Langford Appraisal Services, LLC has answers to "Frequently Asked Questions"

Langford Appraisal Services, LLC is eager to handle any inquiries you might have about appraisals or real estate in Bernalillo County. Don't hesitate to contact us today.

Describe an appraisal
What does an appraiser do?
What would cause me to request services from Langford Appraisal Services, LLC?
What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?
Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?
What are the contents of an appraisal report?
After completing the appraisal, what guarantee is there that the value conclusion is valid?
How hard is it to become certified?
Who hires Langford Appraisal Services, LLC
Where does Langford Appraisal Services, LLC get the information used to estimate values in Bernalillo County or other areas?
Why do I need a professional appraisal?
What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?
Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment
What does "Market Value" mean?
Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?
I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?



Describe an appraisal   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraiser performs an evaluation that leads to an opinion of value. The appraiser will typically use a few "approaches," typically three, to draw up the estimation of market value. One of the methods is the Cost Approach - which is what it would cost to replace the improvements, minus physical deterioration and other factors, plus the land value. The Sales Comparison Approach involves searching for similar houses in the vicinity and finding value based on comparing those prior sales to the property being appraised. Usually, the Sales Comparison Approach is the most definite indicator of market value of a residential property. One of the least common approaches in appraising houses is the Income Approach, which is generally used to find the value of a property based on what an investor would pay based on the income produced by the building.

What does an appraiser do?   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraiser produces an unprejudiced and well justified opinion of market value, often in the context of a real estate purchase. Appraisers summarize their expert analysis in appraisal reports.


What would cause me to request services from Langford Appraisal Services, LLC?   (See list of FAQ's)

There are many reasons to order an appraisal from Langford Appraisal Services, LLC with the most common reason being real estate and mortgage transactions. Other reasons for ordering an appraisal include:
  • To get a loan.
  • If you would like to lower your property tax burden.
  • To help a homeowner realize if they owe less than 80% of their home's value and remove insurance.
  • To fight inflated property taxes.
  • To settle an estate.
  • To provide you a negotiating tool when purchasing real estate.
  • To find a reasonable property value when putting your home on the market.
  • To ensure parties are provided just compensation in eminient domain cases.
  • Because an official agency such as the IRS requires it.
  • It's possible you could be involved in a lawsuit - an appraisal will definitely help.
Click here for a more extensive explanation of the process of getting an appraisal.


What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?   (See list of FAQ's)

Appraisers do not do complete residential property inspections and are not home inspectors. The purpose of a home inspection is to evaluate the structure of the house from bottom to top. The stereotypical house inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the property's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic, and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

Is an appraisal the same as a comparative market analysis(CMA)?   (See list of FAQ's)

Frankly, they share nothing in common. The CMA utilizes market trends to create most of their business. An appraisal is based on comparable sales that can be proven by public record. In addition, the appraisal looks at other factors like condition, area and building costs. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure." An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.

The credentials of the person behind the report is frankly the most significant difference between a CMA and an appraisal. Real estate agents, who may not have a true grasp of valuation methods or the entire market, generate CMA's. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Likewise, the agent has something at stake since they get a commission based on the property's selling price whereas the appraiser is bound by a code of ethics to collect only a flat sum for work they perform, regardless of their value conclusion.

What are the contents of an appraisal report?   (See list of FAQ's)

Each appraisal should reflect a supported estimate of value and will identify the following:
  • Who engaged the appraiser and other intended users.
  • How the appraisal is supposed to be used.
  • The purpose of the assignment.
  • The type of value reported and a definition of the value reported.
  • The effective date of the value opinion.(Sometimes this is in the past or maybe the future for new construction!)
  • Pertinent property characteristics, including: location, physical characteristics, legal attributes, economic factors, the property rights in question, and non-real estate items included in the valuation, such as personal property, permanent equipment installations and even intangible considerations.
  • All known easements, restrictions, encumbrances, leases, reservations, covenants, contracts, declarations, special assessments, ordinances, and other items of a similar nature.
  • Division of interest, such as fractional interest, physical segment and partial holding.
  • What was entailed in the activity of completing the job.
For a more detailed look at all that goes into an appraisal report click here: Sample Appraisal Report


After completing the appraisal, what guarantee is there that the value conclusion is valid?   (See list of FAQ's)

In the documentation of an appraisal, each appraiser must make sure of the following:
  • The appraisal contained an apropos analysis of the data.

  • That major errors of omission or commission were not committed individually or collectively.

  • That appraisal services were not conducted in a careless or negligent manner.

  • That a solid, substantiated appraisal report was imparted.
To become a state licensed appraiser, there are education requirements as well as real world experience that must be attained. Plus, appraisers must stick to a stringent industry code of ethics and comply with national standards of practice for real estate appraisal. The guidelines for developing an appraisal and documenting its results are insured by enforcement of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).


   (See list of FAQ's) Regulations regarding licensing and certification are different from state to state. In general, licensing and certification is commonly associated with many hours of coursework, tests and experience working under a supervisor. Once an appraiser is licensed, he or she must then complete continuing education courses so the license remains up to date. To see the specific requirements for any state click here.

