Utah Central: What is your home worth?

Our home is the biggest and most important asset we will ever own. But
many of us really don’t know what our house is worth. Knowing our
home’s value can help with important planning.

Sara Parker, from Utah Central Credit Union, explains why and gives some
advice on coming up with the right way to determine value.

With nearly one-fourth of Utah homes “under water” from a bad economy,
knowing your home’s value can help you make smart decisions about
whether or not to remodel, which way the market is trending and whether
you can “move up” to a bigger or more expensive home in the future.

The best tool for knowing your home’s worth is an appraisal. They are
usually ordered by a lending institution when a homeowner wants to sell,
refinance or get a home loan. But can be requested by a home owner. They
can cost anywhere from $350-$425 – more if you live in a rural area or if
the home is custom built and perceived to be valued above $1 million.

Inside, the appraiser will look carefully at the condition of the home, its
basic structure – for example how many bedrooms or bathrooms; the
home’s square footage, the type of flooring and its condition, and the
number, type and quality of windows and doors. He will also look for
permanent fixtures installed in the home, including appliances, plumbing
and lighting fixtures, and note any defects or damage. Modern
conveniences, such as central air conditioning, baseboard heating, smoke
detectors and a detached garage will increase the home’s value as will
features such as a fireplace, a security and/or intercom system and solar

Outside, the appraiser also will look for cracks, leaks, damage or defects
around the exterior of your home and note any amenities, such as an in-
ground pool or a gazebo. The foremost aspect the house appraiser will
consider is the size–the larger your plot, the higher your appraisal will be.
The appraiser will look for and consider landscaping, and permanent
fixtures like an in-ground sprinkler system.

Utah Central has an expert team of mortgage and home loan experts
including some who are also trained in the real estate industry – giving
homeowners a real advantage when making decisions about their home.
Favorable loan rates below 4% are also available at Utah Central. For more
information go to www.utahcentral.com

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