Appraisal myths & facts

Legally, a real estate appraiser needs to be state certified to produce legitimate real estate appraisals for federally-backed transactions. You are also entitled by law to receive a copy of the finished appraisal from your lender. Contact our professional staff if you have any concerns about the appraisal process.

Myth: Market value must be similar to the assessed value of the property.

Fact: It is possible that California, like most states, supports the suggestion that the assessed value equals the market value; however, this is not always true. Sometimes when interior remodeling has been done and the assessor is unaware of the improvement or properties in the Woodland Hills have not been reassessed for a good length of time, it may vary wildly.

Myth: The opinion of value of a home will differ depending upon whether the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller.

Fact: The value of the house does not affect the salary of the appraiser; due to this, the appraiser has no pressured interest in the value of the property. What this means is he will complete his task with impartiality and objectivity regardless for whom the appraisal is produced.

Myth: Any time market value is found, it should equal the replacement cost of the property.

Fact: Without any influence from any external parties to buy or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay an interested seller for a particular home. Replacement value is the dollar amount necessary to rebuild a property in-kind.

Myth: There are specific ways that appraisers use to determine the opinion of value of a property, like the price per square foot.

Fact: There are many varied ways that an appraiser will use to make a comprehensive investigation of every factor pertaining to the property, such as the size, location, condition, how close it is to certain facilities and the cost of recently sold comparable properties.

Myth: When the economy is doing well and the value of properties are reported to be rising by a certain percentage, the other properties in the vicinity can be expected to rise based on that same percentage.

Fact: Any price at which an appraiser arrives in regards to a particular property is always personalized, based on certain factors concluded from the data of comparable properties and other considerations within the property itself. This is true in fair economic times as well as poor.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Los Angeles County or Woodland Hills, CA?

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Myth: You can commonly tell what a house is worth simply by looking at the outside.

Fact: House worth is determined by a multitude of variables, including location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. There's no real way to get all of this information from simply looking at the home from the outside.

Myth: Since you're the one providing the money for the appraisal when applying for your loan to purchase or refinance your home, you own the ordered appraisal.

Fact: Unless a lender releases its interest in the report, it is legally owned by the lending agency that purchased the appraisal. However, consumers have to be supplied with a copy of the appraisal report upon written request, because of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: Home buyers need not be concerned with what is in their appraisal so long as it meets the needs of their lending agency.

Fact: It is almost imperative for consumers to read a copy of their report so that they can verify the accuracy of the report, in case there is a need to question its veracity. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. An appraisal can serve as a record for the future, containing a great deal of data - including, but not limited to the legal and physical description of the property, square footage measurements, list of comparable properties in the neighborhood, neighborhood description and a narrative of current real-estate activity and/or market trends in the proximity.

Myth: Appraisals are ordered only to assess real estate property values in house sales involving mortgage-lending deals.

Fact: Appraisers can have many different qualifications and designations which allow them to perform a lot of different services including - but not limited to - advice on estate planning, tax assessment, zoning, dispute resolution in many different legal situations and cost analysis.

Myth: A home inspection serves the same purpose as an appraisal.

Fact: A home inspection serves a completely different purpose than an appraisal. The appraiser finds an opinion of value in the appraisal process and resulting appraisal report. House inspectors will create a report that will express the condition of the home and its major components and possible damage.