Home Appraisals: A Primer
A home purchase can be the biggest financial decision many of us could ever encounter. Whether it's a primary residence, a seasonal vacation property or a rental fixer upper, purchasing real property is a detailed transaction that requires multiple people working in concert to pull it all off.
It's likely you are familiar with the parties taking part in the transaction. The real estate agent is the most known entity in the exchange. Then, the mortgage company provides the money necessary to finance the exchange. The title company ensures that all aspects of the sale are completed and that the title is clear to transfer to the buyer from the seller.
So, what party makes 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 J Paul Appraisals Inc will ensure, you as an interested party, are informed.
The inspection is where an appraisal starts
Our first task at J Paul Appraisals Inc is to inspect the property to ascertain its true status. We must see features first hand, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location, amenities, etc., to ensure they indeed exist and are in the shape a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. To make sure the stated size of the property is accurate and convey the layout of the home, the inspection often entails creating a sketch of the floorplan. Most importantly, we look for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.
Once the site has been inspected, we use two or three approaches to determining the value of the property: sales comparison and, in the case of a rental property, an income approach.
This is where we pull information on local building costs, labor rates and other elements to ascertain how much it would cost to construct a property comparable to the one being appraised. This estimate often sets the maximum on what a property would sell for. The cost approach is also the least used method.
Appraisers are intimately familiar with the subdivisions in which they work. They innately understand the value of particular features to the homeowners of that area. Then, the appraiser researches recent sales in close proximity to the subject and finds properties which are 'comparable' to the property at hand. Using knowledge of the value of certain items such as upgraded appliances, extra bathrooms, additional living area, quality of construction, lot size, we adjust the comparable properties so that they more accurately match the features of subject.
An opinion of what the subject might sell for can only be determined once all differences between the comps and the subject have been evaluated. At J Paul Appraisals Inc, we are experts when it comes to knowing the worth of real estate features in Orlando and Orange County neighborhoods. The sales comparison approach to value is usually given the most importance when an appraisal is for a real estate sale.
Valuation Using the Income Approach
In the case of income producing properties - rental houses for example - we may use a third approach to value. In this scenario, the amount of income the property generates is taken into consideration along with income produced by nearby properties to determine the current value.
The Bottom Line
Examining the data from all approaches, the appraiser is then ready to put down an estimated market value for the property in question. 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 valueDepending on the specific circumstances of the buyer or seller, their level of urgency or a buyer's desire for that exact property, the closing price of a home can always be driven up or down.Regardless, the appraised value is often employed as a guideline for lenders who don't want to loan a buyer more money than the property is actually worth. The bottom line is, an appraiser from J Paul Appraisals Inc will guarantee you get the most accurate property value, so you can make profitable real estate decisions.