What Photos Do Appraisers Take?

A home appraiser taking pictures of a house's interior

Photographs play a crucial role in property appraisals. They provide essential documentation and meet lender requirements. In the past, appraisers only needed to capture the front and back of the property and some street scenes. However, the scope has expanded significantly. This article explains what items appraisers now photograph and why they are important for the appraisal report. 

A home appraiser touring the exterior of a house with clients

9 Photos Every Appraiser Needs

Landscaping and Outdoor Features

Appraisers also photograph the landscaping and outdoor features of a property. This includes gardens, patios, pools, and other amenities. These images highlight aspects that can enhance the property’s appeal and value, giving a complete picture of what the property offers.

Pictures of well-maintained gardens, stylish patios, or luxurious pools can significantly influence the property’s market value. These outdoor features often add to the home’s aesthetic appeal and functionality, making it more attractive to potential buyers. By documenting these elements, appraisers provide a comprehensive evaluation that includes both indoor and outdoor aspects of the property.

Special Features

Special features, such as built-in entertainment centers or intricate crown moldings, can add value to a home. Appraisers document these features with photographs to support their value conclusions. These pictures also help justify any quality adjustments made between the appraised property and comparable sales, adding credibility to the report.

Photographing these unique aspects ensures they are not overlooked during the appraisal process. Features like custom cabinetry, high-end appliances, or luxury bathroom fittings can significantly influence the home’s value. By including detailed images of these elements, appraisers can provide solid evidence of their impact on the property’s market value, ensuring a fair and accurate appraisal.

Pictures of All Rooms in the House

Appraisers take pictures of every room in the house to provide a clear description of the property. These photos help loan underwriters and other report readers understand the condition and layout of the home. Each room’s condition is documented, highlighting areas that may need repair or are in excellent shape. Photos, combined with floor plan sketches, offer a comprehensive view of the property’s features and support the appraiser’s final value opinion.

Detailed photos of living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and even basements or attics provide a thorough visual representation. This ensures that all aspects of the home are considered in the appraisal process, giving a more accurate and fair valuation. The visual evidence helps to back up written descriptions and gives a clearer picture of the property’s overall condition and appeal.

Safety and Code Compliance Issues

Photos of safety and code compliance issues, such as missing handrails or outdated wiring, are included to document areas that may need attention. These images help in assessing the property’s condition and identifying necessary improvements to meet safety standards.

Documenting safety issues ensures they are addressed during the appraisal process. Photos of problems like faulty wiring, inadequate lighting, or broken stairs provide clear evidence of potential hazards. This helps in creating a detailed report that highlights areas needing improvement to meet safety and code requirements, ensuring a thorough and accurate property assessment.

Deferred Maintenance

Properties are usually appraised in their current condition. Photos of items needing repair provide a clear picture of the property’s state. These images help the appraiser adjust the home’s value accurately, based on the condition and required repairs. The more detailed the documentation and photographs, the stronger the appraisal report.

Capturing images of issues such as peeling paint, broken fixtures, or damaged flooring allows the appraiser to highlight areas that could detract from the home’s value. These photos serve as proof of the property’s condition at the time of appraisal, ensuring that necessary repairs are factored into the valuation. This thorough documentation helps both the homeowner and potential buyers understand the property’s true state.

Attic and Crawlspace

For certain types of appraisals, like FHA appraisals, inspectors must check the attic and crawlspace. Photos from these areas prove that the inspection was conducted and can reveal issues such as fire damage or settlement cracks. These images are crucial for a thorough property assessment.

Photographs of attics and crawlspaces can uncover hidden problems that might not be immediately visible. Issues like insulation deficiencies, pest infestations, or structural damage can significantly impact the property’s value and safety. By documenting these areas, appraisers provide a complete and accurate assessment, ensuring that any potential issues are identified and addressed.

External Factors

External factors affecting a property, such as nearby factories emitting odors, are also photographed. These pictures inform report readers about the property’s surroundings and potential marketability issues. Understanding these factors helps explain the appraiser’s value determination.

Photographs of nearby amenities or detractors, such as parks, schools, shopping centers, or industrial facilities, give a full picture of the property’s location. These images help assess how external factors might influence the property’s desirability and value. By documenting both positive and negative external influences, appraisers can provide a balanced and comprehensive evaluation.

Neighborhood and Street Views

Pictures of the surrounding neighborhood and street views are taken to provide context. These photos show the property’s location, its surroundings, and any nearby amenities or drawbacks. This information is essential for understanding the property’s marketability.

Capturing images of the neighborhood helps to assess the property’s desirability based on its location. Photos of nearby schools, parks, shopping centers, or public transportation can highlight the convenience and attractiveness of the area. Conversely, images of nearby industrial sites or busy roads can indicate potential drawbacks. This thorough documentation ensures that all location-based factors are considered in the appraisal.

Updates and Renovations

If you’ve invested in updates, renovations, or remodeling, you’ll want the appraiser to document these improvements with photos. These images support the appraiser’s value adjustments for features like a newly renovated kitchen. Photos help readers understand why certain value changes were made.

Documenting upgrades such as new flooring, modernized kitchens, or bathroom remodels ensures that these improvements are considered in the property’s valuation. Detailed photos highlight the quality and extent of the work done, providing clear evidence of the home’s enhanced value. This helps in obtaining a fair appraisal that reflects the true worth of the property after renovations.


Why do appraisers take pictures of every room?

Appraisers take pictures of every room to provide a clear and detailed description of the property’s condition and layout. These photos help support the appraisal report and give a comprehensive view of the home.

What special features do appraisers photograph?

Appraisers photograph special features like built-in entertainment centers, custom cabinetry, and high-end appliances. These photos help document value-adding aspects of the property.

Why are photos of deferred maintenance important?

Photos of deferred maintenance highlight areas that need repair. These images help in accurately adjusting the property’s value based on its current condition.

Do appraisers take pictures of the attic and crawlspace?

Yes, especially for certain types of appraisals like FHA appraisals. Photos of the attic and crawlspace are taken to document any issues and ensure a thorough inspection is conducted.

What external factors do appraisers photograph?

Appraisers photograph external factors like nearby factories, parks, schools, and other amenities or detractors. These images help assess the property’s location and its impact on value.

How do photos of updates and renovations affect the appraisal?

Photos of updates and renovations provide evidence of improvements, supporting the appraiser’s value adjustments. This helps in reflecting the true worth of the property after enhancements.

Are landscaping and outdoor features included in the photos?

Yes, appraisers take pictures of landscaping and outdoor features like gardens, patios, and pools. These images highlight aspects that enhance the property’s appeal and value.

Why are neighborhood and street view photos important?

Neighborhood and street view photos provide context about the property’s location and surroundings. These images help assess the marketability and desirability of the property based on its location.

Do appraisers document safety and code compliance issues with photos?

Yes, appraisers include photos of safety and code compliance issues to document areas that need attention. These images help in assessing the property’s condition and identifying necessary improvements.

Photographs are vital in property appraisals, capturing every detail that can influence the property’s value. From room conditions to special features, deferred maintenance, and external factors, these images provide comprehensive documentation. By understanding what photos appraisers take, homeowners can better prepare for an appraisal, ensuring that all value-adding aspects of their property are well-documented and accurately assessed.

For professional and thorough appraisal services, contact Block Appraisals. Our team ensures every detail is captured to provide an accurate and fair valuation of your property. Trust us to document all aspects of your home, giving you confidence in your property’s appraisal.

A professional appraiser in his office

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