Belanger Appraisals, Inc has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(Return to top) The procedure of producing an appraisal report deals with an inspection which forms an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which helps the appraiser arrive at this opinion or estimate. The Cost Approach is one of the methods that real estate appraisers use to find value; it involves finding what the improvements would cost minus physical degradation, plus the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns finding a comparable analysis to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. Being the most commonly used approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is considered the most accurate and best indicator of market value for a house. The Income Approach is generally used for figuring out the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of income a property produce.
What does an appraiser do?(Return to top) An appraiser generates an unbiased and well justified assessment of market value, in the support of real estate transactions. Appraisers demonstrate their expert findings in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to require a real estate appraisal?(Return to top) There are a lot of reasons to purchase an appraisal from Belanger Appraisals, Inc with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for purchasing an appraisal report include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (Return to top)The appraiser is not a home inspector and does not do a complete home inspection. A third-party home inspector will judge the structure of the home, from the roof to the foundation. The general property 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.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(Return to top) Frankly, they have nothing in common. The CMA uses market trends to generate most of their business. Appraisals use similar sales which are valid resources. In addition, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, neighborhood and building costs. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
The person creating the report is actually the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. 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 accept a previously agreed upon fee for assignments, regardless of their outcome.
What's in an appraisal report? (Return to top)Every report should indicate a supported value opinion and should document the following:
Once the report has been completed, how can I have certainty that the value indicated is legitimate?(Return to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who do appraisers work for?(Return to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical customer, requiring their services to ensure real estate involved in a mortgage transaction is adequate collateral for a loan. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Virginia Beach City County or other areas?(Return to top) Gathering data is one of the primary tasks an appraiser performs. Data can be split into Specific or General. Specific data is from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser while on site.
General data is received from a many sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) have information on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. To double-check actual sales prices, we research 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 service.
And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.
Why do I need a professional appraisal?(Return to top) An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever your home's value 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. 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. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Return to top) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It covers the lender in the event a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the market price of the home is lower than the balance of the loan. 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.
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?(Return to top) 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. 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. On the inside, make sure we can easily access appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
To help expedite our work plus ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
What does "Market Value" mean?(Return to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?(Return to top) 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 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.
The exception to this rule is when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these cases, the appraiser may define how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not noted otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
Which home renovations add the most to the price?(Return to top) This really depends on where the home is. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes
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 were second, returning 85%. On the contrary, something that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.