As debate continues on how to crack down on predatory lenders in the home mortgage business, one expert says you can get an appraisal of your own. Alan Hummel is a private appraiser in West Des Moines and says first, ask for an appraiser’s license.In Iowa, it’s called certified, and also ask if they belong to a professional association, showing they have more education and experience. Hummel says a home appraisal should be a reliable judgment of what your house is worth.Ask how long they’ve been working in your market area, so they know the local real estate market. Hummel says it’s true what they say about the three things that matter in home value being: “location, location, and location.” He adds some improvements add value, others are just things that a make a home better in the eyes of the current owner. Factors common throughout the market are carpets, the roof, kitchen remodeling, quality of a basement finishing. If a real-estate broker or potential buyer gives you an offer that seems low, or wants a price higher than you’d like to pay for a piece of property, Hummel says it’s perfectly all right to hire your own appraiser. They work for governments, the mortgage industry, and individual homeowners, and it’s the least amount of money you may spend on the biggest investment you’ll make. As an example, Hummell says a 300-dollar appraisal could alert you to raise your asking price by thousands of dollars, or make a lower bid on a home you’d like to buy.
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