Tips To Get Your Home Ready For An Appraisal

Are you planning to sell your home or possibly refinance? If you are, it’s beneficial that you know what to expect when an appraiser will come and overview your home. The role of an appraiser is to assess the value of your home and property within the particular housing market trends. They are known to provide an unbiased assessment of the land and exterior and interior of your home and property. This means they will look at everything from your yard, decks, front porches, windows, doors, garages, and everything else inside which also means there can be a lot to prepare for.

Be One Step Ahead

If you are thinking of selling or refinancing then this is the time where you will want to make your own assessments of your home and property and create a list of work needed around the home to get it ready before the appraiser comes out. Waiting until you start the process of refinancing or selling will most likely cause you a lot of stress as it is common to discover a list of things that need repair or touching up. Even cleaning up a yard can be a lot of work so it’s always a better idea to be one step ahead in the process.

Start With The Basics

Before you start to stress out take a deep breath. This can be an easier experience if you have a plan. Start with the basics. Walk through your home and list any areas within each room that you think need repair work, replacements, or touch-ups. This can be everything from new light bulbs to drywall patching, paint touch-ups, or even areas that need a good scrubbing. Areas that need painting can have colored tape placed as you go through your home so that they are not skipped over when it comes time to touch them up. Check to make sure that your smoke alarms are working and whether or not they function as carbon monoxide detectors. If they do not function as a combined unit you will need to purchase what is needed in order to have both within the home.

Where It All Begins

Once you have overviewed your living space it will be time to start crossing everything off that list you made. This will be one of the more time-consuming aspects of the process but if you start this before you begin the refinance or selling process through your loan officer then you will have plenty of time to get done what is needed. If you have already started that process, no worries. Just take one step at a time and you will be surprised what you are able to accomplish. Cleaning, repairing drywall, fresh paint and touch-ups are all basics things that should be done prior to having your appraiser come out. First impressions do matter so these basic things should not be avoided. Depending on the shape of your home you may even need to repaint or touch up areas of the exterior part of your home as well. Even a fresh coat around a door frame can make all the difference.

Your Yard Matters

Sometimes this can be one of the most dreadful projects depending on the season you are planning to refinance or sell and of course, depending upon the shape your yard is in. Take the time to weed, clean up yard debris, and mow your grass. Cut or trim away any dead plants and/or branches around your home with the intent to keep things looking as simple as possible. Less is more appealing to the eyes so a tidy yard is the goal. You may need to pressure was any decking, patios, or even the siding of your house if they are dingy but keep in mind that if you’re selling or refinancing during the colder seasons then your appraiser should keep this into account. By no means will they be holding you to perfection. Be easy on yourself. You want your home to be appraised for the greatest value and therefore show off your homes potential but everyone knows that a winter yard looks far different than a summer yard. If the weather is permitting this will also be a good time to clean out the gunk in your gutters and check for any external damage that may need to be repaired.

Keep Current Trends In Mind

It’s probably been a while since you’ve updated the materials in your home. Most of the time, a fresh coat of paint will bring new life to a home and project the current trends but other materials can also catch an appraiser’s eye. Appliances, flooring, carpeting, and counters can all be assessed for the value of your home. This is not to say that you have to do a complete remodel on your home but a good rule of thumb is to assess the cost it would take to repair or replace these materials and assume that value would go against your total home value. One or two areas may not make a difference when it comes to how updated your home is but if the majority of your home is outdated and/or damaged you will want to look into ways you can update the materials. Other things that can appeal to the eye of an appraiser are bright, colorful throw pillows along the couch, fresh flowers in a vase on the kitchen counter, and live house plants that are strategically placed. Lighting a candle can even create an ambiance that can go a long way in imparting a good first impression.

