Monday, January 14, 2013

What you need to know about the appraisal process since “there is no category for superexcellent,”

Understanding the Home Appraisal Process

BEFORE anyone can buy a house with a loan from a bank or refinance a mortgage, the lender needs an objective assessment of the property’s value — after all, the home is the bank’s collateral for the loan. Assessing the value is the job of the appraiser.
Illustration by Phil Marden for The New York Times
Appraising a home, particularly in New York City, is not simple. Similar apartments just a few blocks from one another can have very different values. The floor that a home is on, the kind of view or light it gets — each factor contributes to its value. The best appraisers are intimately familiar with the neighborhoods they work in.
Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, says that with a co-op, he begins by examining the building’s financials: if there is likely to be an increase in maintenance or a special assessment, it might lower the appraisal.

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