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6 min read Feb 13, 2024

How Much is a Home Appraisal in PA?

On average, a home appraisal in Pennsylvania can cost from $325 to $400. When buying a home, getting a mortgage, or refinancing, home appraisals can make or break the deal.

One study by NAR found that 74% of the transactions fell through as a result of the appraised value. That’s why, getting a home appraised in Pennsylvania is key to buying a house.

How much is a home appraisal in Pennsylvania?

  • Home appraisal in Pennsylvania can cost a homebuyer about $325 to $400 on average.
  • While the minimum cost for a house appraisal is just $250, it can go as high as $1,200.
  • According to NAR, the median price for a home appraisal of a typical single-family home is $500.

How Does a Home Appraisal Work in Pennsylvania?

Typically, a home appraiser will visit your property after the house goes under contract. Mortgage lenders hire house appraisers to determine whether the loan amount is worth the property’s value.

Real estate appraisers look at multiple factors like your location, home’s age, condition, area, etc. They will also look at real estate comps, which are properties sold recently in the area.

Buyers and sellers can also hire a Pennsylvania home appraiser to calculate the home’s fair market value. The parties and their agents can be present while the home is being appraised.

» How to Prepare Your Home For an Appraisal: Check out our ultimate guide

How Much Does a Home Appraisal Cost in Pennsylvania?

Home appraisal fees in Pennsylvania can range between $325 and $400, with a national average of $350. However, this price changes drastically based on your location and type of property.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of a home appraisal for a single-family home in Pennsylvania is $300 to $400. But for bigger properties like multifamily homes, it can range between $600 to $1,500.

Pennsylvania Home Appraisal Cost By Type

In recent years, traditional ways of appraisal have evolved, particularly in light of the pandemic. Here are some kinds of Pennsylvania home appraisal services you get:

  • Traditional Appraisal – $350 to $600: It provides the most accurate appraised value of a home. The appraiser personally visits your house to assess it visually. You get an appraisal report after the appraiser has gone through comps in your area.
  • Desktop Appraisal – $75 to $200: The appraiser only looks at publically available data related to your property. Although this is a cheaper alternative, most lenders do not accept its evaluation.
  • Drive-By Appraisal – $100 to $150: This service involves a visual assessment of your property, but the appraiser does not enter the house. However, like desktop appraisals, mortgage lenders do not accept this appraisal as it’s not comprehensive.
  • Hybrid Appraisal – $250 to $375: This process involves two appraisers – one conducts a visual assessment and the other analyzes the data. Some lenders have started to accept such appraisals.

Factors That Affect Pennsylvania Home Appraisal Costs

Before you budget your expenses for a home appraisal, understand these factors that determine its costs:

  • Property’s Size: Appraisal costs change significantly if a property is large, or spreading across multiple acres of land.
  • Type of Loan: Government-backed loans require a thorough appraisal process to ensure that the property meets some safety and structural requirements. Property appraisal costs in Pennsylvania for FHA loans or VA loans can cost about $400 to $900.
  • Location: Home appraisers in some states offer an appraisal at lower rates than others. This difference can be hundreds of dollars.
  • Property’s Condition: The home appraiser documents any visible defects in the home appraisal report. As this takes extra time and effort for the appraiser, they charge more for it.
  • Time of the Year: Some areas may become inaccessible due to seasonal conditions like flooding and increase the cost for the appraisal.
  • Special Features: Amenities like swimming pool, deck, koi pond, etc. require additional assessment, hence it costs extra.
  • Property Type: Compared to Pennsylvania real estate appraisal costs for single-family homes or condos, multifamily dwellings are pricier.

» What Hurts a Home Appraisal: 7 things you must avoid

Why Do You Need a Home Appraisal in Pennsylvania?

Here are some reasons why you should get a home appraised before buying a house:

  • Determine Property Value: A home appraiser objectively estimates the property’s fair market value.
  • Secure a Mortgage: Lenders require an appraisal to confirm that the property’s value is sufficient collateral. In some cases, buyers may need to make a larger down payment if the appraisal exceeds the purchase price.
  • Assess Property Tax: Local governments use appraisals to assess property taxes. Accurate appraisals can help homeowners from overpaying real estate taxes.
  • Check Insurance Coverage: Many home insurance policies adhere to the 80% rule. It stipulates that homeowners should insure their property for at least 80% of its replacement cost. Appraisals assist homeowners in complying with this rule and avoiding penalties for underinsurance.
  • Get HELOC Or Refinance: Homeowners who want to get a home equity loan or refinance an existing mortgage need a home appraisal to determine the property’s value.

» Home Appraisal Checklist: Look at our home appraisal checklist page to understand what’s included in the home appraisal process.

Who Pays for Appraisal in Pennsylvania?

Generally, a buyer pays the home appraisal fees before buying a house. These fees are considered a part of the buyer’s closing costs in Pennsylvania. Borrowers pay the house appraisal fees in Pennsylvania where a mortgage is involved.

A seller who gets an appraisal before listing the property pays the appraisal costs.

If you are a borrower refinancing your loan to reduce your interest rate, you’ll pay the cost of a house appraisal.

» Refinance Appraisal Checklist: Prepare your house for a home appraisal

How To Find a Home Appraiser in Pennsylvania?

Here are a few things you should consider when looking for a Pennsylvania home appraiser:

  • Check Certification: Make sure they are licensed or certified.
  • Look for Reviews: Look at online reviews to ensure they are unbiased and won’t favor any party.
  • Check Local BBB: Check with the local BBB to determine how trustworthy the private appraiser is.
  • Get a Specialized Appraiser: If you are applying for a government-backed loan, you’ll need an appraiser who specializes in these assessments.

» Looking for a home appraiser? Check out Pennsylvania home appraisers near you.

Bottom Line

Home appraisal costs in Pennsylvania can range from $325 to $400. Pennsylvania house appraisal fees vary based on factors like location, type of house, condition of the property, and the type of loan you’re getting. Home appraisals cannot be skipped, especially when you’re getting a mortgage.

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What is home appraisal cost for refinance in Pennsylvania?

The cost of a home appraisal for refinancing in Pennsylvania is between $350 and $600 on average, depending on the size, location, and loan type.

Should I skip a home appraisal in Pennsylvania?

No. You can't skip a home appraisal in Pennsylvania if you're getting a mortgage on your house. But if you are buying a house with cash, you can skip a home appraisal.

Why is my appraisal fee so high?

Home appraisal fees depend on multiple factors like property's size, property type, the type of loan you're getting, etc. If you are appraising a huge property or opting for a government backed mortgage, your average appraisal fees can be higher.

What is home appraisal?

A home appraisal is a complete assessment of a property to determine its value. An unbiased home appraiser will examine the property according to the lender's requirements and prepare a home appraisal report.

» Also Read: Appraisal Refinance.

Does appraisal have to match purchase price or loan amount?

The appraisal does not have to match the loan amount exactly. However, it is a crucial factor considered by lenders to determine the loan-to-value ratio and assess the risk associated with the loan.

» Appraised Amount vs. Loan Amount: Understand the difference

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