What’s the value in my home? You may be asking yourself this question if you are a homeowner in this tough economy. Making the right financial decisions that will best suit you and your family are critical. The largest investment you will make is to purchase a home and like all investments, it is important to know what your investment is worth.

Reasons you may need to know the value in your home

If you are considering a sale of your home you need to know your homes’ worth, as well as homes in your neighborhood of the same size to do a comparable. Failing to know the value of your home may cause you to overprice your home, losing valuable customers as well as a possible sale. Under pricing your home will cause you to lose profit off of the sale, although you may sell your home quickly.

Insuring your home for less than its fair market price could be costly in the event of fire, flood or other disaster. Updating your insurance yearly according to your home value may save you both time and money down the road. Check your policy to be sure the value of your home, as well as replacement cost and the contents of your home are up to date.

Real estate taxes may vary greatly between two homes in the same neighborhood. If the value of your home decreases due to vacant homes in the neighborhood, age of your home, etc. you may be able to save money on your real estate taxes. If your home is no longer worth what it once was, you may ask your county auditor for a reduction in taxes.

How to find the value of your home

Local real estate agents are a great source of information. Their job is to know a homes’ value and if you are considering selling they will give you a free home valuation, based on similar homes in neighborhoods close to you. Ask your friends and relatives for a realtor with a good reputation. If you have a specialty residence, such as a farm or a lot of acreage you should look for a realtor who specializes in these properties.

Professional property appraisers charge a fee for a professional evaluation. They will enter your home, taking pictures and accurate dimensions of rooms and condition of the home. Age of appliances, furnace, central air, new flooring, etc will be noted and used in the evaluation. Things such as great landscaping, concrete drives, extra garage and new roof or windows will help on your outside valuation. You may look in your local phone book or ask friends and relatives for a referral.

The use of online resources is the best way to find the value of your home for some homeowners. The valuation will be completely anonymous and you may search different resources until you find an average value of your home. Be wary of sites that require you to sign up to use their property evaluators. The best sites will ask questions pertinent to your home, not a general valuation based on your address. A few of the websites that offer free valuation reports that are very reputable: Value My HouseMove UP, & Nesters.

Contact your local auditors office for a free report of your home value. Most auditors offices have their information available online, free of charge.

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