Understanding How Your Home's Value is Determined

There comes a time in many people's lives when they must consider selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Whether it's to upsize or downsize, or because they've accepted a new job, or simply because they just want a change of scenery, one question is always the same: How much is my home worth? Team Andy Gibson can help you determine the best price to market your home for by conducting a comparative market analysis. But the best and surest way to know your home's value is to get it professionally appraised.

Now, there are many factors that determine the value of a home. So let's take a look at some of these factors and see why they affect your home's value.

The Current Real Estate Market
The current real estate market has a large influence on how your home is appraised. Homes appraised during a “seller's-market”, or a market that’s saturated with a ton of buyers and not enough inventory to accommodate all of them, will be appraised higher. On the other hand your home appraisal value during a “buyer's-market”, or a market that’s saturated with a ton of homes and little buyers, will be appraised lower.

Your home appraisal value is also based on the location of the home. Different neighborhoods will increase the value of your home. The neighborhood’s value is based on multiple factors including its crime rate, how close it is to schools and hospitals, the neighboring school system’s rating and other surrounding amenities like beaches and parks. Where your home is positioned in the neighborhood will also hold some weight. For example if you have a large lot in the back of the neighborhood it will be worth more than the corner lot parallel to the main road.

Age of the Home
The age of your home will also be a factor in your home appraisal value. A newer home won’t necessarily always be appraised higher than an older home. There are advantages to having a new and old home. New homes that were built within the last 10 to 20 years are less likely to have major issues, so are lower risk to buy and this will therefore increase the home appraisal value. Older homes that are located in historic districts or have been maintained fabulously for decades will also have a high appraisal. But on the flip side of that, homes that are so new or unique that there aren't many comparable homes like it in the neighborhood may be under appraised because of lack of a comparable market. The same for an older home in a subdivision with newer homes - an older home may appraise for less if the homes around it are of newer construction and more updated.

Design Style of the Home
Another area that will be evaluated to determine your home appraisal value is the overall design of the home. For example if your home was last updated in the 70s, and the finishes in the home reflect that, it may be appraised at a lower value because it does not appeal to all buyers. There are certain timeless home designs that will not affect the long term value of your home. However if you opt for trendy decor and overall finishes in your home it could be appraised at a lower value when it’s no longer in style.

Square Footage
Small square footage of a home can decrease home appraisal value. Once the square footage is determined, the appraiser will look at how that space is distributed throughout the home. How much of your square footage is usable and livable space? How many stories does your home have? These are all areas that will be taken into consideration when evaluating the square footage of your home.

Number of Bedrooms
The number of bedrooms your home has will also increase your home appraisal value. The home appraiser will compare your home to other homes in the area with the same number of bedrooms to make a value comparison.

Number of Bathrooms
The number of bathrooms in your home will also increase your home appraisal value. If you have 3 full bathrooms in your home for example, your home will be appraised higher than a home that has 1 and a half bathrooms. This is typically a recommended upgrade to increase value to a home if space allows.

Heating and Cooling
The type of heat and air your home has will also be a factor in your home appraisal value. Homes that have central air for example will be appraised higher than homes that require room by room air conditioning units. In addition, how your heat is fueled, whether by electric, gas or oil will also be taken into consideration. Any outdated systems will lower the appraisal value of your home.

Storage Space
Another area that’s considered is storage space. A home that has an ample amount of large closets, a usable basement and a large attic for storage will be appraised at a higher value. Many home buyers who are looking to up-size their home take into consideration how much storage space a home has, so this is also something that an appraiser will look at to determine value. This is another great upgrade consideration that can increase value of your home if you have the space to increase storage.

Garage Space
The size of the garage, or if the home has a garage at all, will also contribute to the home appraisal value. A home with a 3 car garage will be appraised higher than a home with a 1 car garage with comparable features. Also, whether the garage is attached or detached will play a role in the appraisal value. In general where a home buyer is able to park their cars will influence the appraisal value.

Recent Renovations
If the home has undergone large home renovations since the last time it was appraised, this will also contribute to the home appraisal value. Newly updated kitchens and bathrooms hold a lot of value in today’s market, so an appraiser will take these renovations into consideration when determining the value of your home. Before putting your home on the market, choosing high impact areas of your home to renovate could have large returns on the appraisal value of your home.

Structural Construction Materials and Updates
Another factor that determines your home appraisal value is the construction materials used to build the foundation of your home. A house built more recently with modern materials, or updated to use modern materials will hold a higher value than a home that hasn’t been updated since it was originally built decades ago. Updating other materials like the roof, siding or windows will also add to your home appraisal value because they improve the overall efficiency and safety of the structure of the home.

Curb Appeal
The curb appeal and general landscaping of the home also impacts the home appraisal value. If your home lacks curb appeal it could lower the value of the home. On the other hand if your yard is filled with hard to care for plants and a hazardous dead tree this could also negatively affect your home appraisal value. It’s best to go with an easy to care for and clean landscape design to appeal to most buyers and increase your appraisal value.

Now that you know what factors determine your home's value during an appraisal, you'll be better prepared for your appraisal results. By knowing what your home appraises for, you can more easily determine a listing price for your home that you can live with and that will attract buyers. Like we said, we can help you determine the right listing price for your home that will meet your needs, while also enticing buyers to put in serious offers on your home. Our goal is to help you get your home sold in a timely manner, for a price you agree upon. So if you're looking for a real estate agent at the Lake of the Ozarks to work with, you're right where you need to be! Trust Team Andy Gibson to help you through the home selling process, as well as helping you to find the perfect new home for your family!

Keller Williams Lake of the Ozarks Realty
858 Hwy 42
Osage Beach, MO 65065 
573-286-5907 Cell
573-348-9898 Office


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