed with a mortgage broker after they have examined your present financial status. Lenders use this information to determine the maximum loan amount you are eligible for. It’s crucial to speak with a range of mortgage brokers and look into lenders besides the major banks. They frequently have lower rates and a variety of mortgage options. Pre-approval for a mortgage will aid in your search. A pre-approval ensures that you will be able to take advantage of the rate for the following 160 days. In the early stages of your property hunt, you are therefore protected in the event that rates rise in December or early in the following year.

If you plan to buy in 2023, monitoring inflation is essential. Rates may remain at or possibly fall lower if the economy continues to trend in a downward direction toward the Bank’s target, making the variable rate mortgage a wise choice. “Anyone with less budgetary wiggle room should think about locking up a fixed rate. According to James Laird, co-CEO of Ratehub.ca and president of mortgage provider CanWise, “Anyone with adaptable household finances might keep onto their variable-rate mortgage in anticipation of future dropping rates that may be required to stimulate the economy if we end up in a recession.”

What Are Your Needs vs. Your Wants?

It’s crucial to weigh your needs in relation to your wish list’s “nice to haves.” Living close to excellent schools might be on your “need” list if you’re a parent, but being adaptable and looking into various communities with excellent schools could speed up your search for the ideal house. Read more about how flexibility helped Zoocasa clients find their ideal family home here.

When purchasing a home, you should keep in mind the location, the kind of property, the cost of housing, and other significant facilities. You’ll have a better notion of how to choose a property that suits your demands once you know what budget you have to work with (and maybe some of your wants too). Once your finances are in order, you can determine how much wiggle room you have for these things.

Prepare for Changing Markets

The busiest season for real estate is typically spring. Learn more about real estate cycles by clicking here. Although the market has slowed recently as a result of interest rate increases, the spring often sees an increase in the number of buyers and sellers. There were 16,363 sales in April 2021. Due to interest rate announcements, April was less active than January this year, when interest rates were still low but there were 5,636 sales instead of 8,008 due to the lower activity. Just 4,961 were sold throughout the month of October.

Although there aren’t as many bidding wars and other competitive situations right now, many potential buyers and sellers are optimistic about the spring market, which may result in some competition. Find a local real estate agent that can help you achieve your homeownership goals if you’re buying right away. Finding a trained agent who will market your home to appeal to the most potential buyers is essential if you’re selling. This advice also applies to buyers!

Your best course of action, whether you’re looking to buy or sell in 2023, would be to speak with one of our knowledgeable real estate agents who can walk you through the procedure and assist you in making the best choice for your future. See how Zoocasa agents have assisted their clients in discovering their dream homes by reading our five star reviews.

9 Renter Mistakes to Avoid

The first rung of the real estate ladder is frequently renting your own apartment. Additionally, mistakes are all too easy to make, just like with many other first steps in life. In light of this, let’s examine nine mistakes tenants frequently do so you can prevent them.

  1. Budgeting only for the rent
    It would be wise for anyone seeking to rent to first create a budget. However, a tenant has a lot more costs in addition to rent. These are a some of the most typical up-front expenses:
  • Security deposit
  • First and last month’s rent
  • Moving costs
  • Application fees (if applicable)
  • Furnishings (if needed)
  • Don’t forget about recurring expenses as well, such as:
  • Food
  • Laundry
  • Utilities (if they’re not included in the rent)
  • Parking (if applicable)
  • General maintenance, like snow removal.
  1. Not watching ahead of time
    In a competitive market, it may seem as though the best apartments sell out immediately after being listed. As a result, some renters opt to move forward without first inspecting the property. Unfortunately, disillusionment is sometimes the result of this. You may see the condition of the house and the area by seeing an apartment first. Verify that the apartment you are viewing is the one you will be moving into as well.
  2. failing to read or comprehend the lease agreement
    The lease agreement is a binding legal document that outlines all of the terms and conditions of your rental arrangement as determined by your landlord. Consequently, reading and comprehending it are crucial. Otherwise, you can unintentionally violate the rules and risk getting evicted. If you require assistance, seek out a specialist.
  3. Failure to Record Existing Damage
    It’s crucial to document any damage when you initially move into an apartment. The best course of action is to document the damage that existed when you moved in, ideally with the landlord there. There are situations when the landlord may not be aware of the damage already there, and you may be held responsible and penalized for it.
  4. Not receiving a written rental agreement
    A verbal agreement and a handshake are insufficient when renting an apartment. You must create a binding contract that details all of the terms and circumstances of your lease. A verbal agreement, unfortunately, can be broken at any time, leaving your rights as a renter fully unprotected.
  5. Renter’s Insurance Is Rejected
    In the event of vandalism, theft, or natural disasters throughout the term of your lease, renter’s insurance will protect both you and your things. It doesn’t cost much, but if something happens, it might save you thousands of dollars.
  6. Lack of Roommate Checks
    A fantastic approach to reduce your housing payments is by finding roommates. But having the wrong roommate can also ruin your life. Make sure to interview potential roommates carefully if you decide to share your rental with them.
  7. Breach of the Lease Agreement’s Terms
    The most common error made by tenants is to violate the terms of the lease. This might manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as through lost or late payments, the sneaking of pets into no-pet apartments, or unauthorized subletting. Keep in mind that the leasing agreement is enforceable. If you violate the terms, you can soon face a fine or eviction.
  8. Postponing until the last minute
    It is best to begin your search for a new rental as soon as possible. Choosing an apartment out of necessity and eventually something that isn’t right for you can happen if you wait until the last minute.

Living in Orillia

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In Orillia, residents enjoy the best of both worlds. Greater Toronto Area may be reached from Orillia in less than 90 minutes. The Sunshine City has worked hard to maintain the small-town charm that has enthralled generations of people despite the recent growth and advancement.

In fact, Orillia has mastered the art of celebrating its past while looking to the future. In this city that is encircled by two lakes and offers year-round outdoor activities to both residents and visitors, the quality of life is unmatched.

Residents have access to a top-notch hospital as well as a variety of other public services, which complement a city that also has a lively, historic downtown. These services include a new state-of-the-art recreation centre and a brand-new public library.

The newest university in Ontario is located in Orillia. With two locations—its main campus in West Orillia and one in the downtown’s historic core—Lakehead University has an expanding presence in Orillia.

Opportunities abound in Orillia, where prominent businesses include Nordia, Casino Rama, and the Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters.

Orillia is a lovely area to live, work, and conduct business. It is also a beautiful place to visit.