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Natural Disasters Affect Home Appraisals

natural disasters affect home appraisals
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Natural disasters can affect any homeowner in any area around the U.S. Your home can be hit with anything including a hurricane, flood, heavy snow or ice storm, hailstorm, and even a tornado.

If your home has been partially damaged by a natural disaster, you can get an appraisal which will help support a diminution in the value of your home. Turn a copy of the appraisal over to your tax collector office and you may get a reduction in property taxes for the year especially if your state had a “governor-declared disaster.” The damage your home got may make it hard to get a true value. Make sure to hire a reputable home appraiser.

If your home has been destroyed, the challenge of a home appraisal becomes a severe challenge. The value of the home will have to be recreated using old property records. These may include any changes or updates you made to the home prior to the disaster. If the disaster is large enough as in a wildfire there may be no neighboring homes available to render an accurate appraisal.

Then again, if your home is left intact but the surrounding community has been affected like severe loss of lush landscapes and other natural vegetation, an appraisal on your home may be lower because of the curb appeal or community appeal is gone. If many homes are destroyed the community turns into a lot for sale market rather than a home for sale market.

In the event of a major disaster, there can be fear that the area will be hit or affected again, thus making buyers timid. The area may gain a stigma for a fire or hurricane that will stick around for an average of five years.

After a disaster, you may be faced with two kinds of appraisals. If you are filing an insurance claim, your insurance company will assess the home in terms of total replacement cost which is defined as the cost to replace with a substitute of like or equal utility. They will concentrate on replacing just the structure, ignoring the land and only include the extras as stated in your homeowners' policy. A third-party appraisal considers the price of the land and replacement cost with all the additional costs that go into rebuilding after a disaster or loss.

Over the last decade, many lessons have been learned from significant natural disasters like Katrina, Ivan, Michael, Opal, flooding in the Midwest and heavy snowfall in the northern parts of the U.S. Technology improvements have been made that help appraisers and assessors get past the challenges of a natural disaster and help them mitigate risk. Knowing the fire, flood or earthquake risk for an area helps to support true property valuations. These tools give greater insight with extra metrics over and above standard appraisals.

Again, if you are requesting an appraisal investigate the background of the appraiser and ask questions. Find out what tools they use to assist them with their process in determining value. If you need a reputable appraiser in the Greenville SC area, contact me and I can refer you to one.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

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