The real answer to "how much is my home worth" is by actually listing it for sale.
Everything else is just a guesstimate of varying degrees of accuracy and believability.
So, how much IS your home worth?
The short answer is that it's worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it.
The longer answer is that your home is worth...
What someone is willing to pay for it.
If listed for sale on the open market.
Will depend on how well your home has been prepared for market, the marketing exposure it gets and whether you selected a competent Realtor or not.
The prevailing market conditions at the time your list your home.
And potentially on whether it's an all-cash offer or not.
Pretty simple, huh?
Obviously, putting your home on the market just to determine it's current market value is a little extreme.
So, how can a homeowner find out how much their home is "worth"? And what are their limitations?
(1) Online home evaluations.
The granddaddy of these is the infamous Zestimate from Zillow.
Simply enter your address and within a few milliseconds, voila, up pops the current market value of your home. So easy and convenient, right?
Easy and convenient it might be but it's about as reliable as the Seattle Marines making the playoffs!
Zillow has never set foot in your home, has no idea if your kitchen is original, if your roof and furnace need replacing or if you remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms...
And what's included in Ballard condo HOA dues?
The Ballard neighborhood in Seattle has lots of different condo styles. From modern construction with the latest bells and whistles to funky older buildings that Don Draper would feel right at home in, and from large units with expansive views of the Puget Sound to small condos on busy roads.
But one thing they all have in common is that they ALL pay monthly Home Owner Association (HOA) dues.
Compared to buying a house, when buying a Ballard condo, or any condo for that matter, you need to do some additional research. Here's a post I previously wrote on The 9 Critical Questions to Ask When Buying a Condo. It's too late to ask after you've closed on the home!
And one of those questions is: "How much are the HOA dues and what do they cover?"
As you will see below, there's a lot of variation in what you might pay from one condo development to another. When looking at condos for sale in Ballard Seattle and calculating your potential monthly mortgage payments make sure to allow for HOA dues.
Here are some numbers on HOA dues for Ballard Seattle condos.
I looked at HOA dues for condos that were either currently for sale, pending or had sold over the past 2 months in the Ballard neighborhood as of the first week of October 2018. I looked at dues for both 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom condos.
For each, I calculated the average monthly HOA dues and the range (low and high). All data were obtained from the NWMLS. There were 28 one-bedroom and 24 two-bedroom units.
What does licensed, bonded and insured mean?
Need a new roof, a plumber in a hurry or that peeling exterior paint needs to be repainted?
Many a homeowner will ask friends for a referral or be wooed by a "special discount" mailer and hire a contractor willy-nilly without ever checking them out fully.
'"Joyce next door just loved Bob the Builder. That's good enough for me and my home!"
Or you get 3 quotes for those crawl space repairs. Two of them are $4,000 but the 3rd one is only $2,500. Before you leap on #3, ask yourself why it's a lot lower than the other two.
Besides obviously that big fat dollar number on the quote (you did get a quote didn't you?), the most important things to do are (1) check out the company's reputation, ask for referrals and look for any current and past litigation against the company... and (2) determine whether the contractor or service provider is licensed, bonded and insured.
Sure, Bob the Builder seems like a nice guy and even has his own TV series...but is he licensed, bonded and insured?
What does licensed bonded and insured mean, and why are they important?
In this case, we will be focusing on contractors and service providers that you might end up hiring during your course of owning your home.
Let's start with the licensing requirements.
For certain services, each state will require someone who plies their trade in a particular field to get a business license before being able to practice their business. Even your hairdresser is required to have a license. Chemical scalp burn anyone. Same as your electrician,...