Saunders Appraisals has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(List of questions) The procedure of creating an appraisal consists of an estimation which forms an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is discerned by using a formal process that typically uses the three main "common approaches to value". The Cost Approach is one of the methods that real estate appraisers use to find value; it involves finding what the improvements would cost without physical deterioration, adding the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves finding comparable homes in close proximity and discerning value based on making a comparison of those prior sales to the home being investigated. Being the most common approach, the Sales Comparison Approach tends to be the most precise and best indicator of market value for a house. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is of most importance in appraising income producing properties - it involves estimating what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the property.
Describe what an appraiser does(List of questions) An appraiser offers a professional, unbiased determination of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers document their professional investigation in appraisal reports.
Why would someone request your services?(List of questions) There are many reasons to obtain an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for obtaining an appraisal include:
How is an appraisal different than a home inspection? (List of questions)Home inspectors do not figure out an opinion of value and do not do appraisal reports. An inspection is a third-party investigation of the accessible structure and appliances of a house, from the roof to the foundation. The archetypal house inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the integrity of the property's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(List of questions) Frankly, it's like comparing Shakespeare to reality TV. The CMA depends on indefinite market trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are verifiable resources. The appraisal report will also contain location and building values. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the largest differentiator is who's behind the report. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. A certified, Florida licensed professional who has formed their livelihood on valuing real estate in and around Lake County creates the appraisal. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price - their commission - whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to accept a previously agreed upon sum for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (List of questions)Every report should indicate a supported estimate of value and will clearly state the following:
Upon completion of the report, what guarantee is there that the value conclusion is valid?(List of questions) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who are an appraiser's customers?(List of questions) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, requesting their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Lake County or other areas?(List of questions) Compiling data is one of the main things an appraiser does. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is received from a variety of sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. Tax records and other courthouse documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood service.
And last but not least, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(List of questions) If you're making any kind of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want an appraisal. If you're selling your home, an appraisal helps you set the most appropriate price. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Saunders Appraisals is the best way to ensure assets are split up properly. A house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(List of questions) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It protects the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the property is lower than the balance of the loan. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment(List of questions) The first step in most appraisals is the home inspection. During this process, the appraiser will come to your home and measure it, determine the layout of the rooms inside, confirm all aspects of the home's general condition, and take several photos of your house for inclusion in the report. The best thing you can do to help is make sure the appraiser has easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any landscaping and relocate any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can easily access items like furnaces and water heaters.
To help speed things along as well as ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
Define "Market Value"(List of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Who has rights to the appraisal report?(List of questions) For mortgage transactions, the lender orders the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. While the buyer pays for the report as part of the closing costs, the lender retains the right to use the report or any information contained within. The buyer is certainly entitled to a copy of the report - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
This rule doesn't apply when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these situations, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
Which home renovations add the most to the price?(List of questions) Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. For example, if you live in a cold region, insulated windows can be a real plus. But they aren't as attractive in a warm-weather climate.
As a rule, the best ROI from renovating a home comes in the kitchen. One recent study revealed that putting $20,000 into a kitchen remodel would add about $17,500 to the value of the home - or about an 88% return on investment. Bathrooms weren't far behind, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also increase the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.