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Out-of-town appraiser?

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homebuyer

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Virginia
Our lender ordered an out-of-town appraiser for the appraisal of a home we'd like to purchase. The appraiser is in the same county, but several hours away from the subject. How can an appraiser unfamiliar with the area make a fair assessment?
 

The Warrior Monk

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This can be due to several factors:

In the current market, it is often a result of which appraiser will accept the lowest fee and fastest turn time. Some lenders simply don't care about quality. I've seen appraisers come from north of NY City to work in my area on eastern Long Island...that's utterly insane, given the very high population density of the area.

OTOH, it is also possible that the appraiser is an expert in the area. Appraisers do specialize in areas that they do not live in. I know several.

So, the answer to the question is that it depends.:)
 

Kevin Keck

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Our lender ordered an out-of-town appraiser for the appraisal of a home we'd like to purchase. The appraiser is in the same county, but several hours away from the subject. How can an appraiser unfamiliar with the area make a fair assessment?

This is not an unfair question and is best directed to your lender. Why not ask them?
 

toddmallard

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Oct 4, 2007
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
In the current market, it is often a result of which appraiser will accept the lowest fee and fastest turn time. Some lenders simply don't care about quality. I've seen appraisers come from north of NY City to work in my area on eastern Long Island...that's utterly insane, given the very high population density of the area
.

Just keep beating that dead horse and the general public will never trust an appraiser again. Although its true, it doesn't have to be in every single post. God give it a break.
 

Wendy

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Feb 23, 2004
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Florida
There is a simple way to determine if the appraiser is competent to work in an area (only works for reasonably populated areas):

Pick two major intersections in the immediate area and ask the appraiser to name several business on those intersections. Anybody who is truly familiar with the area should be able to rattle off what is on most every corner.

I know that is kind of a snarky answer, but the truth is that you have good reason to want an appraiser that is competent and very knowledgeable about the area. Don't feel bad for questioning him/her about their knowledge. I'm never offended when it happens to me.

Be aware that the appraiser can typically only be selected and hired by the lender. A good lender should desire an appraiser who knows the area well. If your lender insists on using an appraiser unfamiliar with the area just because he's their "guy" - get another lender as that one does not have your best interests at heart.

Good luck!
 

Smokey Bear

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Dec 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
BUT, most likely it's someone sending their trainee, who's doing it for a low fee, and doesn't know the area. Also might be the lender's local number hitter that makes the deal happen. Have done a search to see if there are appraisers in your area more local to the property?
 

homebuyer

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Virginia
All very good points. Thank you.

I'm very nervous about this appraisal. The house is fantastic, but it is likely the nicest house on the street. Although, it is an urban area, where there aren't really "neighborhoods," and really nice houses are sprinkled here and there all over the place. In other words, there is no one street lined with houses like the one we want. They are all scattered among older urban homes, some that have been updated and some that have not.

It must be a totally different "beast" to appraise an in-town home versus one in the suburbs, no?

Also, the house has tons of upgrades, and possibly, I fear (after reading information on this board) might be "superadequate."

Yet, how is an area ever to improve if ever nicely redone home is held down by the comps around it? This is an area where people are remodeling older homes and making them new again. I just can't help but think it's an unfair market where such efforts (restoring older homes and revitalizing an urban area) are not rewarded because the comps haven't done the same yet.

Worried : (
 
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The Warrior Monk

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New York
.

Just keep beating that dead horse and the general public will never trust an appraiser again. Although its true, it doesn't have to be in every single post. God give it a break.

That's why I provided balance in my post, whereas you chose to focus on one issue.:)

IMHO, if the person is asking the question is making one of the biggest decisions of their life, it should be answered truthfully. I've dealt with scenarios where the applicant complained to the client about using out-of-area appraisers, and insisted that they use someone from the local market.
 

Wendy

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
All very good points. Thank you.

I'm very nervous about this appraisal. The house is fantastic, but it is likely the nicest house on the street. Although, it is an urban area, where there aren't really "neighborhoods," and really nice houses are sprinkled here and there all over the place. In other words, there is no one street lined with houses like the one we want. They are all scattered among older urban homes, some that have been updated and some that have not.

It must be a totally different "beast" to appraise an in-town home versus one in the suburbs, no?

Also, the house has tons of upgrades, and possibly, I fear (after reading information on this board) might be "superadequate."

Yet, how is an area ever to improve if ever nicely redone home is held down by the comps around it? This is an area where people are remodeling older homes and making them new again. I just help but think it's an unfair market where such efforts (restoring older homes and revitalizing an urban area) are not rewarded because the comps having done the same yet.

Worried : (

Sounds like you are doing your homework!

Based on what you've posted, you do need a good appraiser that is really familiar with the area. Might I suggest you hire your own appraiser independent of your lender? That extra appraisal fee is small potatoes compared to paying too much for your house.

Call around and really "interview" your appraiser - don't be shy.
 

Ken B

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Why not start the interview with the "out-of-town" appraiser? He/she might just have their act together.

Having lived in both the Northern VA region and the Tidewater region and traveled through just about every area from Arlington to Bumpass to Skippers to Salem to Winchester to Chincoteague to you name it, what county requires multiple hours to traverse from one end to the other? Regardless, I don't know any appraiser that limits their work area to a single county, at least not in VA.
 
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