At Schubert Appraisals we specialize in residential real estate appraisals and other valuation services including:
- FHA Loans
- Single Family Homes/Residences
- Home Purchases
- Investment Properties
- Mortgage Financing
- Real Estate Owned (REO) by Banks
- Pre-Foreclosures – short sale
- Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) removals
- Real Estate Tax Appeals, Assessment Rebuttals and Disputes
- Estate Planning, Divorce Purposes
The Need for Real Estate Appraisals by Experts
When buying, selling, or refinancing real estate, appraisals have become accepted part of all real estate transactions. The situations below would require the services of state-certified, licensed, independent real estate appraisers.
Real Estate Pre-Sale Decisions
A real estate appraisal can answer a homeowner's questions like;
"How much should I sell my house for?"
"Should I remodel the kitchen?"
"Should I landscape the front yard or paint the whole house?"
These home projects you undertake can affect the value of your home. Real estate appraisers can step in and help make these important decisions. Unlike a real estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in the amount a house sells for. The real estate appraiser's fee is based on his appraisal efforts and expertise, not a percentage of the home's sales price. Therefore, seeking a professional real estate appraisal can often help homeowners make the best decisions on investing in their homes and setting a fair sales price for their home.
Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI insures the lender against any loss arising from the borrower’s default (non-payment) on the mortgage loan. PMI is usually required when the borrower’s down payment or home equity is less than 20%. Private Mortgage Insurance is the private sector equivalent of FHA insurance on government loans. This additional PMI payment is folded into the monthly mortgage payment. PMI becomes unnecessary when the remaining balance of the mortgage loan - whether through market appreciation or principal paydown - dips below the 80% LTV level. In fact, the United States Congress passed a law in 1998 that requires lenders to remove the PMI payments when the loan-to-value ratio conditions have been met.
Many real estate home appraisers offer a specific home appraisal service for homeowners that believe they have met the 80% loan-to-value requirement. For a nominal fee, the appraiser can provide you with a statement regarding the home value. A real estate appraisal can help eliminate the need for PMI once the 80% LTV (loan-to-value) condition has been met. The costs of these real estate appraisal services are very often recovered in just a few months of not paying the Private Mortgage Insurance.
Property Tax Challenges – Tax Appeals
Tax assessors seem to always be on the high end of the scale when it comes to determining the value of your home. Challenging the tax assessment has become an annual ritual for many homeowners. Unfortunately, most homeowners go into these property challenges unarmed. They may pull some information from the Internet to support their claims for a lower tax assessment, but they have no real basis other than: ''The house wasn't worth that much last year.''
A real estate appraiser can help in these property tax challenges. While it may not be economical to commission a full real estate home appraisal to deduct a few hundred off your property tax bill, oftentimes, a real estate appraiser can do a limited appraisal or neighborhood analysis for much less. These real estate appraisal documents can carry a lot of weight when you appear before a tax appeals board.
Estate Planning, Liquidation or Divorce
The loss of a loved one can be particularly traumatic experiences in one's life. These events are often complicated by having to make difficult decisions regarding the disposition of an estate. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans do not have dedicated estate planners or executors to handle these estate issues. Also, a home or other real property can make up a disproportionate share of the total estate value.
In these situations, real estate appraisers can also help. Understanding an estate's true value is the first step in fairly disposing an estate. Where real estate property is involved, the real estate appraiser can help determine the true value. Disputing parties can more easily arrive at an agreement when the property value is known. Everyone walks away knowing they've received a fair deal in the transaction.
Home Appraisal for Divorce Purposes
Divorce is an unfortunate reality in our world. When real estate is involved, the question of, "Who gets the house?" must be answered before finalizing the divorce.
The two most common outcomes in such a situation are:
1. The house can be sold and the proceeds divided or
One party can be "bought out" by the other.
Regardless of whether the house is sold or one party "buys out" the other - it is usually in the best interests of both parties for each to order an independent appraisal of the property.
The key criteria for appraisals to be used in divorce proceedings are that they are credible and defensible in court. The appraisal report must be thorough and professionally prepared - at a minimum by a New Jersey State Licensed Real Estate Appraiser.
Our appraisal reports are regularly relied upon by attorneys for a variety of legal matters, including but not limited to divorces. We are accustomed providing appraisal reports that meet the requirements of the courts and various agencies.
When you hire us to perform your appraisal, you can rest assured that you've hired a competent professional who will provide you with an accurate appraisal of the highest quality. Also, all of our appraisers and support staff are sensitive to the need for discretion and confidentiality in these matters.
We can provide a current "fair market value" or a retrospective opinion of value, whatever the situation warrants.
To order an appraisal or to ask any questions please call Schubert Appraisals at