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July 8th, 2019 1:07 PM

Are all golf course lots the same?


This past weekend I was golfing .  Being in real estate my entire adult career I am always looking at real estate.  I imagine I look at properties a little differently than most people, being an appraiser.  I typically comment to my playing partners the reason a Phoenix Appraiser is needed, need to promote the profession.  It is no more apparent than when compensating for a subject site, good or bad. 

In the case of a view lot much of the descriptions the public gets regarding a home is positive attributes as a good agent is doing their job of marketing a home for the seller.  Golf course lots among others can be a little tricky.  There are San Diego golf course lots of all types.  Some view an expansive panoramic of the 18th green with adjacent pond and sand bunkers.  Others view a cart path and tee box and still others, as seen in the provided picture, have no view.


The Phoenix Appraiser is an unbiased professional that takes these items seriously and will account for these differences providing their client with an accurate depiction of the site and its associated view.  Then taking it a step further and comparing it to other similar sites however having differing views.  The appraiser has to determine what a willing an able buyer would pay for this site over and above a similar sized lot with or without a view.  While appraising is not an exact science and there is not perfect formula to apply the appraiser does what an appraiser does, research.  This is comparing all kinds of sales data from the subject market and if needed competing market.  Calling agents that are active in the market and surveying is also another great source.  After compiling all this data adjustments are made. 


If you have any further questions on the appraisal process or need a San Diego or Phoenix appraisal give us a call at 888-595-0188.



June 30th, 2019 10:45 PM

3 Top Ideas to sell home


You are selling your home in the market the nicest weather in all of the United States. What could possibly be the reason you have not sold or maybe not even getting any activity?

Being in the real estate industry for over 20 years I find while the economy and pulse of the real estate market fluctuates there are a few major factors you need to make sure you have dialed in to beat your competition.

Clean and organize

Is your home like a model home in a new community? Sure your home may not be a brand new home with all the latest bells and whistles however you need to make it immaculate. Declutter your San Diego home from the walls, rooms, closets, and garage.

Landscape and Curb Appeal

When prospective buyers drive by your home is the landscape looking manicured and healthy? The plant life should be in good shape. Trim out any overgrown plants and clean the walkways. A fresh coat of paint may be in order as well. While painting is not cheap a fresh coat of a neutral color may be the facelift your San Diego home needs. Lets face it painting and landscape may be one of the easiest do it yourself enhancements you can handle on your own.

Appraisal of your Phoenix home

While the Phoenix home market has been very hot over the past few years be careful not to be too aggressive in pricing. The absolute most important piece of the selling puzzle is the pricing. For a few hundred dollars you can have an appraiser out and get yourself an unbiased 3rd party opinion of value. Not only that but the appraiser is going to be able to verify the home is marketed at the appropriate square footage and point out some marketing features you may not have considered. The Phoenix appraiser may also be able to let you know some issues which may arise when that buyer does come through with an offer. In a hot market the appraisal will get you the realistic number so you do not get tempted to chase every crazy offer that comes in which ultimately cannot obtain financing as the Lender’s appraisal may not support the amount needed for funding. Putting you right back on the market and maybe at a point when there is now more competition or less desirable market conditions to deal with.


While these three basic ideas are not new they are the most important. Get them all right at the beginning and you definitely have yourself setup for success.

Call us if you need any questions answered at 888-595-0188.

We are ready when you are…. 

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May 16th, 2019 4:46 PM

3 Things to Consider in an Appraisal


Having completed hundreds of appraisals we never really give much thought about what the homeowner must be thinking.  Recently had a home appraised and was strange being on the other end of this process.  Having a stranger come through my home taking photos and not conversing much was a little strange.  Not an everyday occurrence for sure.  Below are a few things to consider as to what the appraiser may be thinking about.


What is the condition of the home?

