Why Is My Landlord Getting An Appraisal? (Find Out Now!)
When your landlord informs you he or she will be getting an appraisal you rent there are many ways to feel. You may be nervous that your landlord is selling the home you live in. Next you may wonder if one or more strangers will be entering your home, and if you have to let them in.
Before you spiral into a panic, you should understand all the reasons your landlord would want an appraisal. Also, you should be aware of what your rights and obligations are during this process.
One common reason your landlord would get an appraisal is to refinance the home you are renting. A high appraisal can decrease interest rates and monthly mortgage payments. Your landlord may also get an appraisal in anticipation of selling the property. Be sure to check your state laws in regards to allowing your landlord access to the apartment.
Your Landlord May Be Refinancing
One of the most popular reasons homeowners get their property appraised is to refinance the home. When property values increase in the area where you live this means your landlord might greatly benefit from a new appraisal.
If the home you live in has increased significantly in value from the last time it was appraised your landlord will want to refinance. Refinancing a home loan when the value has increased usually means a lower interest rate and lower mortgage payments.
Your Landlord Is Looking To Sell The Place
Is It For Sale?
If your landlord is preparing to sell the property you live in, he or she will likely have the property appraised. This will help your landlord price the property properly. If the home is for sale on the open real estate market you should be able to discover it fairly easily with an internet search.
Is Your Landlord Asking for Several Opportunities To Visit Property?
If your landlord is making an unusually high number of requests to visit the home this may be a red flag. When your landlord performs previously-neglected repairs you may want to inquire if he is looking to sell the property.
Is Your Lease Up Soon?
If your lease is ending soon and you are finding there seems to be a lot of activity occurring you may want to request a lease renewal. A renewed lease ensures you will be able to continue living in the dwelling for another full lease term. This request may help lead to a necessary and honest conversation between you and your landlord.
Do I Have To Let The Appraiser Into The Apartment?
No one likes allowing strangers into their home. Allowing your landlord or a home appraiser into the home you rent can feel particularly invasive. It is, after all, an appraiser’s job to thoroughly observe and document the state and value of the home you live in. This thought may have you asking, “Do I need to let them in if I don’t want to?”
Did The Landlord Give You Notice?
A landlord has to give you written notice before requesting entry to your apartment. He or she cannot enter your rental property area without cause or notice. Be sure to research your state laws on this topic. Some states require 24 hours notice, while others require more.
Can The Appraiser Just Examine Exterior?
You may have received ample notice from your landlord, but still feel apprehensive. If you do not want to have a stranger appraising the inside of the home you rent you may wonder if they can appraise it from the outside.
Although there is such a thing as a “Drive-By Appraisal,” it is uncommon for a bank to grant a loan based solely off an exterior appraisal. You must remember that for an appraisal to be fully accurate the appraiser must have access to the entirety of a home.
Certain aspects of a home, like the quality of its foundation, recent home improvements and quality of the floors and walls all factor into its value. Unfortunately, these facts can only be accurately deduced by a licensed professional entering your dwelling.
The Drive-By Appraisal
A drive-by appraisal is an appraisal where a professional appraiser does not need to enter the interior of a home. Because these appraisals must rely on some secondhand information they are considered less accurate than complete appraisals. They may help give a good ballpark value of a home, but likely will not be accepted for more official circumstances like a mortgage.
What Affects A Home Appraisal?
There are many factors that affect a home appraisal. Location, square footage, neighborhood and age of the home all factor fairly prevalent in its value. There are other facts that are not as obvious that also change the value of a home when it is appraised. If your landlord is getting an appraisal on the home you are renting there are even a few factors that you living there may affect.
The way in which the house is decorated and designed can affect the home’s perceived value. For example, a large common room with expansive windows can be a big selling point. However, perhaps you placed a large amount of furniture in the room, or turned it into a playpen for toddlers. Maybe you even covered the window due to the amount of light it gave off. This greatly changes the perception of the room, and can potentially affect its desirability.
Still, appraisers are licensed professionals, and will have all the room measurements available to them. They are paid to see beyond clutter in the home, but they are still human. In order to see a home’s true potential it is best to present it in all its glory.
Curb appeal is also a big selling point. People love to feel proud about how their house looks from the outside. Everything from fresh paint to pristine landscaping and even door color can change a home’s value.
Your landlord will likely pay particular attention to the exterior of the home before an appraisal. Still, the way you maintain the yard and the exterior in general can have an influence on the home’s value.
Appearance Of Home Renovations
Homeowners often renovate parts of their homes not only for their benefit but to increase value. A completely renovated kitchen or master bathroom can significantly affect the value of a home.
A landlord will likely want areas he or she has invested time and money in to look their best. Messy rooms with unkempt or dirty appearances may deflate the “wow factor” your landlord was trying to inspire.
Can A New Homeowner Change My Lease?
It is not uncommon for a landlord to sell his or her property in the middle of a lease agreement with a tenant. If you learn that your landlord has sold the property you are renting you should immediately check your lease. Confirm there are no terms stating that in the event of a sale the rental agreement becomes void.Your lease should be honored As long as there is no information in regards to canceling a lease upon a property sale. If you have a month-to-month lease the new owner can give you notice. This notice must allow you the legal amount of time needed in order to ask a tenant to vacate the dwelling.
Why Would Someone Request Multiple Home Appraisals On The Same Home?
There are several reasons someone may need a second appraisal on the same home. One reason is if you or someone else believes the first appraisal was somehow incorrect or flawed. The first home appraisal may be old or somehow dated. There also may be a policy or written agreement that a second appraisal is required on said property.
How Often Should You Get A Home Appraisal?
There is no set rule as far as how frequently you need to get your home appraised. Generally, a home appraisal should be done every year or two in order to keep the value of your home accurate. Your property and where it is located, as well as the general economy can affect how frequently you should get your home appraised.
Your Final Appraisal
When your landlord mentions that an appraiser will come to look at the house there is no need to immediately panic. There are several reasons a landlord may want to get an appraisal. Reasons vary from a desire to refinance and lower his interest rate to get a proper value for his home insurance.
There is also a chance that your landlord is looking to see the home as well. Even this is not cause for any immediate panic. Unless your lease states otherwise, your new landlord will have to honor your lease until it expires. Either way, be sure to do your best to be cordial with the landlord and home inspectors. Be sure to allow people access to the rental unit in accordance with your local laws and the lease agreement.
Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.
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