How to find an appraiser?
January 23, 2010 5:12 PM   Subscribe

How does one find somebody to appraise a house? Especially when one is looking to buy said house, rather than sell it?

Me and my housemates are going to take a gamble and start a long process that may or may not end up with us buying a house through a rent to own deal. To start this process, we need to get an appraisal of the house we've been living in for 2.5 years. Does one just call random number in the phone book? Are there ways to help in getting the appraisal as low as possible? We live in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn.
posted by lips to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
When we had a house appraised, we used a service recommended to us by our real estate agent, but he was clear in making us understand that we could use any appraiser of our choosing.

So ask some friends who have purchased a house recently and go with who they used, if they had a positive experience.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:15 PM on January 23, 2010

If you're going to use a realtor to buy the house, the realtor will appraise the house for you. It's not usually done this way, of course, but the usual method of helping clients to buy a house involves the realtor taking them to see houses for months on end, so the realtor should be more than willing to do it this way.
posted by orange swan at 5:26 PM on January 23, 2010

Is there going to be a bank involved? They will require an official appraisal (i.e., beyond what a realtor can do) and they can tell you how to find someone, even if they don't officially give recommendations. The person should be licensed by your state. The FHA has a searchable database of them.
posted by Knowyournuts at 5:35 PM on January 23, 2010

Mine was recommended by the mortgage broker.
posted by slidell at 5:40 PM on January 23, 2010

Sorry, I got that wrong. We picked the inspector, and our bank picked their appraiser.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 5:52 PM on January 23, 2010

We asked people we knew who had bought a house in the same neighbourhood if they were happy w/ their appraiser, and if so who they were.
posted by carter at 5:53 PM on January 23, 2010

So, if you're going to take out a mortgage, your lender will require you to get the place appraised, and the appraiser will be theirs. This didn't used to be the case, at least not quite so strictly, but when we were looking into buying (in June of last year) our mortgage broker told us that his appraisers no longer held any sway with banks and they were insisting on having their own people tell them exactly how much the house was worth. These people are on the bank's side. If they don't think the place is worth the asking price, you won't get a loan. This process typically happens during escrow, and you probably have little to no control over it. I don't think we met our bank appraiser, and her report was really not very thorough.

Separate from the mortgage appraisal process, you may want to hire your own appraiser or home inspector to walk through the house with you and tell you what issues you may want to bring up with the seller to knock down the price on the house. This guy, because you've hired him, will be on your side. You should have someone local recommend you a good appraiser - your realtor if you have one, or a friend. I don't know if this is just a CA thing, but there's such a thing as a licensed home inspector out here, and that person is more expensive because they've taken a test or something. We hired one of those and he told us all kinds of terrifying things we ought to fix, plus some stuff he said probably wasn't permitted/up to code. Fun times.
posted by crinklebat at 5:53 PM on January 23, 2010

btw to satisfy the mortgage company the appraiser should have good credentials (membership of naitonal societies etc.). You could ask your mortgage broker for details of who they might approve of.
posted by carter at 5:54 PM on January 23, 2010

I think "rent to own" usually avoids using a mortgage -- at least in the cases I've known about. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by amtho at 6:02 PM on January 23, 2010

Response by poster: Hi all,

Thanks for responding.

The deal is this, we agree on a price with the landlord now, then the next year our rent goes towards a down payment. Then we try to get a mortgage, if we don't get approved then the landlord keeps the rent as just rent and we don't lose anything except the opportunity. If we change our mind at that point and don't try to get a mortgage, we would lose our security deposit (1 months rent)

So probably when it comes to next year it would have to be appraised again for the mortgage, and if there is a massive difference in price, well, i'm not sure what would happen then. Glad you all brought that up. We'll have to talk to the landlord about that and work it into our agreement.

thanks again for the answers.
posted by lips at 1:07 PM on January 24, 2010

« Older Refuting the climate skeptics?   |   why can't I rotate my monitor?! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.