Appraising in Delaware, the Blog...

Check out the blog written by The Appraiser Coach at the link below:

https://theappraisercoach.com/how-do-the-presence-or-absence-of-sex-offenders-affect-appraised-value/



While this answer might surprise you it’s not a simple yes - it’s more of an "if you are lucky". Pools are great, we all have a moment in the heart of summer when we really wish we could walk out our back door and jump directly into a pool. The heat gets to us and we would give anything for a pool. BUT - you have to take time to think about the whole picture and not just that sparkling cool water you want to jump into. 


If you have the right situation you can make upwards of 7% more with a pool included in your home. Here are some of the ways the pool could actually make your home more valuable. 

  • You live in a neighborhood that is higher end and most homes also have swimming pools

  • The style of the pool fits with your home and neighborhood

  • The pool does not take up your whole yard, leaving room for other things such as swing sets or room for other activities. 

  • The pool has been kept up nicely and looks new

  • You live in a climate where it can be used year round (looking at your florida, Hawaii and even places like Arizona and California to name a few)

  • It’s been customized to also be an enclosed pool (just to piggyback off of the last one reason)

  • You have buyers who want a pool


Outside of what it will add to the home, you have to think of the money you will spend to get the pool there and then what the upkeep is. For the pool to be installed you could be looking at anything from $25,000 - $35,000+ for the install. Then you have monthly expenses such as chemicals (which could range up to $100+) a month and seasonal expenses such as opening and shutting the pool. If you have someone coming out to open and close the pool it can cost $500+ each visit.


Overall the cost of the pool probably won’t be paid back in a monetary way, especially if you add up the monthly and seasonal costs and add it all in. The important thing to think of though, is that it adds value to your life and family if it is something you truly want. So if it’s important to you and you believe it adds depth to your life and the memories you can make in the home we say - DO IT!!



In the world today it is all about planning. We see it from the smallest parts of our lives to the biggest choices we have to make - such as selling our homes. From when to sell and when to let the listing go live it all affects the ability to make the best sale. 


Studies have shown that the best time to sell your home is in the spring and early summer. The specific dates will change from state to state but you typically see a faster turnaround time and more money being spent starting around April 1st all the way up to June 15th. You can see trends for 2019 here: https://www.zillow.com/research/early-may-best-time-to-list-23044/ . Not only are you going to have better weather during this timeframe and more daylight hours to spend to go out and tour homes for the buyers of these homes, your sellers will have plenty of time to do small but impactful updates to home during the winter hours when people like to stay home anyway. 


The day you list your home can also influence the number of people who will see your home. Listing your home on a Sunday vs a Tuesday could get you up to 20% more views which means you will have a higher chance of these people coming to take a look at your home. 


Two things to look for (aka keep your fingers crossed to see) is local job growth and low mortgage rates! These two things are a sellers dream. Job growth means people are going to be looking for homes closer to their jobs, which in turn means they are going to be willing to pay more for the right home with the right conditions to make things easier for them. Low mortgage rates are a no brainer and will get anyone looking for a home. 


It’s truly about research and knowing your market. Your realtors are there to help you with these thing, it’s their job but as we always like to say it's never a bad idea to do some of your own research so you can make your wants and needs known.



Posted by Patti Persia on January 12th, 2021 11:46 AMLeave a Comment

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January 4th, 2021 10:57 AM
Having a stranger come into your home can be uneasy on the best of days, but knowing you have an appraiser coming in to look around your home can have even the most relaxed people feeling a little anxious. It is always best to have a quick checklist to go over to help calm anxiety.

The most important thing you can do is to clean, so lets start there. It seems simple enough but a clean home will give off a completely different vibe than one that has not be thoroughly cleaned. If a home has piles of laundry laying around, dishes in the sink or paperwork on the counters it can be hard to fully see the home for how beautiful it could be. It is a huge distraction and does not allow the appraiser to take in the home completely. A good deep clean can make a world of difference.

Along with cleaning it’s never a bad idea to do some landscaping and cleaning up outside either. The landscape itself is not technically a part of the process, but having a clean yard, the grass cut, trimmed trees and some fresh mulch will also make things easier for everyone involved. Pictures are taken on both the inside and outside of the home and are quick reminders to the appraiser of the home. You will want these pictures to be a reminder of how beautiful your home is.

