Judi King Appraisals has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Judi King Appraisals is always more than happy to elaborate on any inquiries you might have about appraisals in San Diego County. Feel free to contact us today.

What is an appraisal?
What does an appraiser do?
Why would a person need your services?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?
What does the appraisal report contain?
Once the appraisal has been completed, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is trustworthy?
How hard is it to become certified?
Who employs appraisers?
Where does Judi King Appraisals get the information used to estimate values in San Diego County or other areas?
Why do I need a professional appraisal?
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?
Do you need anything from me in advance?
What is "Market Value?"
Who has rights to the appraisal report?
Which home renovations add the most to the price?



What is an appraisal?   (List of questions)

An appraisal is an inspection that concludes with an opinion of value. There are three "common approaches to value" which assists the real estate appraiser arrive at this opinion or valuation. One of the methods is the Cost Approach - which is how much capital would be required to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. The most common approach in finding the value of a house is the Sales Comparison Approach which deals with making a comparison to similar properties nearby. Generally speaking, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a home. The Income Approach is mainly used for determining the market value of income-producing properties based on what an investor would pay based on the amount of capital a property would bring in.

What does an appraiser do?   (List of questions)

An appraiser forumlates a professional, unbiased assessment of market value, in the support of real property transactions. Appraisers reveal the details of their investigation in appraisal reports.


Why would a person need your services?   (List of questions)

There are many reasons to get an appraisal from Judi King Appraisals with the usual reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Some other reasons for purchasing an appraisal include:
  • To receive a loan.
  • If you would like to reduce your property tax obligations.
  • To demonstrate a homeowner's acquired equity and remove insurance.
  • To fight improperly assessed property taxes.
  • If you need to take care of an estate.
  • To give you an edge when purchasing a home.
  • To find a reasonable property value when listing your home.
  • To protect your rights if your property is being taken by means of eminent domain in a condemnation case.
  • Government agencies such as the IRS need an appraisal on every house.
  • If you are ever involved in a lawsuit.
If you need more information about the appraisal process, please click here.


What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?   (List of questions)

Appraisers do not do complete home inspections and are not home inspectors. An inspection is a third-party evaluation of the livable structure and electrical and mechanical systems of a home, from the top to the foundation. Commonly, a home inspection report will evaluate the amenities and the necessities of the property: air conditioning (weather permitting), electrical services, the condition of the heating system, the plumbing; then the structural capacity of the home such as the attic, exposed insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, then the foundation, basement and visible structures.

My agent performed a CMA for me. Is that the same as an appraisal?   (List of questions)

To be honest, they have nothing in common. What the CMA depends on are ill-defined trends. Appraisals use similar sales which are valid resources. Location and building values are also a priority in an appraisal. 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.

But the biggest difference is the person creating the report. Real estate agents write CMA's, and they don't always know the whole market or bear specific competence when it comes to home valuation. A certified, California licensed professional who has formed their livelihood on valuing homes in and around San Diego County creates the appraisal. 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 assignments, regardless of their outcome.

What does the appraisal report contain?   (List of questions)

The main objective of an appraisal document is to let the reader know the value of the real estate in question, and depending on the scope of the report, one will customarily see the following:
  • The client and whose purposes the appraisal is to serve.
  • The intended use of the appraisal.
  • The appraisal's purpose.
  • Precisely what "value" attribute is being reported and what that value means.
  • The effective date of the appraiser's opinions and conclusions.
  • Characteristics of the property that have a bearing on the value, including: location, physical attributes, legal attributes, economic attributes, the property rights valued, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations and even intangible items.
  • 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 while working up the assignment.
For a more detailed view of the work that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


Once the appraisal has been completed, what assurance is there that the value conclusion is trustworthy?   (List of questions)

In communicating an appraisal report, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
  • That the information analysis implemented in the appraisal was appropriate.

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

  • That appraisal services were rendered in a careful and conscientious manner.

  • That a trustworthy, substantiated appraisal report was communicated.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are education requirements as well as real world experience that must be logged - all with the objective of being able to provide unbiased value opinions. Likewise, appraisers must abide by a strict industry code of ethics and respect national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The guidelines for developing an appraisal and communicating its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (List of questions) Licensing and certification is achieved through classroom study, tests and real world experience. Once an appraiser is licensed, he or she is required to take continuing education courses so the license stays up to date. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who employs appraisers?   (List of questions)

Commonly, appraisers are employed by lenders to estimate the value of a house involved in a loan transaction. Appraisers also provide opinions for legal settlements, tax matters and investment decisions.

Where does Judi King Appraisals get the information used to estimate values in San Diego County or other areas?   (List of questions)

One of the most important activities of an appraiser is to compile data. Data can be described as either Specific or General. Specific data is collected from the home itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specific data are gathered by the appraiser during an inspection.

General data is gathered from a numerous sources. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide data on recently sold homes that might be used as comparables. Tax records and other courthouse documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is retrieved from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood system.

And last but not least, the appraiser assimilates general data from his or her past experience in creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.


Why do I need a professional appraisal?   (List of questions)

Any time the value of your home or other real property is being used to make a significant financial decision, an appraisal helps. If you're selling your home, an appraisal helps you set the most appropriate price. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. 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. Knowing its true value means you can make smart financial decisions.


What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?   (List of questions)

PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance. This added plan takes care of the lender in the event a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the home is lower than the loan balance. 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.

Does your monthly mortgage payment have a lineitem for PMI?Call Judi King Appraisals today at 619-990-6722 or send us an e-mail. A current appraisal could save you thousands.

Do you need anything from me in advance?   (List of questions)

We start with an inspection of the property. What this entails is the appraiser, after setting up an appointment, personally going through the home - recording the layout of the rooms, taking photos and documenting the general status of its features. Inside, make sure it is clutter free and that we can find our way to things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, trim any landscaping so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of exterior walls.

To help speed things along plus ensure a more accurate report, try if possible to have the following items:
  • A survey or plot map of the property and building (if available).
  • Title policy that lists encroachments or easements.
  • Any "Homeowners Associations" agreements or, if applicable, condo covenants or fees .
  • Locate copies of the current listing agreement, broker's data sheet and, in the event of a pending sale.
  • A bill for your most recent real estate taxes which should also contain a legal description of the property.

What is "Market Value?"   (List of questions)

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."



Who has rights to the appraisal report?   (List of questions)

In most real estate transactions, the appraisal is ordered by the lender. Even though it's the buyer that eventually pays for the report, the lender is the intended user. The buyer is certainly entitled to a copy of the report - it's usually bundled with all the other closing documents - but is not allowed 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 the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stated otherwise, the home owner can use the appraisal for any purpose.


Which home renovations add the most to the price?   (List of questions)

It really depends on the market. For example, adding a central air conditioner in to a home in the South may add significant value, while putting one in a home near the Pacific Northwest might not have much impact.

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 are right up there with kitchens, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also boost the value of your home as long as your home doesn't then become an oddball for your neighborhood in terms of size.

Judi King Appraisals 3245 University Ave Suite 1234 San Diego, CA 92104
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