Do I Need a Property Appraisal for My Home?
For many of us, our homes are one of our most valuable assets, which makes any determinations related to home ownership extremely important during divorce proceedings. Before deciding whether one spouse will be permitted to retain the exclusive use and ownership of the residence, how the other party will be compensated, or whether the home must be sold, divorcing parties should first obtain a home property appraisal. Only once this step has been taken will divorcing couples have the information they need to begin the negotiation process. For help obtaining an accurate appraisal of your own home, please contact an experienced Florida property division attorney who can help protect your interests.
There are a number of factors that come into play when obtaining an appraisal or property valuation of a residence. It is always critical, however, to retain a professional third party appraiser who can provide a fair home value after taking into consideration both internal and external factors. The former includes:
- The square footage of the home;
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the home;
- Whether the home has additional storage spaces, such as basements, attics, and crawl places;
- The type of foundation used during the home’s construction;
- Whether the home has been renovated or remodeled; and
- The quality of the floor, wall, and window materials.
In addition to assessing the internal aspects of a home, appraisers will also look to the residence’s external factors, including:
- The type of neighborhood where the home is located, including whether the area can be described as urban, suburban, or rural;
- The size of the lot;
- Whether the property is zoned as single-family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural;
- The percentage of certain types of land use in the neighborhood;
- Vehicle storage amenities, such as a garage, carport, or concrete driveway; and
- The structure of the home.
An experienced appraiser will also be able to spot potential problems, such as pest issues, a defective foundation, or roof damage, all of which can impact a home’s value.
Why a Property Appraisal is Important
It is not uncommon for divorcing couples, who may already be facing financial struggles, to skip a professional appraisal and come up with a rough estimate on their own. Couples should resist this urge, however, as a judge will most likely require a professional appraisal at a later date in order to reach an accurate calculation of the parties’ marital assets, which could delay the proceedings. A professional appraisal can also ensure that the division of a couple’s property is as fair as possible.
It could be appropriate, however, to skip a property appraisal in certain situations, such as when a home is already in the process of being sold when a couple files for divorce or if there is negative equity in the home.
Call Our Fort Lauderdale Legal Team
To speak with experienced Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about obtaining a property appraisal for your own home, please call us today at 954-945-7591.