Whether you are purchasing a home or looking to refinance, determining a property’s value is an essential step in the mortgage application process. Christina Haddad, VP of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), sheds some light on how to determine how much your home is worth. Don’t forget – general contractors can increase your home’s value with renovations!
How do you determine home value?
The value of a property is determined by a number of different criteria, each of which can influence how much your home is currently worth. These criteria could be any (and all) of the following:
- square footage;
- age of your home;
- construction quality;
- architectural features;
- number of bathrooms.
You can help by providing precise and accurate information about your property to your mortgage professional.
It is important to remember that a property valuation is not a fixed or permanent number. It is simply a snapshot of what your home is worth today, in relation to current market conditions and what other, similar properties are selling for. This value can change over time based on improvements to the property, as well as changes in your neighbourhood and the overall housing market.
Property Valuation and Mortgages
When applying for a mortgage, your mortgage professional will ask you a series of questions about your property. This information will help establish the property value, a critical element for determining the amount of your mortgage loan. To ensure the process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, CMHC has a property information worksheet available online to help you identify and collect the information you will need to complete your mortgage application.
If you are buying a home, for example, your mortgage professional will ask for the purchase price along with a detailed description of the property including square footage, number of bedrooms, style of home, heating type and the type of garage, if any, on the property. Be prepared to provide the purchase agreement along with any supporting document, including the realtor description sheet and the MLS® listing as applicable.
For refinancing, the lending value will be established after considering recent sales in your area, the latest municipal value assessment, and any significant improvements you have made to the property. If you want to add the cost of any planned improvements to your mortgage application, be sure to provide all of your plans and cost estimates. Be prepared to provide the latest municipal property assessment and a copy of any former appraisal if available.
A professional appraisal may be required if a more in-depth assessment of the value of your property is needed. This process includes a professional assessment of the property’s physical and functional characteristics, a detailed comparison of the home to recent comparable sales in nearby areas, and an assessment of current market conditions affecting the property. It is important to allow the appraiser access to the property in a timely manner, in order to minimize the time required to obtain financing.
Use our directory to find a home appraiser who can assess your home based on the above criteria, giving you a clear idea of your home’s value.
Sometimes, the property value assessment will not support the loan amount requested. Should this happen, talk to your mortgage professional, realtor or other members of your team of home buying professionals to explore the options that are available to you.
Selling your home? A general contractor can work with you to make sure your home is as best as it can be! That’s why we recommend using our directory of home service professionals to hire the experts you need to increase your home’s value.
About the Author: Christina Haddad is the vice president of Ontario’s Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation division.