As part of our article series on surprise costs for first-time home buyers, we’re going to explore the ins and outs of home appraisals. While this is a necessary step to ensure you don’t overpay for your new home, home inspections and appraisals can be tricky for new homeowners to navigate. Therefore, in addition to protecting your new investment with a NJ Homeowners’ Insurance policy, read on to discover what appraisals are, how they work, and who’s responsible for paying for them.
What is a home appraisal?
Essentially, an appraisal is a home’s estimated value based on factors such as size, features, location, amenities, similar property values, structural condition and more.
The appraiser will comb through the house and note any features that need repair or that could compromise or improve the value of the home.
Who conducts home appraisals?
According to Realtor, appraisers are third-party certified or licensed contractors, and the lender usually hires them. They are knowledgeable in real estate and are required to know how to evaluate a property on factors such as neighborhood growth, neighborhood housing trends and market conditions. Ensure the appraiser you choose works with various lenders to prevent any outside interests from coming into play while evaluating your home.
Does the homeowner pay for the appraisal?
Yes, but there are different ways that this can be done. The overall appraisal fee is approximately a few hundred dollars, which can be paid out of pocket up front or can be included in the home’s closing costs. Be sure the appraisal you receive is thorough and not considered a “drive by,” where the appraiser drives by the home and then researches neighboring homes’ value online.
How long will this process take?
The actual walk-through for an appraisal should take only a few hours or less, but the turnaround time from walking in the front door to providing a thorough appraisal rate is approximately one week.
About Tri-State Insurance Agency
At Tri-State Insurance Agency, we are committed to protecting homeowners against the broad spectrum of perils they face. Whether it is your full-time residence or vacation spot, our homeowner’s insurance is custom written to meet your specific needs and offers higher coverage limits and inclusions that traditional policies. For more information, contact us today at (973) 579-6776.