Home Appraisals: A Primer

Getting a home is the biggest investment many people might ever encounter. It doesn't matter if a main residence, an additional vacation property or an investment, purchasing real property is a detailed financial transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to see it through.

Most people are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The most familiar entity in the exchange is the real estate agent. Then, the mortgage company provides the financial capital needed to finance the deal. The title company makes sure that all areas of the exchange are completed and that a clear title transfers to the buyer from the seller.

To learn more about appraising, click here to see a short video or call us today to talk about your specific property.

So, who's responsible for making sure the value of the real estate is in line with the purchase price? In comes the appraiser. We provide an unbiased opinion of what a buyer could expect to pay — or a seller receive — for a property, where both buyer and seller are informed parties. A licensed, certified, professional appraiser from Maxvalue Appraisal Inc will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.

Inspecting the subject property

Our first task at Maxvalue Appraisal Inc is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must physically view aspects of the property, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed are present and are in the condition a typical person would expect them to be. To make sure the stated square footage has not been misrepresented and illustrate the layout of the property, the inspection often requires creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious amenities - or defects - that would have an impact on the value of the property.

Back at the office, an appraiser uses two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: a paired sales analysis, a replacement cost calculation, and an income approach when rental properties are prevalent.

Cost Approach

This is where the appraiser gathers information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to figure out how much it would cost to build a property similar to the one being appraised. This value often sets the upper limit on what a property would sell for. It's also the least used method.

Paired Sales Analysis

Appraisers can tell you a lot about the communities in which they appraise. They thoroughly understand the value of specific features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in the vicinity and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the real estate being appraised. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as remodeled rooms, types of flooring, energy efficient items, patios and porches, or additional storage space, we adjust the comparable properties so that they are more accurately in line with the features of subject.

  • Say, for example, the comparable property has a storm shelter and the subject doesn't, the appraiser may deduct the value of a storm shelter from the sales price of the comparable.
  • However, if the subject has an extra half-bathroom and the comparable does not, the appraiser might add an amount to the comparable property.

A true estimate of what the subject could sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At Maxvalue Appraisal Inc, we are experts in knowing the worth of particular items in Freeport and Nassau County neighborhoods. This approach to value is typically given the most weight when an appraisal is for a real estate exchange.

Valuation Using the Income Approach

A third way of valuing a house is sometimes applied when an area has a reasonable number of renter occupied properties. In this situation, the amount of income the real estate generates is taken into consideration along with other rents in the area for comparable properties to give an indicator of the current value.

Coming Up With The Final Value

Combining information from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to document an estimated market value for the property at hand. The estimate of value at the bottom of the appraisal report is not always the final sales price even though it is likely the best indication of a property's valuePrices can always be driven up or down by extenuating circumstances like the motivation or urgency of a seller or 'bidding wars'. But the appraised value is typically used as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than they could get back in case they had to sell the property again. The bottom line is, an appraiser from Maxvalue Appraisal Inc will help you attain the most fair and balanced property value, so you can make the most informed real estate decisions.

Paying PMI?

Would you like to save money by not having to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance? We can help. Simply fill out the form below as completely as possible and we'll send you information on how to save PMI expenses, with no obligation to you. We guarantee your privacy.

Information
Question