What is an Appraisal?
An appraisal for a home is an unbiased, professional assessment and valuation of the property. Appraisals are a standard part of the home buying process that are usually required on a purchase and refinance transaction. The appraisal helps determine that the anticipated loan-to-value is still in-line with the home’s current market value. If an appraisal comes in higher than the purchase price, then you’re good to go! If it comes in lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, then the loan amount may change to adjust the loan-to-value.
How Long does a Home Appraisal Take?
The length of the process may vary depending on the size of the lot and the home. An appraisal may take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.
What Do They Look for in a Home Appraisal?
The home appraiser analyzes the home’s condition from inside out to determine the home’s estimated value. The appraiser may review the following items:
- The neighborhood
- The property’s lot size
- Square footage of the home
- Condition of the structure of the home
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Materials used to build the home
- Recent renovations
- The estimated value of comparable homes in the neighborhood
How Long is a Home Appraisal Good for?
Typically, home appraisals don’t have an expiration date. However, since the appraisal is basing off of comparable homes in the neighborhood, the appraisal needs to be fairly up to date. Therefore, lenders may not accept an appraisal that is more than six months old.
How Much Does a Home Appraisal Cost?
An appraisal for a single-family home varies based on the location, property type, and other factors, and can cost anywhere from $300 to over $1,000. The mortgage lender will order the appraisal right before the mortgage underwriting process through their network of licensed appraisers.