profile picture

When do you need an Appraisal

Every year, countless people in Greater Orlando buy, sell or refinance their own slice of the American Dream. Most, if not all, of these transactions include a simple line item for an appraisal. It has become an understood and accepted part of a real estate transaction. ''Let's bring in the expert and make sure we're not spending too much on this property.''

But is this the only reason to get an appraisal? Are there other times when the services of a certified, licensed, independent real estate professional might come in handy?

PMI Removal

Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI is the supplemental insurance that many lenders ask home buyers to purchase when the amount being loaned is more than 80% of the value of the home. Very often, this additional payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment and is quickly forgotten. This is unfortunate because PMI becomes unnecessary when the remaining balance of the loan - whether through market appreciation or principal paydown - dips below this 80% level. In fact, the United States Congress passed a law in 1998 (the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998) that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met.

Rhodes Appraisal Service, LLC offers a specific service for home owners that believe they have met the 80% loan-to-value metric. For a nominal fee, our property appraiser can provide you with a statement regarding the current value of your home that can help you file a challenge with your mortgage company. The costs of these services are very often recovered in just a few months of not paying the PMI.

Pre-Sale Decisions

If you are going to sell your home, you would be wise to invest in a professional appraisal. Professional property appraisals do not cost money, they pay in the long run! Unless a homeowner studies the Greater Orlando Florida real estate values on a day to day basis, like an appraiser at Rhodes Appraisal Service does, it's difficult for them to get a handle on real estate values. We are not talking about how much you have invested in your home, how much you paid for it, or how much you want for it. We are talking about the true market value of your home.

Many times, Rhodes Appraisal Service, LLC clients are surprised when they find out that the market value of their home is much more than they thought. Investing in a professional property appraisal actually allowed these people to receive several thousand more dollars than they thought they would when their home was sold. Others may have an inflated opinion of their home's value and an appraisal helps them to realistically price their home in order for it to sell. An overpriced home will not attract potential buyers, which means no offers and no closing - just a lot of wasted valuable time, money, and efforts.

Before someone decides to sell a home, there are several decisions to be made. First and foremost: ''How much should it sell for?'' But there may be other equally important questions to ask: ''Would it be better to paint the entire house first?'' ''Should I put in that third bathroom?'' ''Should I complete my kitchen remodel?'' Many things which we do to our houses have an effect on their value. Unfortunately, not all of them have an equal effect. Rhodes Appraisal Service can assist you in determining whether a kitchen or bath remodel may improve the value and marketability of your home enough to justify the expense.

In addition an appraisal will help you by pointing out needed repairs and visible deficiencies in the property which will allow you to correct these items before placing it on the market. Since most buyers will need a mortgage to complete the purchase of your home, ultimately an appraisal will have to be performed by a licensed property appraiser. It is better to know upfront what the lender will consider as the true market value of your home as well as any repairs that are likely to be required, than to have your deal "blow up" right before the closing date.

It is very hard to be objective about your own home because of your emotional attachment to it. A professional property appraiser from Rhodes Appraisal Service LLC will be objective. We will tell you what you need to know, not just what you want to hear.

Estate Planning, Liquidation or Divorce

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in life. Likewise, a divorce can be a particularly traumatic experience. Sadly, these events are often complicated by difficult decisions regarding the disposition of an estate. Unlike many wealthy individuals, the majority of Americans do not have dedicated estate planners or executors to handle these issues. Also, in most cases, a home or other real property makes up a disproportionate share of the total estate value.

Here too, a property appraiser from Rhodes Appraisal Service, LLC can help. Often the first step in fairly disposing of an estate is to understand its true value. Where property is involved, our appraiser can help determine the true value. At this point, equitable arrangements can more easily be arrived at among disputing parties. Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal.

Property Tax Challenges

Occasionally the county tax assessor over values a residential property which results in the homeowner paying an unfair tax bill. Challenging the tax assessment is the right of every homeowner. Unfortunately, most people go into these challenges unarmed. They may pull some information from the internet to support their claims, but they have no real basis for their beliefs other than: ''It wasn't worth that much last year.''

A professional property appraiser from Rhodes Appraisal Service, LLC can help in these situations. While it may not be economical to commission a full appraisal to cut a few hundred dollars off your tax bill, often an appraiser can do a limited appraisal or neighborhood analysis for much less. These documents can carry a lot of weight when you appear before an appeals board.

There are other uses for real estate appraisals. The highly trained individuals at Rhodes Appraisal Service, LLC are always looking for ways to put their expertise to work for home owners and the people who support them.