Does Assessed Value Matter When I Set The Listing Price for My Lewiston Home

The answer to this question depends on the market. If the market is appreciating as most are now, our answer would be, “Sure! As long as you are comfortable with selling your home for less than what it is worth and thereby leaving money on the table.” If it is a declining market, we would say, “Sure! If you are okay with not selling your home.”

Forgive us for being a little bit flippant in the above paragraph but in the vast majority of cases like those above, that is exactly what will happen. In order to fully understand this, we need to fully understand how your tax assessment works.

Your property tax assessment is a value put on your Lewiston home by your local government. This value is used, based on the tax rate, to compute how much you owe the local government in taxes. Most localities divide this tax amount into 2 payments broken out over the course of the year. These funds are used to pay for the services your government provides.

What most people do not know is that the assessed value of your Lewiston home is typically computed every other year. So how does this relate to where to price the home you are selling?

When a buyer buys your home, their lender is going to require an appraisal of your property to determine what its current value is. An appraiser will only use comparable sales from the last six month or less. This is where the condition of the local real estate market comes into play.

In an appreciating market where the values are rising, home sales will most likely sell above their assessed value. If you remember, the assessed value could be as much as 2 years old. If the homes have been appreciating since the last assessment, a seller who sells at the assessed value may be leaving a lot of money on the table.

Conversely, if the market is depreciating and home values are dropping, home sales will most likely sell below their assessed value. In this scenario, a home seller who prices their home based on an old assessment takes a major risk in not selling at all. Buyers will base their offers on current market conditions, not an old assessment that might be currently inflated.

When it comes time to pricing your Lewiston home for sale, please take note that your tax assessment will typically run behind the current market place. Pricing a home is truly an art. When interviewing agents, ask how they came up with a price for your home. Using the assessed value is one small part to determine home value. If the agent used it exclusively, find another agent.

If you’re looking for the right agent to help direct your sale every step of the way, we hope you’ll give us a call!

Buying a Vacant Lewiston Home Can Mean No Disclosures

Suppose that in the course of buying a home in Lewiston, your eye is drawn to a bank-owned home, or a home held in a trust. There are many reasons why you could find yourself buying a Lewiston home that’s currently vacant—which can also mean that the usual owner disclosures are not to be had. There are perfectly innocent reasons why this situation develops. Suppose the sellers of the property have just inherited it. How would they know that water tends to pool under the house during a strong rainstorm? Or that unpermitted repairs were made to the electric wiring in the kitchen?

If thoughts like these cause beads of sweat to pop out all over your forehead, don’t fret. This summer we can find you plenty of alternatives in Lewiston’s traditional housing market. But before you automatically pass on a vacant home because of unknowns in its history, you should know that, with due diligence, you can still end up with a home that is worth your money and a safe place to live!

When you consider a vacant home, the most reliable information will come after you’ve arranged an inspection. The inspector’s report will let you learn what you’re getting into before you buy—and whether it’s in safe and livable condition. Most homes that fall vacant due to circumstances like divorce or a move are well cared-for and in decent shape; others, long abandoned, are more likely to have fallen into disrepair. Without any owner disclosures, you’ll be on your own to discover potentially major issues like leaking pool equipment or pest problems.

Even after you’ve had a thorough inspection, there is still a good chance you will encounter at least some surprises. There are some elements of a home that can’t really be properly inspected—like what lies under the floorboards or behind attic walls. Since there is no former owner to sound a warning, there is always a chance that you could run into unplanned-for expenses. Truth to tell, though, this can also hold true for a traditional home if the sellers have no prior knowledge, either.

Although buying a home with no disclosures can be a great way to get a wonderful deal, it’s still a good idea to leave some extra budget for the most likely potential costs. In addition to things like insurance, unexpected repairs, and maintenance, there are other costs you might also need to cover—such as a vacancy endorsement on your insurance policy if the house will continue to stand vacant for more than 30 days after the sale.

The bottom line? If you’re considering buying a home in Lewiston with question marks in its history, be sure you apply some energetic diligence before signing on the dotted line. You’ll be a lot more relaxed after the fact.

Thinking of buying a Lewiston home this summer? Then it’s time to give us a call!

Ways to Disprove One Common Lewiston Home Value Myth

Especially when it comes to major decisions like buying or selling your home, human nature seems to tilt toward delaying action until it’s the end result is absolutely certain. After all, nobody wants to make a life-changing move that turns out to be anything short of fantastic!

So even when you’ve outgrown your current home…or found yourself in a daily long-distance commute because work has moved…or any number of other reasons why you know you should be looking for a new house…it can be difficult to commit to such a looming decision. Adding to that is one of the most common assumptions many Lewiston homeowners believe: that they have to spend a boatload of money to increase their home value.

The truth is: it ain’t so! You can strategically update your Lewiston house before you put it on the market without cratering your bank account.

Items that only seem to require costly fixes:

· Make it Spacious

Adding space to a room increases any Lewiston home value. Tearing out walls isn’t necessary when there are so many other ways to achieve the same thing. Simple options include removing built-in shelves, enlarging windows, or (the simplest) just removing “stuff” that’s hogging perceived space.

· Go Green

More and more, you can improve your Lewiston home value by installing modest “green” upgrades. Today’s buyers may not necessarily be eco-focused—they may simply have a good sense of the increasing cost of water and power. “Going green” as a way to add home value to your area property can be no more costly than switching to low-flow toilets, adding a wifi thermostat with “smart” technology, or putting in a low cost drip watering system.

· Window Update

Have a room that comes across as outdated…or just plain ‘blah’? Consider how much extra home value a new window treatment might add. It could be as simple as installing a stylish valence over a window or two.

· Change the Doors

Remember your first apartment with its flimsy, hollow doors? A quality door can make a disproportionate difference to a property’s perceived home value. Changing out your front or back doors for more a more weighty or modern selection can be well worth the expense.

· Paint

Paint is the number one way to alter the look of a room inexpensively. Instead of painting the entire room one color, another option is to make a “statement wall” in its own neutral color that compliments a painting’s or picture frame’s palate.

These are just a few suggestions that can increase the value of your home in Lewiston without a straining the family finances. Even in an older home, many times it’s the little touches that can make the greatest difference.

Looking for specific suggestions to improve the value of your Lewiston home before listing it for sale? Call us today for an in-home market evaluation!