What is residential property valuation?

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Introduction

Landlords should know the legislation and accuracy surrounding residential valuations. A valuation is an important part of buying a property, and both landlords should be aware of what to expect. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the basics of residential valuations, including what they are and how they’re calculated.

What is a residential property valuation?

A residential property valuation is an inspection carried out on a property where people are living inside the property. After the inspection, the aim is to find out an estimate for the value of the residential property which is useful for many reasons. For instance, if you were to buy a property at an auction.

This process is essential for landlords looking to sell their residential property and is also crucial in the purchasing process. An accurate valuation is a highly sought-after calculation to determine if the rental yield or property appreciation of a property is worth it as a long-term investment. Or even for simple things like an insurance company needing to price their home insurance correctly.

How to find a valuation for a residential property step by step

When administering a residential property valuation, it is first important to acknowledge that the calculation is just an estimate. It is impossible to calculate the true value of a property until a property is sold.

However, you can find a reasonably accurate figure with enough sources of data and the right expert opinion from professionals like estate agents and surveyors who will conduct a survey.

Experience may also allow you to draw accurate conclusions on the value of a house based on comparison without having to visit the property. This is convenient if the property isn’t able to be viewed for valuation like if there was a tenant in situ.

To find the value of your residential property yourself without the need for experts, you can get a good estimate by plugging in data about your residential property online and comparing your house to those.

This data can include the area, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the amount of renovation that has been done to the residential property in recent years and if there is any outdoor space.

Estate agent selling due to a low residential property valuation

Through this method, it is easy to get an accurate understanding of the residential property valuation without having to rely on expert opinions like state agents who may undervalue your property in order to sell it quicker.

What affects a residential property valuation?

There are a variety of factors that affect a residential property valuation. Most importantly, the location affects the valuation of a residential property significantly and is the most predominant factor.

For example, the average house price of properties in London is £523,000 whereas a residential property in the northeast of England would cost you just £155,000 on average.

Hence, there are a lot of tax subsidies for first-time buyers in London such as stamp duty and land tax exemptions for houses under the value of £300,000 as well as the help to buy scheme which helps first-time buyers buy a residential house with just a 5% deposit using new builds.

Who does a residential property valuation?

There are actually a variety of professionals who are qualified to value residential properties. This can include a lender, estate agent or surveyor. Surveyors registered as part of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are the most qualified to give a valuation.

Estate agents

Estate agents are seen as experts in the field but they also have a tendency to undervalue a residential property in order to sell it quicker on the marketplace. However, because estate agents tend to be experts within a small location, often with years of experience they can also have knowledge of the local market found nowhere else.

Lenders

Lenders need to value a residential property to approve or disapprove a mortgage. This is essential because in the event a landlord cannot make their mortgage payments, a lender needs to be sure they can repossess the property and recover the money lent in the mortgage based on the value of the house. 

Surveyors

Surveyors will often give the most detailed estimate on a residential property’s valuation based on the structural integrity, safety and wear and tear of the build.

Landlords

Landlords can be savvy investors from practice buying second, third and perhaps multiple homes. As a result, they are quick at picking up on the price of properties in order to make a profit in the long term. Valuing houses in the process.

Surveyor valuations vs estate agent valuations

Surveyor valuations will often be based on more of the technical faults of residential property like the structural build. On the other hand, an estate agent values a property with the goal in mind of selling it.

How long will a residential property valuation last?

Residential property valuations do not typically have a set time for a valuation to last for. However, mortgages provide some data to go by, a mortgage offer will usually last for 3 – 6 months. This means lenders know that throughout this time, the residential property value remains accurate based on the economic climate.

Is a lender’s residential property valuation accurate?

Valuations from lenders must also be accurate as they must work for the lender to make money. For example, a landlord getting approved for a remortgage of a property to pull out equity and place a deposit for a new property using no new money must be confident in the value of their property to do this.

What are the types of residential property valuation?

There are a few scenarios where the value of residential properties has to be determined. The same professionals may be involved in each of the different types of valuation but they will conduct the valuation for different reasons.

Residential home being given a value

Mortgage valuations

Mortgage valuations are conducted by lenders. They will evaluate the purchase price of a property in comparison to the earned income of someone wanting to take out a residential mortgage to purchase a home to live in. For buy to let mortgages they will evaluate the potential rental income compared to the residential property value.

At this point, you may realise you don’t have the funds to be able to afford a mortgage after the property gets a valuation in which case you may want to look into alternative property investments.

Valuations for homebuyers

Homebuyers getting a residential property valuation can receive it from a certified surveyor or estate agent typically. There are also surveying boards that specialise in valuations like the RICS you can find here.

Right to buy valuations

If you live in government-owned or public housing, there may come a time when you have the right to buy it under the law. Following this, the council will conduct their own valuation of the property and send the tenant the outcome.

Help to buy valuations

When buying a help to buy property, a future homeowner will take out an equity loan from the government to pay back. This loan allows the government to own a part of the property until you have finished paying it off. At any time, it therefore may be calculated what proportion of the property value the government owns in equity.

Tax valuations

After the sale of a property, the value of the house is calculated for the purpose of paying taxes like capital gains, stamp duty or inheritance tax.

Reinstatement valuations

In the event a property experiences damage that renders it unliveable, the property owner will need to conduct a valuation of the property in order to get the value of the house paid back from an insurance company. This is done by the landlord hiring a surveyor.

When is the best time to do a residential property valuation?

There is no correct time of year. However, because getting a valuation for a residential property may cost money, a business may choose to do it at the end of the tax year when they are sure they have a sufficient budget. Otherwise, it can be done as and when needed.

What is gazundering?

Gazundering involves lowering the offer for a residential property just before the deal of a property is about to complete. Forcing the seller into accepting the lower offer.

What is gazumping?

Gazumping is when a seller of a property accepts an offer for their property but then accepts a higher offer before contracts are exchanged. Leaving the initial buyer disappointed and back to where they started.

Is gazundering or gazumping illegal?

Unfortunately, because both methods involve going back on a deal before there is any agreement in formal writing, there is nothing a buyer or seller in either scenario can do. In these cases, it is important you don’t become frustrated and simply try to sign the paperwork on a deal you want a bit quicker next time.

Money made from gazumping

Conclusion

All in all, residential property valuations are an intriguing topic. The valuation must be conducted by a qualified professional for the most accurate estimate.

If you find the valuation process too complicated or stressful, considering how your pension compares to property could be a good idea.

However, it is fairly easy to get an idea of the value of a residential property without any expert knowledge by simply comparing the property attributes to similar residential properties.

For more on the topic of residential valuations from the government click here.

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donnell-bailey

Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.

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