Premium Appraisal LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Back to top) An appraisal is a thought process leading to an opinion of value. The appraiser must use a number of "approaches," typically three, to draw up the estimation of market value. The Cost Approach is one of the methods that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a house; it involves figuring what the improvements would cost less physical deterioration, plus the land value. Easily the most common approach in figuring the likely sales price of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which concerns concluding a comparison to similar properties close by. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most definitive and clearest indicator of a liklely sales price for a residence. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the most important method in appraising income producing properties - it deals with estimating what an investor would pay based on the income generated by the property.
Describe what an appraiser does(Back to top) An appraiser generates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers reveal the details of their analysis in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to request a real estate appraisal?(Back to top) There are many reasons to get an appraisal from Premium Appraisal LLC with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for getting an report include:
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection? (Back to top)Home inspectors do not generate an opinion of value and are not appraisers. A third-party home inspector will judge the structure of the home, from the roof to the bottom. For the most part, a home inspection report will discuss the amenities and the necessities of the home: 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 visible structures.
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?(Back to top) Honestly, they share nothing in common. What the CMA depends on are superficial trends. Appraisals use comparable sales which are verifiable resources. Area and building costs are also a priority in an appraisal. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the largest differentiator is who's creating the report. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. A certified, state licensed professional who made a career on valuing homes in and around Jefferson County creates the appraisal. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price - their commission - whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a flat sum for assignments, regardless of their value conclusion.
What's in an appraisal report? (Back to top)Every appraisal should indicate a credible value opinion and will identify the following:
Once the report is done, how can I have certainty that the value conclusion is legitimate?(Back to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who employs appraisers?(Back to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, needing their services to ensure real estate involved in a mortgage transaction is adequate collateral for a loan. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.
Where does Premium Appraisal LLC get the information used to estimate values in Jefferson County or other areas?(Back to top) Gathering information is one of the primary roles of an appraiser. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser while on site.
General data is gathered from a number of sources. To look up recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To verify actual sales prices, we research items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Appraisers routinely have 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 most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from doing assignments for other properties in the same market.
Why do I need a professional appraisal?(Back to top) If you're making any kind of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want an appraisal. 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. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Premium Appraisal LLC is the best way to ensure assets are divided fairly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Back to top) PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. This added policy takes care of the lender if a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the value of the home 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.
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?(Back to top) We start with an inspection of the property. 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. The best thing you can do to help is make sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any landscaping and move any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
To help expedite our work as well as ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
What does "Market Value" mean?(Back to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?(Back to 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 entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually bundled 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 cases, the appraiser may define the purpose of the appraisal; 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?(Back to top) 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. 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, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also increase the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become atypical for your neighborhood in terms of size.