Woods Appraisal, LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(List of questions) The appraisal process is an evaluation that leads to an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is figured through the use of a formal method that generally utilizes the three main "common approaches to value". One of the methods in use is the Cost Approach, which is what it would cost to restore the improvements to the property, less the depreciation and physical dilapidation, adding the land value. Another of the approaches is the Sales Comparison Approach - which deals with finding a comparable analysis to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most accurate indicator of market value of a home. The Income Approach is mainly used for finding the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of income a property would bring in.
What does an appraiser do?(List of questions) An appraiser provides a fair and credible opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate sale. Appraisers show their findings in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to request a real estate appraisal?(List of questions) There are a lot of reasons to purchase an appraisal with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for getting an appraisal include:
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector? (List of questions)Appraisers do not do complete house inspections and are not home inspectors. The purpose of a home inspection is to investigate the structure of the property from bottom to attic. Generally, a home inspection report will explain the amenities and the requirements of the house: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical functions, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural integrity of the home such as the attic, visible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.
What is the difference between an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (CMA)?(List of questions) Frankly, they have nothing in common. What the CMA depends on are superficial trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are valid resources. Area and architectural costs are also a priority 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.
Who's behind the report is frankly the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not be trained in technical valuation concepts or even have a handle on market trends. A certified, Alabama licensed professional who made their livelihood on valuing properties in and around De Kalb County creates the appraisal. Moreover, the appraiser is an independent party, with no vested interest in the property's value, unlike the real estate agent, who gets a commission based upon the price of the home.
What's in an appraisal report? (List of questions)Each appraisal should indicate a supported value opinion and must document the following:
Upon completion of the report, how can I have certainty that the value conclusion is accurate?(List of questions) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must see to it that each of the items below are covered:
Who do appraisers work for?(List of questions) Most of the time, appraisers are employed by mortgage lenders to estimate the value of a home involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in De Kalb County or other areas?(List of questions) One of the most important tasks an appraiser performs is to gather property data. Data can be divided into Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are documented by the appraiser while on site.
General data is gathered from a number of sources. 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 service.
And most importantly, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.
Why do I need a professional appraisal?(List of questions) An appraisal is a worthwhile whenever the value of your home is pertinent to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out the 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 those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Woods Appraisal, LLC is the best way to ensure assets are divided fairly. Simply put, a house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value means you can make informed financial decisions.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(List of questions) PMI is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. It guards the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the value of the property is lower than what the borrower still owes on the loan. 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.
Do you need anything from the homeowner in advance?(List of questions) We start with an inspection of the home. 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 we have easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any landscaping and relocate any items that would make it difficult to measure the structure. Indoors, make sure we can get to items like furnaces and water heaters.
The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
What does "Market Value" mean?(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?(List of questions) For mortgage transactions, the lender requests the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. 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 engages an appraiser directly. In these situations, the appraiser may stipulate 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?(List of questions) It really depends on the 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 move. 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, yielding 85%. On the contrary, something that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.