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Common myths about appraising

Legally, a real estate appraiser must be state certified to write legitimate appraisal reports for federally-backed purchase. The law gives you the right to receive a copy of your finished appraisal from your lender after it has been produced. Contact our professional staff if you have any concerns about the appraisal process.

Myth: Assessed value will always be similar to to market value.

Fact: While most states back the idea that assessed value approximates estimated market value, this usually is not the case. Interior remodeling that the assessor has not investigated and a dearth of reassessment on nearby homes are prime examples of why the price can vary.

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

Fact: There is no vested interest on the part of the appraiser in the outcome of the report, therefore he will complete his work with impartiality and independence, regardless for whom the appraisal is conducted.

Myth: Market value should equal replacement cost.

Fact: Without any influence from any outside parties to purchase or sell, market value is what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a specific home. The dollar amount demanded to rebuild a property is what forms the replacement cost.

Myth: Appraisers use a calculation, like a certain price per square foot, to conclude the cost of a house.

Fact: An appraisal is an assertion of data based on the home's size, location, proximity to specific facilities, the condition of the house and the worth of recent comparable sales. You can rely on Appraisal House, Inc.'s staff to be ethical in assessing this data.

Myth: As houses appreciate by a certain percentage - in a strong economic state - the homes within the same neighborhood are expected to increase by the same amount.

Fact: Any cost at which an appraiser concludes concerning a certain property is always individualized, based on certain factors pulled from the data of comparable houses and other specifications within the property itself. It doesn't matter if the economy is doing well or declining.

Have other questions about appraisers, appraising or real estate in Okaloosa County or Destin, FL?

Contact Appraisal House, Inc.

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

Fact: Home value is determined by a multitude of factors, including - but not limited to - location, condition, improvements, amenities, and market trends. As you can see, none of these variables can be found just by examining the property from the exterior.

Myth: Since you're the one paying for the appraisal report when applying for your loan to buy or refinance your home, you own the produced appraisal report.

Fact: Legally, the appraisal report is owned by the lending company unless the lender relinquishes their interest in the appraisal. Home buyers must be supplied with a copy of the appraisal report upon written request due to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Myth: It doesn't mean anything to consumers what's in the report so long as it satisfies the needs of their lending agency.

Fact: Only if home buyers examine a copy of their report can they double-check its accuracy and possibly need to question the result. Remember, this is probably the most expensive and important investment a consumer will ever make. Also, the appraisal report makes an invaluable record for future reference, containing helpful and often-revealing information - 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 area.

Myth: The only reason someone would hire an appraiser is if a property needs its value estimated in a lender-based sales transaction.

Fact: Based upon their qualifications and designations, appraisers can and often do provide a lot of different services, including advice for estate planning, dispute resolution, zoning and tax assessment review and cost/benefit analysis.

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

Fact: An appraisal does not serve the same purpose as an inspection. The purpose of the appraiser is to find an opinion of value in the appraisal process and through creating the report. A home inspector determines the condition of the property and its main components and reports these findings.