Moorhouse Appraisal Service, LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(List of questions) An appraisal report is a thought process allowing the appraiser to come to an opinion of value. The appraiser will typically use a number of "approaches," typically three, to come to the estimation of market value. The Cost Approach is one of the approaches that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a property; it involves figuring what the improvements would cost minus physical degradation, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves finding comparable houses in close proximity and discovering the value based on comparing those properties to the house in question. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a home. The Income Approach is generally 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.
Describe what an appraiser does(List of questions) An appraiser offers an objective and well justified determination of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers exhibit their professional conclusions in appraisal reports.
Why would a person need your services?(List of questions) There are many reasons to get an appraisal from Moorhouse Appraisal Service, LLC with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for getting an report 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 home from basement to rooftop. Commonly, a home inspection report will explain the amenities and the necessities of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical services, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, accessible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(List of questions) To be blunt, it's like comparing broadband and dial-up. The CMA relies on indefinite market trends. Appraisals use comparable sales which are valid resources. The appraisal report will also contain area and building prices. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.
But the biggest difference is who's behind the report. Real estate agents produce CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or have specific competence when it comes to home valuation. A certified, Massachusetts licensed professional who bases their livelihood on valuing properties in and around Hampden County is behind 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 flat sum for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.
What can I expect to see in my appraisal report? (List of questions)The main purpose of an appraisal report is to let the reader know the value of the real estate in question, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
After completing the report, how can I have certainty that the final number is veritable?(List of questions) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who hires Moorhouse Appraisal Service, LLC(List of questions) Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely client, 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 data used to estimate values in Hampden County or other areas?(List of questions) One of the most important activities of an appraiser is to collect property data. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is taken from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is received from a many places. To find out about recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will typically use the local Multiple Listing Service. To double-check actual sales prices, we use items in the assessor's office and other public documents. Appraisers routinely have to report when a property lies in a flood zone, and that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood service.
And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
How can a licensed appraiser help me?(List of questions) An appraisal is a valuable tool anytime the value of your home is relevant to a financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to figure out 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 parties settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Moorhouse Appraisal Service, LLC is the best way to ensure assets are divided fairly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?(List of questions) PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI protects the lender in the event a borrower doesn't pay on the loan and the value of the home is lower than what is owed on the loan. Once you can prove the amount you owe on your home is less than 80% of the home's market value, you can make a case to your lender to drop the PMI.
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment(List of questions) We start with an inspection of the home. 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 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 exterior walls.
You can make the inspection go faster and improve the accuracy of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
What is "Market Value?"(List of questions) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?(List of questions) In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. 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 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.
It's different when it's the homeowner hiring the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these situations, the appraiser may stipulate how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.
Are some home improvements more worthwhile than others?(List of questions) This really depends on where the home is. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes
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 are right up there with kitchens, yielding 85%. On the contrary, something that may not increase your value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.