Chaser Appraisals, Inc. - 210.408.0814 has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Top) An appraiser provides an evaluation that leads to an opinion of value. The appraiser will use a several "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. One of the methods is the Cost Approach - which is how much it would cost to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, then adding the land value. Easily the most common approach in figuring the value of a home is the Sales Comparison Approach which deals with concluding a comparison to similar houses close by. Being the most popular approach, the Sales Comparison Approach tends to be the most precise and best indicator of market value for a property. One of the least common approaches in appraising houses is the Income Approach, which is commonly used to determine the market value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.
What does an appraiser do?(Top) An appraiser produces a fair and credible opinion of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers exhibit their investigation in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would require a real estate appraisal?(Top) There are a lot of reasons to obtain an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for obtaining an appraisal report include:
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?(Top) Frankly, it's like comparing sugar and saccharin. The CMA relies on vague trends in the market. The appraisal depends on specific valid comparable sales. The appraisal report will also contain area and building costs. 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 frankly the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a complete understanding of valuation methods or the entire market, create CMA's. A certified, state licensed professional who has formed a career on valuing homes in and around Bexar County is behind 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 accept a flat fee for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
Once the appraisal has been delivered, how can I have assurance that the value conclusion is veritable?(Top) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who engages the services of appraisers?(Top) Most of the time, appraisers are hired by lenders to render a value opinion on a home involved in a loan transaction. Attorneys and CPAs also hire appraisers for divorce and estate settlements.
Where does Chaser Appraisals, Inc. - 210.408.0814 get the information used to estimate values in Bexar County or other areas?(Top) Gathering information is one of the primary activities of an appraiser. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are documented by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is collected from a variety 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 use tax records and other public documents that are usually online nowadays. Flood zone data is gathered from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other properties in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(Top) If you're involved in some sort of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want to hire a licensed appraiser. When selling your house, an appraisal will help you determine the most appropriate price. 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 house 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?(Top) PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. It guards the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the house is less than what is owed on 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 me in advance?(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. The best thing you can do to help is make sure the appraiser has easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any shrubs and relocate any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can easily access items like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make the inspection go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
What is "Market Value?"(Top) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?(Top) For mortgage transactions, the lender requests the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. 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.
The exception to this rule is when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these situations, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(Top) The added value of a particular amenity truly depends on the local market. 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.
No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe investment. 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 are right up there with kitchens, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.