To lend you money for a mortgage when you are buying a home, your lender will want to know that the property is worth amount you’re willing to spend. They need to check everything that could devalue or increase the property’s worth. To do this, they require a home appraisal. A home appraisal is an estimate of the property’s value.
Property value is based on factors such as location, structural condition and recent sales of similar local properties.
A certified home appraiser will conduct the process. This person is independent of the lender, but is contracted by them because of their knowledge on how to evaluate a property and local housing trends.
During the visit, the appraiser will walk through of the property, noting everything that could add or subtract from a home’s value. To document the condition of the property, the appraiser will also take pictures of each room.
The actual time the appraiser spends at the property is usually under an hour, although it could be longer for larger homes.
The appraiser then researches comparable properties in the area and creates the report, which could take as little as two days and up to a week to complete. Once completed, the report is sent to your lender, who is required to give you a copy of it. Make sure you keep your copy for your records.
Ultimately, you, the buyer, pays for the appraisal, usually as part of the closing costs. The total cost ranges between $300 and $450 but can be slightly higher or lower.
Please let me know if you have any questions about any other facets of the appraisal process and I will try to answer them.