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.

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