Appraisal versus Assessment – What’s the Difference?

Home valuation is one of the tricky areas of real estate. In general, you want a high appraisal and a low assessment. But shouldn’t they be the same? Well, in a perfect world your assessment and your appraisal would be the same, but you don’t want the world to be perfect in this regard. Here’s why:

Appraisal

An appraised value comes from the report completed by a licensed professional appraiser to determine property value at a specific point, typically for a buyer to obtain a mortgage. It is a tool used by underwriters for lenders to determine if the home has enough collateral for the loan needed to purchase or refinance it.

Appraisers compare the home to similar properties in their evaluation. They look for both similarities to find a base value and difference to increase or decrease the value such as the roof’s age, livable square footage, exterior materials, upgrades, and other finished. Using these numbers and other valuation formulae such as the cost to rebuild the home (similar to your homeowner insurance values), and potential income from rental or other uses, the appraiser determines a possible value.

The market value is not the same as the appraised value, however. While it starts with the appraised value, other determiners such as the desirability of the area, or circumstances such as a tornado, hurricane, or eminent domain issues may adjust the market value above or below the appraised value.

Assessment

A home’s assessed value typically comes from the taxing authority for the municipality. It is the method of determining the tax basis (or valuation) of the property. The tax assessment is a percentage of that value that the homeowner pays annually to provide the municipality money for water and fire services, schools, capital improvements to roads, bridge, and public parks and additional essential services.

The amount of the percentage and its designations differ for every taxing authority, so a home in one neighborhood might have a different assessed value from an identical house in another block nearby if the boundary lines for the taxing authority (school district, for example) differs.Some counties and cities reassess homes only when they sell, while others have periodic assessments. And the percentage rates of the assessments change when voters approve various tax levies for a variety of purposes.

An appraisal affects your ability to obtain a mortgage for your home while an assessment relates to the ongoing yearly tax expenses. Since a third factor determines the home’s selling price, the market value, your professional realtor should guide your understanding of how these factors affect your home purchase or sale.

3 Reasons for Home Sellers to Take a Wait and See Approach

If you plan to sell a house, it can be easy to try to rush through the home selling cycle. However, doing so may do more harm than good, particularly for home sellers who want to maximize their profits.

Ultimately, a wait and see approach can be beneficial for a home seller. Some of the key reasons to consider taking a wait and see approach to selling a house include:

1. You can clean your house from top to bottom.

A messy home is unlikely to generate interest from large groups of homebuyers. Comparatively, a neat, tidy and pristine home is sure to stir up plenty of interest once it reaches the real estate market.

If you spend some time enhancing your house’s interior and exterior, the benefits can be substantial. In addition to making your residence more attractive to homebuyers, you may be able to raise your chances of receiving offers at or above your initial asking price.

To clean your house’s interior, you should spend some time mopping the floors, wiping down walls and ceilings and doing whatever you can to make each room look great. Meanwhile, to improve your house’s exterior, you may want to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do everything possible to ensure your house has plenty of curb appeal.

2. You can conduct a comprehensive home appraisal.

A home seller who immediately adds a residence to the real estate market might not understand what his or her house is worth based on the current housing market’s conditions. As such, this home seller risks pricing his or her house too high or too low.

Conversely, if you perform a home appraisal, you can set a competitive price for your residence from day one. This appraisal also will enable you to identify your home’s strengths and weaknesses and find ways to transform assorted weaknesses into strengths.

Employ an experienced home appraiser to evaluate your house – you’ll be glad you did. With a top-notch home appraiser at your side, you can receive the expert insights that you need to price your house appropriately.

3. You can discover the right real estate agent.

When it comes to selling a house, why should you be forced to work with an inferior real estate agent? Unfortunately, if you rush to add your residence to the real estate market, you may select the first real estate agent that you meet. And in this scenario, you risk making a poor choice.

On the other hand, a home seller who takes a wait and see approach can spend some time evaluating many real estate agents. Then, this home seller can make an informed selection and increase his or her chances of enjoying a successful home selling experience.

There is no reason to hurry through the home selling journey. Instead, deploy a wait and see approach, and you should have no trouble remaining patient and capitalizing on the right opportunities to maximize the value of your house.

This Years Top Home Trends On Pinterest

If your decor is feeling blah and drab after updating to a new home and bringing all of your old furniture with you don’t start hauling it to the dump just yet! You don’t have to toss everything out and start over to get a fresh new look.

Instead, incorporating a new trend or two can instantly change the look and feel of any room.

Here are the current top trends according to Pinterest:

Spa bathroom – Creating a spa-like atmosphere is at the top of everyone’s wish list, or so it seems. Items like cedarwood bath “mats”, rebottling products into beautiful bottles, and hanging eucalyptus and lavender are being pinned like crazy. Classics like wicker baskets, rolling up towels for display and bathtub caddies are still making their rounds. These are a great way to mix timeless elements with trending ones for a bathroom look that transcends time or at least not for the next year or two.

