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How to appraise your Philly home

The size of your bathroom isn't as important as you'd think.

The size of your kitchen is an important factor in determining the value of your home.   Credit: Ben McGuinn The size of your kitchen is an important factor in determining the value of your home.
Credit: Ben McGuinn

Admit it, when you see your neighbor’s home for sale, you creep the web to find out how much it’s listed for. It gets you thinking, “How much is my home worth?" With the housing market a fickle thing to follow, we learned a few tricks to help figure out what your Philly digs could go for, without bringing in the official appraisers — yet.

Timothy M. Garrity, a realtor at US Spaces who works primarily in the Manayunk and Roxborough areas, says that a two-bedroom home, for example, can run in price from $100,000 to $225,000. The first factor that influences a home’s price, according to Garrity, is one that you might expect: its condition.

“By condition, I am referring to the age of the home — the newer, the pricier — and the quality of the finishes, such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and hardwood floors,” he says.

Available parking also comes into play when self-appraising your home. “Private parking makes the price go up, and street parking makes it less desirable,” says Garrity.

Realtor Abe Haupt, also of US Spaces, agrees. “Parking is a deal breaker for many buyers. Some buyers are willing to live in a much more modest house if they can be assured a garage or some type of deeded parking,” says Haupt. Regardless of your location, parking spaces are coveted commodities, and buyers are taking note of the available spots.

It was once thought that an ugly or cramped bathroom would make the house a hard sell. Not so, according to Haupt. “There is a common misconception that the quality of a bathroom will affect the price of a home. In my opinion, buyers aren’t nearly as concerned with this as they are with the size of the kitchen and the outdoor areas.” A bad bathroom is a challenge, but it’s often surmountable. The size of your backyard, however, won’t be changing anytime soon.

But be warned. “While prices have risen, it’s still possible to get a bargain, but with interest rates poised to rise, time is running out. Market inventory in Philadelphia County has fallen every month since August of 2011 and with fewer choices on the market and more buyers, sellers are getting choosier about which offers they are going to accept and often holding out for a higher offer,” Haupt says.

 
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