Sunday, March 24, 2013

Appraisers and Roofers

It was 7:30 in the morning.  The house was all spic and span and
the morning sun poured in the front of the house.

The yellow paperwhites brought their own sunshine to
the dining room we all waited for the appraisers to arrive.

There had even been a dusting of snow overnight that
perfectly covered my missing shingles.

Everything was perfect....

...until I looked out the window to see...

...the roofers had arrived unannounced.

I nearly had a heart attack.  All I could envision was the
appraisers arriving to find my roof...

...looking like this.

Fortunately, they were just stopping by to accept delivery of the
roofing materials.  It would have been nice to have gotten this done
before the appraisal but at least they could see that it was actually going
to happen in the near future.

The roof was replaced the next day.

So here's the before.

And here's the after.  It's not a huge impact but it does look a lot better.
They also added a ridge vent which will provide better ventilation in the attic.

(The shingles are Certainteed architectural shingles in Colonial Gray color.)

The appraisal went well I think.  It's hard to judge and a lot of the outcome will
be the comparison of my house and its finishes to comparable properties
in the neighborhood based on recent sales.

They did say that it was apparent that everything was well maintained
and that a lot of the finish work looked new.  That subjective data gets
offset by the fact  that I don't have a garbage disposal, a dishwasher and
a microwave, butcher block counters versus granite, etc. etc. etc.

A porch adds X dollars to the price, a patio adds X dollars
and off-street parking adds X dollars.  Good information.

They did drawings of the floor plans and took photos of only of
the kitchen and bathrooms, hot water heater and furnace. 
Not too invasive and it took less than a half hour.

I don't have any concern about where the appraisal will come in but I'm more interested in
how the work I've done to the house has affected the value.  I think it's important when you're
renovating to know the value of your house as well as understanding your local real estate
market.  I don't want to overshoot on installing high end finishes if I won't be able to recoup
that investment if I decide to sell the house at some point.

Is there another renovation in my future? I don't know.  But it's good to be educated.


  1. i have no idea what you do for a living, but if you added remodeler to your portfolio, it would be a slam dunk

  2. Steve your new roof looks fabulous! All nice and clean. Yep when we remodeled our carriage barn and kitchen we had an appraisal but we're still the poor church mice on our road thankfully so it can only get better. Besides I'm home for life and never moving now it's all about curb appeal. Like Deb said...what do you do for a living? Now I'm curious.....


  3. I understand how you must have felt about the roofers coming! OMG.
    I took ALL my pets to my boarding kennel before I got my appraisal and I was finishing up my laundry when the guy arrived early! Oh well, at least the house smelled of Downey! :)
    I can't believe they didn't take more photos! Maybe they have the magazines and book your home is featured in!
    A good friend of mine remodeled their home way out of their old neighborhood's market and lost money when they went to sell. I'm in the opposite position. If I ever decide to sell I have a list of things to do to it to get top dollar but right now I'm letting it look like a hovel on the outside to keep my property taxes low. :(
    Anyway, I love your home and the fact that it's not a cookie cutter house.

  4. Wonderful roof. I really likethese "new" s jingles that appear to notbe flat. Makes the roof so much more interest8ng.

  5. Great roof. I'm glad everything worked out appraisal wise. Now once you've finished the house don't tell me you're going to sell it???

  6. Its nice to hear someone realizing that just throwing money at your house does not necessarily add value in terms of resale. In my last house I wanted to gut the kitchen with a possible addition until it dawned on me that I already lived in the 2nd best house on the street and would never get that back in a sale. Good thing because we sold it several months later.
    Conversely, I think that notions about resale should not make you live in a space that really don't like.

  7. Love the new roof. Very sharp You should have pumped the appraisers for more info. I bet they would have responded to chocolate chip cookies (I do). Glad it went well. Your house looks gorgeous to me - hope it is worth lots and lots. :)


  8. I've popped in a few times and I must tell you I absolutely adore your home - a great call on the shingles, I think you chose the perfect colour.

  9. The roof looks great. I'm always surprised at how much difference it can make in the appearance of a house. When we had ours replaced they tore off three layers of shingles. despite the thicker more dimensional new shingles, the house looked like it had been on a diet!
    (Nice rug in your entry too)

    1. We can't do three layers here. Two is the maximum. I only had one but there was no snow and ice shield under the layer that was there and I wanted to get six feet of rubber at the bottom.

      I know what you mean. When I took of the three layers of siding off mine, it looked a lot smaller.

      Rug is from ebay. It's beautifully worn.

  10. Nice roof! We're getting prepared to replace our log cabin roof (29 years!) I spotted the shingles I wanted on...E-Bay...drove all the way VA/TX (half the amount we need.) It's a start.... franki

    1. Wait a minute; what? You drove from Virginia to Texas to pick up shingles?

    2. You know...we really did save $1500 (AND covered the cost of the trip!) I'm not even going to tell you about being caught in a SIX HOUR TRAFFIC HALT..I40 closed in BOTH directions... fmp

  11. You chose the exact same shingles I have--they look as nice on your house as they do I mine!!!! Now--I want to know what colors you have on the house itself as I am thinking of repainting. the color I chose years ago--hoping it would fade with time--didn't fade and my husband hates it. I do too. So tell me!!!

