North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212 has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212 is always happy to elaborate on any inquiries you might have about appraisals or real estate in Garfield County. Don't hesitate to contact us today.

What is an appraisal?
What does an appraiser do?
Why would a person request services from North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212?
How is an appraiser different than a home inspector?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What does the appraisal report contain?
Upon completion of the appraisal, how can I have certainty that the value indicated is valid?
How are appraisers certified?
Who are an appraiser's customers?
Where does North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212 get the data used to estimate values in Garfield County or other areas?
How can a licensed appraiser help me?
My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?
How do I get ready for the appraiser?
What does "Market Value" mean?
Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?
How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?



What is an appraisal?   (Back to top)

The method of creating an appraisal consists of an evaluation which leads to an opinion of value. This opinion or estimate is found through a formal method that usually utilizes three "common approaches to value". One of the processes in use is the Cost Approach, which evaluates what it would cost to replace the improvements to the house, minus depreciation and physical dilapidation, plus the land value. Another of the methods is the Sales Comparison Approach - which involves making a comparison to other similar nearby properties which have recently sold. Being the most popular approach, the Sales Comparison Approach is considered the most precise and best indicator of market value for a property. The Income Approach is generally used for finding the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of income a property would bring in.

What does an appraiser do?   (Back to top)

An appraiser forumlates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, to be used in making real estate transactions. Appraisers present their findings in appraisal reports.


Why would a person request services from North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212?   (Back to top)

There are many reasons to order an appraisal from North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212 with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. A few other reasons for purchasing an appraisal include:
  • To receive a loan.
  • To lower your property taxes.
  • To demonstrate a homeowner's acquired equity and remove PMI.
  • To fight high property taxes.
  • If you need to settle an estate.
  • To provide you an edge when purchasing real estate.
  • To determine the most probable price when putting your home on the market.
  • To protect your rights if your property is being taken by means of eminent domain in a condemnation case.
  • Because an official agency such as the IRS requires it.
  • It's possible you could have to deal with being in a lawsuit - an appraisal will definitely help.
If you need more information about the appraisal process, please click here.


How is an appraiser different than a home inspector?   (Back to top)

Home inspectors do not generate an opinion of value and do not do appraisal reports. The point of a home inspection is to investigate the structure of the home from bottom to rooftop. The usual house inspector's report will include an evaluation of the integrity of the house's heating systems, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?   (Back to top)

Frankly, it's like comparing broadband and dial-up. The CMA depends on indistinct trends in the market. Appraisals use similar sales which are verifiable resources. The appraisal report will also contain location and building values. The CMA will provide a non-specific figure. Being a documented and carefully investigated opinion of value, appraisals are defensible and stand up in legal situations.

The credentials of the person creating the report is actually the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a true grasp of valuation methods or the entire market, generate CMA's. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who makes a living out of valuing properties. Likewise, the agent has a vested interest in the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to accept a flat sum for work they perform, regardless of their outcome.

What does the appraisal report contain?   (Back to top)

The main objective of an appraisal report is to give a value opinion, and depending on the scope of the report, you'll usually see the following:
  • The client and other intended users.
  • The intended use of the appraisal.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • The type of value reported and a definition of the value reported.
  • The effective date of the value opinion.
  • Relevant property characteristics, including: location, physical description, legal attributes, economic factors, the property rights in question, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations and even intangible considerations.
  • All known easements, restrictions, encumbrances, leases, reservations, covenants, contracts, declarations, special assessments, ordinances, and other items of a similar nature.
  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.
  • The scope of work considered when completing the appraisal.
For a more in depth look at the work that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Upon completion of the appraisal, how can I have certainty that the value indicated is valid?   (Back to top)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
  • The appraisal contained analysis of the data.

  • That major errors of omission or commission were not committed individually or collectively.

  • That appraisal services were delivered in a careful and judicious fashion.