If you have any easy and quick repairs that you can do it would be another boost to the overall look. It can be as easy as replacing a missing board in a fence or repainting scuff marks on the wall. These repairs do not need to take days or cost you a ton of money, just remember that 30 minutes of your time here and there can really make a difference. There is a $500 rule you hear about in the appraising world; this rule says that most appraisers will measure the value of your home in increments of $500 and a few hours spent repairing a few different things can add $500 to the overall appraisal. Do that a couple of times and you are gaining or losing a good chunk of money.

Know the worth of your work. These days homeowners are always upgrading or finding ways to better their home. If you keep track of these upgrades and their costs you can easily share them with your appraiser. These can include, but are not limited to pools, appliances, solar panels and decks.

In these trying days of covid things have changed a bit for all of us and that does include appraisers. It was typical for appraisers to come in and interview homeowners to find out all of the information that they needed, and it was easy to know that someone would be home for access to the home. Now appraisers are typically doing most, if not all, of the interview process via phone calls, emails or texting. Be prepared for different modes of communication and remember to keep in touch – it can be difficult to get and keep the ball rolling if you aren’t able to be contacted easily.

Education is important no matter what field you go into, including appraising. It is not something that can be easily picked up without proper training and practice. While the jobs may differ you can try to think of it this way – Licensed Appraiser versus Certified Appraiser can compare to a veterinary assistant and veterinary technician or a pharmacy technician and a licensed pharmacy technician. They jobs are similar in what they handle but the more training they have done the more knowledgeable they are. 

A licensed residential appraiser is the first level of appraising, you are able to appraise one to four-unit residential structure for up to $1,000,000 and other complex structures that are less than $250,000. After you become licensed you can take further coursework to become certified. Certified appraisers can appraise all one to four-unit residential structures and complex structures that go past limitations that licensed appraisers may have. This means certified appraisers have more wiggle room in what they can look at and appraise. 

You want someone who has all their I's dotted and T's crossed and is going to give you the best appraisal possible. This can truly only happen through furthering their education, where they get fine tuned training to help them do what only they can do - be an unbiased party who gives information on the home to prove a valuation of the property. 



December 15th, 2020 10:44 AM

External obsolescence is a factor that reduces the value of an improvement because of something external to the property itself. It refers to something outside of the home that is causing a lower property value.

Here are five examples of external obsolescence:

1. Busy Road: This is a very common example of external obsolescence because we can see it in virtually every community to some extent. Homes on busy corners, on main streets or near freeways suffer from extra noise and traffic, both of which impact property values.

2. Commercial buildings: Residential and commercial uses tend to not mix well in suburban areas. It's usually a negative factor when houses are located next to restaurants, retail, gas stations, etc. 

3. Construction of a landfill next to a neighborhood: This can impact the entire neighborhood (not just one house) due to the smell or even the noise of large garbage trucks moving in and out.

4. Railroad tracks: Properties located near railroad tracks will suffer a hit when it comes to home values due to the noise factor. Same goes for properties close to an airport and airplanes' flight paths. 

5. High-Voltage Towers: A view of nearby power towers usually results in a hit to property value.


November 30th, 2020 11:21 AM

When buying or selling a home it can be difficult to navigate and pinpoint exactly what is included in your square footage. Most people would count attics and basements but that is not always the case. It is very dependent on how the home has been kept up and what upgrades have been done over the years. This means that two similar homes in the same neighborhood could have two incredibly different square footage. 


So what are the requirements to be counted as square footage? The space needs to have flooring, wallcovering, ceiling and the ability to be lived in 365 days a year. The last one is typically where things get a bit more confusing. This means that it needs to have windows and heat capability. The confusing thing is that staircases, pantries and closets can be counted as square footage - even though you can’t technically live in them. 


So when would a basement or attic become true square footage? The easy answer is that it has to meet the requirements on square footage. The more technical answer is that it is all based off of where you live and what your state decides to count as square footage. Attics must also need to be accessible by a conventional stairway. 


This also brings up the questions about whether or not a bedroom in the basement can be considered an actual bedroom when you pull up information on the home. Just because you can count your basement in the square footage (if your state guidelines allow) does not mean you automatically get to add in a basement bedroom. There will be requirements by state/city - like windows or being a walk in type basement - that would then allow you to count it as an extra room. 


While your real estate agent should be up to date on what counts as square footage and what doesn’t it never hurts to do your own research. Different areas can have different guidelines and you want to be as knowledgeable as possible. This will help you understand the different valuations of your home and allow you to ask the right questions.



