Edward Miller Appraisal Services has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Top) The process of writing an appraisal deals with an inspection which forms an opinion of value. The appraiser will use a few "approaches," typically three, to conclude the estimation of market value. One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which evaluates what it would cost to restore the improvements to the home, less the age and physical deterioration, adding the land value. Another of the processes is the Sales Comparison Approach - which concerns making a comparison 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. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the best method in appraising income producing properties - it deals with estimating what an investor would pay based on the income generated by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(Top) An appraiser offers an objective and well supported assessment of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers illustate their investigation in appraisal reports.
Why would someone need services from Edward Miller Appraisal Services?(Top) There are many reasons to get an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for ordering an appraisal report include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(Top) Simply put, it's like comparing sugar and saccharin. The CMA uses market trends to generate most of their business. The appraisal is based on specific proven comparable sales. The appraisal report will also include area and construction costs. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.
Who's behind the report is actually 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, generate CMA's. The appraisal is produce 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 sum for assignments, regardless of their outcome.
After completing the report, how can I have a guarantee that the value conclusion is legitimate?(Top) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who employs appraisers?(Top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical client, requesting their services to ensure a home involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Harris County or other areas?(Top) One of the primary tasks an appraiser performs is to compile property data. Data can be divided into Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.
General data is received from a numerous sources. To look up recent sales to be used as "comps", we often use the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other public documents reveal actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is gathered from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood system.
And last but not least, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
What can a full appraisal do for me?(Top) An appraisal is a worthwhile anytime the value of your home is pertinent to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out the 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 commissioning an independent appraisal. 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. Knowing its true value means you can make informed financial decisions.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(Top) PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. It protects the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the house is less 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?(Top) We begin 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. Inside, make sure it is clutter free and that we can access things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, trim any landscaping so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of exterior walls.
The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?(Top) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?(Top) 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 certainly entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not entitled to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
It's different when it's the homeowner hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these situations, 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.
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?(Top) It really depends on the market. For example, adding a central air conditioner in to a home in the South may add significant value, while putting one in a home near the Pacific Northwest might not have much impact.
No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe move. 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 weren't far behind, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become overbuilt for your neighborhood in terms of size.