Who hires Langford Appraisal Services, LLC   (See list of FAQ's)

Mortgage lenders are an appraiser's most likely customer, needing their services to ensure property involved in a mortgage transaction is enough to cover a loan balance in the case of default. Attorneys and CPAs also retain the services of appraisers for asset division and estate settlements.

Where does Langford Appraisal Services, LLC get the information used to estimate values in Bernalillo County or other areas?   (See list of FAQ's)

One of the most important things an appraiser does is to compile property data. Data can be categorized as either Specific or General. Specific data is from the property itself; Location, condition, amenities, size and other specifics are noted by the appraiser while on site.

General data is gathered from a numerous places. Local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) provide information on recently sold homes that could be used as comparables. Tax records and other courthouse documents verify actual sales prices in a market. Flood zone data is available from FEMA data outlets, such as a la mode's InterFlood service.

And most importantly, the appraiser assembles general data from his or her collective knowledge gained from creating appraisals for other properties in the same market.


Why do I need a professional appraisal?   (See list of FAQ's)

An appraisal is a valuable tool whenever the value of your home is pertinent to some financial decision. For those selling a home, you'll want to determine a price that gets you the most profit but also ensures you don't have to wait too long for a buyer to show up; an appraisal can help with that. If you're buying, it makes sure you don't overpay. For those settling an estate or divorce, an appraisal from Langford Appraisal Services, LLC is the best way to ensure assets are split up properly. Simply put, a home is often the single, largest financial asset anybody owns. Without knowing its real value, wise financial decisions are impossible.


What exactly is PMI and how can I get rid of it?   (See list of FAQ's)

PMI is short for for Private Mortgage Insurance. It guards the lender in case a borrower defaults on the loan and the market price of the property is lower than the loan balance. Once you reach the point where your home's equity plus the amount you've paid is at least 20% of your loan balance, you can have your PMI dropped.

The money you keep from dropping your PMI will make up for the cost of the appraisal in a matter of months. Nobody is more qualified than Langford Appraisal Services, LLC when it comes to analyzing real estate appreciation in Tijeras and Bernalillo County. Contact us today.

Should I do anything in advance of the appraisal appointment   (See list of FAQ's)

We begin with an inspection of the property. What this entails is the appraiser, after setting up an appointment, personally going through the home - recording the layout of the rooms, taking photos and documenting the general status of its amenities. Inside, pick up any clutter and make sure we can access things like furnaces and water heaters. On the outside, trim any bushes so we can be free to get an accurate measurement of outside walls.

You can make things go faster and improve the quality of the appraisal report by having the following things on hand:
  • Written property agreements, such as a maintenance agreement for a shared driveway.
  • Title policy that describes encroachments or easements.
  • Any "Homeowners Associations" agreements or, if applicable, condo covenants or fees .
  • A copy of the current listing agreement and broker's data sheet and Purchase Agreement if a sale is "pending".
  • A bill for your most recent real estate taxes which should also contain a legal description of the property.

What does "Market Value" mean?   (See list of FAQ's)

In real estate appraising, Market Value is commonly defined as:

"The most probable price (in terms of money) which a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, the buyer and seller each acting prudently and knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. Implicit in this definition is the consummation of a sale as of a specified date and the passing of title from seller to buyer under conditions whereby: the buyer and seller are typically motivated; both parties are well informed or well advised, and acting in what they consider their best interests; a reasonable time is allowed for exposure in the open market; payment is made in terms of cash in United States dollars or in terms of financial arrangements comparable thereto; and the price represents the normal consideration for the property sold unaffected by special or creative financing or sales concessions granted by anyone associated with the sale."



Does the appraisal belong to the bank or the consumer?   (See list of FAQ's)

For mortgage transactions, the lender requests the appraisal, either directly or through a third party. While the buyer pays for the report as part of the closing costs, the lender retains the right to use the report or any information contained within. The buyer is certainly entitled to a copy of the report - it's usually bundled with all the other closing documents - but is not entitled to use the report for any other purpose without permission from the lender.

It's different when it's the homeowner engaging the appraiser for things outside securing a mortgage. In these scenarios, the appraiser may define the purpose of the appraisal; for PMI removal, or estate planning or tax challenges, for example. If not stipulated otherwise, the home owner can do whatever they want with the appraisal.


I want to get more for my house. Where should I spend money renovating?   (See list of FAQ's)

A home's location - what city it is in and even what part of that city - is key to this popular question. For example, if you're in a neigborhood of small to medium priced homes, a media room may not be something people in that price range want

As a rule, the best ROI from renovating a home comes in the kitchen. One recent study revealed that putting $20,000 into a kitchen remodel would add about $17,500 to the value of the home - or about an 88% return on investment. Bathrooms were second, returning 85%. Adding bedrooms and baths can also help the value of your home (when done well) as long as your home doesn't then become overbuilt for your neighborhood in terms of size.