Consolidated Appraisal & Research, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(List of questions) An appraisal report is an evaluation leading to an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the appraiser arrive at this opinion or valuation. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which evaluates what it would cost to replace the improvements to the house, minus age and physical deterioration, plus the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns discovering a comparable analysis to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most accurate indicator of market value of a home. One of the least common approaches in appraising residential properties is the Income Approach, which is mainly used to determine the market value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the capital produced by the building.
What does an appraiser do?(List of questions) An appraiser generates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers show their professional findings in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to request your services?(List of questions) There are many reasons to obtain an appraisal from Consolidated Appraisal & Research, Inc. with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for purchasing an appraisal include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (List of questions)Appraisers do not do provide residential property inspections and are not home inspectors. The purpose of a home inspection is to investigate the structure of the property from foundation to rooftop. The standard property inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the house'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.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(List of questions) Simply, they share nothing in common. The CMA relies on vague local market trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are valid resources. The appraisal report will also include neighborhood and construction costs. All a CMA does is generate a "ball park 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 actually the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is written by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who makes a living out of valuing properties. Further, the appraiser is an unbiased party, with no conditional interest in the value of a home, unlike the agent, whose income is tied to the value of the home.
What's in an appraisal report? (List of questions)The main point of an appraisal report is to give a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
After completing the report, what guarantee is there that the value conclusion is accurate?(List of questions) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who do appraisers work for?(List of questions) Commonly, appraisers are called upon by lenders to estimate the value of real estate involved in a loan transaction. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in Broward County or other areas?(List of questions) One of the main activities of an appraiser is to collect property data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are documented by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is collected from a numerous sources. To research recent sales to be used as "comps", we often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To double-check actual sales prices, we look at items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Appraisers routinely need to report when a property is in a flood zone, and that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(List of questions) An appraisal is a valuable tool anytime the value of your home is pertinent to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out a price that gets you the most profit but doesn't leave your home on the market too long; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, be sure you're not overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(List of questions) PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary policy covers the lender in the event a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the house is lower than the loan balance. Once you can prove the amount you owe on your home is less than 80% of the home's market value, you can make a case to your lender to drop the PMI.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(List of questions) We begin with an inspection of the home. During this process, we 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. Is there anything you can do to help? Yes there is! First, be sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any bushes and relocate any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. On the inside, 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, try if possible to have the following items:
What does "Market Value" mean?(List of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?(List of questions) 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 report - 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.
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 do whatever they want with the appraisal.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(List of questions) Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. For example, if you're in a neigborhood of small to medium priced homes, a media room may not be something people in that price range want
No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe move. 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%. On the contrary, something that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.