Do you need to know the real value of a property – either yours or one that you’re interested in buying? Or perhaps you just need to get a general idea of property prices in a particular area because you’re interested in buying or selling. No property has an exact value that you can pin down, but there are plenty of ways to get a good idea of how much a property is worth. Whether you need to value a specific property or you want to know about house prices in a certain area, you don’t need to be a property expert to find out more.
Research Current Listing Prices
If you’re trying to find out more about property prices, you’re likely to start by looking at current listing prices. How much are properties being listed for in the area right now? Look at how different factors might influence prices, from how many bedrooms there are to how close to other homes the property is. You can easily look at property prices online, using real estate agency websites and property listing sites too. There are usually plenty of search filters, so you can look at the exact types of property that interest you. Of course, it’s important to remember that listing prices aren’t the same as the prices that properties sell for.
Check How Much People Paid
What people pay for a property could be less or more than what it was listed for. If you really want to know the value of property in a certain area, you need to look at what people are actually spending and not just what sellers hope to sell for. Fortunately, many property listing sites give you the option of looking at past sale figures. You can see which properties have recently sold and how much they went for, as well as a few key details about them. This is really a more accurate way of checking property prices, although you still have to remember that prices could be changing. See if you can spot any upward or downward trends.
Get Valuations from Real Estate Agents
If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you need to have a fairly accurate idea of its value. Leave it up to the experts, and you’ll feel a bit more confident that you have a starting point for your property sale. Of course, you’re going to get slightly different figures from different agents. If you get a few valuations, you should be able to work out a reasonable asking price. Talk to a real estate agent to find out more about how to get your property valued. If you like the experience they deliver, you might want to use them to help you sell your home too.
Understand the Value of Home Improvements
You might be thinking about how to raise the value of your home. Or you might have recently carried out some home improvements, and you want to know if they’ve made a difference to how much your home is worth. It’s important to understand how much home improvements are likely to affect the value of your property. Some people assume that it will make more of a difference than it really will, and can end up spending too much on improvements. Some improvements are likely to help boost your home’s value, while others are less likely. Adding a conservatory or sunroom is a good choice, and so is adding a yard or garden. Expanding your living space is always a good bet, and updating the exterior is a sensible choice too. However, a new kitchen or bathroom might have less effect than you think.
Look at Forecasts
It’s useful to know about past sales prices and current listing prices, but what about the future? Perhaps you’re not ready to sell yet, or you’re expecting that it could take a year or two to sell your home. Or you might be looking to buy in the future, and you want to know how much to save. Checking out forecasts for the area you’re interested in or even just for the housing market, in general, can be very helpful. Property listing websites sometimes have useful tools that you can use that help you predict future prices. It’s also a good idea to know how much the rate of inflation might rise, especially if you’re not planning to buy or sell for a good few years. You can also find useful statistics on specialist websites that watch the housing market, or from newspapers and financial magazines.
There are sure to be areas that are up and coming, and others that are falling out of favor. Some places might be cheap now, but with the right changes, they could be a lot more expensive in a few years. Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s important to know whether waiting to make your move is a good idea.
Check for Risks
It’s important to know what risks a property might face from natural disasters, such as flooding. A higher risk can affect not just the property’s value but also how expensive that property is to insure. If insurance costs are higher, it can make people reluctant to buy. You can find out about which areas are most at risk of certain dangers, such as flooding, hurricane damage or even fire, to get a better understanding of whether it could affect property value. In the US, you can use the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to check for flood risk and search by address.
Take a Look at Crime Risks
Crime is another risk that properties can face, and that varies by area. All areas will have some crime, but you’ll notice different types and different frequencies. Crime rates can affect insurance premiums and will also influence how much people want to live somewhere, so it will change property prices too. Looking at crime rates might not be fun, but it is an important part of valuing a property.
Make sure you get a professional opinion or two if you want to know the value of your own property. You don’t want to be short-changed.