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7 min read Nov 23, 2022

Home Appraisal Cost: Fees and Factors Affecting the Costs

Home Appraisal Cost

A home appraisal is an important step before the closing process. Mortgage lenders won’t approve a loan without a comprehensive assessment to determine the true home value. But what is the home appraisal cost? Who pays for it and what factors influence it?

We discuss all of these factors in detail.

What is Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is a complete assessment of a property to determine its value. A trained and unbiased home appraiser will examine the property according to the lender’s requirements before preparing a report. Buyers, sellers, and mortgage lenders all benefit from the report.

» Home Appraisal: What you need to know about home appraisals and the assessment process.

How Much Does a Home Appraisal Cost?

The home appraisal cost can vary based on the property’s location, size, complexity, and type of loan. The appraisal costs range from $313 to $421, with the average for a single-family home being approximately $350.

If the property is too big and the home appraisal checklist is too long, the process may take more time and cost more money. Some appraisals can cost as much as $1,000.

Cost of Home Appraisal Based on Loan Provider

The house appraisal cost is different based on the type of lender. For example, the assessment for an FHA loan will be different and cost more than the assessment for a conventional loan.

1. Conventional Loan

Private mortgage lenders offer conventional loans and have standard requirements for home appraisal. The nationwide average costs range from $300 to $400.

2. USDA and FHA Loan

USDA and FHA government-backed loans require a more comprehensive appraisal, which increases the cost of the process. The average home appraisal costs for these evaluations are between $400 to $500.

3. VA Loan

The Veteran Affairs loan is available to people who have served in the military. The VA also has specific requirements for home appraisals, which affects the costs. Fortunately, the VA also controls the costs to ensure it doesn’t exceed a certain limit, which keeps the fees between $425 to $875.

Home Appraisal Cost Based on Home Types

Costs can also vary based on the type of home you have. Some homes require more time and effort, which has an impact on the fees charged by appraisers.

1. Single-Family Homes

Single-family home appraisals can cost $300 to $900, depending on whether it is an FHA/VA loan or a standard loan.

2. Condo

Condos don’t require as much effort to evaluate, which reduces the costs a bit. You may need to pay anywhere between $300 and $500 for an appraisal.

3. Multi-Family Home

Multi-family homes are bigger and more complex than single-family homes. Appraisal costs can range from anywhere between $600 and $1,500.

» Home Appraisal Checklist: A comprehensive checklist of all the items included in the home appraisal process.

Factors Affecting Home Appraisal Costs

Several factors will influence the home appraisal costs and you need to keep these in mind before planning a budget. We explore these factors in detail:

1. Size of the Home

If the property is big and spread on a large piece of land, the appraisal will require more effort. That can influence the cost significantly.

2. Location of the Home

Some states are more expensive than others. For example, Idaho and Oregon are more expensive than Kentucky and Ohio. The difference can be up to $100 in some cases.

3. Time

The time of year also plays a big role in the appraisal cost because some aspects of the property may be difficult to assess. For example, some portions of the property may be inaccessible during winter.

4. House Condition

If the house condition is bad and there are several visible flaws, the home appraiser will have to document them all in their report. That is a time-consuming endeavor and will have an impact on appraisal fees and costs.

5. Property Type

As mentioned before, the property type plays a big role in the cost as well. Appraisal of commercial properties and multi-family dwellings is often more expensive.

6. Features of the Property

If your property has additional features like a swimming pool, deck, koi pond, or basketball court, the home appraiser will have to spend more time assessing them as well.

7. Loan Type

Loan providers have different requirements from home appraisals. Their goal is to understand the risk involved and make an informed decision.

8. Urban or Rural

Appraisal fees may vary based on whether the property is located in an urban or rural area. Urban appraisals are often more expensive than rural expenses but not always.

9. Number of Appraisers Available

The house appraisal costs can also vary based on the number of appraisers available in the area. If there are fewer appraisers, there is less competition. This allows professionals to charge a premium rate for their services.

» What Hurts Home Appraisal: Understand what can impact your home value during an appraisal so you can avoid mistakes.

Who Pays for Home Appraisal?

There is no fixed person responsible for home appraisal costs. Usually, the person that orders the appraisal pays the fees associated with it.

  • In the case of a refinance, the homeowner or the borrower will pay for the appraisal.
  • In the event of a home purchase, the buyer or borrower will pay for it.
  • If the seller is planning to place their property on sale and wants to determine the value, the seller and homeowner is responsible for the costs.

If there is an estate sale, the heirs of the estate must pay the cost of the home appraisal.

Home Appraisal vs. Home Inspection

A home appraisal is a full assessment to understand the property’s true market value. A home inspection delves deeper to understand any structural and cosmetic flaws in the property. Both assessments have an impact on the overall value of your property, but they serve different purposes. A mortgage lender will require an appraisal but they may not demand a home inspection.

» How to Prepare for a Home Appraisal: There are ways to prepare your home for an appraisal and avoid a low valuation.

How to Find a Home Appraiser?

Finding a good, unbiased real estate appraiser is relatively easy, thanks to the internet. We have some tips on how to pick a good one. You can also use our post on home appraisers near me to find a certified and qualified professional near you. We encourage you to keep the following points in mind:

  • Make sure the appraiser is an unbiased third party.
  • Qualification requirements differ from one state to another, but most states require a licensed or certified home appraiser.
  • Look at online reviews and pay particular attention to any comments that mention undervaluing or overvaluing a home.
  • Ask your real estate agents for recommendations.
  • Ask neighbors you have bought or sold a home recently for recommendations.

Conclusion

The average home appraisal costs are between $300 and $900 depending on the type and location of the property. A comprehensive, unbiased appraisal can help buyers, sellers, and mortgage lenders equally. It will ensure the property is valued accurately, not overvalued or undervalued.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is home appraisal cost for refinance?

The cost of home appraisal for refinancing is between $300 and $900, depending on the size, location, and loan type.

2. Should I skip a home appraisal?

If you need a loan, you may not be able to skip a home appraisal. However, if you're buying with cash or if you're trying streamlined refinancing, you may need to hire one. We recommend getting a property appraisal to ensure the home valuation is accurate.

3. What hurts a home appraisal?

Things like outdated features, visible flaws, bad neighborhood, or poor conditions will impact the home appraisal and compromise its value. Learn more by reading our post on What Hurts Home Appraisal?

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