Frequently Added Questions
With the dramatic changes in the housing market over the last 5 years, from wild increases to just as astonishing drops, many people are unsure of what their homes or potential homes are really worth. Homeowners are confused about what their properties are worth and how much they could realistically sell them for or how the changes in the market and lending guidelines will affect them trying to refinance. For potential buyers besides having been worried about which direction the market is going in and if it has hit bottom also are uncertain about what the true values are, especially with mounting foreclosures and so many homes being advertised at big discounts.
With the rapid development of real estate on the Internet and the addition of many new websites there has been an increase in tools for homeowners and buyers including Home Value Calculators. Most Home Value Calculator tools are designed for getting a quick rough estimate of what a home may be worth. There are many variations of Home Value Calculator tools. From surfing the web you will no doubt see that not much thought has been put into some of these tools, and they are just added to draw more visitors to their site and capture your information as a prospect. The results they give can also vary widely. For example using the same home or type of home using a Home Value Calculator on two different sites yielded a result of $869,000 on one and a range of $316,400 to $474,600 on another!
Another interesting version of a Home Value Calculator on the Realtor.com site lets you predict the future value of a home based on different local or national indexes. These are neat toys to play with, but if you want a more accurate figure it is obviously recommended to approach a local real estate agent who can provide you with a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) or contacting a state licensed appraiser.
The media and professional real estate associations are now reporting a stabilizing in the housing market and even a significant improvement in some cities. Most homeowners or potential buyers these days are still reeling from these changes in the market and are unsure of what homes are really worth or perhaps more importantly how banks and lenders are determining home value estimates.
We are constantly reminded that 'all real estate is local', sometimes the reports released on the housing market seem to be out of touch with reality or are skewed by flaws that show results many homeowners don't see in their local market. So where do you get home value estimates and how much can you rely on them?
There are a number of sources for home value estimates. Most real estate agents will be more than happy to provide you with a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis). A CMA gives home value estimates based on comparing local real estate data of recently sold homes, homes currently listed for sale and home listings that were canceled or have expired. These can be a great resource for determining home value estimates, but accuracy depends on the individual real estate associates experience and can sometimes be skewed in order to tell you what you want to hear in order to get your home listing.
Today there are many many websites on the Internet offering home value calculators and home value estimates. Some of these are free and some need to be paid for. These tools use comparable home sales and sometimes combine them area trend data to give home value estimates. Unfortunately, while these sites can provide for a few interesting hours of research they are notoriously inaccurate. In a recent study, the best of these sites was only able to give accurate home value estimates 50% of the time. And that was determined by the final selling price falling with in a range that was given by the calculator.
Lastly you can turn to a local state licensed real estate appraiser. This is where you will likely get your most accurate home value estimates. Of course, this will cost money, but as they say 'you get what you pay for'. Also keep in mind that appraising real estate is considered more of an art than a science. And that home value estimates are really just that - an estimate of market value. Market value being the price that someone will be likely to pay for a property.
How much is my home worth? It's a question many home owners are asking themselves these days. Especially those who purchased homes before or during the height of the most recent housing boom. These homeowners saw a huge rise in the equity in their homes, then a huge crash and now many of the reports being released can be confusing or conflicting. Talking to most average Americans, the economy doesn't seem like it has improved for them. But yet new reports and surveys by NAR the National Association of Realtors suggests home prices are stabilizing and even improving in some areas.
There are different reasons people are asking the question 'how much is my home worth?'. Homeowners who have high interest rates and monthly mortgage payments may be interested in reducing their monthly expenses and taking advantage of the extremely low mortgage rates available now. Last week Yahoo Finance reported interest rates had hit a new low for 30 year fixed rates. Bankrate.com reports that 30-year fixed rates this week (ending December 6th, 2009) average 4.97% and 15-year fixed rates are at 4.54%. Other homeowners asking, 'how much is my home worth?' may be hoping they have sufficient equity in their homes to pull out some cash to cover a reduction in income or consolidate other high interest rate debt.
But the biggest group of people wondering 'how much is my home worth?' are likely those considering selling their homes. Many people have found themselves upside down in their homes - owing more on their mortgage loans than their homes are worth. Many of these homeowners, especially those who are in financial difficulty are inclined to just walk away from these homes and hope to by another for less money in the future. Others desperately want to sell, whether they need to relocate for work or need to be close to family. Some may benefit from 'short sales' or loan modifications but not all.
For those of you wondering 'how much is my home worth?', then you can consult a local real estate agent, search online value calculators or contact a state licensed property appraiser.
With the present changes in the housing market and economy, it's a widespread question these days 'How much is my house worth?'
We have all seen the reports regarding reducing houses values nowadays. And now the media and real estate market have been giving information showing a stabilizing housing industry and forecasting additional enhancement. However, this can at times be a lot puzzling. On top of that, when speaking to mortgage and real estate experts, they are sure to inform you regarding tightening and further difficult assessment standards. You have probably seen the National Association of Realtors television ads showing you that 'All real estate is local', so while asking yourself 'What is the value of my house in the house selling market?' the most excellent thing to do is either talk with a local professional or search on the Internet and at the real information.
There are lots of websites that can provide you data on your local real estate market. There are also many websites some without charge and some paid that will provide you estimates on what your house is worth just now. However most of the times these estimates are anything but perfect because the records these sites get their information from is sometimes outdated or imprecise. So, they can be useful as an approximate guidebook, but not for concrete numbers or information. So where do you get the most precise answer to the question 'What is the value of my home in the home selling market?'. The majority real estate agents will provide you with a free of charge home evaluation.
But if you are looking at refinancing your property/assets or selling it, a certified state licensed valuator is really the most secure source to contact. Yes, this incurs some money, but it is the sure short way to know how a lender will appraise your house. But do remember that evaluating homes is considered more of an art compare to a science.
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