• Preparing for Appraisal

    • To find out how much equity you have in your home, PenFed may need to order an appraisal. Online estimates can provide a ballpark based on how much people paid for similar properties in your area recently. Home values are always fluctuating, so PenFed may need to order an appraisal to understand your current home value. (Loan amounts exceeding $250,000 will always require an appraisal.)

    • Despite what you may have heard, the appraiser doesn't really care about cleanliness or more minor improvements, like a fresh coat of paint. Unlike when potential buyers are looking at your home, you don't need to "stage" it for the appraiser. When the appraiser visits, he or she will be looking at the following:
      • The home's features
        • number of bathrooms
        • number of bedrooms
        • pool or other amenities
        • overall size of the home
        • upgrades, such as walk-in closets
      • The physical condition of the home
        • Foundation, structure, roof
        • Any needed repairs or replacements
      • How old the home is
      • The location of the home (street, neighborhood)
      • The property the home is on
        • How big a piece of land
        • Landscaping and permanent outbuildings
      • Any improvements that have been made
        • additions
        • renovations
        • built-ins
        • hardscaping in the yard
    • However, he or she will take into account what other homes in your area have sold for. Even a smaller, older or less impressive home in a hot area can appreciate significantly in value in just a few years.