Appraising Your Salem OR Real Estate, Part I

Posted By David Whitton @ Jul 26th 2011 1:22pm In: Buying and Investing in Salem Real Estate

A vital step in the home buying process is a professional appraisal of the Salem OR real estate you wish to purchase. An appraisal is an objective analysis of the property's market value and is required by lenders to make certain that the property is worth at least as much as the amount of the loan you are requesting. Your personal approval is accomplished early in the loan process, but final commitment usually hinges on a satisfactory appraisal, and the lender will study the completed report carefully before determining whether or not the piece of real estate qualifies to serve as security for your loan.

appraisalAppraisers are experienced and knowledgeable professionals whom are licensed by the state to estimate real estate values. They must follow rules set forth in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Once the appraiser has determined the highest and best use of the Salem OR real estate, i.e., the most profitable utilization of the property, he/she will then go about estimating the home's market value through the use of three basic approaches.

The Cost Approach

The Cost Approach: a set of procedures through which a value indication is derived by estimating the current cost to construct a reproduction of the existing structure, deducting the accrued depreciation and adding the estimated land value. The principle of substitution is the basis of the cost approach, in that no rational person will pay more for a property than the amount for which he can obtain, by purchase of a site and construction of a building, with undue delay, a property of equal desirability and utility. Appraisers typically make use of published cost figures when calculating the cost to construct a building. These sources of data are available online and in printed form. Land value is determined by a comparison of the subject site with other similar sites that have recently sold.

The Sales Comparison Analysis

While cost and income considerations are important, the Sales Comparison Analysis is regard as the industry standard for residential properties. Appraisers get to know the neighborhoods in which they work. To assure that any effects (positive or negative) of its location will be reflected in the sales comparison analysis, the appraiser should select comparable sales from within the same neighborhood whenever possible. If this is not possible, the appraiser may need to make "neighborhood" or "location" adjustments for any sales that are not subject to this same neighborhood characteristic.

The same is true of other aspects of your Salem OR real estate, such as the size, quality and features of the buildings. Differences that the market reacts to are adjusted in the comparable sales to reflect what is present in the "subject" property that is being appraised. If a sold home features a fireplace and the subject does not have one, but the market considers a fireplace to be important, the appraiser make a downward adjustment to the sale price of the comparable sold home because it did have one and the property being appraised does not. The reverse is true when the home being appraised has a feature that other homes that have sold do not have. The basic question is what features are present in a property that buyers are willing to pay extra to get, or will pay less if it they are not there? When differences exist, the appraiser must determine how much a typical buyer will add or deduct for it.

The Income Approach

This technique is typically used in appraising income-producing properties. It is a technique whereby the gross or net income of an income producing property is capitalized at a rate which provides a return of interest on the money invested and a recapture of the capital investment in the improvement over a reasonable term of the investment. Capitalization is accomplished for simple residential properties such as rented homes or duplexes by the use of a Gross Rent Multiplier. This involves multiplying the total monthly rent of a property times a number (GRM) found by dividing the sale prices of similar properties by their monthly rents. Commercial and industrial properties involve more complex formulas to determine their value in the income approach, such as cash flow analysis.

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