Residential Real Estate Appraisal Books (Part A)

Property Inspection: An Appraiser's Guide

by John A. Simpson, MAI, Published by the Appraisal Institute, 1997, Paperback, 98 Pages, ISBN: 0922154368

[Cover] If you are a residential appraiser, this book will provide many novel tips. The author presents inspection techniques, forms, and tools. Forms are useful if they are relevant, not redundant, flexible and easy to fill out, preferably with multiple choice check boxes in an appropriate sequence.

Inspection Tools

The author suggests useful tools include a camera, clipboard, measuring wheel or tape, ultrasonic measuring device, engineering rule, architect's scale, screwdriver, compass, flashlight, dictation device, graph paper, and binoculars. The author prefers a tape to a wheel (the tape generally will be more accurate). The tape, however, should have a hook and a stake to allow greater flexibility of location when gathering measurements.

A screwdriver can be useful in removing outlet covers to check for wall insulation. A compass can be handy for checking the orientation of an improvement and a flashlight useful for inspecting unlighted basement and attic areas. Binoculars also can be useful for checking the condition of a pitched roof. The author discusses the growing use of digital cameras as well, but with rapid changes in technology, most of the information presented is already outdated.

One good tip presented, nonetheless, is that since it is common that neighbors or police will question an appraiser, it is a good idea to keep a wallet-sized copy of your appraisal license and some business cards accessible for identification.

Site Inspection

The inspection should include a check of topography, frontage, paving, availability of water, and lot drainage. Bringing maps along can be helpful. Map types include tax maps, flood plain maps, wetland inventory maps, US Geological Survey maps, utility maps, soil survey maps, and site plans. Soil survey maps can be used to check the water table and drainage especially if below grade space exists or is planned. Moreover, look for easements in the title report or deed: the use of the property may be limited by such easements.

Nearby property also should be viewed. Possible nuisances include landfills, incinerators, highway or rail traffic and noise, or airport flight paths. Covenants, deed restrictions, and views also should be considered. Each can have a significant influence on a property's value.

The author states correctly that the appraiser is the eyes and ears of the client. Talkative neighbors, though sometimes distracting, may be useful in supplying additional information about the neighborhood and the property itself.

Improvement measurements should be checked on site. Graph paper is useful for making sketches of the exterior dimensions. If no angles exist, make sure opposite sides are equal. Also the location of an improvement on the site should be noted. It may become important when determining the feasibility of expansion.

Exterior roofing and wall covering should be observed for type, quality, and condition. Bulging, sagging, cracks, and other potential signs of settling should be noted as well as less serious deterioration such as blistering or paint peeling. The author suggests asking about the last time the roof was repaired or replaced.

If a basement exists, check for moisture. The author states that 60% of all basements suffer from wetness of one sort or another. A damp or musty smell is a tipoff.

If an attic exists, check for insulation, roof leaks, and proper ventilation. If the attic is finished, make note of the amount and quality of finish, clear ceiling heights, and usable floor area.

The Big Picture

Overall, look for the small details yet always keep the big picture in mind. Items such as functional obsolescence should not be applied merely on personal opinion. Often the penalty the market exacts on an item is not transferable from one market to another. An item that is not considered obsolete in one market may have a major negative impact on value in another. In some instances, no effect on value will exist, but just the marketing time for the property will increase.

In summary, if you focus on residential property, the book contains many valuable tips.

The book above, Property Inspection: An Appraiser's Guide, is available on-line at Amazon Books.

Subdivision Analysis

by Douglas D. Lovell, MAI, Robert S. Martin, MAI, SRA, Published by Appraisal Institute, 1993, Paperback, 120 pages, ISBN: 0922154112

[Cover] Combines traditional analysis with new methodology for the valuation of proposed development of undeveloped acreage and completed subdivision projects. It also describes the requisite market analysis that appraisers must undertake before applying the subdivision analysis method. It also explains the modifications that can be made to reflect the current market.

The book presents financial modeling techniques in a comprehensive case study with a focus on the timing of a project's cash receipts and disbursements so that you will be able to perform the analysis much like buyers and developers do.

The case study demonstrates the valuation of both vacant land and a partially completed project. Assumptions concerning costs, sales, and entrepreneurial profit are included within the analysis to illustrate methodology.

The book above, Subdivision Analysis, is available on-line at Amazon Books.