If your home is older is there much in the way of differed maintenance.  I mean are there those “honey do” jobs that never got the attention they needed.  Peeling paint, exposed exterior wood surfaces, soiled carpeting, damaged doors or walls.  While many items may seem to be cosmetic the appraiser is observing the home for its overall condition and has to rate it.  In the case of government loans, the appraiser has to test and observe additional items for compliance.  It is a good idea to get these items taken care of prior to listing your home for sale or having the appraiser stop by.


Any recent sales and/or homes for sale in the neighborhood?

If you have a friend or relative in the real estate business they can help you with this.  You may also check online sources to see some transactions occurring around you.  Are there any “open houses” you can check out?  When the appraiser is working on providing an opinion of value the best indicator is what other Buyers are paying for similar homes.  This approach is called the Sales Comparison Approach and in most cases is going to be the most relied upon and utilized approach.  But all in all if you know of several sales in your area you can get a rough idea.


How does my home compare?

Ultimately the appraiser is going to try and determine how does your home compare in size, features, and/or condition to home sales around you?  This will more or less be how the appraisal is developed.  While all homes are not exactly alike having different finishes, sizes, floorplans, and features, differing lots (situated on busy road or sites with a view) all these factors are taken into account.  The appraiser will determine what these differences bring in terms of value based on other sales, conversations with local agents, and sometimes depreciated costs. 

The whole process is not rocket science by any means but much more than taking a bunch of sales and dividing by square footage to derive a dollar per square foot.  The more complex the assignment the more investigating and data collection is required.  With real estate being one of the largest investments in your portfolio it pays to hire a professional appraiser.




Posted by Paul Johnson on May 16th, 2019 4:46 PMLeave a Comment

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February 1st, 2018 4:35 AM

House and Dollar Sign.PNG


By Paul Johnson


When an appraisal is completed more times than not the results will be reported on a form. The actual appraisal is the data file and notes of the appraiser and the results and reconciliation are reported verbally or on some type of report.

Form reports are an efficient way to relay the information to the Reader/User of the report as it is layed out in a very organized format. If a User receives many appraisals of a similar type, say residential single family home for financing, then items and results are illustrated the same way in each report making their life that much easier. FNMA and FREDDIE MAC typically create the reports they prefer or require to see when an appraisal is to be used in a financial transaction that their agencies may back financially. Many software companies which provide report writing software to appraisers (ie AlamodeACI) will have several of their own forms to use. Many times these forms are used when appraising for individual in the case when financing is not the end use. These forms are typically refered to as GP or GPAR forms. These acronyms represent "General Purpose" reports. It is common to see these in the use for Bankruptcy Appraisals, Divorce Appraisals, Pre Listing Appraisals, Estate Appraisals, and when individuals are just inquiring about the value of their home.

In most every case a professionally licensed appraiser is going to provide you with a complete and accurate report. Many times the more experienced the appraiser the better, but not in all cases. It is a good idea to interview the firm or appraiser a bit prior to scheduling. You can read reviews and get referrals from friends and real estate agents that service the market. Here a just a few things to think about when considering hiring an appraiser:

  • Does the appraiser consider themselves a specialist in any particular type of property or area? If so and its not your type or area not great. However while there may be some 220 areas to specialize in no appraiser should claim to have expertise in everything. A good appraiser should have the ability and/or ability to get assistance and acquire the needed knowledge to complete your assignment. It is always best to find a local appraiser with experience in you type of assignment. Some specialize in Residential and other in Commercial.
  • Ask the appraiser or firm some recommendations for real estate questions. Remodeling ideas and what is the best place to spend more on your home to help increase value. See how helpful and knowledgeable they are.
  • How do they charge? If it is based on the value outcome that should be a red flag. A fee arrangement based on the final outcome is not a good idea as well as if the appraise conducts business this way they need to take a USPAP class quickly. Fees charged should be based on complexity having a flat rate or determining the number of hours needed to complete the assignment is acceptable.

Hope this is helpful. If you have any further questions give me a call.

Posted in:Real estate and tagged: HomeAppraisal
Posted by Paul Johnson on February 1st, 2018 4:35 AMLeave a Comment

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