Last month’s U.S. News article headline looked promising: “The Guide to Understanding Your Home Value.” What Costa Mesa homeowner isn’t at least curious about that? Written by U.S. News’s real estate editor, the piece addressed a slew of informational tidbits, some of which are not as commonsensical as you’d think.

Chief among them was a description of “the process of calculating” your home’s appraised value and how that relates to its market value. The relationship between the two—and the reasons they are different—is illuminating. A couple of the tidbits:

FALSE: “…your property value is based on what a buyer is willing to pay for it…” This sounds like it should be true, but it’s not. Unless the buyer is able to buy it singlehandedly, the truth is, the bottom line (literally) for its value is based on the financial backing the property can attract. If a lender can’t be found to foot the bill, a buyer’s estimate of its value is beside the point (despite the heartening vote of confidence, that isn’t a real buyer).

USUALLY TRUE, but…: “Hiring an appraiser can help you get a realistic estimate.” In most circumstances, an appraiser’s professional estimate not only helps—it’s required. But the author undercuts the “realistic” by citing the high demand and low supply currently present in many U.S. markets, where “multiple offers are expected, and homes often sell well above asking price.” Those situations “make it easier to prove to an appraiser” that the market value is higher than the “exact value based on a large number of factors” of the formal appraisal (the Chicago Tribune’s definition). After all, that means that a realistic estimate was what the market indicates rather than what the appraisal calculated.

Knowing your Costa Mesa home’s value is more than a matter of idle curiosity for area homeowners who are determining whether to put their property up for sale. Drilling down to estimate its value on today’s swiftly changing market is a balancing act combining comparable recent neighborhood sales, the facets of the property that are uniquely its own, and the temperament of the buyers we speak with daily. Call us for a readout for your own Costa Mesa home—we will be pleased to compile a written report for you (of course, without obligation)!

We are built on a philosophy of Heritage & Hustle. The L3 is a full service real estate agency with a regional office located in the heart of #CostaMesa, offering a wide-array of custom services to meet their clients’ needs with roots in the community since 1976.  It’s L3 mission is to provide trusted, convenient, responsive service to ensure clients enjoy their real estate experience. The L3 was originally formed to offer personal, concierge-level service as an alternative to the large, nationally based real estate companies. From its small beginnings of only two employees, The L3 has grown to a full staff of 25 serving over 300 clients a year. The L3 is not limited to serving just its clients; it is also committed to serving the community. Not only has The L3 donated hundreds of hours to many area charities, they have also received the prestige of being named one of the #toprealestatecompaniesinCostaMesa  If you’re interested in #buyingorsellinginOrangeCounty, turn to the experts. Turn to The L3 and let them help you make your real estate buying or selling dreams come true. For more information or to get started on finding or selling your home contact The L3 today at 714-444-4663 or email us at



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