The average cost of a home in Canada is about $796,068, 11% higher than what it was last year. A home is easily one of the biggest investments most people make in their lives, Plus, with ever-rising house prices, most people are unwilling to play hit-or-miss with the houses they buy.
In most cases, house buyers will ask for a home evaluation, and even have a home evaluation checklist before buying the home in question. The same goes for people looking to sell their homes, given that they want them to fetch the highest prices possible. So what's all the fuss about home evaluation, and what does it entail?
These are both excellent questions, and we have all the answers you need right here. In today's post, we'll compile the ultimate home evaluation checklist and show you what home evaluation looks like in practice. But first, what is home evaluation?
What Is a Home Evaluation?
A home evaluation is the process where a real estate professional evaluates the value of a home to determine its market price.
If you're buying a home, an evaluation will let you know if you're paying too much or if the home is worth the asking price. If you're selling one, it helps prepare your home for sale.
The home evaluation process usually takes between two and four hours. The evaluator will look at the home's condition, size, and features. They'll also look at comparable homes in the area to get an accurate idea of the home's value.
Once the evaluator has all this information, they'll provide you with a report that includes their findings and their valuation of the home.
The Ultimate Home Evaluation Checklist
Having a checklist at hand during the home evaluation will help ensure that the home valuer gets all the crucial touchpoints. A typical home evaluation checklist should look at:
The Home's Condition
One of the first things any home evaluator will look at is the home's condition. This includes everything from the home's foundation to its roofing. The home valuer will also check for signs of water damage, mould, and pests.
They'll also take a close look at the home's electrical system and plumbing to ensure that everything is up to code. All of this information will be included in the home evaluation report.
The Home's Location
Home valuers also look at the home's location, particularly its proximity to schools, hospitals, and other amenities. The closer the home is to amenities, the more expensive it's likely to be. However, this may not be the case for high-value properties where owners want a bit of privacy.
The home valuer will also look at the crime rate in the area and whether or not the home is located in a flood zone. As you'd expect, homes in areas with high crime rates and flood zone areas fetch a lower price.
The Home's Age
It's hard to base the value of a home on its age. That's because some homes are decades old but are in pristine condition because of proper maintenance. On the other hand, you might find a new home that's only a few years old, but in deplorable condition.
That said, valuers still consider the home's age during the evaluation. Generally, new construction homes will fetch a higher value than older homes.
The Home's Size
Valuers will also look at the home's square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. In some cases, the valuer also checks the size of the parking lot and garage.
Generally, larger homes with more bedrooms and bathrooms will be valued higher than smaller homes. The same goes for homes with larger lot sizes.
The Home's Design and Features
Another important aspect that home valuers look at is the home's design and features. This includes things like the home's layout, finishes, and fixtures.
Homes with unique or luxurious designs and features are usually valued higher than homes with more basic designs. Outdated homes fetch a lower price because they don't attract a lot of buyers. However, this will also depend on the home's location and tons of other factors.
The Home's Interior and Exterior
The home valuer will also take a close look at the home's interior and exterior, starting with the flooring and its paint job. They'll also check the home's windows, doors, and insulation to ensure that they're up to code.
Because taste is subjective, it's hard to pin a price on the home's interior and exterior. However, homes with expensive interior and exterior materials are more expensive than those with basic ones. You'll see this clearly on the home evaluation report.
Any Home Improvements
It's common for home sellers to make a few improvements before putting their homes on the market. This is an attempt to attract a higher selling price for the house.
It's common to see massive improvements in the bathroom and the kitchen. These are rooms with immense improvement potential, and they're where most home sellers make a killing. The valuer will check these rooms and the rest of the house for major improvements that may mark up the home's price.
Any Signs of Water Damage
Water damage is pretty common in homes, especially those in flood-prone areas. As such, home valuers always keep their eyes peeled for any water damage. Given that homeowners spend about $1,143 to $4,422 to repair water damage, even a little water damage could greatly devalue a home.
The home valuer will check for water damage in all parts of the house, including the basement, crawlspaces, and attics. They'll also look at the home's plumbing and drainage systems to ensure that there are no leaks.
Any Signs of Infestation
Another thing home valuers look for are any signs of infestation. This includes termites, rodents, and other pests that could damage the home or make the occupants uncomfortable.
Norway rats are among the most common household pests in St. Alberta. Signs of these critters include rat droppings and teeth marks on electric cables. The valuer will lookout for these signs and flag the home if they discover these signs.
Thankfully, there are no termites in St. Alberta, Edmonton. However, the valuer will check for any signs of "moisture ants," which also plough through rotting wood in buildings.
Either way, any sign of pest infestation will greatly devalue a home. That's because it costs a bundle to permanently get rid of these pests. Not to mention the repairs the house buyer will have to conduct.
The Home's Safety
A home safety evaluation will look into how safe a house is for occupation. This is important for home insurance purposes.
The home valuer will check for any safety hazards in the home, such as loose railings, open wiring, and slippery floors. They'll also take a look at the home's security system to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements.
The home valuer will also check for any environmental hazards in the home, such as asbestos and lead-based paint. These materials can be harmful to the occupants' health, hence decreasing the home's value.
Homes with major safety hazards are valued lower than those without any safety hazards. This is because home insurance companies are likely to charge higher premiums for these homes. Plus, no one wants to live in a home that's considered unsafe.
What Happens During the Home Evaluation Process?
Now that you know what home evaluators look for, it's important to understand the home evaluation process.
A home evaluation (not to be confused with a home appraisal) is conducted by a professional home valuer who inspects the property inside and out. They'll take note of any major repairs or improvements that need to be made, as well as any safety hazards present in the home.
The home valuer will also check for any signs of water damage, infestation, or environmental hazards. All of these factors will be taken into consideration when determining the value of the home.
The home evaluation will take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on the size and type of your home.
Once the home evaluation is complete, the valuer will generate a report detailing all of the findings. This report will be used to determine how much the home is worth on the market.
If you're selling your home, it's important to have a home evaluation conducted before listing the property. This will give you an accurate idea of what your home is worth and how much you should expect to get for it.
It's also a good idea to have a home evaluation conducted if you're considering making any major improvements or repairs to your home. This way, you'll know exactly how much these improvements will increase the value of your home.
House buyers should also consider arranging an evaluation so they don't pay more for a house that sells way above its market price.
The Ultimate Checklist for Your Home Evaluation
Use this home evaluation checklist to check all the boxes during your next home evaluation. While it's tempting to skip the home valuation during the buying or selling process, doing so may work to your detriment.
It's a good idea to follow through with the home valuation so you know you're getting your money's worth. Home sellers can also do the same to plan for improvements before selling their homes.
Looking to buy or sell your home in St. Alberta? Browse our selection of homes for sale in the area today.