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Crawl Space Secrets: What Appraisers Look For That Could Boost Your Home’s Worth

Crawl Space Secrets: What Appraisers Look For That Could Boost Your Home’s Worth

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Your crawl space is an often overlooked asset that can boost the value of your home. As a space beneath the main residence where utilities and sewage are installed, it’s not the first place that comes to your mind when you think of an appraisal.

The presence of a crawl space adds some value to the property in question. However, you can’t estimate the accurate value except after an appraisal.

So do appraisers go in the crawl space? Here’s everything you need to know about the matter.

What Is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is a systematic process of determining the value of a property.

The ultimate goal of an appraisal is to calculate a price that reflects the current value of a property, not the cost of purchasing or building it.

In a typical appraisal, a certified appraiser will start by talking to a prospective buyer or owner of the property in question.

From there, the appraiser will thoroughly inspect the property, including all its fixtures, structures, and utilities.

People often wonder whether appraisers go in crawl spaces with the rest of the house, as they’re not actual rooms. Well, to many homeowners’ surprise, appraisers do go in crawl spaces.

Do Home Inspectors Go in Crawl Spaces?

The short answer is yes.

Home inspectors are obligated by the FHA to inspect the crawl space when it’s possible. After inspection, they should notify the mortgagee if any of the following standards are not met.

  1. The crawl space must have adequate clearance for maintaining and repairing pipes and ductwork.
  2. Unless the area is mechanically conditioned, there must be proper ventilation.
  3. Trash, debris, and vermin must be kept out of the crawl space, and the crawl space must not be excessively damp.
  4. Water must not pool in the crawl space, and there shouldn’t be any moisture.
  5. If moisture problems are evident, a vapor barrier must be installed.
  6. The minimum crawl space clearance must be 18 inches between ground level and the bottom of the joists when there are system components in the crawl space.

Why Is It Important to Have an Appraisal for a Crawl Space?

Having an appraisal for a crawl space doesn’t only let you know the value of your property but also tells you whether remodeling is in order. You’ll also get to know whether your property is expanding or contracting.

Here’s why an appraisal for a crawl space is essential:

  1. Determining how much space a particular building or structure on your property will occupy.
  2. Figuring out whether a home or facility you own is expanding or contracting.
  3. Understanding the amount of insurance coverage you’ll need for your property.
  4. Examining the plumbing, electrical, and heating/cooling systems present in a crawl space. This can help you plan for possible repairs or replacements down the road.
  5. Getting an idea of how much money you could make from selling the crawl space’s airspace.
  6. Examining the feasibility of building a new structure on the crawl space’s plot of land.
  7. Understanding the cost of demolishing a structure and rebuilding on the same plot of land.
  8. Determining if a new structure would be more profitable than remodeling an old one.

5 Tips for a Successful Appraisal

As you might have noticed, there are several advantages to having an appraisal performed on your crawl space.

But before having an appraisal, there are some tips to follow so you get accurate results. Here are the five most important ones.

  1. Before approaching an appraiser with a request to perform an appraisal on your crawl space, learn as much as you can about the process. This includes reading online reviews and consulting with a friend or family member who has had an appraisal performed.
  2. Ensure that the area where you do the appraisal is clear of obstructions (such as furniture, cabinets, garbage cans, etc.).
  3. Ensure that your crawl space is well-lit.
  4. Make sure that the area where you do the appraisal is dry.
  5. Clean the crawl space and ensure it looks as tidy as possible. This includes removing any dust from the area and sweeping away any debris.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you still have questions in mind, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about appraisals.

What is an appraiser looking for when they get in a crawl space?

Home inspectors are usually looking for any signs of moisture damage. Moisture can be in the form of condensation, cracked material, or damp insulation.

They also want to make sure that the space doesn’t have any mold or mildew that could affect the infrastructure of the property.

How often should you inspect a crawl space?

Professionals agree that the optimum inspection frequency should be every six months. However, it depends on how large the crawl space is and its condition.

How often should you change the insulation inside a crawl space?

Generally, crawl space insulation is expected to last up to 40 years. However, if the space is damp or moist most of the time, it’s recommended to change insulation as soon as ten years after installation.

Can you spray bleach inside the crawl space?

Bleach can destroy the walls of your crawl space, especially when they’re made of a metal like copper.

How can someone disinfect and clean the crawl space?

To clean a crawl space, make sure you have the following checklist:

  • Remove any pests
  • Kill all insect colonies
  • Dry any standing water
  • Replace old insulations
  • Seal any air leaks
  • Install vapor barriers and make sure they remain maintained

Final Thoughts

So do appraisers go in crawl spaces? Yes, they do! Sometimes, they’re obliged to do so.

There are several benefits to conducting an appraisal of the crawl space. After the assessment is done and the results are in, you can get an idea of how much your home is actually worth.

Having an appraisal done on a crawl space can increase the value of your house. This is because appraisers take into account factors like how well-maintained the space is and how solid the foundation is.


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