How To (Properly) Determine Your Home's Value

Man and woman touring an empty house
There are many tools you can use to determine your home's value.

Whether you’re ready to sell or just want to know how much your assets are worth, knowing the value of your house is always a smart idea.

There are several indicators that you can use when determining the value of your house. When it comes to estimating the value of a property, accuracy is paramount.

Some indicators are more important than others and carry more weight.

The Trouble With Online Calculators

If you've been using a search engine to look for ways to estimate the value of your home, odds are, you've come across quite a few "home value calculators."

While these might seem easy to use, they're not very accurate. Some of the better home value calculators might give you an idea of what your property is worth, but it will be a ballpark figure to be taken with a grain of salt.

Even if you add all of your home's new upgrades and other features, the results are based on the average square footage of your home, not necessarily if you have any special features or an underground pool in the backyard.

All they care about is location and size. Getting an opinion from a human being, who can come and look at your home to see the true value is a better option.

Add up Improvements That You’ve Made to the Property

One thing you should do when determining your home's value is to add up all of the improvements you've made to the property since you've owned it.

  • Have you built a new deck? That's value, add it up!

  • Repainted the bathrooms? That’s value, add it up!

  • Installed some landscaping and a rock garden? That’s value, add it up!

You get the idea.

All of those Summer projects that you undertook can and will pay off when it's time to sell your property.

Remember, the more value you add to your property, the higher your taxes will be. It's only fair that you get some of that money back by selling your home for what it's worth!

Look at Your Taxes

There’s a handy dandy little figure that you can find appended to your property tax documents called a SEV.

That little beaut can help you get a relatively accurate idea of how much your property is worth. SEV stands for "state equalized value."

Once you find that number, double it. When you double your SEV, you’ll have a figure that represents an approximate value on your home.