Saturday, March 22, 2008

Appraisal Santa Clarita Most Relevant Information Needed

I cannot tell you how many times I have made the same mistakes by not asking for more information when taking a request for appraisal. It is not that I forget to ask. My phone rings off the hook with new brokers or homeowners. I get calls from homeowners that think they are entitled to a copy of the an appraisal (appraisers can only give appraisals to the person, usually a broker or lender, who requested it), or calls from brokers asking when they will they get the appraisal since I saw the property yesterday (appraisals take 3-20 hours to draft after the property has been viewed) or calls from lenders wanting the city to be changed even though public records say the city that I put in the report and they are too lazy to change the preliminary report, etc..

The first piece of information that I need to gather is the purpose of the appraisal. Is the report intended to go to a lender for refinance purposes or an attorney or CPA for trust or probated purposes? If it is for refinance purposes, the report must go on a form (like the FNMA 1004) because most lenders will not accept the report in any other format. If the appraisal is not for loan purposes, I can usually do a narrative report. A narrative is a construct created in writing that describes information or paints a picture of the subject property and its comparables, culminating in a opinion of value. There are several types of "value" when appraising a property. There is retrospective value (value as of a specific date in the past), replacement value (as for insurance purposes), partial interest value (the parts are not necessarily equal to the sum of the whole) value in use (value of a property in its present use), future value (value for investment purposes) etc. Determining the purpose of the appraisal helps me determine which type of value I am looking for.

The biggest surprise I run into is when preparing to measure a home and look at the comparables, I depend on public data, usually through the County Assessor's office. If the Assessor says that a property is 2,000 square feet, and the client has not mentioned anything to the contrary, I assume the property will be around 2,000 square feet and plan to view comparable properties in that size range. The problem arises when I actually see the property and realize that the subject is larger, maybe by 500 or 1,000 square feet. In many cases, the owner or even the broker was not aware of any difference between the actual and the recorded size. Often people buy a home that has permitted or unpermitted additions they are not aware of because the sales person did not point it out to them or the lender accepted it without comment. When this occurs, the appraiser is stuck out in the field with the wrong comparable sales and sometime very far from a computer. Updating, additions, view( real or perceived), noise(freeways) and remodeling issues should all be known before going out on an appraisal for the same reasons.

Whether you are an agent, broker, lender, homeowner or investor, make sure that you give the appraiser all the information you know about a property when you make the request. In the end, you will get a more complete appraisal without delay.

This article was written and approved by Certified Residential Appraiser, Richard Royce, of Accredited Appraisers, Oxnard, CA.


Dawn R Walker, Certified Residential Appraiser
Committed to delivering elegant, complete appraisal reports on time for residentail properties in the Los Angeles and surrounding Counties. Working as a professional and with professionals in many industries. Constructing appraisal reports that exceed expectations and providing customer service you will recommend to your associates and family. http://dawnrwalker.typepad.com

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