Financial Planning

 

Home Valuation

Today’s market can be challenging. Whether you’re a homeowner selling your property on your own or a seasoned realtor trying to establish a fair list price it’s often difficult to sift through all of the market data to determine a true value for your home. So it’s common for homeowners and realtors to rely on appraisers for assistance when establishing a list price for the sale of their home.

That’s where Appraisals Nashville comes in as we have a long history of working with homeowners trying to selling their own home as well as realtors needing additional support for their own listings (or to prove to their clients the true market value of a property).

At Appraisals Nashville we can provide you with a professional 3rd party appraisal, which is far more accurate than a realtor based Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A pre-listing appraisal ensures both you and your agent have an accurate description of your home’s features and a detailed analysis of the most recent and comparable sales.

In addition to helping you set a realistic selling price so your home will attract buyers, a professional appraisal:

  • Provides an effective tool for negotiating with potential buyers and their agents
  • Helps instill confidence in potential buyers since you have written proof of your home’s value
  • Highlights upfront any obvious repair problems which helps eliminate last-minute repair hassles that might delay closing
  • Decreases the chances of sales falling through due to unforeseen problems

Keep in mind that overpriced homes attract far fewer buyers, which means fewer and possibly no offers, wasting valuable time, money, and efforts while an underpriced home can result in a lower selling price and you leaving substantial money on the table.

Getting a pre-listing appraisal will help you and/or your realtor determine a true list price for your property as well as maximize your chances of selling quickly for top dollar. In addition, we can help you determine what, if any, improvements would be the most cost effective in adding additional value to your home.

A full appraisal may or may not be needed depending on what it is you’re looking for. Often times a more limited valuation or market analysis report is entirely appropriate, whereas other times a full interior and exterior valuation may be necessary.

 

Estate Planning & Date of Death

Settling an estate is one of those things that most people know little about until they actually go through the experience. So we hope to offer you a bit of insight below into the process of estate settlement as it pertains to real estate appraisals.

When an estate has a transfer of ownership due to death or inheritance, it is very common for a real estate appraisal to be needed for tax purposes. Often times during the settlement process either an attorney or accountant will order an appraisal or have a family member or executor select an appraiser for the job at hand which is most often the case.

It’s been our experience that estate appraisals are commonly ordered between 2-6 months after the death of a loved one or inheritance of a property. Occasionally an appraisal is ordered almost immediately whereas other times the time period may be as long as a year or more depending on the circumstances at hand.

Retrospective appraisals are fairly common in estate settlement situations. These involve appraising a home based on a ‘prior date’ which is typically the owner’s date of death, hence the reason why estate appraisals are often referred to as ‘date of death’ appraisals. In addition to needing a retrospective or date of death appraisal during the settlement process, often times the ordering party will also request a ‘current value’ appraisal in order to determine current market value for purposes of sale or settlement between heirs. Regardless of your needs or the elapsed time, our team of certified appraisers at Appraisals Nashville understands the complexities involved in assessing the value of a property under these difficult circumstances and we’ll provide you with the best possible experience.

Remember, every estate situation is different and the type of appraised value required all depends on the particular needs of the estate. This isn’t something you need to worry about as a good attorney or accountant can easily help direct you toward the type of value needed for the estate. Additionally, we’re happy to speak with your attorney or accountant to clarify exactly what’s required for your situation.

 

Financial Planning & Trusts

Financial and Estate Planners are often relied upon by their clients to provide sound, well-informed advice. Appraisals Nashville has worked closely with a long list of Financial & Estate Planners over the years to assure they have the information needed to develop the best and most effective strategies for their clients. Real estate holdings are often at the center of the plan as they’re usually the client’s largest assets. Whether you need an appraisal for a single property or multiple appraisals for an entire portfolio we understand the process involved. We provide appraisals for Estate Planners in Nashville and the surrounding areas for a variety of trusts, estate purposes, tax planning, asset update purposes, and more. Over the years the Appraisals Nashville has distinguished itself as one of the Inland Empire’s premier providers of appraisals for estate and financial planners and we’re acutely aware of the detail, skill and attention necessary to properly value these type of properties. We also assure complete discretion and are sensitive to the needs and privacy of those who reside in these homes. If you’re a senior, it’s also important that you get your affairs and estate in order as you transition into your retirement years which include knowing the value of your properties. There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed during this process as we’ll fully explain the appraisal process up front and when the report is finished we’ll personally go over the report with you to answer any questions you might have.

