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Why Should You Appraise Your Home: An Interview with Mohamed Farhat of Tri-County Appraisal Group, Inc.

By Mohamed Farhat

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Tri-County Appraisal Group, Inc. was founded in 2003. We have been providing ethical valuation services in Metropolitan Detroit to homeowners, lenders, attorneys, relocation companies, insurance companies, and AMC's (Appraisal Management Companies).

In short, what are some common reasons someone should appraise their home?

There are many reasons to get an appraisal done, here are just a few:
Mortgage (Refinance/purchase)
FSBO/For Sale By Owner (to determine a listing price)
Dispute resolution (Divorce/Estate Planning/ Property Tax Appeal)
Home equity Loans
Insurance (Fire/flood damage)
Pre-purchase Appraisals (to make sure you're not over paying)
Relocation Appraisals

How can appraising my home help me if I am thinking of refinancing?

Lenders require appraisals to determine the amount of money to lend since the real estate will be collateral for the mortgage loan. An appraisal "paints a picture" to the client/lender. It provides photos of the entire property, interior and exterior, and explains in detail any improvements that have been completed recently.

Will appraising my home help me in my search for a home equity loan? Why or why not?

Absolutely. When you get an appraisal, you get the market value of your home with comparable property sales and listings from your immediate neighborhood. When you have an official document in your hand that states what your home is worth, then the lenders feel more at ease when lending you money.

How are home appraisers paid?

A standard appraisal fee for a typical residential property is $300.00-$350.00. Of course, there are some complex homes/properties where the fee may be a little higher. For example, Million dollar properties, waterfront homes, farm houses, homes on large parcels of land, homes with external influence (example: near an airport) require much more research and data gathering than the "cookie cutter home" in a typical subdivision. Transportation is considered in the appraisal fee- if an appraiser feels that a property is too far for them to go out and appraise and requests an additional fee because of the distance and/or drive time?. stay away and find a local appraiser instead that knows the immediate market. Appraisers have a code of ethics called Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. USPAP requires an appraiser to turn down an appraisal order if he is not geographically competent in that area. So if an appraiser has such a long drive that he/she asks for more money, it is better to find a local appraiser 100% of the time.

How long does an appraisal take?

A typical appraisal inspection takes around 30-45 minutes and consists of the appraiser measuring the property, taking lots of notes and taking pictures from inside and out. A good appraiser will take his time and note all the improvements in and around the property. The overall appraisal process takes approximately 48 hours, which includes data collection (prior to and after inspection), inspection and typing of the appraisal report (after the inspection).

What is the best way for people to reach you and or your company?

Moe Farhat
Tri-County Appraisal Group, Inc.
15326 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126
Office (313) 624-2090
Fax (313) 624-2091
Cell (313) 622-4100


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