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5 Reasons to Have Your Home Appraised: An Interview with John tolbert of JET Real Estate Appraisals, LLC

By John Tolbert

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

My company is called JET Real Estate Appraisals, LLC. (J.E.T. are my initials.) We provide residential appraisal services for lenders, contractors, lawyers and homeowners.

What is one of the most common reasons that someone has their house appraised?

The most common reason for a single-family dwelling appraisal is refinancing. Purchases would be second, and third would be personal reasons, like pending divorce or someone wants to get an idea what value to list their home.

When you're buying a home, how can an independent appraisal help you?

An independent appraisal can give data and facts in a negotiation. You can not argue with facts. For instance, if someone is listing a home for $200,000, but an independent appraisal shows that the market supports a value of $175,000, the buyer can show the appraisal. If the appraisal is sound in logic and well researched, it can give the buyer a great advantage in negotiations.

How does a home appraisal affect PMI taxes in Connecticut?

An independent appraisal does not affect taxes. The only appraisal that affects taxes are the appraisals performed by the town assessor or a subcontractor working for the town assessor's office.

What tips do you have for a homeowner who wants to take out a home equity loan?

First, get pre-qualified. Second, do your homework. In today's world, many homeowners know what the approximate value is of similar sales to their own in the neighborhood. Keep records of significant improvements on your home. Painting and new carpet are not considered significant. But a new roof, furnace, windows, etc. are significant, and can add some value of improvement under the "condition" section of an appraisal.

And finally, take off your rose-colored glasses. Be objective. Too often a homeowner is not realistic. An appraisal can only give an estimated value of what the local market supports. Unfortunately, some people improve a $200,000 home in a neighborhood of other $200,000 homes, and soon their home might be worth slightly more but might not increase as much as they would expect since they are still surrounded by other homes that did not improve their homes as much. Sometimes the owner has to consider relocating. And this is yet another reason some owners get an independent appraisal.

Is there anything that most people don't know about getting a home appraisal that they should know?

Many homeowners are concerned that the town assessor's office will receive a copy of their home equity appraisal. This is not true. A home equity, purchase, or refinance appraisal is for the lender only.

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