So what kind of details are we talking here? We are not just talking about the structural integrity and style of the house or the land that it was built on. Details about the region, county, topography (landscape), neighborhood, town, zip code and area watershed all come into play when the appraiser is pulling together their report.
They look into the development of a neighborhood, and ask themselves if property values in the area are trending up or are they on the decline? Does the area supply and demand reflect a surplus or deficit of available buildings? How long was the house on the market? Does that match with comparable properties in the area? Is the property on a public or private road? All of these things play a role in property values.
The appraiser photographs not only the land and structure on the property, but also find comparable properties in the neighborhood that the appraiser can use to base the value of the property on. The appraiser will try to find a property in the neighborhood that is close to the same size, style and quality of the property they are evaluating. This isn’t always easy, with unique properties and rural areas, a property might be the only one of its kind in the area. Luckily, this is just one facet of the report.
When the appraiser has gathered sufficient data on the region, area, neighborhood and property they then find things that are unique about the property and adjust the value accordingly. For instance, if the house has vaulted ceilings in the bedrooms, but the comps do not, that difference has to be accounted for, so the appraiser adjusts the value to include the unique attributes of the property.
This is just scratching the surface on the appraisal report process. There are volumes written each year covering new ways to accurately determine the value of a home, so keep your eyes peeled.
For more information on appraisals, or on how to get one, check out www.marylandappraisal.com.