Bible Answer

What does Leviticus say about house appraisals?

Please explain Leviticus 27:14

Any verse in the Bible must be understood in its context. The context of Leviticus 27 is rules concerning how a person ends a vow to the Lord. To end a difficult vow, a payment would be required. In vs.1-8, the Lord gives the rules for exiting a vow where the pledge involved a person, either himself or someone else. In vs.9-13, the Lord explains how to exit vows involving the pledge of animals, and in vs.14-29 the instructions concern vows involving other property like homes, etc. 

In v.14 the Lord says:

Lev. 27:14  ‘Now if a man consecrates his house as holy to the LORD, then the priest shall value it as either good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.
Lev. 27:15 ‘Yet if the one who consecrates it should wish to redeem his house, then he shall add one-fifth of your valuation price to it, so that it may be his.

The word says that if a man in Israel commits his house as a pledge for his vow, then the priests shall determine the value of that house (i.e., an appraisal) so that the value of the man’s pledge may be established. This arrangement is similar to pledging property as collateral on a loan today. Should the man later wish to redeem his house back from the priests, the Lord says he must pay a 20% premium above the appraised value of his home to receive his home back. The additional 20% is his payment to be excused from his vow.