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Construction quality is difficult to determine. The assessor page will show when the home is updated or remodeled. In some counties they may even rate the quality. But the assessor's page is not updated often enough in my area. It is now required to rate the quality of your home while completing the appraisal Here are the rating methods. Q1-Q6, quality definitions are taken from Alamode.com's website.
Dwellings with this quality rating are usually unique structures that are individually designed by an architect for a specified user. Such residences typically are constructed from detailed architectural plans and specifications and feature an exceptionally high level of workmanship and exceptionally high-grade materials throughout the interior and exterior of the structure. The design features exceptionally high-quality exterior refinements and ornamentation, and exceptionally high-quality interior refinements. The workmanship, materials, and finishes throughout the dwelling are of exceptionally high quality.
Dwellings with this quality rating are often custom designed for construction on an individual property owner's site. However, dwellings in this quality grade are also found in high-quality tract developments featuring residence constructed from individual plans or from highly modified or upgraded plans. The design features detailed, high quality exterior ornamentation, high-quality interior refinements, and detail. The workmanship, materials, and finishes throughout the dwelling are generally of high or very high quality.
Dwellings with this quality rating are residences of higher quality built from individual or readily available designer plans in above-standard residential tract developments or on an individual property owner's site. The design includes significant exterior ornamentation and interiors that are well finished. The workmanship exceeds acceptable standards and many materials and finishes throughout the dwelling have been upgraded from "stock" standards.
Dwellings with this quality rating meet or exceed the requirements of applicable building codes. Standard or modified standard building plans are utilized and the design includes adequate fenestration and some exterior ornamentation and interior refinements. Materials, workmanship, finish, and equipment are of stock or builder grade and may feature some upgrades.
Dwellings with this quality rating feature economy of construction and basic functionality as main considerations. Such dwellings feature a plain design using readily available or basic floor plans featuring minimal fenestration and basic finishes with minimal exterior ornamentation and limited interior detail. These dwellings meet minimum building codes and are constructed with inexpensive, stock materials with limited refinements and upgrades.
Dwellings with this quality rating are of basic quality and lower cost; some may not before year-round occupancy. Such dwellings are often built with simple plans or without plans, often utilizing the lowest quality building materials. Such dwellings are often built or expanded by persons who are professionally unskilled or possess only minimal construction skills. Electrical, plumbing, and other mechanical systems and equipment may be minimal or non-existent. Older dwellings may feature one or more substandard or non-conforming additions to the original structure.
The back of the appraisal also has similar or the same definitions.
But the real issue is if the appraiser used the correct comparable sales. Look at the photos and see if they look like your home. Check the location of the comparable sales. Does your home offer significant differences in the comparable sales. Look for other comparable sales that may have been better. You must find sales. Lots of people are putting $20,000 of improvements in their home only to be upset when they get there appraisal. This is because other factors in the market are making the value decline.
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For Sale: $159,900
For Sale: $165,126
For Sale: $125,000