Learn about Appraisals and Assessments Purchasing Your Home

Appraisals and Assessments - Why are they so confusing?

Even seasoned home owners stumble over the difference between their home’s assessment and its appraisal. Maybe it’s because both words start with the same letter or because both have something to do with the value of your home. Whatever the reason, you should understand how they differ.

An assessment is the value that your local municipality uses to calculate your share of property taxes. Assessments are often calculated using sales information over a 12-month period to arrive at a typical or average value for like homes in a neighborhood. In addition, because reassessments are not done every year, your property’s assessment may not reflect recent changes in sales activity or in market values.

In contrast, an appraisal is a professional opinion of a property’s market value at a specific point in time. An appraisal is a necessary part of any home purchase or mortgage refinance, because it confirms a home’s current market value to a lender. In contrast, an assessment can lag behind current market data. An appraisal is based on a number of factors, specific to your home:

  • The home’s condition
  • Location of the home
  • Square footage of the home
  • Data from the recent sales of similar homes in the area

Our in-house appraisal desk uses local appraisers, assuring you get the best value for
your home.

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