Appraising in Delaware, the Blog...

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Embarking on the journey of property investment is a thrilling endeavor, filled with opportunities for growth and learning. It's a pathway that demands careful consideration and strategic planning. This guide aims to illuminate the key steps in purchasing and managing your inaugural investment property, ensuring a well-informed and successful venture.

Analyzing Real Estate Markets and Properties

Delving into the real estate world necessitates a deep understanding of various markets and property types. This involves scrutinizing different neighborhoods, assessing the demand for various property styles, and understanding the nuances of residential versus commercial spaces. A thorough market analysis lays the groundwork for identifying properties that align with your investment objectives. A real estate appraiser can analyze a potential property and provide you with a fair value to offer for the property that takes into account marketability and past rental history.

Assessing Local Vacancy Trends

Analyzing vacancy rates in your chosen area is essential for successful property investment. These rates provide valuable information about potential income and the frequency of tenant turnover in rental properties. A clear understanding of vacancy rates enables you to tailor your rental insurance and maintenance plans more effectively. Adjusting these strategies based on vacancy data can lead to improved financial outcomes. This analysis is fundamental in optimizing the financial performance of your property investment.

Navigating Property Financing

Exploring the financial aspects is a critical component of property investment. You must assess different financing options, including mortgages, loans, and other credit solutions. It's important to comprehend the specifics, such as terms and interest rates, of these financial products. Grasping their long-term effects is vital for making an informed choice. Selecting the right financing method is key to ensuring both the advantage and sustainability of your property investment. If you choose to use bank financing the bank will order a real estate appraisal as part of the financing process.

Establishing Asset Protection with an LLC

Safeguarding your personal assets is a key consideration in property investment. Protect yourself and your assets from litigation by establishing a limited liability company for your investment property business. In order to form an LLC in Delaware, you can hire a lawyer or use a formation service like ZenBusiness which is considerably less expensive. An LLC offers numerous benefits, including legal protection and potential tax advantages.

Setting Clear Investment Objectives

It's crucial to have well-defined investment goals to effectively navigate your property selection. These goals might center on long-term capital growth, immediate rental earnings, or a combination of both. Clear objectives serve as a compass in your decision-making process, ensuring informed choices. This alignment between your goals and property selections is key to a coherent investment strategy. Such precision in goal-setting underpins the success of your overall investment approach.

Providing Tenant-Friendly Lease Options

The current dynamic rental market values the flexibility of lease terms, making it a major draw for prospective tenants. By accommodating the diverse needs of renters, flexible leasing options increase the attractiveness of your property. Such adaptability often results in higher occupancy rates. This approach plays a crucial role in securing a continuous and reliable rental income stream.

Implementing Effective Tenant Screening

Your investment's success hinges largely on the caliber of your tenants, making a thorough tenant screening process essential. This process should encompass checks on credit history, previous rental experiences, and personal references. Selecting tenants who are both reliable and responsible significantly reduces the likelihood of issues like non-payment and property damage. Careful tenant selection is instrumental in ensuring a steady and stable rental income.

Coordinating Tenant Move-In

Designating a move-in day and meticulously preparing your property are key to ensuring a seamless transition for tenants. It's important to make sure the property is not only clean and functional but also adheres to all necessary safety standards. The effectiveness of a well-coordinated move-in process can significantly influence a tenant's initial impression. Such thorough preparation forms the basis of a strong and positive landlord-tenant relationship.


Embarking on your initial property investment venture is both challenging and fulfilling. Adhering to strategic guidelines like forming an LLC and checking vacancy rates sets the stage for a prosperous and lucrative endeavor. The cornerstone of a successful investment is thorough planning and judicious decision-making, ensuring alignment with your investment objectives. Prioritizing both your goals and tenant contentment is essential for a thriving property investment journey. Get the most accurate and fair property valuation with Appraising in Delaware. Don't wait, visit our website today and let our experts guide you through your real estate appraisal needs.

Posted by Patricia Persia on January 12th, 2024 10:20 AMLeave a Comment

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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: . 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 Patricia 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.

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 Patricia Persia on November 6th, 2020 10:27 AMLeave a Comment

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If you're a home seller or a real estate agent and haven't been able to sell your home, consider getting an appraisal!

1. Get Accurate Square Footage For an Accurate Price
If you don't know what the accurate heated and unheated living area of the home is, you will not be able to determine the most accurate value for it. So getting an appraisal will help.

2. Take Into Consideration Solds and Listings That Have Occurred Since the Listing
If you want to sell your home, then getting a more accurate list price that reflects the current market will help you. If there are other similar homes for sale that are priced more competitively than yours, they're probably going to sell more quickly.

3. Get a Fresh Set of Eyes From an Unbiased Third Party
Bringing in an appraiser who has a fresh and unbiased perspective on your home could result in arriving at a price that is based on the market rather than what you think your house may be worth.
4. Use a Floor Plan as a Selling Tool
Knowing where rooms are located and the flow of the home can help buyers envision where their stuff will go, which can help sell your home quicker!
5. Market it as a "Pre-appraised" Home
A home seller will have peace of mind knowing that the likelihood of their deal falling through due to a low appraisal will be decreased by getting a pre-listing appraisal.

