Property appraisal is an essential process that helps determine the value of a property. It is a standard practice that is usually conducted when buying, selling, or refinancing a property. However, many people are left wondering how often a property should be appraised. The answer to this question varies depending on several factors, including the type of property, market conditions, and the purpose of the appraisal.

In general, most lenders require a new appraisal every time a property is refinanced or sold. This is because the value of a property can change over time, and a new appraisal ensures that the property’s value is accurately reflected in the transaction.

However, if you are not planning to sell or refinance your property, there may not be a need for a new appraisal. It is worth noting that some lenders may require an updated appraisal if the property has not been appraised in a while, or if there have been significant changes to the property or the market conditions.

Why Appraisals are Important

When it comes to real estate transactions, home appraisals are an essential part of the process. They provide an unbiased opinion of the market value of a property, which is crucial for both buyers and sellers. In this section, we will discuss the importance of appraisals and how they can affect the real estate market.

Why Appraisals are Important

Market Value

One of the primary reasons why appraisals are important is because they help determine the market value of a property. This value is determined by analyzing comparable sales, also known as “comps,” in the area. Appraisers will look at the sale price of recently sold homes that are similar in size, location, and amenities to the subject property. By doing so, they can determine a fair market value for the property.

Property Value

Another reason why appraisals are important is that they help determine the appraised value of a property. This value is based on the condition and structure of the property, as well as its square footage and other amenities. Appraisers will also consider any recent renovations or upgrades that have been made to the property.

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Assessment

Appraisals are also important because they help determine the assessed value of a property. This value is used to calculate property taxes and is determined by the local government. Appraisals can help ensure that the assessed value is accurate and fair, which can save homeowners money on their property taxes.

In addition to these factors, appraisals can also help with the following:

  • Ensuring that a home loan is not being taken out for more money than the property is worth
  • Providing an independent appraiser’s opinion of the property’s value
  • Helping buyers and sellers negotiate the sale price of a property
  • Providing a second opinion if there is a low appraisal or bidding wars
  • Helping with refinancing by determining the current value of the property

Overall, home appraisals are an essential part of the real estate transaction process. They provide an unbiased opinion of the property’s value, which is important for both buyers and sellers. By ensuring accuracy and fairness, appraisals can help prevent issues down the line and ensure a smooth real estate transaction.

When to Get an Appraisal

Getting a property appraisal can be a crucial step in many real estate transactions. Knowing when to get an appraisal can help you make informed decisions about selling, refinancing, or appealing property taxes. Here are some situations in which you may want to consider getting an appraisal.

Selling a Property

If you’re planning to sell your property, getting an appraisal can help you determine its market value. This can be especially important if you’re selling in a competitive market or if you’ve made significant upgrades or renovations to the property. An appraisal can also help you set a realistic asking price and avoid overpricing or underpricing your property.

Refinancing a Mortgage

If you’re considering refinancing your mortgage, your lender may require an appraisal to determine the current value of your property. This can help the lender decide whether to approve your loan and how much to lend you. An appraisal can also help you determine whether refinancing is a good financial decision for you.

Appealing Property Taxes

If you believe that your property has been overvalued by the assessor’s office, you may want to consider getting an appraisal to support your appeal. An appraisal can provide an independent, unbiased estimate of your property’s value, which can be used as evidence in your appeal. An appraisal can also help you determine whether you’re eligible for any property tax exemptions or deductions.

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When getting an appraisal, it’s important to work with a reputable appraiser who has experience in your local market. You should also be prepared to provide the appraiser with information about your property, such as its age, maintenance, and any recent upgrades or renovations. The appraiser will typically conduct a visual inspection of the property’s exterior and interior and may use different approaches to determine its value, such as the sales comparison approach or the income approach.

Appraisal fees can vary depending on the size and complexity of the property, but they typically range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. It’s important to factor in the cost of the appraisal when considering whether to get one.

Overall, getting an appraisal can provide valuable information about your property’s value and help you make informed decisions about buying, selling, or refinancing. If you have any doubts about the accuracy of the appraisal, you may want to consider getting a second opinion or consulting with a real estate agent or independent appraiser.

Factors that Affect Appraisal Frequency

When it comes to determining the frequency of property appraisals, several factors come into play. The following sub-sections explore some key factors that can affect how often a property should be appraised.

Factors that Affect Appraisal Frequency

Market Conditions

The housing market is constantly changing, and market conditions can have a significant impact on a property’s value. In a fast-moving market with bidding wars and low inventory, a property’s value can increase rapidly. In contrast, a slow market can lead to a decrease in property values. As such, it is important to consider market conditions when determining how often to appraise a property.

Property Upgrades

Upgrades and renovations can significantly impact a property’s value. For example, adding a new bathroom or updating the kitchen can increase a property’s value. On the other hand, failing to maintain a property can lead to a decrease in value. As such, it is important to consider any upgrades or changes to the property when determining how often to appraise it.

Neighborhood Changes

Changes in a property’s neighborhood can also impact its value. For example, the construction of a new school or the addition of new amenities can increase a property’s value. Alternatively, an increase in crime rates or the construction of a nearby landfill can lead to a decrease in property values. As such, it is important to consider any neighborhood changes when determining how often to appraise a property.

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In conclusion, determining how often to appraise a property can be influenced by several factors, including market conditions, property upgrades, and neighborhood changes. It is important to consider these factors when deciding how often to appraise a property to ensure the most accurate appraisal value possible.

How Often to Get an Appraisal

When it comes to knowing how often to get an appraisal, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The frequency of appraisals will depend on several factors, such as the type of property, the purpose of the appraisal, and the lender’s requirements. In this section, we will discuss general guidelines and factors to consider when deciding how often to get an appraisal.

General Guidelines

In general, it is recommended to get a new appraisal every five years for residential properties and every three years for commercial properties. However, this is just a rough estimate, and the actual frequency of appraisals will depend on the specific circumstances of each property.

For example, if you have made significant improvements to your property, such as adding a new room or upgrading the kitchen, you may want to get an appraisal sooner to reflect the increased value. On the other hand, if the property market is stagnant or declining, you may want to wait longer between appraisals to avoid getting a lower value.

Factors to Consider

When deciding how often to get an appraisal, there are several factors to consider:

  • Purpose of the appraisal: If you are getting an appraisal for a specific purpose, such as refinancing or selling, you may need to get a new appraisal more frequently than if you are just monitoring the value of your property.
  • Lender’s requirements: If you have a mortgage, your lender may require you to get an appraisal at specific intervals, such as every two years.
  • Type of property: The frequency of appraisals will vary depending on the type of property. For example, commercial properties may require more frequent appraisals than residential properties due to the higher turnover rate of tenants.
  • Location: The property market in your area will also affect the frequency of appraisals. If property values are changing rapidly, you may need to get more frequent appraisals to keep up with the market.

In conclusion, the frequency of appraisals will depend on several factors, and there is no set rule for how often to get an appraisal. It is important to consider the specific circumstances of your property and consult with a professional appraiser to determine the best course of action.

About the author 

Eric Lee

Eric, Co-Founder of REIInsiders, brings extensive real estate investing expertise and a finance background to drive growth and oversee marketing and business development efforts.

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