Romano & Associates has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"
Describe an appraisal
Describe an appraisal(See list of FAQ's) An appraisal is an evaluation that concludes with an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is concluded through the use of a formal method that generally uses the three main "common approaches to value". The Cost Approach is one of the processes that real estate appraisers use to find the value of a house; it involves concluding what the improvements would cost less physical depreciation, plus the land value. Easily the most common approach in figuring the likely sales price of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which concerns making a comparison to comparable houses close by. Being the most common approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is generally the most precise and best indicator of market value for a residence. The third approach is the Income Approach, which is of most importance in appraising income producing properties - it involves estimating what an investor would pay based on the capital generated by the property.
What does an appraiser do?(See list of FAQ's) An appraiser produces an impartial and well substantiated determination of market value, in the support of real property exchanges. Appraisers illustate their conclusions in appraisal reports.
Why would a person require services from Romano & Associates?(See list of FAQ's) 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:
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? (See list of FAQ's)Home inspectors do not generate an opinion of value and do not do appraisal reports. An inspection is a third-party investigation of the available structure and appliances of a house, from the top to the foundation. Generally, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the necessities 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, accessible insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and other visible structures.
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?(See list of FAQ's) Simply, they share nothing in common. The CMA depends on indistinct trends in the market. An appraisal is based on comparable sales that can be verified by public record. Location and construction costs are also a priority in an appraisal. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
Who's creating the report is hands down the biggest difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a complete understanding of valuation methods or the entire market, generate CMA's. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Moreover, the appraiser is an unbiased voice, with no conditional interest in the value of a home, unlike the real estate agent, whose income is tied to the value of the home.
What are the contents of an appraisal report? (See list of FAQ's)Each appraisal should indicate a supported estimate of value and should clearly state the following:
Once the assignment has been delivered, what guarantee is there that the value conclusion is trustworthy?(See list of FAQ's) In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must ensure the following:
Who hires Romano & Associates(See list of FAQ's) Most of the time, appraisers are called upon by lenders to render a value opinion on a home involved in a loan transaction - to make sure the property is truly adequate collateral for the loan. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.
Where does an appraiser get the data used to estimate values in surrounding parishes County or other areas?(See list of FAQ's) One of the primary activities of an appraiser is to collect data. Data can be classified as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.
General data is received from a numerous places. To research recent sales to be used as "comps", an appraiser will typically use the local Multiple Listing Service. 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 servers.
And last but not least, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other houses in the same market.
Why do I need a professional appraisal?(See list of FAQ's) If you're involved in some sort of financial decision and the value of your home is relevant, you'll want an appraisal. 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. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by getting an independent appraisal. For people settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Romano & Associates is the best documentation to ensure assets are divided fairly. A house 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?(See list of FAQ's) PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This supplemental plan protects the lender in case a borrower is unable to pay on the loan and the value of the home is lower than the balance of 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.
How do I get ready for the appraiser?(See list of FAQ's) The first step in most appraisals is the property inspection. 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. The best thing you can do to help is make sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house (gates aren't locked, etc). Trim any shrubs and move any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. On the inside, make sure the appraiser can get to appliances like furnaces and water heaters.
You can make our visit go faster and improve the accuracy of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
What is "Market Value?"(See list of FAQ's) In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?(See list of FAQ's) For mortgage transactions, the lender requests 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 appraisal - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not entitled to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.
The exception to this rule is when a home owner hires an appraiser directly. In these scenarios, the appraiser may state the purpose of the appraisal; 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.
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?(See list of FAQ's) Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. 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. 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 were second, yielding 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home (when done well) as long as your home doesn't then become atypical for your neighborhood in terms of size.