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If you’re thinking of buying a house, selling a house, or just refinancing your current house, an appraisal is going to be a necessary part of the entire process. 

According to Investopedia, an appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion on a home’s value. They are used to determine whether the home’s contract price is appropriate and comparable to other homes. When refinancing your home, an appraisal assures the lender that they are giving the borrower the right amount of money based on the house’s worth. 

No matter what you need an appraisal of, whether a modular home or a site-built home, this article will walk you through what to expect when you get your appraisal done.

Who is an Appraiser?

An appraiser is an unbiased professional who is in charge of appraising the value of a home or property. This is a licensed position that requires regular continued education to keep up their certification and training in the ever-evolving regulations surrounding appraisals.

A variety of people can hire an appraiser for different purposes. A bank may hire an appraiser to ensure they are not overlending based on a house’s value. Appraisers may work with homeowners who are selling their own homes. Individuals may hire an appraiser for estate work when someone dies or during a divorce to give a judge a fair value of the mutual property that needs to be divided.

Appraising Modular vs. Site Built Homes

According to Chuck Pocock, Owner of Manitou Realty & Auction, Inc., a modular home is appraised exactly like a site built home. Since the only difference in the two is how they are constructed, Pocock says there is no visible difference between the two. He further said that if he were to walk in blindly to either type of home, he would be unable to tell the difference between the two for appraisal purposes. 

This isn’t just Pocock’s policy, though. Modular homes are constructed to meet the same codes as site built homes. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) considers them the same type of structure and, therefore, should be appraised and reported the same. 

Listen to Chuck Pocock share his experience with us on our podcast, On the House:

What are the Key Elements an Appraiser is Looking For?

An appraiser will look at both the interior and exterior of your home to determine its value. 

Externally, they will look for:

  • Characteristics of the neighborhood
  • Zoning classification
  • Lot size
  • Type of driveway surface
  • The presence of car storage
  • Any visible issues with roof, siding or foundation

When looking inside of the home, and appraiser is going to look for:

  • The square footage
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Type of foundation
  • Basement type, crawl space or attic
  • Materials used in the construction of the home 

If you are building a house, an appraiser will initiate the appraisal process by using the empty lot and the builder’s blueprints and plans. They will then create a hypothetical value based on the plans provided. Throughout the building process, they will revisit the site to make sure builders are staying on deadline and adhering to the original plans. 

Do Home Improvements Affect Appraisal Values?

According to Pocock, if you’re looking to boost your home’s values with a lot of home improvements, you might end up being disappointed when the final value comes through. He says that one of the biggest misconceptions is that home improvement projects will yield a dollar-for-dollar return when it comes time to resell. 

He says that things like a new roof don’t necessarily translate into a higher value. If you replace your roof, chances are that you needed a new roof. That would have come out in the appraisal of the home anyway. 

Similarly, people are often disappointed that the addition of a swimming pool doesn’t give them a full return on their investment, and landscaping and curb appeal might bring people to the house for a showing, but it won’t add much to the value. In today’s market, there is a certain level of landscaping that is expected in most homes anyway. 

If you’re looking for a custom-built home that will have the same value as comparable built on site homes, Rochester Homes is ready to talk to you about making your dream a reality. Since 1972, Rochester Homes has been upping the ante when it comes to modular homes. Contact one of our professionals today to discuss how you can build your dream home with peace of mind that, down the road, it will keep its value.

You can be confident in the value of your high-quality, custom modular home from Rochester Homes. Let’s get started!

Contact Us Today!