Because of a terrible quirk in state law, the next Pinellas County property appraiser will be chosen only by Republicans in the Aug. 30 primary. The two candidates are Mike Twitty, a veteran appraiser in the private sector, and Jim Frishe, a former state legislator. There is no Democratic candidate, but the presence of a write-in candidate in November means only Republicans get to vote in a primary that should be open to all voters. Twitty is the clear choice.
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 cost approach was once called the summation approach. The theory is that the value of a property can be estimated by summing the land value and the depreciated value of any improvements. The value of the improvements is often referred to by the abbreviation RCNLD (for "reproduction/replacement cost new less depreciation"). Reproduction refers to reproducing an exact replica; replacement cost refers to the cost of building a house or other improvement which has the same utility, but using modern design, workmanship and materials. In practice, appraisers almost always use replacement cost and then deduct a factor for any functional dis-utility associated with the age of the subject property. An exception to the general rule of using the replacement cost is for some insurance value appraisals. In those cases, reproduction of the exact asset after a destructive event like a fire is the goal.
I spoke with John about getting an appraisal for the home I was purchasing and even though it was short notice, he was able to fit me in the next week. I gave him my information and told him the last inspector I called had agreed but had to back out when he found out how large the house was, but John said it would be no problem, and figured it would take a couple of days to do the appraisal and get the proper amount of comps. I had no problem with his fee, as I know that large houses can cost even more to inspect and appraise and thought his prices were reasonable-- especially considering how quickly he was going to get it done. Right after our phone conversation he sent me an email and sent the contract, which I signed and emailed back, and gave him my credit card info., which made it very easy to deal with versus writing another check-- which you write so many of in the house purchasing process. He arrived promptly and introduced himself, and was just as pleasant in person as he was on the phone. He did a thorough job of going through the house, and really seemed to know his business very well. He was nice enough to point out some positive aspects about the house we were purchasing, and pointed out many details. He was very knowledgeable about the housing industry and houses in general as well, and after business talk, it was nice he took the time to just chit chat for a bit. After speaking with me on the phone and chatting at the house, he gave me some great information about places he thought I would be interested in visiting, because he figured out pretty quickly I was a nerd who would be into some of the places he mentioned. He was right! Great information and advice! I really enjoyed doing business with John, who I found interesting, knowledgeable, and excellent to work with, and if I ever need another appraisal, he is definitely the one to call! I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants the best service in this business!
If your loan is a conventional loan, then it is subject to the rules of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC). Barb Torres, an accredited senior appraiser says, "As soon as the parties find an appraiser is coming out who is not familiar with the local market, they have every right to contact the lender (preferably in writing) to DEMAND a local appraiser be used."
You may ask when is an appraisal service needed? Appraisals are generally required whenever real property is sold, mortgaged, taxed, insured, or developed. In most countries, appraisers are required to be licensed and certified to properly value property and land. So if you are looking to purchase a home in the near future you will notice that your bank will order an appraisal to value the property to make sure that it's worth the value that you are borrowing from them.
Barkett Realty offers commercial appraisal services through its subsidiary, Property Valuation Specialists (PVS), which is also located in our beautiful St. Petersburg office and managed by John Barkett.  Through extensive experience, PVS assists clients in solving concerns surrounding complex real estate valuation. Through PVS, Barkett Realty clients can obtain independent fee appraisal services.
In the United States, appraisals are for a certain type of value (e.g., foreclosure value, fair market value, distressed sale value, investment value). The most commonly used definition of value is Market Value. While Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) does not define Market Value, it provides general guidance for how Market Value should be defined:

Our experience in the personal property field is second to none. Each appraisal assignment we perform is held to the highest level of scrutiny. We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity and commitment to service. All of our appraisals are prepared with the knowledge that we are ready and able to stand up in court, if necessary, to justify our findings.
Appraisals can be assigned to nearly any item, including real estate. Appraisals are conducted by individuals called appraisers. Appraisers are educated in a variety of market valuation methods and are recognized by a regulatory authority as being capable of issuing an accurate valuation. For instance, an appraisal on an antique will take into account such variables as age, condition, origin, and availability of authenticating documentation.
There are new reports that scammers are filing fake quitclaim deeds. Unfortunately, these schemes have increased over the past few years. The thieves are preying on property owners and transferring the title to themselves and/or companies, which in turn sell the property, leaving the rightful property owner homeless. Stay vigilant and monitor the Property Search frequently for any changes in ownership.
The COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR (note: NOT part of our office) mailed the annual tax bills during the first week of November. Tax bills become delinquent if not paid in full before April 1 of the following year. Discounts are available for early payments. Also, you may make partial payments of your current year taxes until the March 30 statutory payment deadline. After that date, any taxes still owing become delinquent. The Property Appraiser does NOT set your tax rate nor collect the taxes. The Property Appraiser is responsible for ensuring the fair assessment (value) of all properties and applying all exemptions. Your County Commission, School Board, City Commission, Water District, and other boards set your tax rates.	

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.
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