Gorham Property Appraisal, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(Back to top) The process of performing an appraisal report consists of an inspection which leads to an opinion of value. The real estate appraiser must use a few "approaches," typically three, to draw up the estimation of market value. One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which is what it would cost to restore the improvements to the home, less the age and physical deterioration, plus the land value. Another of the processes is the Sales Comparison Approach - which involves discovering a comparable analysis to other similar properties within a close proximity which have recently sold. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a home. 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 capital generated by the property.
Describe what an appraiser does(Back to top) An appraiser generates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, in the support of real estate exchanges. Appraisers reveal the details of their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to need your services?(Back to top) There are a lot of reasons to get an appraisal from Gorham Property Appraisal, Inc. with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for ordering an report include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(Back to top) To be honest, they share nothing in common. What the CMA depends on are superficial trends. The appraisal is based on specific verifiable comparable sales. Also, the appraisal checks other factors like condition, area and replacement prices. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the largest differentiator is who's behind the report. Real estate agents, who may not have a true grasp of valuation methods or the entire market, create CMA's. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. 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 sum for assignments, regardless of their outcome.
What does the appraisal report contain? (Back 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:
Once the appraisal is done, how can I have assurance that the final number is accurate?(Back to top) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
Who engages the services of appraisers?(Back to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical client, 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 Gorham Property Appraisal, Inc. get the information used to estimate values in Maricopa County or other areas?(Back to top) Gathering information is one of the main tasks an appraiser engages in. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are documented by the appraiser while on site.
General data is collected from a numerous places. To look up recently sold homes 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 available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood system.
And most importantly, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other houses in the same market.
What can a full appraisal do for me?(Back to top) If you're involved in some sort of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want a full appraisal. If you're selling your house, an appraisal helps you set a price that maximizes profit and reduces time on the market. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Gorham Property Appraisal, Inc. is the best way to ensure assets are divided properly. A house 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 is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplementary policy covers the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the home is less than the loan balance. You can have your PMI dropped once you've achieved 20% equity in your home through appreciation and principal payments.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(Back to top) We start with an inspection of the property. 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. On the home's interior, pick up any clutter and make sure we can find our way to things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of exterior walls.
To help speed things along as well as ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
How does an appraiser define "Market Value"?(Back to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Who has rights to the appraisal report?(Back 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 entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually bundled 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 hires an appraiser directly. In these situations, the appraiser may state the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(Back to top) It really depends on the market. 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 investment. 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, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become atypical for your neighborhood in terms of size.