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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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January 27th, 2018 3:45 PM

Ever order an appraisal? 

What does it typically cost? 

By Paul Johnson ~ Sun Point Appraisal

Today we are discussing appraisals of real estate.  There are many different types of real estate and related appraisals reports.  The cost of the exact type of report you are requesting varies based on the complexity of both the real estate itself and the report you are requesting. 

In the appraisal industry the appraiser has to estimate the scope of work and amount of time required for what is being requested.  If for example someone wants an appraisal on a 2000 square foot home on a 1/4 acre in a tract home subdivision in an area that has a good deal of transactions this may not be too difficult.  However appraising a 2000 square foot home on 10 acres with a barn, irrigation rights, and on well and septic in a market with low density housing and very few annual transactions will typically be more complex.

Residential Appraisals

A standard residential appraisal (meaning not complex) of a home in a Metro Phoenix location, for example, should be $350 to $450.  This would include a general purpose report for a individual or a 1004 FNMA report for financing, most likely.  These reports are on a preprinted form with information regarding your home on the first page followed by how it compares to other similar properties in the market that have sold on subsequent pages. 

Commercial Appraisals

Commercial appraisals are typically three times this amount $900 to $3,000 to start and written in a narrative format, sometimes as many as 100 pages. Larger scale projects may be significantly higher. The level of detail and associated cost is based on the scope of work requested.  This is determined by what the purpose of the appraisal is and the required scope of work required. 

Appraisals For Financing

When you are paying for an appraisal through a bank or lender you may end up paying much more.  Industry regulations have imposed a required barrier between a person originating your loan (loan officer) and the appraiser, in most cases.  A lender can have a in house appraisal department set up to perform this function or an Appraisal Management Company (AMC) is hired to play the middle barrier party.  This will typically result in added costs of $75 to $200 to your appraisal netting a total appraisal cost closer to $450 to $550 for a standard non complex FNMA 1004.

Quotes Vary

Quotes will vary based on supply and demand.  In a populated Metro location there will be many more appraisers than in a rural area.  Different markets are busier at different times of the year and current housing market conditions.

Your best bet is call a few different companies  You will find some may not be good to answer or even return your call and others may have no or bad reviews. So choose an appraiser that has experience and is available to answer questions before and after the appraisal.

Hope this is helpful and if you need any more information on a cost for an appraisal let us know.

Posted by Paul Johnson on January 27th, 2018 3:45 PMLeave a Comment

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January 23rd, 2018 9:14 PM

Review of an appraisal is the most important aspect of a firms production.  Appraisals with misleading and confusing analysis make a report less reliable and does not serve the public well.  Lets face it we all get busy and if working from home, as many appraisers do, there can be many distractions.  While the majority of reports we review only require an occasional suggested to expand explanation and commentary some may have major flaws.  Outside of the occasional human flaw there is instances when reports are not saved properly within the appraisal software and uncheck the report gets delivered.  Whatever the case may be the review of a report prior to delivery to the end user is the essential buffer zone to get all things in order.

Characteristics of a Quality Appraisal Report

Whether its a FNMA form or a narrative they all get a review here at Sun Point.  The characteristics we look for are:

  • CURRENT  A report written in real time must utilize current data and methodolgy.  Analyze current market conditions, capitalization and discount rates.
  • COMPLETENESS The report must contain all the relevant information to sufficiently describe the subject property to the Reader/User of the report.  The report should state if the improvements are subject to leases, easements, seperate agreements, special finacing, what the condition of the property (does it need repair?) and if the management of a property is having difficulties in terms of lawsuits or building tenants.
  • CORRECTNESS  There must be an accurate explaination of facts.  Address an issues relevant to the assignment.  There is no excuse for serious errors in property descriptions, tax information, tenant records, sales and leases, and other data which may impact value.
  • COGENT  The final report will logically, clearly, and convincingly lead the Reader through the steps of the appraisal arguement.  Reader/Users need to be able to follow the data, reasoning, and reconcilation used to arrive at the final estimation of value.
  • CONSISTENT  A somewhat more common error we find is inconsitencies.  What is initial descibed as the subject improvements needs to be consistent throughout.  There should be no surprises.  Adjustments made should be consistent from one property to the next and if not a explanation is provided that is easy to follow.
  • CONVENIENT  The User needs to be able to locate the pertinent details they are looking for easily and quickly.  Information that is not organized or placed in odd places in a report cause confusion and valuable time on the clients end.
  • CONCISE  A good report need to be factual and to the point.  No need to comment on items that do not impact value or marketability.  The number of cars which pass by the home on the average day or how long it may take to complete manicuring of the landscape may be overkill and needless information.

A good report should discuss market conditions on a Micro and Macro level.  An appraiser is responsible for a report for a minimum of 5 years.  Many things may and most likely will change in that time.  Having some level of detail regarding the market at the time of the effective date of the report is needed. 

The report must comply with USPAP and the appropriate regulatory requirements.  Several of our clients/investors have specific items they have requested in the scope of the assignment which will need to be addressed as well.

All in all the key to a good report is it is well written, clear, concise, readable, has good logical flow, no unneeded useless information, its factual, organized, well written comments, competent and most importantly reliable.

Posted by Paul Johnson on January 23rd, 2018 9:14 PMLeave a Comment

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