Posted by Patricia Persia on October 27th, 2020 10:17 AMLeave a Comment

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It can be awkward to have someone walking around your home measuring and taking pictures, and if you are anything like the majority of us you wonder what you should be doing while the appraiser is at your home. There are a few things that can make the whole process quick and easy.

It’s totally ok to stay in your home, especially if there are pets involved - this also allows you to make sure the appraiser has no troubles getting in. Just try to remember that there will probably be pictures and measurements of the home that need to be taken so try to stay out of rooms the appraiser is in.

In the time of Covid, most questions will be asked prior to the actual appraisal. Your appraiser can do the interview over the phone or they may send you an email with questions that will help them gather important information on the home. Making sure this is completed prior to the appraiser coming can make thing run much smoother. This doesn’t mean they won’t have more questions along the way, so if you decide to leave the home for the appraisal be available for phone calls or emails with follow up questions.

The whole process should typically take about 20-30 minutes for appraisers who have all their information and know what they are looking for. This allows homeowners to schedule appraisals even when they have busy schedules of their own. A visit from an appraiser should be quick and painless, as long as you remember to communicate.

Posted by Patricia Persia on September 29th, 2020 11:47 AMLeave a Comment

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5 Reasons Your Real Estate Appraisal Matters

Getting an appraisal back within a reasonable time frame can make or break a deal. If you’re in a rural area or in an area where the real estate market is booming, you could wait up to 3 weeks or more just to get the appraisal results. This can be even more frustrating if the appraised value comes in low or repairs are needed.

Right now there are even some areas in the country where appraisers are flat out declining appraisal orders because they know they do not have the capacity to turn the appraisal report around in a timely manner.

When the purchase contract states that the deal needs to close within 45 days, and it takes 40 days to get appraisal results, expect an extension to the purchase agreement.


If you’re getting a mortgage, the property needs to meet some basic standards for the lender to give the thumbs up on acceptable property condition.

Common property condition issues that pop up on appraisals and cause issues: mold in the attic or basement, peeling paint on the outside of the home or garage, trip hazards, broken windows, and missing fixtures.

Anything noticeably wrong with the property is likely to be pointed out on the appraisal report including photos. When there are repairs noted on the appraisal the seller will need to complete those repairs prior to closing, and the property needs to be reinspected by the same appraiser to confirm the requested repairs have been made.


When coming up with an opinion of value, the appraiser selects recently sold homes within the market that are similar in size/condition/location/amenities.

The appraiser then compares those homes with the subject property and makes adjustments based on differences and similarities between the homes.

For example: if the subject property is a 3 bed, 2 bath ranch on .5 acre, the appraiser would look to include 3 bed, 2 bath ranches that sit on a .5 acre lot. The appraiser would not be including a 3 bed, 2 bath condominium.

It doesn’t have to be identical and size and condition, but it does need to be the same property type. Unique properties can be very difficult to finance. If there are no similar properties sold within a reasonable distance and time frame (underwriter discretion) the deal could be dead. There is also a limit to how much an appraiser can make adjustments on value based on the differences in homes.

If the adjustments made are too high, the comparable property used could be considered irrelevant or unacceptable and would need to be replaced by a better comparable if possible.


For some buyers the appraised value can have an impact on their ego.

Let’s say you get under contract on a house for $300,000 and it appraises for $380,000. There might be an increased warm and fuzzy feeling knowing you got a good deal. Another confidence booster in a case like this is that if you’re going to be paying private mortgage insurance (PMI) due to a low down payment, you may be able to refinance in a year and then use the new appraised value to drop your PMI (which could save you hundreds of dollars a month).

Knowing that you have instant equity in the home that you already loved to begin with can really add a nice cherry on top.


The collateral (the house) used to secure the mortgage must comply with lender guidelines.

One of the biggest issues when talking about compliance has to do with finding out if the home is a non-warrantable condo (does not apply to single family homes). If the property is a condominium the appraiser will reveal information pertaining to the number of units that are owned by 1 entity, number of units that are not complete, and other important information about the condo that could cause issues. [more on non-warrantable condos here]

Another fairly common issue that can come up as a compliance issue is number of acres the property sits on. Depending on what type of loan program you’re seeking, there may be an issue with giving any value to acreage beyond 10-20 acres. For someone buying a 50 acre property, this can be a deal breaker if most of the value is in the land.

If the appraisal states subject property was recently was sold, there could also be flipping restrictions depending on what type of loan you’re seeking.

The appraisal can clearly make or break the deal in several unique ways other than home value.

For Delaware, with a 0.56% effective rate, property taxes account for 18.8% of revenue. New Castle County homeowners pay the highest median tax--$1,651--Sussex the lowest--$747.  Read more here ...

Question: How do appraisers account for a difference in year built? Do appraisers give an adjustment when to comps there is an age difference? 

Read more here ...

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