A new construction home will require an appraisal if it's being financed. This appraisal will enable the mortgage lender to determine if the property's value is commensurate with the size of the loan being requested. New construction homes can be difficult to appraise. With existing homes, comparable properties are used to establish value. With many new construction homes, comparable properties do not exist, and this can present valuation challenges.
The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) demanded all the states to develop systems for licensing and certifying real estate appraisers. To accomplish this, the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) was formed within the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), with representatives from the various Federal mortgage regulatory agencies. Thus, currently all the real estate appraisers must be state-licensed and certified. But prior to the 1990s, there were no commonly accepted standards either for appraisal quality or for appraiser licensure. In the 1980s, an ad-hoc committee representing various appraisal professional organizations in the United States and Canada met to codify the best practices into what became known as the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The U.S. Savings and Loan Crisis resulted in increased federal regulation via the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, which required federal lending regulators to adopt appraisal standards. A nonprofit organization, The Appraisal Foundation (TAF), was formed by the same organizations that had developed USPAP, and the copyright for USPAP was signed over to TAF. Federal oversight of TAF is provided by the Appraisal Subcommittee, made up of representatives of various federal lending regulators. TAF carries out its work through two boards: the Appraisal Standards Board promulgates and updates USPAP; the Appraisal Qualifications Board (AQB) promulgates minimum recommended standards for appraiser certification and licensure. During the 1990s, all of the states adopted USPAP as the governing standards within their states and developed licensure standards which met or exceeded the recommendations of TAF. Also, the various state and federal courts have adopted USPAP for real estate litigation and all of the federally lending regulators adopt USPAP for mortgage finance appraisal.
One of the most recognized professional organizations of real estate appraisers in America is the Appraisal Institute (AI). It was formed from the merger of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers and the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Founded along with others in the 1930s, the two organizations merged in the 1990s to form the AI. This group awards two professional designations: SRA, to residential appraisers, and MAI, to commercial appraisers. The Institute has enacted rigorous regulations regarding the use and display of these designations. For example, contrary to popular belief, "MAI" does not stand for "Member, Appraisal Institute". According to the institute, the letters "do not represent specific words", and an MAI may not use the words "Member, Appraisal Institute" in lieu of the MAI mark. The primary motive for this rule is to prevent trademark dilution.
A physical appraisal is necessary to evaluate a property. Depending on the size of the property, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours or more. After this step is complete, the appraiser will need to compare the results against recent area sales of similar properties to draw some conclusions regarding value. A report is provided once the appraisal is completed, and this is typically sent to the client within a week of the property inspection.
The final millage rate will be voted upon as part of the final budget approval in September. Each taxing authority holds a public hearing for that vote. The hearing dates and contact information are provided on the TRIM notice. The new fiscal year begins October 1 and the Pinellas County Tax Collector sends out the tax bills on or about November 1.
If you're refinancing a conventional mortgage, a low appraisal can prevent you from doing so. The home needs to appraise at or above the amount you want to refinance for your loan to be approved. However, if your existing mortgage is an FHA mortgage, you can refinance without an appraisal through the FHA Streamline program – a great option for underwater homeowners.
"What is my house worth?" These real estate appraisers can answer that and much more all over Pinellas County. Whether it is appraising your home for a property tax appeal if your property taxes are too high, valuing your home for estate work or a divorce or helping you secure a HELOC, a local appraiser is best. They obviously also appraise new construction homes as well as existing homes, and can do it for a home listing, before or after a sale. They use the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to gather data on sales and listings and use them to professionally tell you what the price per square foot should be for your home and others in your area. They also can determine if there's any effect on the value of your home from pending foreclosures, REOs, and other "short sales" in Pinellas County. A licensed and certified appraiser's estimates of value on residential single family homes, condos, townhouses and more are much better than what you'll find when using an AVM (automated valuation model) or a BPO (Broker Price Opinion). They can do an appraisal for VA, FHA, conventional, jumbo, and Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac purposes, and routinely provide those reports on URAR, drive-by, and 1004 MC (1004 Market Condition) forms as well as others.