Buyer’s Guide to Your Santa Cruz Home’s Appraisal Terms

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Friday, February 12th, 2010 at 11:01pm.

If you're getting a mortgage on a home, your lender will require an appraisal. This is performed by a licensed appraiser who evaluates your home and determines its value. Here is a guide to your Santa Cruz home’s appraisal terms.
• Age: The actual age of your home is how long since your home has been built. The effective age is the adjusted age of your home based on improvements and repairs.

• Adjustments: Comparison Santa Cruz homes are usually not exact replicas of your home. The appraiser will make adjustments for things like premium views or swimming pools to bring the home values closer together.

• Appraisal: This is the estimated value of your home based on the appraiser’s documentation.

• Comparison approach: A type of appraisal in which your home is compared with others in your area. Most appraisers use this approach because the market determines what your home will sell for.

• Cost approach:  A type of appraisal in which your home is valued based on how much it would cost to replace it if it was destroyed. This is typically used on newer constructions.

• Depreciation: Depreciation is a loss in value due to age or condition.

• Easements: Your electric company or local government may have an easement, or right to use your land.

 Encroachments: When you or your neighbors have items like fences resting on each other’s property, it is called encroachment.

• Market value: This is the highest price you could expect to get for your home under normal circumstances.

• Remaining economic life: This is the time from the appraisal when improvements become useless or valueless.

• Subject property: Your property is called the subject property.

Let me help you through the process of buying your next Santa Cruz home. Call me today at 831.662.6522 or email me at for more information.


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About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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