Sage – The color sage has won its standing in the neutral category. Use this shade to add tints of color to an otherwise neutral to the point of a sterile room. Kitchen cabinets, bathroom walls, living room walls are all popular canvases for this popular shade. Keep the trend modern by pairing it up with light pinks, taupes, creams, and denim blues. If you aren’t ready to commit to a paint color bring it in with accents via throw pillows, jars, and even the plant itself!

Big wall art – Big wall art is in and in a big way. Quickly replacing gallery walls canvases that stretch from floor to ceiling or a good  ⅔ of the wall big art is taking over Pinner’s boards by storm. Abstract pieces primarily in black and white seem to be the most popular when placed against a wall painted with a pop of color. However, don’t let this stop you from reach for a piece you love that is full of color! The key to this look is to avoid generic prints. If you’d like to make it personal blow up a more artistic shot from your wedding or have the kiddos make you a custom piece for a craft project.

Patterned plants – Greenery that comes in stripes, spots and varying shades are cropping up on Pinner’s boards everywhere. Plants bring life and freshness to a room so why not also make them pull their weight be adding visual interest to boot? Popular varieties are prayer plants, calathea, snake plants, philodendron, and pothos. Mix and match varieties to make a true statement.  

Colorful doors – Goodbye boring white doors! Colors like school bus yellow, blush pink, bright and cobalt blue are popping up on Pinterest boards everywhere. Go bold with yellow. Create a welcoming sanctuary with lavender. Create a home, sweet home with blush pink. And welcome guests with open arms with cobalt blue.

Revamp Your Homebuying Strategy

Although you might have entered the housing market with a strategy to help you streamline your search for your dream home, it is important to remember that even the best-laid plan may need to be changed. And if you fail to discover your ideal residence after a comprehensive search, now may be a great time to revise your homebuying strategy.

Let’s take a look at three tips to help you revamp your homebuying plan.

1. Consider Your Home Must-Haves and Wants

Creating a list of home must-haves and wants may be done at the start of a house search. Over time, however, this list may evolve. And if you update your list, you may be better equipped than ever before to reenter the real estate market with a fresh perspective.

Think about where you want to live in the foreseeable future too. Then, you can narrow your home search to specific cities and towns and accelerate the homebuying journey.

2. Review Your Budget

If you recently paid off your student loans or eliminated your credit cards, you may want to reassess your homebuying budget. That way, you can hone your house search and explore residences that fall within your up-to-date price range.

Of course, if you have yet to get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can still do so. Meet with banks and credit unions to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available. This will enable you to gain the insights you need to select a mortgage that matches your finances.

3. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market may favor buyers or sellers. And if you have been searching for your dream home for several weeks or months, the market may have changed.

It does not take long for a buyer’s market to become a seller’s market, or vice-versa. As you consider your homebuying options, you should study the local real estate sector closely to determine whether the current housing market favors buyers or sellers.

Evaluating the prices of recently sold houses in a particular city or town usually is a good idea. This housing market data will enable you to find out whether sellers are receiving offers at or near their initial home asking prices.

You also should find out how long current residences in a particular city or town have been listed. If houses linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time, you may be operating in a market that favors buyers. Or, if homes are selling quickly, you may be operating in a seller’s market.

Lastly, hiring a real estate agent often is helpful, particularly for homebuyers who are struggling to identify the perfect residence. A real estate agent can offer lots of tips as you conduct your search for your dream residence. Plus, if you need to revamp your homebuying strategy, a real estate agent will make it easy for you to do just that.

House Inspections: Here’s What Buyers Need to Know

A home inspection is one of the final stages of the property buying journey. If an inspection goes according to plan, a buyer may be able to seamlessly close on his or her dream residence. On the other hand, if problems are discovered during a house inspection, these issues may slow down or stop a home sale.

For property buyers, it helps to plan ahead for a home inspection as much as possible. Thankfully, we’re here to help you do just that.

Now, let’s take a look at three things that every buyer needs to know about home inspections.

1. A home inspection typically is performed after a seller accepts a buyer’s offer to purchase.

With a home inspection, a buyer can review a house with a property expert and identify any underlying problems. If a buyer finds problems during an inspection, this individual can rescind his or her offer to purchase, modify the offer or move forward with a home purchase.

It typically helps to hire a highly qualified and experienced home inspector. By having a skilled home inspector at your side, you can gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.

2. A buyer is not required to go to a home inspection, but it generally is a good idea to attend.

Usually, a buyer, his or her real estate agent and a home inspector will walk through a house together during an inspection. It also is important to note that a buyer is not required to go to an inspection, but in most cases, it is a good idea for a buyer to attend.

