How Much is my Home Worth?
Evaluating the listing price of a home is one of the main jobs of a Realtor, and there are so many factors that it is as much an art as a science. Realtors, particularly those who regularly work Hidden Meadows, are very good at predicting the eventual sale price of a home, but valuation is NOT an exact science – and many sellers impose a higher price than their professional recommends.
I was designated as an Expert Witness on Real Estate Values by the Superior Court of the State of California in 1978, and I can attest that Hidden Meadows is as difficult to appraise as any place in the world. We have an entire community of custom homes, some new, some old; some luxurious, some rather plain; some on tiny lots and some on huge acreage; some with great views and some nestled in for privacy; some with pools, and some without…
Appraisers would like to make evaluations based on dollars per square foot. That concept has some validity in areas like Rancho Bernardo where one Acapulco model is very similar to all Acapulco models except for decoration. In Hidden Meadows, similar-sized homes may have vastly different construction, or views, or a pool, or marble floors, or … None of these things are accurately reflected in a “price per square foot” valuation.
(That said, I regularly publish the $/s.f. of homes listed, because it is a “quick and dirty” method of valuation, and easily understood.)
A home is actually worth what a buyer will pay for it (assuming the Lender agrees to loan that much), so the real arbiter of prices is the market, and that is best reflected by recent comparable sales. The vast differences between homes in the Meadows makes both “recent” and “comparable” suspect terms in doing an evaluation, but knowledge of the area and experience can smooth out those bumps. If you want an “outside” opinion – and I recommend that you have one, please open the phone book and call an MAI-certified appraiser. It will cost you $350-$375 for most average sized homes, but it will really help you determine an unemotional price.