Property appraisers know how important amenities are to a home's value. A significant portion of a home’s value is determined by what’s on the inside — its size, layout, structure, living spaces. But what about the home amenities? What are some of the additional elements both inside and outside that can significantly raise a property valuation appraisal? Let’s take a look.
Increasing Property Valuation
Property appraisal depends on many factors. When entering a home, a property appraiser will look at and assess the following elements:
- The home’s overall design, size, square footage, layout and structure
- The home’s condition, finish work, and structural or cosmetic upgrades
- Any defining features and functional utility
- Qualities related to health and safety
Knowing which home amenities are upgraded or in better condition than before can positively impact an appraisal. When appraisers are armed with more specific information on certain upgraded home amenities, it can make a big difference. The home appraisal will be more accurate and will serve to answer any questions a client may have.
Here are a few key areas that an appraiser should focus in on:
Upgraded Front Door Entry - It’s all about curb appeal. Upgrading the front door entrance to a home can boost a home’s property valuation by thousands of dollars. A National Home Valuation Study by door manufacturer Therma-Tru found that the perceived value of a nearly $200,000 home rose by just over 4 percent from installing a new front door.
Additionally, a 2017 study showed that replacing the front door had the second-highest return on investment to improve a property valuation. A new front door entry not only gives the appraised house more value, it, by contrast, makes other houses in the area less desirable.
Walk-In Showers - Today’s traditional bathtub/showers are falling out of style in modern homes. About 55 percent of users report that they've never even used their bathtub, while another study from The American Institute of Architects showed that more than 60 percent of homeowners would prefer to have walk-in showers without a tub.
Walk-in shower manufacturers advocate the mobility benefits for these types of open, enclosed and surround spray showers for seniors. They are also easy to maintain and can integrate into a small or large bathroom. For these reasons, walk-in showers can benefit a home’s appraisal value.
Solar Panels - Solar panels are a distinct advantage for a property owner. They increase long-term home values by $14,329 on average, and homes with solar power systems sell for about 4 percent more than similar properties without them.
Solar panels will boost a property valuation in the right circumstances depending on factors like the property’s location, the size of the installation and the current value of the home. Appraisers know that property value increases are related to the number (and quality) of the installed solar PV panels. The property’s energy efficiency factor will be noted in public property records.
Upstairs Laundry Room - No more trudging up and down stairs to do laundry. A popular trend in modern homes is to have a dedicated laundry room tucked away upstairs next to the bedrooms.
In fact, in a 2017 NAHB survey of homebuyers, the most desired feature in a home was a dedicated laundry room located near the bedrooms. This strategic placement was considered desirable or essential by more than three-fourths of the respondents. Millennials also consider an upstairs laundry room as a must-have for a home, yearning for enough counter space for clothes folding, dirty clothes bins, cabinets for detergents and even added features like a wash sink and ironing board. This amenity can contribute to a favorable asking price.
Adding certain amenities can certainly bring more value to a property evaluation. For more information on home appraisal insights, get in touch with us today. We are a national provider of property data and document images to mortgage and real estate-related businesses. With real estate data spanning 100 percent of all U.S. residential real estate and a database of more than 6 billion recorded document images (e.g., deeds and property transaction-related documents), DataTree delivers the data, property reports and document images that help bring clarity and insight to business decisions.