Things That Can Hurt your Home Appraisal
With mortgage rates rising, and the Bank of Canada increasing the key interest rate, the real estate market is slowing down. Housing prices are reflecting that, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get top dollar for your property. There are some important steps you can take to make sure when the house appraisal comes in, you are in an excellent position to get the number you’re hoping for.
It’s easy to make a list of things you need to do to upkeep your home, but when the weekend rolls around after a long week of work, the last thing you may want to do is more work. You’ve overlooked the peeling paint, that cracked patio has gotten worse, and you suspect there’s a small leak in your roof. Until you get those issues and anything else resolved, your appraisal will reflect those and will return a number you’re unhappy with.
Too Much You
It’s your house, your space and you’ve wanted to share how it is. Maybe there’s a collectibles room that’s filled with built-in shelves and no room for a bed. Or perhaps there’s an abstract feature wall with bright yet contrasting colors. Maybe there’s even a mini putting green in your basement. Unfortunately, houses that have too much personalization will see a poor appraisal.
Too Much Stuff
If the appraiser can’t see the positive features of the house due to all the things you have in the house, they’re not going to have a positive appraisal. It might seem like an obvious thing to ensure the house is tidy and clutter-free, but one person’s tidiness is another person’s hoarding nightmare. Here’s a tip: when you come into your home, try to look at it through another person’s eyes: maybe your mother. If you can imagine their disapproving glance as they walk through your home, then chances are you may need to do a purge before you call the appraiser out for the walkthrough.
There’s not much you can do about the location your house is in. It’s not as if you can just pick it up, put it on a trailer and move it! It’s important to know, however, that the neighbourhood your house is in, what it’s close to or what it’s not close to will hurt your home appraisal. Maybe your neighbourhood has higher crime, or your neighbours haven’t taken care of their curb appeal as you have with yours. Maybe it backs onto a cemetery, or you’re on a flight path for the local airport. All those reasons and more are factors that will negatively impact your Toronto home appraisal.
Curb appeal is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you want your yard to look well-kept and attractive, but you don’t want it to look like it’s too hard to keep up. People love beautiful yards; they don’t love having to put the work in to maintain them. Have the grass mowed to a respectable length, with trees and hedges trimmed, but avoid high-maintenance features that would turn off prospective buyers.
You might have bought your house never intending on moving, and now the house reflects that. While some of these issues could hurt an appraisal would be easier to do if regular upkeep was done, that’s always the best-case scenario. You’re not a bad person if any of these have to be dealt with! These are all issues that every homeowner will have to deal with at least once in their homeownership journey. With very few exceptions, none of these are irreversible, and with some extra effort, your appraisal can have positive results.