A buyer who attends a home inspection may be able to receive home insights that he or she won’t necessarily find in a house inspection report. As such, this buyer can obtain the house insights that he or she needs to make an informed homebuying decision.

3. A home inspection may require several hours to complete.

There is no time limit for a house inspection, but an average home inspection takes several hours to complete. After the inspection is finished, a property inspector will prepare a report that details his or her findings and provide it to a buyer within a few days. Then, a buyer will need to review the report and determine how to proceed.

As a buyer gets ready to enter the housing market, and eventually, perform a home inspection, it helps to hire a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent. This housing market professional can help a buyer find the right home, submit a competitive offer to purchase and conduct an in-depth home inspection. And after a buyer completes a successful home inspection, a real estate agent will help this individual navigate the final stages of the property buying journey.

Simplify the homebuying process – employ a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to locate and purchase your ideal residence.

How to Throw A Great Housewarming Party

You’ve finalized the paperwork moved the last box and may have even kicked up your feet to relax. It’s time to celebrate owning your very own home. Homeownership is a major milestone after all and you deserve to bask in the pride of this accomplishment by throwing a housewarming party. Share your new home and kickoff memories to come with your favorite people.

Start planning by tallying the number of guests on your list that will comfortably, and safely, fit into the amount of space your home has. You also want to keep your budget in mind as you finalize the number of guests for your party.

The best time to throw a housewarming party is two to three weeks after you’ve moved and have begun to settle in. Most of your boxes are probably unpacked by this point and you have an idea of how you’d like everything to be set up.

Send out invites two weeks ahead of time to give everyone enough time to arrange their schedules plan for your party. This is also a good time to begin planning food and drinks. You’ll want to create a cohesive spread of food or if your party is at a mealtime plan a full dinner. Make calls to get pricing for any catering you may want to have done or start gathering recipes.

You’ll want to have every room of your home ready for showing the day of the party as guests will want to see the full house. Do your best to make each room presentable and try to have everything unpacked and put away. Have a playlist of music to play for the party and buy some fresh cut flowers to put a finishing touch to each room.

Have your home ready for the influx of guests by stocking your bathroom with plenty of toilet paper, several fresh hand towels and a full bottle of hand soap. Have a place ready for guests to leave coats, bags, and shoes.

On the day of the party, try to greet every guest as they arrive. Offer them a drink, show them where refreshments are available and give directions to the bathroom. Offer tours of your home throughout the day/night in small groups so everyone has a chance to get the full viewing.

Signify the party is wrapping up by offering dessert and coffee. Thank all of your guests for coming as they depart. It is always a nice touch to send thank you notes to guests, especially to those who brought housewarming gifts.

Owning a home is a major accomplishment and one that should be celebrated! Housewarmings are a fun way to gather friends and family together and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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Decorate Your House from Scratch

Whether you are just setting up your new house or want a renovation, a great home decorating plan is a must. And getting the right one that fits your style perfectly could be a hurdle too high to jump over. However, it doesn’t really have to be that difficult.

You will be surprised that you can decorate your house yourself easily; all you need are the right steps and the materials that fit your style. Find below steps to follow to decorate your home on your own.

  • Figure out your decorating style. Learning your style is the first and the hardest part of home decorating. Once you get it, you are close to being done with the decorating. So, take your time to find out what you like in your home setting. You can set your house to be transitional, which is a blend of both the old and new way of home decorating, or go with a uniquely modern setting. You also can decide to choose from a contemporary or a farmhouse design. Whatever you want, the choice is yours.
  • Break down the plan. Once you determine the style you want to go with, the next step is to break your plan into smaller ones. And the first break will be taking one room at a time. Starting from a bedroom is advisable, but then you get to choose—since it is your house.
  • Start with the most significant piece in the room. After you choose a room, you must immediately figure out where to place the most significant item in the room. The largest is most likely the most expensive. In a bedroom, the biggest is the bed. So, once you figure out where and how to place the most prominent item, other things will find their way.
  • Leverage the experts. You can always seek the advice of experts. Their knowledge will save you a lot of trouble and most likely money. So, don’t hesitate to ask them questions whenever you have the opportunity. Some retailers offer professional advice to their customers, so use that.
  • Paint. The next step is painting the walls. Figure out what shades you want to use and stick with it. Colors that will appreciate the collections of items you have will go well. So, endeavor to put your pieces like the color of your chairs in the living room or the color of the rug before deciding on the color to paint.
  • Layer each room over time. You will discover that you can’t finish the decorating once. In fact, there is a saying that house decoration is not a sprint but a marathon, so as you live in your house, new ideas will come to your mind, and you can always try them out.