Category — Appraisal

How to Prepare for an Appraisal?

I have talked to so many homeowners over the years that do not understand what an appraisal is for and how to be ready for it. Today I will focus on how to prepare for it.

 Here is a simple list in no particular order:

 Return the appraiser’s phone call as quick as possible. We are under a deadline and you want to close your loan. The faster we set the appointment the quicker you report will be completed.

  1. Have a list of all recent improvements ready for us when we arrive. This will help when we do a walkthrough.
  2. Have all rooms unlocked and ready for me to inspect.(this includes bedrooms with sleeping teenagers, they should be up by noon)
  3. When I ask in the phone interview if you have an unpermitted addition, tell me the size. This way I can pull two sets of comps to make sure I have the proper square footage covered and I don’t have to drive back.
  4. Try and remove the clutter. Clutter will not count impact your value unless it has caused damage, however, it will make the pictures better.
  5. If you have a dog, make sure it is under your control before I come in.
  6. If this is a condo, have the following; HOA name, HOA contact #, HOA dues amount, number of units in HOA.
  7. I need to look in the garage; I need to make sure no one is living in there.
  8. Please don’t ask us what we think the value is, we can’t discuss this with you.
  9. Please don’t tell us what the loan amount needs to be, this might be considered “trying to influence the appraiser”
  10. If you home falls under any of the following, please tell us. Historic Property, Mills Act, Historic Neighborhood, National Registry of Historic Homes, etc…This is critical and has a impact on value and comps we choose.
  11. Remember, the appraisal is for the “lender”, not for you.

 If you have any questions regarding Appraisals or need an Appraisal in Long Beach, Los Angeles or Orange County, please call Craig at Wallace Real Estate Services  562-673-1138.

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September 16, 2011   No Comments

What have 1 Bedroom Homes done in Long Beach since 2000?

I recently did an appraisal of a 1 bedroom in Long Beach. During the course of my research, I wanted to see what 1 bedrooms have been doing since 1/1/2000.  I created this chart for all of  Long Beach. The higher values on the chart are from the Eastside and the Peninsula. What is most interesting to see,  is that during the peak around 2006, there are no sales under $200,000.  Think about that, these are typically first time buyer homes that are between 550 s.f. to 875 s.f. on small lots. To me, when I did a few appraisals of these back then, I would often think that this is just wrong, someone is willing to pay over $200k for a 1 bedroom, really?  But the comps actually supported those values.

Here is a link toa pdf of the chart.

1 Bedroom since 2000

If you have any Appraisal needs in Long Beach or the surrounding area, please call 562-673-1138.

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July 18, 2011   No Comments

Alamitos Heights different values on both sides of 7th Street

 

Above 7th Street Vs Below 7th Street (this is a PDF Version)

 

I was doing an appraisal of a house here in the  Alamitos Heights area of Long Beach. I have always known there is a differance in values from one side of 7th Street to the other , so I decided to graph. I used all closed sales from 1998 until 6/30/2011. I will work on a graph that will tell us what the average percentage differance is and post it soon.

If you  need have any real estate appraisal needs in the greater Los Angeles and Long Beach Area, contact me at 562-673-1138, www.wallaceres.com

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July 1, 2011   No Comments

Appraisal Pictures

 

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. This is true for appraisals also. I had a conversation with a client the other day. She was telling me about an appraisal she received and how bad the pictures were in the report.

My first thought to myself was, “the appraiser inspected the property, he saw everything, does it matter how good the pictures are?” After a second, I said “yes”. An appraisal is a report, and someone, in some other location who has never been to that house and does not know the neighborhood, is going to rely on your report. They are going to look at the pictures in your report, so why not take the best pictures you can? I am not talking about learning to be a professional Architectural Photographer, just know how to take a good picture that accurately represents the home, room or condition.

 Here are a few tips:

  1.  Know the direction of light. Try not to shoot into the light.
  2. Use a wide angle or fisheye lens. How hard is it to get those interior photos, a wide angle lens can capture an entire room.
  3. Depth, try and get as much of the yard, house and pool as possible. Step back, but be careful of those “yard bombs”.
  4. Try and center what you are taking a picture of.

 Let me know what you think?

 If you have any appraisal needs or referrals, please call me at 562-673-1138

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March 30, 2011   No Comments

External Factors that can have a positive impact on a neighborhood?

 

I was up in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles today doing an appraisal.  The subject house was located close off a major east west street. I pulled a few comps from different neighborhoods. I knew the range was different but I wanted to see the other areas that had higher values. Once I got to the other neighborhood, it was quiclky obvoius that the homes here are of higher value. The homes had curb appeal, all nicely landscaped and maintained. But what really let me know when I was in a higher priced area was the street. All the streets were recently repaved and or slurry sealed. This had me stop and think about how something out of the homeowners control can possibly influence the perception of buyers and how this might contribute to higher values in the long run.

What do you think?

If you  need have and real estate appraisal needs in the greater Los Angeles and Long Beach Area, contact me at 562-673-1138, www.wallaceres.com

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March 10, 2011   No Comments

Total # of Appraisers in Long Beach

I was curious as to the total number of appraiser there are in the city of Long Beach

 I went to the OREA website looked them up. Then, I decided to see how many are independent fee appraisers and how many are not. Any appraiser listed as working for a bank or a government agency I assume are not independent fee appraisers.

So, we have a Total of 149 Appraisers in Long Beach, of which, 140 are Independent Fee Appraisers. Look at the number of Trainees, only 14. Do you think we are going to have a problem in the future as some Appraisers retire or leave the industry? That is a different topic all together.

 Next I was curious to see how many closed sales of Condos and SFR’s there were in Long Beach for the past 4 months. I also wanted to see how this would average out to work for those Appraisers. I did not include Certified General Appraisers since they focus mainly on Commercial work. I also did not include Trainees since they can not really do work on there own. That left only Certified Residential and Licensed Residential Appraisers, a total of 84.

 I then took the total number of closed sales and divided that by the number of Fee Appraisers, as you can see that was between 2.7-3.0 Appraisals per Appraiser in Long beach, not including January. I guessed at a conservative post HVCC/AMC fee for an appraisal of $300. Basically each Appraiser would be making $775 -$866 per month.

 

Wow!

This does not include the fact that appraisers from other areas come to Long Beach.

 Basically, there is not enough work for the Appraiser that remain to make a decent living on, couple that with the low fees being paid and the fact that we lost most of our clients when the HVCC went into effect, it is no wonder the ranks are thinning.

To me this looks like a good argument to band together and demand a higher fee.

 What do you think?

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January 21, 2011   No Comments

“Comp Checks & Value Checks” the legal way.

Comp Checks, Value Check, etc….

 There was a moment in the “Boom Time” that appraiser would often get calls from Mortgage Brokers for “Comp Checks” or Value Checks”.  Most of the time, this was a LO simply shopping for an appraiser that could “hit the number”.  The problem was that a Comp/Value check was an appraisal and we could be liable for it.

 Well a few years back I read an article about a guy that actually created a USPAP Compliant Value Check. What a great thing I thought. I got a hold of the guy, and he sent me all the information on how to do them legally.

 The other day I stopped in and talked to a Branch Manager at a Mortgage Office to offer my Pre-FHA Appraisal Inspection Service, and he asked me about Value Checks.

 Yes, WRES offers value checks.

 Why might you need one? In this current Real Estate Market, it is hard to know the value of something. A Value Check can provide a quick value to see if a refinance can work. Maybe you want to make an offer on a property, are concerned about the value.

 A USPAP Compliant Value check is a simply way to check a range of value. In no way will it replace what a Full Appraisal can provide.

 If you need a Value/Comp Check, please call Wallace Real Estate Services– Appraisals at 562-673-1138 or email us.

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January 19, 2011   No Comments

What effect does location have on Value?

 

I was doing an appraisal today in Long Beach, and came across this area.  The wall you see in the video is the sound wall for the 405 Freeway, you can here the noise from the freeway over the wall. The road is a one way street from the neighborhood, but is also and exit from the freeway feeding to anther main road.

Do you think these external factors will have an effect onthe value of the home on the corner. do you think a home in the middle of the neighborhood might sell for more?

Let me know what you think.

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January 14, 2011   No Comments

Desk Top Appraisals for RE Agents and Loan Officers – A fast solution to obtain a value.

By Craig Wallace, Long Beach Appraiser

What is a desk top appraisal and how can it help you?

A desk top appraisal, is an Appraisal done without actually going to the subject property. All information is gathered from online sources such as; MLS, Realist and Public Record. I also get information from  Real Estate Agents if they have first hand knowledge of the property.I then proceed just like a normal appraisal. I look for comparables within the subject market area. In our current crazy market, I try and only go back 90 days.  Once my comparables have been selected and depending on what form I use, I can apply adjustments for upgrades, condition, square footage. One form I can use is strictly for a quick analysis based solely on the sale price without adjustments. 

Desktop appraisal provide a quick effective way for a buyer to see if the property they are interested in is worth the asking price. A Real Estate agent might need this for there seller to help determine the market value.  A Loan officer might need this for a Refinance to determine the loan to Value Ratio. 

If you have any questions or a need for a Desk Top Appraisal in the Long Beachor Surrounding Areas, give me a call at 562-673-1138, send me an email or find me on Facebook and Twitter.

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January 12, 2011   No Comments

APPRAISERS THAT TYPE IN ALL CAPITALS…

By Craig Wallace – Long Beach Appraiser

I have been doing a bunch of Enhanced Desk Reviews for Bank of America lately. I enjoy doing these, because it gives me the opportunity to see what my peers are doing. I find things that other appraiser might do that I can use in my reports and things not to use or do. For the most part they have all been very competent reports with the exception of one.
However, the one thing that I run across that really bugs me the most, is when appraisers TYPE REPORTS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS! I understand that they want the information they are typing to “stand out” from the rest of the report. But it makes it really difficult to read. Is this really necessary?

A reviewer and underwriter know what they are supposed to be reading and where it is in the report.

So please no more TYPING REPORTS IN ALL CAPS

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December 13, 2010   No Comments