Ask Your Appraiser

10 Steps on How to Do It Yourself
August 20th, 2014 12:55 PM


One common thread that runs through homeowners is that they typically think their home is the nicest in the development. Whether or not you own the nicest home on the block, when it comes time to refinance or sell it, getting a high home appraisal cost is crucial. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to assure that you receive credit for all the ways you think your house is worth maximum dollars.

1. Clear Away Clutter

Although clutter may be evidence of a busy family, it can also lead an appraiser to question if the homeowner can maintain the entire home if they can't even keep their countertops and other surfaces free of junk.

Some quick de-cluttering tips:

  • Box up and store excess items in the home.
  • Pay close attention to the kitchen and bathroom. If what's sitting on the counter is frequently used, hide it away in a cupboard so that your counters are free of anything that isn't decorative.
  • If all else fails, or you don't have enough time to property clean, shove your clutter into boxes and store it briefly in your car or storage unit.

2. Clean the House

While this seems like an obvious step, many homeowners are busy with jobs and family concerns and overlook the obvious fact that a clean home is desirable home.

3. Make an Investment

  • Paint the interior a neutral color. For the price of a few cans of paint and some elbow grease, you can actually add value to the home.
  • Get rid of vinyl flooring. Replacing it with ceramic tile, wood or even laminate flooring.
  • Update countertops. Laminate countertops should be replaced with ceramic tile or, preferably, granite.

4. Reseed and patch the Lawn

Investing $100 in grass seed to reseed or at least patch bare spots in your lawn can really pay off.

5. Patch Sidewalks and Driveways

Few things in life are certain, but if you see a small crack in your home's sidewalk or driveway, you can know with 100% certainty that it will only get worse if left unattended. Ready-to-use sealant for patching cracks in concrete is sold in tubes (about $5 for a 10-ounce tube) and applied with a simple caulking gun, while asphalt repair products are even less expensive.

6. Upgrade your Mailbox

Whether it's a roadside mailbox or one mounted by the floor door, the mailbox is one of the first things visitors to your home notice, but something you probably take for granted. Shop carefully and $100 could buy an attractive new mailbox and maybe even a new post to mount it on. You could also just invest in some fresh paint for an easy and affordable spruce up. Plant a perennial, like ornamental grass or a climbing vine, near your rehabbed mailbox for added appeal. 

7. Power Wash Decks and Patios

Buying a quality power washer to pressure hose decks, patios and other outdoor surfaces will likely set you back way more than a hundred bucks. But fro about $50, you can probably rent for a day from a home improvement store and scrub down pretty much everything that needs washing.

8. Paint your Shutters

    Step 1- Clean your shutters with soapy water. If you need a ladder, position it where appropriate. Scrub all surfaces that need painting; dirt and dust will prevent your paint from adhering properly.

    Step 2- Place old newspapers under each shutter and around your doors.

    Step 3- Use the painters tape to cover the house around the shutter to protect against accidents

    Step 4- Get your buckets ready and put your vinyl gloves on. Pour primer into the first bucket.

    Step5- Paint at the top of the shutter and work your way down. Make sure to get in between the slats. Use light pressure to eliminate brush strokes.

    Step 6- Once your primer dries, repeat the steps for your paint in the second bucket.

    Step 7- Some colors require two coats to achieve a richer shade. Be sure to let each coat dry before you start on the next coat.

9. Solar Landscaping Lights

Solar landscape lights are a cheaper, greener and easier alternative than having a complicated lighting system installed in your yard. Simply place the lights around your yard, let them drink in the sunshine for power and enjoy your newly lit yard at night.

10. Freshen up the Front Door

Consider repainting the door in a contrasting color that really pops, polishing or replacing weatherworn hardware and maybe springing for a new set of house numbers.

As you tour your home deciding what changes to make, keep an eye out for maintenance problems such as torn window screens, dripping faucets, running toilets, missing trim and broken door handles. These should be fixed prior to the appraiser's arrival.

Posted in:General
Posted by Michael Nix (A) on August 20th, 2014 12:55 PMPost a Comment

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