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How can I find out my homes value?

You can check with a local Realtor. They have access to comparable sales and can give you a pretty good idea what homes are worth in your area.

The only way to find out the exact market value of your home is to hire a professional appraiser to come in and do the job.

There are many different online value estimators that are free, another source is a program made available through the government that generates the house value based on historical appreciation rates in your area.

Online value estimators are only as accurate as the data they have available. The more recent the data the more accurate. The more conformity you have in the type of properties the more accurate. An online value estimator in a tract situation where there is a lot of turnover will be the most accurate. Remember the online value estimator has absolutely no way of knowing if you have the original Formica or unpgraded granite counter tops. I can not tell if you have upgraded your bath or your kitchen and as you get away from identical tract homes the online value estimator is reduced in accuracy exponentially. In fact they can be so bad that there is pending legislation and pending litigation that could result in their permanent demise.

You can call a professional appraiser and pay for his service as often as you'd like...

One easy way would be to call me! Although it would not be a substitute for a professional appraisal, I can access records of closed sales in your neighborhood and compare them to your home. I can also access the Multiple Listing Service and see what kind of prices similar homes as yours are currently being listed for. Short of performing a full appraisal, you will get a very good estimate of the value of your home.

The best thing about online value estimators is that they are free. Although they are getting better, they do not have all the information needed to provide the most accurate value, and they won't be accepted by a lender as an appraised value.

Make sure that if you decide to spend the money on an appraiser that you interview the appraiser and ask about the appraiser's experience. Appraisers who work mostly on loans may not be the best appraiser for you unless you want a loan. If the appraiser does not ask you what type of appraisal you want and the form type you are probably not going to get what you want. There are many appraisal types, make sure you get what you need.

Some online value estimators are actually lead generation sites for realtors. keep that in mind when using them.

For the purposes of obtaining home equity line of credit financing, many lenders will allow your homes value to be determined using automated property valuation software or simplified ("drive by") appraisals or broker price opinions.

A real estate agent (Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors) can give you a value. Many real estate agents have a good idea of how much a property is worth by using comparable sales. Rmember that comparable sales are historical and the best are the most recent as the comparables get further back into history the less accurate they are

To get a general idea of your home's value you can use an online value estimator. Online value estimators can provide you with a general idea as to the value of your home on paper. These should not be construed as an appraisal report or a true value of your home, but can usually provide a basic idea of your home's value.

If you are unsure of the value and it is crucial that you need find out an accurate amount, hiring a professional appraiser is possible as well. This can be the most expensive option, but also the most accurate.

For more information regarding this topic, please call Mike Williams at 516-921-9000 or email mwilliams@northshorefunding.com.