Funk Appraisals has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
What is an appraisal?
What is an appraisal?(Return to top) The appraisal process is an evaluation that leads to an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the real estate appraiser come to this opinion or estimate. The Cost Approach is one of the methods that real estate appraisers use to find value; it involves discerning what the improvements would cost without physical deterioration, adding the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach deals with searching for comparable properties in close proximity and figuring out the value based on making a comparison of those properties to the home being appraised. The Sales Comparison Approach is normally the most definitive and best indicator of a liklely sales price for a residence. One of the least common approaches in appraising houses is the Income Approach, which is mainly used to figure the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the property.
Describe what an appraiser does(Return to top) An appraiser provides an objective and well substantiated determination of market value, in the support of real property exchanges. Appraisers summarize their professional analysis in appraisal reports.
What would cause me to request a real estate appraisal?(Return to top) There are many reasons to get an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for purchasing an appraisal include:
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(Return to top) To be blunt, it's like comparing sugar and saccharin. The CMA depends on indistinct local market trends. An appraisal is based on comparable sales that can be verified by public record. Area and building costs are also important in an appraisal. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the biggest difference is who's behind the report. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. A certified, Michigan licensed professional who made their livelihood on valuing homes in and around Kent County creates the appraisal. 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 collect only a previously agreed upon fee for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
What's in an appraisal report? (Return to top)The main objective 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, you'll usually see the following:
Once the report has been completed, what assurance is there that the value indicated is valid?(Return to top) In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who hires Funk Appraisals(Return to top) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's typical customer, requesting 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 an appraiser get the information used to estimate values in Kent County or other areas?(Return to top) Gathering information is one of the main things an appraiser performs. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser while on site.
General data is gathered from a number of places. To look up recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will often use the local Multiple Listing Service. To verify actual sales prices, we research items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Appraisers routinely have to report when a property lies in a flood zone, so that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood service.
And most importantly, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from doing assignments for other houses in the same market.
What can a full appraisal do for me?(Return to top) If you're making some sort of financial decision and the value of your home matters, you'll want to hire a licensed appraiser. If you're selling your home, an appraisal will help you determine the most appropriate price. 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 house is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Knowing its true value is essential to making the right financial decisions.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(Return to top) PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. This additional plan covers the lender if a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the property is less than what is owed 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.
Does the appraiser need anything from the homeowner in advance?(Return to top) We begin with an inspection of the home. 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 status of its amenities. On the home's interior, make sure it is clutter free and that 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.
The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
Define "Market Value"(Return to top) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Who actually owns the appraisal report?(Return to top) For mortgage transactions, the lender orders the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. 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 entitled to a copy of the report - 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.
This rule doesn't apply when a home owner hires an appraiser directly. In these scenarios, the appraiser may stipulate the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(Return to top) It really depends on the market. For example, if you're in a neigborhood of small to medium priced homes, a media room may not be something people in that price range want
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, returning 85%. On the contrary, work that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.