Rechkemmer Appraisal Services, Inc. has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Define the term "Appraisal"
Define the term "Appraisal"(Go to list of questions) The appraisal process is an evaluation that generates an opinion of value. The appraiser must use a few "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. The Cost Approach is one of the methods that real estate appraisers use to find value; it involves concluding what the improvements would cost less physical depreciation, plus the land value. Another of the methods is the Sales Comparison Approach - which deals with finding a comparison to other similar properties within a close proximity which have recently sold. Being the most commonly used approach, the Sales Comparison Approach tends to be the most precise and best indicator of market value for a home. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is the best method in appraising income producing properties - it deals with estimating what an investor would pay based on the capital generated by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(Go to list of questions) An appraiser produces a fair and credible assessment of market value, often in the context of a real estate purchase. Appraisers show their professional findings in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to request services from Rechkemmer Appraisal Services, Inc.?(Go to list of questions) There are many reasons to obtain 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? (Go to list of questions)The appraiser is not a home inspector and does not do a full home inspection. The point of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the property from foundation to attic. The stereotypical property inspector's report will include an evaluation of the integrity of the house's heating systems, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible 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)?(Go to list of questions) Frankly, it's like comparing opera to country. What the CMA relies upon are vague trends. Appraisals use comparable sales which are verifiable resources. Location and building values are also precedent in an appraisal. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.
The credentials of the person behind the report is hands down 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, generate CMA's. A certified, state licensed professional who made a career on valuing real estate in and around Lee County creates the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an unbiased party, with no conditional interest in the property's value, unlike the real estate agent, whose income is tied to the price of the home.
What does the appraisal report contain? (Go to list of questions)Every report must reflect a credible estimate of value and will identify the following:
After completing the appraisal, how can I have assurance that the final number is trustworthy?(Go to list of questions) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who employs appraisers?(Go to list of questions) Most of the time, appraisers are employed by mortgage lenders to render a value opinion on a home involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the subject is indeed adequate collateral for the loan. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does Rechkemmer Appraisal Services, Inc. get the information used to estimate values in Lee County or other areas?(Go to list of questions) Gathering data is one of the main things an appraiser performs. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is collected from a number of places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide information on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. Tax records and other public documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood product.
And most importantly, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.
Why do I need a professional appraisal?(Go to list of questions) An appraisal is a worthwhile anytime the value of your home is pertinent to some financial decision. 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. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Rechkemmer Appraisal Services, Inc. is the best way to ensure assets are split up properly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value is essential to making informed financial decisions.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(Go to list of questions) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This additional plan takes care of the lender in the event a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the value of the home is less than what is owed on the loan. 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?(Go to list of questions) 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. On the home's interior, make sure it is clutter free and that we can access things like furnaces and water heaters. In the yard, trim any landscaping so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.
To help expedite our work as well as ensure a more accurate report, attempt if possible to have the following items:
Define "Market Value"(Go to list of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value (as opposed to Fair Market Value) is commonly defined as:
Who has rights to the appraisal report?(Go to list of questions) 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 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.
The exception to this rule is when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these cases, the appraiser may stipulate 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 do whatever they want with the appraisal.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(Go to list of questions) A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. For example, putting in an inline humidifier could be nice in arid regions, but completely useless near the coast!
As a rule, the most value returned 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 weren't far behind, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become overbuilt for your neighborhood in terms of size.