What You Need to Do Before Refinancing

What You Need to Do Before Refinancing


If you purchased your home with a higher interest rate and are now looking to take advantage of lower rates or looking to change your loan term, it may be a good idea to refinance your home loan.

However, where do you start? How do you know if your house is ready?

You most likely remember the appraisal process when you first purchased a home. To refinance your home loan, your mortgage lender will order an updated appraisal on your property.

An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion regarding your home’s value. The appraiser will create a report based on recent sales of similar properties in the area, market trends and home amenities through a visual inspection. While the appraisal is one of the first steps of the refinancing process, there are things you can do to help increase the value of your property and equity before an appraiser visits.

If you’re considering refinancing your mortgage, get started by using this appraisal checklist:

1. Perfect the Landscaping

You never get a second chance at a first impression. The first thing an appraiser is going to see when they pull up to your home is the landscaping. Take the time to make sure your home looks approachable by taking care of the little things: cut the grass, consider planting some flowers and ensure the yard is clear of clutter like toys, excessive ornaments or garbage. You want the appraiser to walk into your home already impressed, not doubtful.

2. Make Any Outstanding Improvements 

Have you been putting off updating the bathroom or remodeling the kitchen? If you’re thinking about refinancing, it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling on any home improvement projects as soon as possible. These types of updates can add significant value to your home, making it that much more important to get them done before an appraisal. While you can either go the DIY route or hire a qualified contractor, it’s essential that your improvements use quality products.

3. Clear Away Clutter

When an appraiser walks through your home, they must get a true sense of what the property has to offer. Clutter can make rooms feel smaller and can tarnish their view of the home. Make sure everything has a place. Take some time to organize the shoe closet and put all clothes away. 

4. Make Sure Everything Works 

The last thing you want is for an appraiser to notice something in your home is faulty. Check to make sure that your heating/cooling systems, smoke detectors, ceiling fans, kitchen appliances, security systems and more are functioning. 

5. Advocate for Yourself 

No one knows your house better than you do. Be sure to point out things that could add more value to your home. Have you made any recent updates? Do you have an energy efficient furnace? Have you replaced the windows or adding insulation? All of these things could increase the value of your home. You own the ultimate bragging rights to your home, so make them count. 

If you’re feeling unsure about the appraisal process, connect with your local mortgage broker. They’re your best resource to understanding if a refinance is right for you and the steps that you need to take.

Ready for a simple, painless refinancing experience? Find your local mortgage broker and get started today!


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