Eldred R. Hubbard Real Estate has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(List of questions) The process of writing an appraisal report consists of an estimation which forms an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which helps the appraiser come to this opinion or valuation. One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which evaluates what it would cost to replace the improvements to the home, less the depreciation and physical dilapidation, adding the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which deals with making a comparison to other similar properties within a close vicinity which have recently sold. Generally speaking, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a residential property. The Income Approach is mainly used for determining the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of income a property produce.
Describe what an appraiser does(List of questions) An appraiser produces a fair and credible determination of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers summarize their findings in appraisal reports.
What are the reasons I would need services from Eldred R. Hubbard Real Estate?(List of questions) There are many reasons to purchase an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for getting an report include:
Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection? (List of questions)Home inspectors do not generate an opinion of value and do not use the same forms as appraisers. A third-party home inspector will evaluate the structure of the home, from the roof to the bottom. The standard home inspector's report will contain an evaluation of the condition of the property'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)?(List of questions) Simply put, it's like comparing sugar and saccharin. What the CMA relies upon are vague trends. An appraisal utilizes comparable sales that can be validated by records. In addition, the appraisal looks at other factors like condition, neighborhood 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 person creating the report is hands down the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or have specific competence when it comes to home valuation. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Moreover, the appraiser is an independent voice, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the value of the home.
What can I expect to see in my appraisal report? (List of questions)Every appraisal must indicate a supported estimate of value and must clearly state the following:
After completing the appraisal, what guarantee is there that the final number is accurate?(List of questions) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who do appraisers work for?(List of questions) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely client, using their services to ensure real estate involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does Eldred R. Hubbard Real Estate get the data used to estimate values in Lackawanna County or other areas?(List of questions) One of the primary activities of an appraiser is to collect data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is collected from a numerous sources. To research recent sales to be used as "comps", an appraiser will often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To double-check actual sales prices, we use tax records and other public documents. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood system.
And last but not least, 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?(List of questions) 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 determine a 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. Simply put, a home 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?(List of questions) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. It covers the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the house is lower than the loan balance. Once you reach the point where your home's equity plus the amount you've paid is at least 20% of your loan balance, you can have your PMI dropped.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(List of questions) The first step in most appraisals is the property 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. On the home's interior, pick up any clutter and make sure we can find our way to things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, trim any landscaping so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.
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?"(List of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Who has rights to the appraisal report?(List of questions) 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 certainly entitled to a copy of the report - 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.
This rule doesn't apply when a home owner hires 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 stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(List of questions) The added value of a particular amenity truly depends on the local 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 were second, yielding 85%. On the contrary, an improvement that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.