A Plus Appraiser has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(See list of FAQ's) The procedure of producing an appraisal consists of an estimation which forms an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the appraiser conclude this opinion or estimate. The Cost Approach is one of the methods that appraisers use to find value; it involves figuring what the improvements would cost without physical depreciation, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves searching for comparable homes in close proximity and finding value based on comparing those homes to the property being appraised. Being the most common approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is generally the most accurate and best indicator of market value for a property. One of the least common approaches in appraising homes is the Income Approach, which is generally used to determine the market value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the capital produced by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(See list of FAQ's) An appraiser generates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers reveal the details of their conclusions in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would request services from A Plus Appraiser?(See list of FAQ's) There are many reasons to order an appraisal from A Plus Appraiser with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for obtaining an appraisal include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? (See list of FAQ's)Home inspectors do not generate an opinion of value and are not appraisers. The purpose of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the house from bottom to attic. Generally, a home inspection report will explain the amenities and the necessities of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical systems, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, visible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?(See list of FAQ's) Simply put, it's night and day. What the CMA relies upon are superficial trends. Appraisals use comparable sales which are valid resources. Area and construction prices are also a priority in an appraisal. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.
The credentials of the person creating the report is hands down the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a true grasp of valuation methods or the entire market, write CMA's. A certified, state licensed professional who bases a career on valuing homes in and around Palm Beach County is behind the appraisal. Likewise, the agent has something at stake since they get a commission based on the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a flat fee for assignments, regardless of their value conclusion.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (See list of FAQ's)The main point of an appraisal report is to let the reader know the value of the real estate in question, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
Once the report is done, what guarantee is there that the value indicated is trustworthy?(See list of FAQ's) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who are an appraiser's customers?(See list of FAQ's) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely client, needing their services to ensure real estate involved in a mortgage transaction is adequate collateral for a loan. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Palm Beach County or other areas?(See list of FAQ's) Collecting information is one of the primary roles of an appraiser. Data can be split into Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is gathered from a variety of places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have data on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. Tax records and other public documents reveal actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And most importantly, the appraiser gathers 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?(See list of FAQ's) Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out a price that gets you the most profit but also ensures you don't have to wait too long for a buyer to show up; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from A Plus Appraiser is the best documentation to ensure assets are split up evenly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(See list of FAQ's) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It protects the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the market price of the house is lower than what the borrower still owes on the loan. Once you reach the point where your home's equity plus the amount you've paid is at least 20% of your loan balance, you can have your PMI dropped.
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal inspection(See list of FAQ's) We start with an inspection of the property. What this entails is the appraiser, after setting up an appointment, personally going through the home - recording the layout of the rooms, taking photos and documenting the general status of its amenities. Inside, pick up any clutter and make sure we can access things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of exterior walls.
To help speed things along as well as ensure a more accurate report, try if possible to have the following items:
Define "Market Value"(See list of FAQ's) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Who actually owns the appraisal report?(See list of FAQ's) In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. 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 entitled to a copy of the appraisal - 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.
The exception to this rule is when a home owner hires an appraiser directly. In these cases, the appraiser may stipulate how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(See list of FAQ's) 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. According to one national survey, kitchen remodels returned an average of 88% of the investment. In other words, a $10,000 kitchen remodeling project would add approximately $8,800 to the value of the home. Bathrooms are right up there with kitchens, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.