Reamer Appraisals Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(Return to top) An appraisal is an evaluation that concludes with an opinion of value. The appraiser will use a number of "approaches," typically three, to draw up the estimation of market value. The Cost Approach is one of the methods that appraisers use to find the value of a property; it involves discerning what the improvements would cost without physical degradation, adding the land value. Another of the processes is the Sales Comparison Approach - which deals with making a comparison to other similar properties within a close vicinity which have recently sold. Being the most popular approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is generally the most precise and best indicator of market value for a property. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the most important method in appraising income producing properties - it involves estimating what an investor would pay based on the income generated by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(Return to top) An appraiser forumlates an unbiased and well supported opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate sale. Appraisers document their professional investigation in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would require services from Reamer Appraisals Inc.?(Return to top) There are many reasons to get an appraisal from Reamer Appraisals Inc. with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for ordering an appraisal include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (Return to top)Appraisers do not do perform home inspections and are not home inspectors. A third-party home inspector will evaluate the structure of the house, from the roof to the bottom. For the most part, a home inspection report will discuss the amenities and the necessities of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical services, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, accessible 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)?(Return to top) To be blunt, it's like comparing opera to country. The CMA relies on indefinite trends in the market. The appraisal is based on similar definite comparable sales. The appraisal report will also include neighborhood and building values. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." Delivering a defensible and careful analysis, an appraisal will give a clear opinion of value.
The credentials of the person creating the report is actually the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a true grasp of valuation methods or the entire market, write CMA's. A certified, state licensed professional who made a career on valuing homes in and around Grand Traverse County creates the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an unbiased voice, with no vested interest in the value conclusion, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the price of the home.
What can I expect to see in my appraisal report? (Return to top)The main point of an appraisal document is to let the reader know the value of the real estate in question, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
After completing the appraisal, how can I have confidence that the value conclusion is veritable?(Return to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who engages the services of appraisers?(Return to top) Most of the time, appraisers are called upon by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of a house involved in a loan transaction. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does Reamer Appraisals Inc. get the data used to estimate values in Grand Traverse County or other areas?(Return to top) Compiling information is one of the main tasks an appraiser performs. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are documented by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is gathered from a number of sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide information on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. To double-check actual sales prices, we research 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 most importantly, 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) Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine the 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. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value is essential to making smart financial decisions.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(Return to top) PMI is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI protects the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the house 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.
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment(Return to top) We start 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. The best thing you can do to help is make sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any bushes and move any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can get to items like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make the inspection go faster and improve the accuracy of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
What is "Market Value?"(Return to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Who actually owns the appraisal report?(Return 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 report - 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 engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these situations, 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.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(Return to top) This really depends on where the home is. 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. 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%. On the contrary, an improvement that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.