When do you need an appraisal?
Most people that have had an appraisal done before needed it as part of a real estate transaction such as buying, selling or refinancing a house. These transactions comprise most of the work we do. However, there are other times when the uses of a licensed, certified independent real estate appraiser become useful.
Basic Real Estate Decisions
An appraisal can help to decide a list price range before selling your house, or help decide what a fair price is to offer in some purchase situations. Appraisals can also help answer questions about cost versus equity gained in remodeling projects and house additions.
Private Mortgage Insurance Removal
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is supplemental insurance that most lenders require a homeowner to buy if the amount of the loan is higher than 80% of the value of the home. It insures the lender against any loss arising from the borrower’s failure to make payments on the mortgage loan and can cost anywhere from $35 to $100 per month. If you are paying PMI and believe your house value has risen because of appreciation, remodeling and updating projects and monthly mortgage payments an appraisal is one of the steps you should take toward having your PMI removed.
Property Tax Challenges
Property tax assessments are calculated using mass appraisal techniques among other procedures to determine a tax value for your house. They are fair and accurate more times than not, but errors and large discrepancies can occur. An appraisal can study your specific neighborhood and with the most similar and recent comparable sales can determine an estimate of value. This and some other preparations can help you in your property tax challenge before the appeals board.
Estate Planning and Divorce Situations
The loss of a loved one is a tragic and difficult time in life. A divorce can also be a particularly difficult life situation that may arise. Unfortunately, sometimes these events are further complicated by decisions to be made about real estate. Appraisals can help determine market values of properties to help with pricing for sale and help solve disputes between parties over property values.