When undergoing a mortgage refinance, one step in the process is acquiring an appraisal of your home. An appraisal is a written estimate of the market value of your property. Mortgage lenders will use an appraisal to determine the amount one qualifies for the mortgage. The appraisal will also establish how much equity there is in a home. It gives an estimate of the price that can be obtained by selling the property. An appraisal is a necessary step when refinancing existing mortgage because it assures the lender or bank that the property will sell for at least the amount which they will be providing as a home loan. This protects them in the event of a mortgage default by ensuring they will get their money back if they have to repossess the house and sell it.The mortgage lender will normally arrange for the appraisal. It often depends on the mortgage company’s policy for obtaining appraisals. A home appraisal is different from a home inspection. Appraisers look for value in a home. Lenders need to know the home is worth what you want to borrow. The appraiser is a licensed professional that will do a market analysis of the sale price of a home. The appraisal will require a thorough inspection of your home inside and out. The appraiser will look for problems in the property.Appraisals generally include: evaluating the condition of your home, details of the property, a comparison of the property with other properties in the area, an evaluation of the real estate market in the area, the type of area where the property is located, and an estimate of how long it will take to sell. Although it may vary among appraisers, generally speaking, they take home sales within about a 1/4 mile within the last 4 – 6 months and average them per square foot. They then multiply that number by the square footage of the home being appraised.The appraiser will assess the actual home. He or she will measure the outside of your home, look at the inside, take pictures of both the outside and inside and determine a market price for your home based on the most current previous sales of nearby homes. Such aspects that affect a home value include: kitchen, number of bedrooms, size of rooms, finished basement, new roof, number of bathrooms, new windows, and a solid foundation. They will also measure the property line to get the amount of square feet on the outside. They will then notify the lender or person who requested the appraisal. The lender uses all of the information to determine the amount of the refinance loan.The appraiser’s assessment of a home is an extremely important part of refinancing a mortgage. It is important to inform the appraiser of any new additions such as a garage or patio deck. Before an appraiser arrives, make sure that you have all repairs completed that can affect the value of your home. Factors that can affect the value can include poor upkeep of the property and any damage to the home. Because of the low interest rates being offered by banks and other lenders, this is a great time to refinance. Knowing what appraisers look at when assessing a home and neighborhood will increase the likelihood that you will get a great refinance loan.