 

PMI Removal Appraisals

PMI, the acronym for private mortgage insurance, allows individuals to purchase their home with less than a 20% down payment. If you are paying PMI, the question you need to ask yourself is; “Is it time to stop paying monthly PMI into an escrow account and instead start putting that money into your pocket?”

Every month, if you’re like most of us, you dutifully make your mortgage payment. Have you ever given any thought to exactly what makes up your monthly payment? For most of us, the mortgage payment not only pays off the mortgage loan, but a portion also gets put into an escrow account to pay for real estate taxes and a variety of different types of insurance (homeowners, hazard, flood, PMI, etc).

If you purchased your home with conventional financing and put less than 20% down, it’s likely you’re paying PMI. Private mortgage insurance protects the lender or investor against loss if a borrower stops making payments. Often, homeowners mistakenly pay this insurance years after it’s no longer needed and as a result end up paying thousands in useless insurance premiums. Here’s the good news that many homeowners don’t realize – Once you’ve reached 20% equity in your home by appreciation, improvements made to the home or by paying down the principal balance of the mortgage (or any combination of the three), you can force the lender to cancel the private mortgage insurance. All you have to do is request in writing that the private mortgage insurance be canceled (most lenders have a brief form which must be filled out) and provide the lender with proof of sufficient equity over 20%.

In most cases, the necessary proof is a state certified appraisal. Recent legislation (the Homeowners Protection Act) requires servicing lenders to make homeowners aware of the existence of any PMI they might be paying for and the requirements necessary to have it cancelled. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for the lender’s notification to rid yourself of PMI. In most cases, if you have equity of 20% or more you’ll be able to cancel it almost immediately. PMI is not required in all instances. The general rule is that if a homeowner has put down less than 20% down on a home purchase (single family), mortgage insurance will be required. Homes purchased with a down payment of at least 20% should have enough equity to cover any potential losses by the lender, so PMI is generally not required. There has been a surge in the mortgage insurance industry because of the popularity of purchasing homes with less than 20% down. MICA claims that because of mortgage insurance making up for the down payment difference, over 15 million Americans have been able to purchase homes over the past four decades.

PMI does not protect a homeowner against loss, so a borrower that’s required to purchase it will probably never deal with the mortgage insurance company itself. All dealings concerning mortgage insurance are usually handled by the lender. It’s also the lender (or the eventual purchaser of your mortgage loan, if any) who has the ultimate decision when it comes to mortgage insurance, meaning how much and when the homeowner has built up enough equity in the property to drop the insurance. Therefore one must remain in contact with the lending institution which services their mortgage (collects the monthly payments) to inquire about this type of insurance and the requirements necessary to have it cancelled. After a homeowner has built up 20% equity for a single family owner occupied residence (a few banks may require as much as 25% equity – check your loan documents to ascertain what applies in your situation) in the home, they may begin to initiate steps towards canceling the mortgage insurance. The first step is to contact the lending institution to where you send your mortgage payments (loan servicer). This may or may not be the lender who gave you the loan originally. Your loan servicer will be able to help you with the cancellation procedure and will also be able to tell you exactly how much your remaining mortgage balance is. Every loan servicing institution can have different policies regarding this procedure. Ask your servicing lender to provide in writing their specific requirements to cancel PMI insurance.

Keep in mind it’s the servicer’s ultimate decision and they’ll take many factors into consideration including the borrower’s payment history over the life of the loan before allowing you to drop this insurance. This factor alone could alter the servicer’s decision. Although mortgage insurance may have allowed you to purchase a home, there will come a time when this added monthly expense will no longer directly benefit you. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to keep the provisions surrounding it’s cancellation in mind because no one is going to cancel it for you.

You are, ultimately, your own financial advisor, and even the smallest expenses should be eliminated if at all possible. By continuing to carry PMI which is no longer required, nor needed only decreases the amount of money you have available in your pocket or your bank account.

Most lenders require a real estate appraisal by a state certified appraiser as the primary proof required to eliminate unnecessary PMI insurance. At Appraisals Nashville we specialize in helping people just like you rid themselves of unneeded and unwanted PMI insurance.

We offer a free initial consultation and will help you to determine if you have sufficient equity in your home to enable you to cancel your PMI.