Sometimes home improvements are made simply to accommodate your own tastes, wants or needs, but it’s always good to have an idea of how various changes may affect your home’s value. In fact, understanding the correlation between an improvement and home value may even help you decide if a change you’re considering is worth making.

As a longtime mortgage banker, I’ve come to know a lot about valuing homes. Still, experience also tells me that, since I’m not directly involved in valuing them, it’s smart to lean on the advice of Realtors and appraisers.

“It is the appraisers job to be completely unbiased and report the current market value,” says D. Scott Murphy, SRA, a real estate appraiser and consultant with D.S. Murphy & Associates, who also is Chair of the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board. “It is not his job to protect the buyer or the mortgage company. If he does his job correctly all parties should be satisfied.”

Murphy says an appraiser puts themselves into the shoes of a typical buyer. “A smart homeowner will stay on top of maintenance items (HVAC, plumbing, wiring, roof, and so on) and be doing regular updates and repairs. Buyers don’t get super excited about maintenance items. Still, when you buy a house you expect it to have all these things in good working order.”

As common sense and real estate television shows might have led you to expect, kitchens and baths are the flashiest areas for many homebuyers. “They also are the areas which can really show a home’s age,” Murphy says. “We spend most of our time in these rooms. The value of a new bath in one location may vary significantly from another location, as would the value of that bathroom in a $100,000 or $1,000,000 home.


By Lea Lea Brown – Read the full article here: