Why Get an Appraisal?
There are several reasons why you may need or want to get a home appraisal, including:
Pre-Sell/Purchase Decisions –
Before you decide to sell or purchase a home, you must decide how much you should buy or sell it for. If you are the seller, you may want to find out so you can decide whether it is worth it or not to paint the house or put in new carpeting. If you are the buyer, you may want to have someone uninvolved with the transaction help you determine if you are paying too much (or too little) for the house.
PMI Removal –
Private Mortgage Insurance (or PMI) is supplemental insurance that many lenders ask homeowners to purchase when the amount loaned on the property is more than 80% of the value of the house. The Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 requires that lenders drop the PMI payments when the loan to value ratio conditions have been met, however many require an appraisal to support the homeowner’s assertions of the value increase. Getting an appraisal and dropping your PMI payments can significantly reduce your monthly mortgage payments.
Estate Planning –
The loss of a loved one is a difficult time, and often this sad event is complicated by difficult decisions regarding the disposition of the estate. Settling an estate usually requires an appraisal opinion to establish fair market value for the residential property involved.
Divorce Settlement –
Finalizing a divorce involves many decisions, including property disposition. There are generally two options: the house can either be sold and the proceeds divided, or one party can buy the other party out. In either case, one or both parties should have an appraisal of the residence.
Whatever your reason, chances are you will have to go through a home appraisal at some point in your life. Most lenders are required by federal and state laws and current banking regulations to obtain an appraisal for most loans secured by real estate and all appraisals made for mortgage loans from federally insured lenders must be made by a licensed or certified appraiser.