Posted by Patti Persia on November 30th, 2020 11:21 AMLeave a Comment

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  • Appraised value is an evaluation of a property’s value based on a given point of time. It is the value that the interested buyers bank or mortgage company places on the property. 

  • Assessed value determines the value of a residence for tax purposes and takes comparable home sales and inspections into consideration. It is the price placed on a home by the corresponding government municipality to calculate property taxes. Your assessed value will typically be less than the market value because they are only looking at a certain amount to tax you on (typically 80 - 90% of what your market value would be). 

  • Market value is the most probable price that property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale. In plain english it is the price that a buyer is willing to pay for a home, and a seller is willing to accept. 


As home buyers/owners and sellers it is important to know how these all fit into the value of your home. The lower end of the valuation should typically be the assessed value since it is only a percentage of what the home is worth. The appraised value may come in a little higher or lower than the market value but the final say on the value of your home is almost always the market value. It will more than likely end up being your purchase/selling price at the end of the day. These numbers will all come together to give you a fair price and allow you to feel comfortable in what you are selling/purchasing.



Posted by Patti Persia on November 20th, 2020 11:17 AMLeave a Comment

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November 6th, 2020 10:27 AM
In 2018 there was a poll taken that said that 20% of homebuyers that were surveyed had purchased a home without ever stepping foot in it. Can you imagine buying a home like that? Our world today revolves around technology, which has made this completely possible. So what are some things you can do to make the process easier?

Create A Wish List

Know exactly what you want in a home and everything that you definitely don’t want. You can visit open houses and model homes in your current area to get an idea of square footage, colors, whether or not you like a more open concept, among many other things. You will also want to make sure you have deal breakers marked – these will include number of bedrooms and bathrooms, do you want a large kitchen, what about a deck? These are all things that can make or break a home for you and need to be communicated clearly.

Go on a Video Tour 

Video tours will give you a detailed walkthrough of the home, if they are not available on the website ask your realtor or the builder of the home to send you one. Also, if you have a home in mind you can ask your realtor to video chat you or record a walkthrough video while explaining what they are seeing. If you have the outline of the home with you and you can have been able to get photos of the home, you can compare what they are showing and speaking about alongside what you have to look at in front of you.

Scope Out the Neighborhood

Use tools such as google maps to learn a little more about the neighborhood. If you have talked to your realtor about the schools in the area and you know where you are going to be looking you can see how far away things are. See what activities are in the surrounding areas, what the neighborhood looks like and how long your typical weekly schedule might take you (driving to the grocery store or taking the kids to the park).

Pick the Right Professionals 

Do your research and make sure you are working with the right people. Choosing a new home is just the first step – the final steps include many different professionals. They will include notaries, accountants, appraisers, brokers, and even attorneys. These are the people who are going to help protect you throughout the process and make sure you are covered in case something goes wrong.

All in all you can certainly make it happen, even if it means a little extra patience. If you go into it and remain organized and do your research you should be able to make the best choice for you and your family.

Posted by Patti Persia on November 6th, 2020 10:27 AMLeave a Comment

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October 13th, 2020 11:53 AM
Although you may not always get a choice in your appraiser, there are instances where you do. It can be difficult to know who to go with, and although you may think there is no wrong answer, you may want to think again.

Clients who are needing appraisals for estates, refinancing, divorces, etc. will get to do some research and have the ability to “shop around”. What you may not think about while doing so is finding a local appraiser versus someone better known in an area that is not close to where you are.

Hometown appraisers have an in-depth knowledge about the area the home is located in. They know where the best schools are, if areas are safe and they will even have better personal insight into the things that are most attractive about the town and surrounding areas. They can also easily get firsthand experience with the areas and drive through the towns to have a better grasp of what neighboring houses look like.

Sure, all things can be googled but when you have someone who knows the ins and outs of your neighborhood, close attractions and has probably seen other homes in your area it would be tough to beat the amount of knowledge they can bring to your appraisal.

This isn’t to say appraisers cannot travel for work. There are unique opportunities where unusual properties may pop up and finding an appraiser with certain credentials would be beneficial.

The fact of the matter is, finding someone who is informed about the area is important. It also takes time to perfect the craft of appraising, since there is no 100% correct formula, the amount of time in the business can really make a difference between a poor appraisal versus an exceptional appraisal.

Posted by Patti Persia on October 13th, 2020 11:53 AMLeave a Comment

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