  • That a solid, supportable appraisal report was imparted.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are education requirements as well as on the jobexperience that must be logged - all with the objective of being able to provide unbiased value opinions. Plus, appraisers must abide by a meticulous industry code of ethics and respect national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The rules for developing an appraisal and documenting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (Back to top) Regulations regarding licensing and certification of Real Estate Appraisers vary from state to state. In general, licensing and certification typically translates to many hours of coursework, tests and experience working under a supervisor. Once an appraiser is licensed, he or she must then engage in continuing education courses so that the license doesn't expire. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who are an appraiser's customers?   (Back to top)

Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, requiring their services to ensure real estate involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Appraisers also provide opinions in litigation cases, tax matters and investment decisions.

Where does North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212 get the data used to estimate values in Garfield County or other areas?   (Back to top)

Compiling data is one of the primary tasks an appraiser performs. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is gathered from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is gathered from a many places. To find out about recently sold homes to be used as "comps", an appraiser will often use the local Multiple Listing Service. Tax records and other public documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Appraisers often need to report when a property lies in a flood zone, and that information is retrieved from a FEMA data outlet such as a la mode's InterFlood product.

And last but not least, the appraiser gathers general data from his or her past experience in doing assignments for other properties in the same market.


How can a licensed appraiser help me?   (Back to top)

If you're making some sort of financial decision and the value of your home matters, you'll want to hire a licensed appraiser. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine a price that gets you the most profit but doesn't leave your home on the market too long; an appraisal can help with that. When buying, you can avoid overpaying by commissioning an independent appraisal. If you're engaged in an estate settlement or divorce, it ensures that property is divided fairly. A home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Don't make decisions in the dark with a professional appraisal.


My mortgage statement has an item on it for PMI? Can I get rid of that?   (Back to top)

PMI is the common abbreviation for for Private Mortgage Insurance. It guards the lender if a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the home is less than the balance of the loan. Once you can prove the amount you owe on your home is less than 80% of the home's market value, you can make a case to your lender to drop the PMI.

Has your real estate appreciated since you first purchased? Contact North Fork Appraisal Services (970) 379-8212 today at 9703798212 to see if you can get rid of your Private Mortgage Insurance payment.

How do I get ready for the appraiser?   (Back to top)

We begin with an inspection of the property. During this process, the appraiser will come to your home and measure it, determine the layout of the rooms inside, confirm all aspects of the home's general condition, and take several photos of your house for inclusion in the report. The best thing you can do to help is make sure we have easy access to the exterior of the house . Trim any shrubs and move any items that would get in our way while we measure the structure. On the inside, make sure we can easily access appliances like furnaces and water heaters.

The following items, if available, will help your appraiser to provide a more accurate appraisal in a shorter period of time:
  • A survey or plot map of the property and building (if available).
  • Any paperwork, such as a title policy with information on encroachments or easements encroachments or easements.
  • Home inspection reports, or other recent reports for termites, EIFS (synthetic stucco) wall systems, your septic system and wells.
  • A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".
  • A list of "proposed" improvements if the property is to be appraised "as complete".

What does "Market Value" mean?   (Back to top)

In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:

"The most probable price (in terms of money) which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: the buyer and seller are typically motivated; both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their best interests; a reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market; payment is made in terms of cash in United States dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale."



Once complete, who actually owns the appraisal report?   (Back to top)

For mortgage transactions, the lender orders the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. Even though it's the buyer that eventually pays for the report, the lender is the intended user. The buyer is entitled to a copy of the appraisal - it's usually included with all the other closing documents - but is not entitled to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.

This rule doesn't apply when a home owner engages an appraiser directly. In these scenarios, the appraiser may state how the appraisal can be used; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not noted otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.


How can I get the most ROI out of home improvements?   (Back to top)

Like all things real estate, this is dependent on a home's location. For example, while quality appliances are attractive, a $7000 built-in refrigerator won't pay off in a neighborhood of moderately priced homes

No matter where you go, however, renovating a kitchen is almost always a safe investment. One recent study revealed that putting $20,000 into a kitchen remodel would add about $17,500 to the value of the home - or about an 88% return on investment. Bathrooms weren't far behind, yielding 85%. On the contrary, an improvement that may not add value would be painting just for the sake of redecorating.