GET AN APPRAISAL
year, countless people in the United States buy, sell or refinance their
own slice of the American Dream. Most, if not all, of these transactions
include a simple line item for an appraisal. It has become an understood
and accepted part of a real estate transaction. "Let's bring in
the expert and make sure we're not spending too much on this property."
But is this
the only reason to get an appraisal? Are there other times when the services
of a certified, licensed, independent real estate professional might come
in handy? You bet.
One of the most important issues involved in purchasing
a property is developing an opinion of what it's worth so that you can
make an informed offer to purchase. A professional appraisal report
performed by a qualified, state-licensed appraiser can provide you with
an objective, third party opinion of a property's current Market Value.
And for the small price of this service, you can give yourself "peace
of mind" prior to making an offer to purchase that you're offering a fair
price for the property.
OR GET A HOME EQUITY LOAN
If you need to consolidate bills, have a college tuition
to pay, or just want to tap into the equity of your home, you'll need
a new loan, which oftentimes requires a new appraisal of the property.
Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance
that many lenders ask home buyers to purchase when the amount being loaned
is more than 80% of the value of the home. Very often, this additional
payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten.
This is unfortunate because PMI becomes unnecessary when the remaining
balance of the loan - whether through market appreciation or principal
paydown - dips below this 80% level. In fact, the United States Congress
passed a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires
lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions
have been met.
offer a specific service for home owners that believe they have met the
80% loan-to-value metric. For a nominal fee, the appraiser can provide
you with a statement regarding the home value. Some will even take the
next step and help you file a challenge with your mortgage company. The
costs of these services are very often recovered in just a few months
of not paying the PMI.
A divorce can be a particularly traumatic experience
for both parties and is often further complicated by the difficult decision
of "Who gets the house?". In most divorce cases, the Court won't
usually force the parties involved to "buyout" the other party's interest
but it may however order the sale of the home so each party gets an equal
share of the equity. Regardless of the situation, it's a good idea
to order an appraisal so both parties are fully aware of what the true
market value is.
If the parties
want to sell the home, they'll have a better idea of what price to set.
And on the flipside, if a "buyout" is the chosen option, both parties
will feel like they've gotten a fair assessment.
The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in
life and settling an estate from a death, or probate, often requires an
appraisal to establish Fair Market Value for the residential property
involved. The ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional
Appraisal Practice (USPAP) binds us with confidentiality, ensuring the
fullest degree of discretion.
wealthy individuals, the majority of Americans do not have dedicated estate
planners or executors to handle these issues. Also, in most cases,
a home or other real property makes up a disproportionate share of the
total estate value.
an appraiser can help. Often the first step in fairly disposing
of an estate is to understand its true value. Where property is
involved, the appraiser can help determine the true value. At this
point, equitable arrangements can more easily be arrived at among disputing
parties. Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal.
TO ADD VALUE
Before you decide to sell your home, there are several
decisions to be made. First and foremost: "How much should it sell for?"
But don't forget there may be other equally important questions to ask
yourself such as "Would it be better to paint the entire house before
we sell it?", "Should I put in that third bathroom?", "Should I complete
my kitchen remodel?" Many things which we do to our houses have
an effect on their value. Unfortunately, not all of them have an
equal effect. While a kitchen remodel may improve the appeal of a home,
it may not add nearly enough to the value to justify the expense.
Whether you choose to sell your home on your own or use
the assistance of a real estate agent, a professional appraisal can help
you make a better educated decision when determining your selling price.
real estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount
the house sells for. It's easy for them to step in and give you
the information to help you make your decision. Appraiser fees are
based on efforts to complete the report and not a percentage of the sales
price. So seeking a professional appraisal can often help homeowners make
the best decisions on investing in their homes and setting a fair sales
US for a free phone consultation.