Guide to Appraisal Office Policies and Procedures

by Terrence L. Love, MAI, PhD, Published by Appraisal Institute, 1991, Paperback, 96 pages, ISBN: 0922154031

[Cover] If you are starting up a new appraisal practice or want to improve your existing practice, this book will be invaluable. Chapters include starting an appraisal firm, office operations, data management, employee relations and benefits, and effective communication.

Also you'll find an outline for developing office policies and procedures along with a sample policies and procedures manual.

Last, you'll get detailed information on forms of ownership, corporate structure, errors and omissions insurance, and appraiser certification and licensing.

The book above, Guide to Appraisal Office Policies and Procedures, is available on-line at a discount at Amazon Books.

The Valuation of Wetlands

by David Michael Keating, Published by Appraisal Institute, 1995, Paperback, 48 pages, ISBN: 092215421X

[Cover] The booklet provides appraisers with an overview of the status of wetlands and guidelines for estimating their value.

The handbook discusses legislative/regulatory efforts directed at wetlands and the non-traditional concepts used by environmentalists and others in their valuation. It concludes with a discussion of wetlands mitigation banking, which allows developers to use some wetlands in return for maintaining others.

The book above, The Valuation of Wetlands, is available on-line at Amazon Books.

Appraising the Tough Ones: Creative Ways to Value Complex Residential Properties

by Frank E. Harrison, MAI, SRA, Published by Appraisal Institute, 1996, Paperback, 298 pages, ISBN: 0922154287

[Cover] You're up to speed on appraising mainstream properties. Unique properties or unusual situations exist, however, that can't be solved with elementary or standard valuation tools.

This book can help to solve rare and/or complex residential appraisal problems including addressing scarcity of comparable sales, analysis of cost data, rezoning possibilities and alternative uses, and specially defined markets and values.

You will be shown how to estimate value of diverse properties including farms, dwellings in transitional neighborhoods, non-conforming uses, takings and easements, and mansions.

Also you'll be shown how to deal with special or unusual circumstances such as complexities of ownership (life estates and partial interests), non-market value assignments, stigmatized property, and historic homes. Although you will be using creative methodology, you will be deriving supportable value conclusions that will still conform to USPAP.

Learn how to handle the tough assignments that separate the rookies from the veterans.

The book above, Appraising the Tough Ones, is available on-line at Amazon Books.

Communicating the Appraisal: The Small Residential Income Property Appraisal Report Second Edition

by Arlen C. Mills, MAI, SRA, and Dorothy Z. Mills, SRA, Published by Appraisal Institute, 1995, Spiral-Bound, 130 pages, ISBN: 0922154244

[Cover] A practical, hands-on guide to familiarize readers with the latest revisions to Freddie Mac Form 72/ Fannie Mae Form 1025, which took effect in 1995.

Along with step-by-step instructions for preparing responses, the text shows readers how to go beyond the form and provide sufficient discussion and documentation to meet the requirements of clients, lenders, and government agencies.

The book above, Communicating the Appraisal: The Small Residential Income Property Appraisal Report, is available on-line at Amazon Books.

Communicating the Appraisal: The Uniform Residential Appraisal Report (Second Edition)

by Arlen C. Mills, Dorothy Z. Mills, Published by Appraisal Institute, 1994, Spiral-Bound Paperback,133 pages, ISBN: 0922154155

Illustrates the development and preparation of the revised Freddie Mac Form 70/Fannie Mae Form 1004, released in 1993. It demonstrates proper analysis and appraisal of a single-family dwelling and the subsequent completion of the form.

The book above, Communicating the Appraisal: The Uniform Residential Appraisal Report, is available on-line at Amazon Books.

Communicating the Appraisal: The Narrative Report

by William C. Himstreet, Published by the Appraisal Institute, 1991,Spiral-Bound Paperback, 92 Pages, ISBN: 0911780890

The appraiser's investigation, analysis, and conclusions must be communicated to the client in a convincing manner. This text establishes guidelines for narrative report writing including the appraisal report as a communication tool; effective word usage; the fundamentals of English grammar and composition; and letter and form reports.

The book above, Communicating the Appraisal: The Narrative Report, is available on-line at Amazon Books.

More Residential Appraisal Books

| Residential Appraisal Books Part B | or | Residential Web Sites |

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