Knowing What You're Worth Property Appraisals

For anyone getting a mortgage for a new apartment, a property appraisal is part of the cost of securing their new place. In fact, for existing apartment owners, it’s one of the most important things they can do for their property. An appraisal is usually necessary to insure a building or apartment, or to secure financing for a project or renovation. Before a lender will cut a check, they likely will have the property assessed by a professional appraiser to ascertain its current value.

“Many times the bank requires an appraisal if the person wants a loan,” says Peter Zachary, owner of Peter L. Zachary & Associates, in Brooklyn. “Other times appraisals are done if a person [who owns the property] dies.” An appraisal also might be done if a public corporation owns the property, and needs to account for the value of the property, he adds.

Prices being what they are these days in the Big Apple, the question of the value of a co-op or condo is a relative one. A roomier place might be quite affordable, while a smaller one is pricey. Location is a large part of the equation, as is the question of how much similar neighboring units are selling for currently. A property appraisal can be an excellent tool in assessing the merits of buying or selling a place. It also can be helpful when considering whether or not to do a renovation of an apartment.

Benefits of an Appraisal

One of the main benefits of an appraisal is that it enables a buyer (or seller) to make the right decision in choosing to buy (or sell) a property. Depending upon the market value of the property, it might be a good deal to buy or sell it, or it could be the wrong time for such a move. You can’t truly know what the market value of the property is, though, if you don’t have a current appraisal of the property. Evan an appraisal that is a year or two old might be outdated, given the rapid increases in property values in some places. So having the correct, up-to-date information is key.

“If you are informed, it enables you to make one of the most important decisions in your life,” says Anthony Sarro, owner of Priority Appraisal Services, Ltd. in Bronxville. “An appraisal is an unbiased opinion of value. There aren’t any hidden agendas. It’s also important to have an accurate value in case of fire or water damage.”

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