Wingard Appraisals has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(See list of FAQ's) An appraiser performs an estimation that produces an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which helps the appraiser conclude this opinion or estimate. The Cost Approach is one of the approaches that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a home; it involves discerning what the improvements would cost without physical depreciation, adding the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves finding comparable homes nearby and discovering the value based on making a comparison of those houses to the home being appraised. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most definitive and best indicator of value for a home. One of the least common approaches in appraising residential properties is the Income Approach, which is mainly used to determine the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the capital produced by the property.
Describe what an appraiser does(See list of FAQ's) An appraiser provides a fair and credible determination of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers illustate their investigation in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons a person would require your services?(See list of FAQ's) There are a lot of reasons to order an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for obtaining an appraisal report include:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? (See list of FAQ's)Appraisers do not do complete house inspections and are not home inspectors. The point of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the property from foundation to top. The general property inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home's heating systems, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and accessible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(See list of FAQ's) Simply, they have nothing in common. The CMA relies on vague market trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are valid resources. Also, the appraisal verifies other factors like condition, neighborhood and building prices. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
The person behind the report is hands down the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. The appraisal is produce by a licensed, certified professional who makes a living out of valuing properties. Moreover, the appraiser is an independent party, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the price of the home.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (See list of FAQ's)The main purpose of an appraisal report 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 report, what guarantee is there that the value indicated is legitimate?(See list of FAQ's) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who are an appraiser's customers?(See list of FAQ's) Most of the time, appraisers are employed by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of a house involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the real estate is truly adequate collateral for the loan. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does Wingard Appraisals get the information used to estimate values in Autauga County or other areas?(See list of FAQ's) One of the primary activities of an appraiser is to compile data. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is gathered from a number of places. To research recent sales to be used as "comps", we often go to the local Multiple Listing Service. To double-check actual sales prices, we use items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood service.
And most importantly, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
Why should I hire a licensed appraiser?(See list of FAQ's) An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever the value of your home is pertinent to some financial decision. If you're selling your home, an appraisal helps you set the most appropriate price. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. 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. Knowing its true value means you can make wise financial decisions.
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?(See list of FAQ's) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It guards the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the home 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.
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?(See list of FAQ's) 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 the appraiser has easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any shrubs and move any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. On the inside, make sure we can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make our visit go faster and improve the accuracy of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
What is "Market Value?"(See list of FAQ's) 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?(See list of FAQ's) 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 certainly entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed 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 stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?(See list of FAQ's) 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.
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%. On the contrary, an improvement that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.