How frequently to do home valuations

01 April 2021 RE/MAX of Southern Africa

Real estate is one of the largest medium- to long-term investments many will make within their lifetime. As an appreciating asset, the value of one’s home will increase with every year that passes.

With this in mind, homeowners may be tempted to conduct regular valuations on their home; but this may be counter-productive if undertaken too frequently.

As with any other medium- to long-term investments, homeowners are advised not to check the value of their investment too often. “Home prices appreciate slowly over time. The RE/MAX National Housing Report reveals that Q4 2020’s national median price grew by 5% when compared to Q4 2019 while the price of sectional titles reflect a 3% drop when compared to Q4 2019. This means that the value of one’s home might not appear to have changed by much if one were to review it every year,” explains Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.

He goes on to explain that the property market also works in cycles and will have periods of exceptional house price growth followed by periods of low or even negative growth. “Over the lifespan of any given home loan, which is typically between ten to fifteen years, the value of the home will hit highs and lows. Over time though, the highs will balance out the lows and will result in substantial returns on the initial investment.”

Goslett therefore recommends valuing one’s property once every three to five years or so just to check in on how much the property has accumulated in value. “Unless the homeowners are planning on selling, checking the value of the home too often may lead to unnecessary anxiety, especially if the market happens to be performing poorly when they conduct the valuation. On the other hand, checking the value of one’s property regularly enough can alert the homeowner if the market is currently in a boom where they stand to sell for far greater than at a later point in their loan term,” he points out.

Those who want to conduct regular valuations on their home ought to enlist the services of a reputable real estate professional with a firm grasp of the local market conditions. “While looking at similar homes on property portals can give homeowners a rough idea of what homes in their area are selling for, the most accurate way to determine a home’s true market value is to arrange for a local real estate expert to conduct a valuation on your specific property. These are usually free-of-charge and will provide homeowners with a more realistic understanding of how much their home is appreciating in value over time,” Goslett concludes.

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