Abell Appraisal Services, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(See list of FAQ's) An appraisal report is a thought process that concludes with an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is arrived at through the use of a formal process that commonly utilizes the three main "common approaches to value". The Cost Approach is one of the methods that appraisers use to find the value of a property; it involves concluding what the improvements would cost less physical degradation, adding the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach deals with searching for similar houses in the vicinity and finding value based on comparing those homes to the property in question. Being the most popular approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is considered the most precise and best indicator of market value for a property. The Income Approach is mainly used for determining the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of capital a property produce.
What does an appraiser do?(See list of FAQ's) An appraiser generates an impartial and well substantiated determination of market value, often in the context of a real estate purchase. Appraisers reveal the details of their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.
Why would someone need a real estate appraisal?(See list of FAQ's) There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal from Abell Appraisal Services, Inc. with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for obtaining an appraisal include:
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection? (See list of FAQ's)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 available structure and appliances of a house, from the top to the bottom. Commonly, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the requirements of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical services, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural integrity of the home such as the attic, exposed insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(See list of FAQ's) To be honest, they share nothing in common. The CMA relies on vague local market trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are verifiable resources. In addition, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, area and building costs. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the most significant factor is who's behind the report. Real estate agents produce CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased party, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the value of the home.
What does the appraisal report contain? (See list of FAQ's)The main objective of an appraisal document is to give a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
Once the report has been delivered, how can I have a guarantee that the value conclusion is legitimate?(See list of FAQ's) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who hires Abell Appraisal Services, Inc.(See list of FAQ's) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely client, using their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Jefferson County or other areas?(See list of FAQ's) Compiling information is one of the primary activities of an appraiser. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is collected from a many places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide information on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. To double-check actual sales prices, we use items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And last but not least, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.
How can a licensed appraiser help me?(See list of FAQ's) If you're involved in any kind of financial decision and the value of your home matters, you'll want an appraisal. When selling your house, an appraisal helps you set the most appropriate price. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(See list of FAQ's) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary plan guards the lender if a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the property 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.
Do you need anything from me in advance?(See list of FAQ's) We start with an inspection of the home. 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 condition of its amenities. Is there anything you can do to help? Yes there is! First, be sure the appraiser has easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any shrubs and move any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can easily access items like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make the inspection go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?(See list of FAQ's) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair 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. Even though it's the buyer that eventually pays for the report, the lender is the intended user. The buyer is entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually bundled with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
It's different when it's the homeowner engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these situations, the appraiser may state the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not noted otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?(See list of FAQ's) The answer to this is different depending upon the location of the home. 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 most value returned 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 are right up there with kitchens, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also boost the value of your home (when done well) as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.