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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.



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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July 10th, 2018 1:37 PM

What does a Realtor do?

So many people I talk to think a Realtor just puts a sign on your property and lists in the local mls.

While this is part of it as a "salesperson" they are looking for a successful closing. This is not as easy as one would think. While there are several transactions that run smoothly many items are out of ones control and need management.

Many times the real work begins once a purchase contract is signed. Home inspections, termite inspections, appraisals, loan approvals ect are just some of the remaining obstacles. Many times these items create additional issues and subsequent negotiation. These issues you can add to additional delays and times for moving, closing, funds moving from sale to purchase of new home all get shifted.

Selling a home is an emotional family event and many times the human element of an agent on your side should not be overlooked. More and more tech/investor companies have gotten into the business promoting benefits of no showing and quick close. If considering any of these look at their fees, no much if any savings, and may not be getting you the best price the market would bare.

Get yourself a good Realtor and Appraiser. An appraiser hired prior to listing ensures you are pricing your home correctly and leaves the marketing to the Realtor. Price too high and the good market may pass you by. Price too low and you leave your families money in someone elses pocket.

If you need some referrals let me know... #loans #inspection #appraisers#approvals

Posted by Paul Johnson on July 10th, 2018 1:37 PMLeave a Comment

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April 13th, 2018 10:14 AM

Role of the Real Estate Appraisal


If you’re refinancing you’re home or buying a new home, a major component obtaining a loan is the home appraisal. Since a home appraisal determines the value of the home you are interested in or already own, it also plays a role in how much a mortgage lender is able to lend you for your home financing. Pretty big deal for sure!

Today I’m going to talk about things you should know about home appraisals, like how they are performed, what the appraiser is looking for & what they are not looking for.

What Is A Home Appraisal?

A home appraisal is a comprehensive several page report on a property done by a licensed real estate appraiser, which determines the fair market value of the home. The report is based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

·       The size of the living space aka square footage

·       The values of surrounding homes or what your neighbors sold for based on what the market at the time of your appraisal will pay

·       The neighborhood

·       The year it was built


In the home-buying world, once you and the seller have agreed on a purchase price, your lender will order the appraisal from a 3rd party appraiser. The homebuyer is responsible for the cost of the appraisal, which typically ranges from $400 to $1,200+ depending on the size and complexity.

Is ZILLOW Affecting Your Homes Value? 

Unfortunately, while Zillow is a great starting point for home values, it’s not always accurate.  According to Zillow's website, which I’ve copied and pasted on 4/9/2018, here is what they say.

“The Zestimate® home value is Zillow's estimated market value for an individual home and is calculated for about 100 million homes nationwide. It is a starting point in determining a home's value and is not an official appraisal. The Zestimate is automatically computed daily based on millions of public and user-submitted data points. “

So if your home’s value is lower on ZILLOW than what your appraisal says, it’s important you update it.  This won’t be super easy, but it is necessary for your home’s marketability. 

We suggest having a Professional Licensed Real Estate Appraiser, appraise your home and then upload those results to Zillow’s Home Evaluation Updater.  It’s the only way we know works when getting Zillow to change their mind about your home’s value because it is based on a professionals opinion and not your own.  If you contact Zillow on your own without a professional Real Estate Appraisal, here is the likely response you will get per Zillow’s website:

“We do not delete Zestimates. We monitor customer feedback for systematic issues with the algorithm, but do not change individual Zestimates in response to customer feedback. The Zestimate is designed to be a neutral, unbiased estimate of the fair market value of a home, based on publicly available and user-submitted data. For this purpose, it is important that it be based on identical information about homes (e.g., beds, baths, square footage, lot size, tax assessment, prior sale price) and that the algorithm itself be consistently applied to all homes in a similar manner. This ensures that there is no preference for some homes relative to others nor are there valuations based on facts that are not accessible to all Zillow users. Some homes may be very unique in ways that are not well captured by existing data, and the Zestimate may be less accurate on these homes. To provide more data on your Zestimate, you can post your estimated value and comment in the Owners Estimate section.”

Sorry, I don’t have an easier answer to this question but sometimes it is what it is.  Feel free to contact our office to schedule a Real Estate Appraisal for your home today by calling us at 480-595-0188 or visiting us online at


How Are Appraisals put together?

The first part of the appraisal process is the real estate inspection. An appraiser will visit your home and examine the house’s interior and exterior, taking measurements and recording data about the house as mentioned above. Many things can affect the value of a home, whether you did the dishes that day or not, should not play a factor.  However, 1st impressions are important so try and tidy up! 

If you’ve done any sort of home improvements like remodeled a kitchen or bath, replaced flooring, repainted the exterior of your home, had a new roof installed or new HVAC system installed, remember to keep your receipts because this is important information the “Real Estate Appraiser,” will need to know. 

The appraiser will then compare your current home or hope to live in soon home, to other homes in that neighborhood that may be similar in square footage and lot size.  If your home is updated or completely remodeled the appraiser will look for similar homes in the area based on his or her access to SOLD homes that include data and pictures. In other words, the appraisal is not determined solely on the Appraisers professional opinion but mainly is based upon what the market is currently willing to pay for a home like yours, in your neighborhood.  If you live in a neighborhood where many bank foreclosures have occurred, no need to worry, an experienced appraiser will take that into consideration and when possible, not rely on those types of sales as they are usually lower than the typical sales price under normal conditions would be. 

What Do The Appraisal Results Mean For You?

There are two potential types of outcomes that have very different impacts. Example:

1.     You and the seller have agreed upon a purchase price of $350,000, and the appraisal value of the property comes out to $360,000. This is great news for the buyer. Assuming everything else is in order, you can proceed to close your loan as planned with $10,000 of instant built-in equity already in your home. Score! 

2.     But what if the appraisal comes back with a value lower than the offer price, like $320,000? A few things can happen in this scenario.

·       The 1st should be to ask your Realtor to renegotiate your purchase price to reflect the appraised value.  This is why hiring an experienced Realtor is so important.  People are usually emotionally attached to their homes and usually feel they are worth more than what the market is willing to pay so trying to negotiate can get a bit sticky.

·       Your lender may ask the appraiser for a reconsideration of value by sending a form that will explain justifying a higher value and should also include additional addresses within 1 mile of home that are comparable and can support a higher appraisal amount.

·       Another option is to order a new appraisal from a new appraiser. 

If purchasing a home, a lower than expected appraisal value can become inconvenient for both buyer and seller. You’ve technically offered to pay more than the home is worth, and because the mortgage lender won’t give you a loan for more than the home is worth, the deal may get dicey. If you have tried all of the above and nothing has worked but you really have your heart set on that home that you now know you will be overpaying for; you can put more money towards your down payment to reduce the overall loan amount.

I hope this helps clear up any misconceptions of the Real Estate Appraisal process and helps you realize how important a real estate appraisal really is to the consumer.  It’s one of your most important safe guards when buying a new home. 

For more questions or to “Order An Appriasal Today,” follow this link or give us a ring 480-595-0188.  We’re always happy to help!  - Angela Johnson, VP SunPoint Appraisals

Posted in:Real Estate Appraiser and tagged: Appraiser
Posted by Paul Johnson on April 13th, 2018 10:14 AMLeave a Comment

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