Less Is Better

Earlier it was mentioned that less is better. When there is a lot of clutter the house and/or yard can seem chaotic. Keeping everything tidy when the appraiser comes out to look at your house will do wonders. Store things in cupboards off of the counters during this time. Practice being a minimalist as best as you can. Cleaning may not be your forte but it will be worth the time and effort you put in to get the highest assessed value of your home. Making beds, keeping toys in storage bins as well as any other household items that may find their way often to the floors or spread across a room should be picked up and put away. Even bathroom items that are normally left along the countertops should be placed away for a time in the cupboards or cabinets so that they are out of sight. Remember, less is better.

Communicate

The appraiser is not your enemy. Be friendly. Though it may feel as if they are working against you they are actually there to help you. Feel free to ask them questions especially once they are done. If there are any tips they can give you on making improvements to increase the value of your home you will want to know. They will not tell you what the final assessment is but they can provide insight. You also can provide insight. Many appraisers are not familiar with the areas they are looking at homes in. Share with them what school district you fall in as well as the other districts that border your area. Parks, shopping plazas, freeway accessibility, and other public amenities all play a role in the value of our homes so share these with your appraiser in case they are not aware.

The process of getting your home ready for a refinance or selling state can be a journey of sorts but it doesn’t have to be grueling. If you can give yourself time within the process you will be able to accomplish what is needed to get done. If you happen to be on a time crunch then assess the priorities, the major fix-its, and start there. Whatever you do, doing something is better than nothing.

Top States People Are Moving Out Of And Into

Many have noticed the posts and memes on social media and elsewhere about people moving out of their state to another state which leaves us to question. Where are people moving to and why? With states naturally competing with each other in various ways these moves in large numbers could affect the states that everyone is leaving behind as well as those that they are moving into. 

 

Which States Are People Moving Out Of And Into

Every January United Van Lines, the largest moving company in the United States, publishes data comparing the number of inbound moves to that of outbound moves of each state across the U.S. National Movers Study also provides a targeted look at the types of interstate moving patterns. Though this data only provides a subset of all migration movements, it still provides us with a look into what is happening

The National Movers Study recently revealed that Idaho, South Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Arizona have the greater proportion of inbound moves while New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, and California have the highest number of outbound moves for 2020. With sustained periods of inbound or outbound migration eventually having an impact on the economics and growth of a state, these current fluctuations are worth noting. 

 

Common Reasons For People Moving To A New State

One of the common reasons people move to a new state may be a bit surprising. Taxes, which can influence the availability of jobs and therefore where people relocate based on job positions, is one of the most common reasons people move to a new state. For example, many people work in Portland, Oregon but live in SW Washington where they can easily commute via the interstate. This way they are close to where they work but live across the river in another state to save on things like property taxes. When it comes to people making smart financial decisions, where they live is at the top of the list and now that more people are working from home they have more flexibility in deciding where they want to live when making these financial deliberations. 

One other reason people move to other states has to do with retirement. Here, the financial considerations are much different, including the consideration of one’s lifespan after retirement. This is where climate factors come into play. Retirees tend to look into states that reflect an atmosphere where they can enjoy their surroundings. Work is no longer the focus but rather the environment in which they will live along with their financial budget. This is why places like Arizona, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, and Maine are all on top of the list. They are not only attractive because of their climate, but they also have attractive tax climates making them a double bonus. When a job is no longer the center of one’s thinking, factors like taxation can take precedence in a person’s decision-making.  

 

A View Into How Tax Climate Can Affect Where A Person Lives

The Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index allows for business leaders, taxpayers, and policymakers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. It is designed to reveal how well states structure their tax systems as well as providing a visual for improvement. According to the most recent index, the 10 best states were Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Utah, Indiana, and North Carolina. Something to consider that fares well with these states are the absence of major taxes. Unemployment insurance and property taxes are both levied in these states with many doing without at least one of the following major taxes: individual income tax, corporate income tax, and sales tax. 

States ranked as the top 10 lowest or worst states this year according to this index are Alabama, Vermont, New York, Louisiana, Maryland, California, New Jersey, Minnesota, Connecticut, and Arkansas. What these states have in common is complex/non-neutral taxes with high rates. New Jersey has some of the highest property tax rates, corporate and individual income taxes, levies inheritance tax and has some of the nation’s most poorly structured individual income taxes. 

