What are Appraisals and Why do you Need one

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If you’re financially challenged like me money issues don’t come easy to you. I once somehow managed to add one plus one and come up with one! It’s not that I’m an unintelligent person. Numbers and finances just make me cross-eyed! At some point in your life you’ll probably have to get an appraisal of your property. What is the purpose of an appraisal and how do you get the best outcome? Appraisals are needed for loans, such as mortgages, to assess property taxes, to settle estates and to value property such as jewelry and antiques.

If you want to buy or sell a home the lender involved will require an appraisal of your home’s value to determine how much money they’ll be willing to lend the buyer. If the appraisal is too high you may not be able to sell your home, but if it is too low you might not get full value in your sell. Lenders will sometimes dictate what appraiser you must use in a house loan, but you can dispute the appraisal if you disagree.

 Appraisals are used to determine the value of property in order to set property taxes. If you think your property taxes are too high you can get a second appraisal. If the appraisal agrees with you your taxes would be lowered. Who wants to pay any more taxes than they have too! Of course if the appraisal values your property higher you could end up paying more taxes.

When a person dies, their estate has to be appraised to determine what estate taxes their heirs will have to pay. The government requires this if the estate is valued over a certain amout.Apprasials on items such as jewelry and antiques will determine just how much you can insure these items for should they be stolen or in some other lost. Appraisals’ are also used in divorces and bankruptcy to determine fair division of property. You even have to get an appraisal if you make a charitable donation over 5000 dollars and want to count it on your taxes. Oh that I had five thousand dollars to give to charity!!

So how do you find a good appraiser? Real estate appraisers are regulated by the state regulatory agency who oversees the licensing of real estate appraisers. You can find them listed here: http://www.greab.state.ga.us/greab/otherstates.html  Check with these agencies to be sure your appraiser is in good standing with them.  Real estate appraisers should be familiar with the area they are appraising and so should be local and experienced. Check with lending institutions for appraiser in good standing and use word of mouth. Ask for references and check them. Ask for evidence of certification and licensing Thousands of dollars can be last in real estate by a poor appraisal.

Other appraisers such as jeweler and antique appraisers aren’t as well regulated so be very careful. Ask for references and look for membership in the American Society of Appraisers and the National association of Independent Fee appraisers. Use word of mouth referrals. Don’t trust an antique or jewelry appraisers who offers to buy your antique or jewelry for what he appraised it for.

Errors in appraisals on estates and property can result in tax penalties and loss of money. Failure to insure your antiques and jewelry can result in loss of return from insurance if they are lost or stolen. Do your research and make sure your appraiser is qualified.

http://www.appraisalfoundation.org/s_appraisal/doc.asp?CID=20&DID=407

http://www.appraisersnewsroom.org/

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