Panhandle Appraisals serves the following cities in Bell County: Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen, Nolanville, Salado, Temple, and Troy.
What Should Homeowners Know?
The difference between real and personal property
Real estate is defined as the land and everything permanently affixed to it. Personal property is not considered in the value of real estate. Personal property items are items that can be easily, or relatively easily, removed such as hot tubs, swing sets or above ground pools.
"My place is a mess. Do you have to come inside?"
The appraiser only looks at the real property, not the laundry on the couch. What many people think is a mess is more normal than they realize. The appraiser observes flooring, interior paint, appliances,etc. The appraiser will, however, observe the condition of the real property. For example, is the condition of the carpet updated, well maintained, or stained/worn? Is the exterior paint in need of paint? The appraiser will need access to all the rooms, and will need to measure the inside of the garage between the exterior walls/door and the interior walls.
FHA lending requirements
The homeowner should be aware of FHA requirements if they are seeking a refinance loan or selling to a buyer seeking an FHA insured mortgage loan. FHA has certain requirements not demanded by conventional loans. Safety, security and soundness are the three main areas of concern for FHA loans. Common items are peeling paint, presence or absence of steps, broken glass, settlement cracks, etc. These are requirements of HUD, not the appraiser. The appraiser only serves as a set of eyes for the underwriter of the loan.
The appraiser measures the outside of the residence, takes exterior photos, draws the interior floor plan, takes notes on his observations and takes photos if required by the client, or lender. FHA inspections take longer. An average inspection for an average house can take 45 minutes. Two story houses and houses over 2,000 square feet will take longer to inspect. It is not necessary for the owner to be present during the inspection, however, it is helpful if the owner can provide any information concerning recent updates. This information can be provided at the end of the inspection of the property. It is not necessarily helpful for the owner to follow the appraiser around during the inspection. This can sometimes make the appraiser feel "rushed" and run the chance of missing something. It is best if the appraiser is allowed to take his time and methodically observe the property. Access to the exterior of the house is important. Thorn bushes and dense shrubbery inhibit the appraiser's ability to measure the outside walls.
After inspecting the property, it may take a day or so to complete the report and send it to the client. The appraiser is only allowed to send and discuss the report with the client, who is defined as the person who engages the appraiser for the appraisal assignment. This is a USPAP regulation that the appraiser is required to follow.