Now looking into how this factors into migration traffic; the State Business Tax Climate Index reveals that four of the ten worst performing states on its index are also among the ten states that have the most outbound migration traffic found in the National Movers Study. Seven of the top ten ranked inbound migration states also ranked in the top half of states on the State Business Tax Climate Index. Although a state may not be able to control the environmental landscape they still have the ability to affect their economics through making wise tax policy decisions which prove to have an impact on whether people move in or move out. 

As 2020 has brought many new changes, society is quickly adapting so it is not a wonder that one of the major changes is the inbound and outbound traffic of people moving around the U.S., and 2021 could potentially be a year that adds to this increase in fluctuations.

Multifamily Housing Trends For 2021

The multifamily housing sector certainly took a hit this past year but it still managed to weather the storm and persevere in comparison to others. However, property owners still felt the loss of income and are hopeful to start moving forward these next coming years with multifamily housing trends for 2021 providing that glimpse of hope they are looking for.

Continue reading

Why A Commercial Roof Inspection Should Be On Everyone’s New Years List

Think of regular routine commercial roof inspections in the same way you would routinely change oil on a car. By changing your oil regularly you protect and extend the longevity of your engine and much is the same when it comes to a roof. Roofing is an investment so to protect that investment, regular routine inspections are needed to prevent major problems from occurring and extend the life of your roofing investment.

Continue reading

2021 Forecast For Multifamily Properties

This year has certainly held it’s challenges but the question now presents itself, ‘ what will 2021 look like? At this point we can clearly see that 2020 will transition into the coming year but how it will transition into the new year for the multifamily industry holds its predictions. Let’s look at some highlights that may give us insight into the 2021 forecast for multifamily properties.

Continue reading

5 Ways To Build Resident Retention This Thanksgiving Season

Oftentimes, multi-family housing focuses on marketing towards new tenants but what if some of that focus was geared towards keeping the tenants you already have? Resident retention is just as important as marketing for new tenants because it not only decreases turnover rates but it has the ability to function as a referral base as well. Here we offer 5 ways to build resident retention this Thanksgiving season.

Continue reading

Preparing Your Multifamily Housing Roof For The Winter

Depending on the area, a winter season can be long and harsh. Once the rain and snow come, getting onto a roof can be tricky and oftentimes dangerous. Preparing a multi-family housing roof for the winter is not only a precautionary step in avoiding roofing problems; it also aids in preventing accidents where roofers are concerned. Here is a list of things to winterize when preparing your multifamily housing roof for the winter.

Continue reading

Multi-Family 2020 Trends To Watch

Employment growth and overall household income have always played a part in driving the economy. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been laid off and as a result, the economy has been impacted. Here we will look at how the multi-family industry has been impacted, what they can expect and what multifamily 2020 trends to watch for.

Continue reading

When Is The Best Time To Replace Your Commercial Roof

Replacing a roof is not something business owners or property managers generally want to think about but it’s essential for the integrity of the building as well as preventing unwanted costs. There is a lot of work that goes into replacing a roofing system but with reliable and trustworthy professionals a new roof is worth the investment.

Continue reading

Property Management Tips In Managing Multi-Family Communities During Covid

With Covid-19 in effect, many of those in the work field have had to work from home and as much as we may think this is a byproduct of the virus, the truth is that the virus has only accelerated a trend that many were already practicing. Yet, it’s new enough that some are still adjusting. With multi-family communities in mind, rental agents have had to try and find new ways to stay engaged with their tenants, all the while continuing to keep safety in mind. As much as we would like to think that everything will go back to what we knew before, multi-family properties may need to anticipate this ‘new’ way of engaging with their tenants in the future. No matter what lies ahead, the focus should be on maintaining a thriving community where tenants feel their overall needs are met.

Continue reading