    1. I should have mentioned the shingles are Certainteed architectural shingles in Colonial Gray. I'll go back and add it to the post.

      The house is BM (Benjamin Moore) Graystone, the trim is BM Silver Chain and the black on the front door and window sashes is just ready-mixed BM Black.

  12. I think your new career should be as a food photographer. You chose a great color for the roof!

  13. one thing you are wrong about - the shingles DO make a huge impact. they look great. donna

    adding this as I see you have added word verification...are you getting tons of spam??? I know I am.

  14. Okay, I'm glad I was paying attention when I reached the end. All the way through I am thinking I missed the announcement you were putting the Urban Cottage on the market. Your roof looks great. I am thinking a new roof is in the near future here as well. I hope the appraisal comes back as you would like. Have a great week. Bonnie

  15. Your new roof looks great, Steve! I trust that the appraiser saw before and after photos.

  16. The new roof looks great! I think the shingle color you chose goes much better with the house. There's a lot of comfort in knowing one's roof is sound and weathertight.

    1. You got that right! I live in two different places that leaked when there was heavy or extended rain and I still get a stomach ache when it rains hard because of that experience.

  17. Insist on a copy of your appraisal. The lender does not want you to see it because it is always below market. That gives the lender an edge. You paid for it you have a right to a copy of it. Compare the lender appraisal with the County tax appraisal. I did. My lender appraisal was $130,000 less than the County appraisal. Because the lender appraisal is done by a State licensed appraiser you have the legal document upon which to appeal your property tax assessment! I did.

    1. That's very interesting advice. I like that.

    2. I found, with my appraisal, that the bank used comps in a different neighborhood and price bracket for the recent "sales". We protested and requested comps from sales (not many as there is low turnover) in our actual neighborhood. Bank had to pay for second appraisal which was 100K higher than the first one. It's a racket.

  18. It looks great. The gray roof really ties in so much better to the color scheme of your home. Love it. And love the rug in your entryway, too!

  19. Love that the roofers were swarming around when the appraiser was there-EEEK! Truth is always stranger than fiction, eh?

    The new tiles look ruggedly elegant-I think they anchor the house more.

    What else is going on, rehab wise? How is that bedroom coming?
    Looking forward to whatever you are going to be doing next :)

  20. I have been visiting your blog for some time, from my humble abode in South Australia. Gee I've learnt a lot, and so enjoyed your posts and renovation. The shingles look very smart. Thanks for sharing your interesting journey, and your yummy recipes.

  21. Steve,

    You are smart. You know what you are doing and always seem to make good decisions. This too will pay off. I am all for mixing high end with more budget savvy design and so far I have done well in the housing market.

    The roof looks great. Well done.

    Am I the only one who does not know where you are moving next??!

    Warm hugs to you.


  22. Oh that roof makes a BIG difference. The Urban Cottage looks grown up! xo

  23. As always Steve, reading your blog is an education. The new roof loks great, I think that color accentuates the house color better.

  24. I'd like to see real estate values back up, they way they were in the mid-90's . . . however I don't think that will happen again in my life time!

    You are correct, it is very important not to sink too much into you home. My husband and I feel like we are at that point, and we still feel like we could easily drop another 30-50K into the joint! That's after 2 new bathrooms, a new kitchen, new windows, new electric, new plumbing & a new heating system! Ahh, such is the life of a fixer-upper!

    The roof looks beautiful and I think the difference is very noticeable, you did a great job!

  25. A former co-worker (and handyman) did upgrading inside their house and added a sprinkler system. They took a loss when they sold it. Very wise to remember the neighborhood you live in.

    I think your home is lovely. You have certainly worked very hard on it.

  26. S,You are so right, knowledge is power, as they say. It's funny and it's sad, the housing market here is so different. No matter what one does to their house and garden in LA, the new owners almost always remove it all. I love the new roof and of course everything ( I mean it ) you have done to the house. I wouldn't change a thing. K

  27. We just had to get a 2nd opinion on our appraisal because there are no comps within 50 cost us money and set us back a have worked so hard! Your home and blog is beautiful!

  28. I have Certainteed also. They give a nice texture/appearance from a distance and don't look 'flat.' Now I have to fix the 3 dormer/porch roofs 2 are copper, one is slate. Yuck. Hopefully they can peel off the copper and reattach where they lost contact with the main house. I'd like to have the slate barn roof repaired while I'm at it, but that's a dream. I'd take some of the barn's southern (backside) roof and replace it with solar panels and use the healthy slate to repair the north (front) and the house porch roof. Wake me up now. This is not a high rent district. They came with the house and probably were put on a century ago.

  29. Charming and informative.
    -Suzanne in Illinois

  30. Oh no Steve a Realtors and homeowners nightmare. Glad it all turned out okay!

    Art by Karena

  31. I love the new roof. We had ours done with similar shingles last year. Your home is beautiful. I've enjoyed following your renovations. We're about 45 minutes outside of Boston, anxiously awaiting spring :)

  32. Steve,
    I love your new roof and well your entire house. It looks fabulous and so well cared for!