Consumer - General Public

Here we focus our discussion on topics that are of most interest to the private party client who requires a valuation of their residence, business property or is considering an investment in real estate.  General Public assignments usually involve the following scenarios

  • Considering buying or listing a home
  • Considering purchasing a commercial/investment property
  • Considering a renovation or remodeling project
  • Require a real estate valuation for estate planning or tax purposes
  • Require a real estate valuation for a property tax assessment hearing
  • Require a real estate valuation for marriage dissolution process
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) removal appraisal
  • Review appraisal/value dispute of a pending mortgage loan appraisal
  • Forensic review of a prior appraisal used or relied upon for a financial decision

We also provide a general outline of when an appraisal or valuation service might be required.  We have included a more detailed discussion of the appraisal process and valuation service requirements in the Appraisal Process and Valuation Services section.

Whether the decision involves a purchase or sale of a home or business property, purchasing or selling an investment property, planning for estate purposes or dividing existing assets, real estate transactions are typically the largest single-item financial decision individuals and families make.  There are two critical questions when faced with such decisions: (a) “What’s it worth?”, and (b) “What should I/we do?”  Metrocal Appraisal provides its clients with the necessary information, analysis, and valuation conclusions to answer these questions and to assist them in making well-informed real estate transaction and financial planning decisions.

To contact us direct in discussing your valuation needs, follow this link.

When do I need an appraisal?

Buying or Selling a Home

The most common situation where a private party needs an appraisal is when a lender requires one for a mortgage loan.  For federally regulated institutions and many non-regulated financial service organizations, the appraisal process is managed by the lender.  However, an appraisal ordered by the lender is not intended to assist the buyer or seller in making a purchase or sell decision but rather is intended to assist the lender in making a loan decision. 

Metrocal Appraisal provides our clients with an independent, unbiased and expert opinion of a home’s market value and the market conditions that impact market value so that our clients make an informed bid (contract offer) or ask (listing price) decision that reduce uncertainty and risk of over-paying or under-pricing a property on the market.

Real estate agents can offer an alternative valuation estimate to an appraisal.  One significant difference between the two is that Metrocal’s service is not dependent on obtaining a listing contract or representing the buyer in the purchase negotiations.  We have no interest in earning a commission off the transaction; our only objective is to provide our client with an unbiased, independent, and credible valuation that is useful and meaningful to the client’s decision-making process.

Purchasing or selling an investment property

The term investment property can describe a residential condo unit, a single-family fixer, or a mixed-use commercial property.   The differentiation between investment and non-investment real estate is that investment properties are purchased with the expectation of earning a return (profit) when all is said and done and non-investment properties are typically purchased for some other objective (such as primary residence or business use).

All prudent real estate investment decisions require two questions to be addressed: (a) “What do I require/expect to earn on the deal?” and (b) “What must happen for me to earn what I require/expect?”  These are complicated questions which can be answered once the market is analyzed, market rates of return determined, and investment opportunities are evaluated against each other and against investor requirements.  This investment analysis service is appropriate for any investment property from a 3br/2ba home to a 100,000sf industrial warehouse.  Metrocal Appraisal assists its clients in accurately analyzing the market and investment opportunities to determine which meet the client’s requirements and which present a higher risk. 

In many cases where the investment property is a house or condo unit, a basic investment analysis requires a minimal amount of additional research over and above what would be included in a typical appraisal.  In other cases (and almost always dependent on the type of property), the level of analysis may be significant.

Estate Planning and Tax Valuations

The valuation of real property for estate and tax purposes can have a significant impact on current tax assessments as well as future taxable events.  Many times, a property must be valued as of a date in the past (called a retrospective appraisal) to establish a basis for changes in value.  Further, recent IRS regulations have emphasized the requirement for noncash charitable contributions (such as real property) to use “generally accepted appraisal standards” (IRS Notice 2006-96) and cites the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as an example of acceptable appraisal standards.  Metrocal Appraisal meets or exceeds the USPAP requirements for all its appraisal and valuation services it completes.  Our clients can be confident that Metrocal Appraisal’s valuation products meet the regulatory requirements and can withstand audit scrutiny.

Forensic Review

It is widely accepted that in the period from 2004-2008, there was an explosion of subprime lending and alternative lending programs that offered below-market interest rates for an introductory period, only to be reset at a higher interest rate at a later date.  Further, some lenders lowered their underwriting and review process to such a degree that unsupported valuations were used to qualify borrowers into exotic loan products who otherwise would not have been targeted for such loans programs.  If you believe you may be a victim of such a program, we urge you to contact a qualified attorney to review your legal rights.  Metrocal Appraisal has worked with individuals and attorneys in reviewing prior valuations used to qualify such borrowers for these high-priced loans.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we can be of assistance to you.

Other Appraisal Needs

Other cases where an appraisal is typically needed include

  • Marriage dissolution/divorce proceedings
  • Remodeling or renovation situations- “How much value can I expect to add to my property if I improve/renovate/add to it?”
  • Short-sale negotiation with current lien-holder
  • Protesting “declined approval” decision for a mortgage loan due to a low valuation
  • Partial/Undivided interest valuations for partnerships, trusts, LLCs or corporations

If you have an appraisal or valuation question, please feel free to follow this link and we will be happy to assist you.

Do I always need an appraisal?

The short answer is no.  The longer answer is dependent on the exact situation and conditions.  Many times, after discussing the specific situation, our recommendation is that an appraisal is not needed because it may be premature or not be significantly meaningful to the issue at hand.  Metrocal’s objective is to provide our clients with meaningful solutions; if an appraisal does not help solve your valuation problem we will not recommend obtaining an appraisal.

Ask Denis if an appraisal is needed

What other services does Metrocal offer?

Appraisal Consulting Services

An appraisal consulting service includes an appraisal (a value opinion for a specific property) but also includes a recommendation.  For example, a client may be considering several different remodeling ideas for a home.  An appraisal consulting assignment might not only evaluate and conclude market values for each different configuration but could also make specific recommendations on which idea to select or how to proceed based on different criteria. 

An appraisal consulting assignment is, therefore, a valuation and a recommendation or action-plan for the client to consider based on that valuation and on other assignment-specific criteria.
Metrocal Appraisal works closely with its clients to ensure that the client’s needs.

Other Valuation or Real Property Services

Some other types of services Metrocal Appraisal performs for general public clients include

  • Floor plan measurement and layout presentations
  • Competitive rent surveys
  • Mediation/counseling regarding real estate valuation conflicts

We would like the opportunity to discuss your appraisal and valuation questions with you.  Please feel free to contact us by following this link.


© 2011 Metrocal Appraisal. All rights reserved.