Expert Witness Testimony
We offer a full range of Real Estate Appraisal services, with experience in many types of property. We are also experienced in litigation support and expert witness services. Clients who have used our expert testimony services include government agencies, tax entities, financial institutions, legal and accounting firms and many other businesses. In many cases, our independent, supportable analysis has allowed clients to settle cases without going to court.
An appraiser must remain unbiased in performing an appraisal of a property. But we can consult with you and advise you about the relative strength of an appraisal presented by opposing parties. We can also perform additional research and analysis to support or discredit assumptions or conclusions.
Some examples of assignments we have experience with include:Valuation of "stigmatized" property
Often, the ownership of a property isn't cut and dried. Bill Jones might own a property outright, by himself, unencumbered by liens or mortgages, leases or easements.But he might also own it as a "joint tenant" with his wife, Mrs. Jones. The Jones' may lease some of the property to another party. They may have signed an agreement to give up any subsurface or mineral rights they have in the property in exchange for cash. There may be a restriction in the Jones' deed stipulating that the property must never contain a structure more than two stories in height. There are a thousand other ways the 100 percent "bundle" of rights to a parcel of property might be distributed.
Anything less than full ownership -- called "fee simple" in deeds and conveyances -- by a single person or entity is a "partial interest." Here at MLB Appraisal and Associates, we appraise partial interests all the time. It's a specialty and discipline that takes unique expertise and training, and you can be assured we're well qualified to deliver an opinion of value on a partial interest.
When might you need a partial interest valuation?
In divorce or dissolusionment of a partnership proceedings, you might need to fairly value one party's interest in real property. Sometimes, particularly in partnership situations, it's not simply a matter of appraising the entire property and dividing by the number of owners. A fractional share of property may sell at a discount to reflect lack of control, costs of and barriers to sale. You need the judgment of a professional appraiser.
You might need the value of rents or leases on a property, but not the underlying value of the real estate. This is more complicated than it sounds, and isn't just a matter of how much a tenant is currently paying. A professional, well trained appraiser will examine rents in the market to determine fair market value of rents or leases. If a tenant is paying below market value, they might be able to sublet at a profit. If they're paying over market value, their likelihood of moving on when the lease term is up increases. There are many things requiring the professional judgment of an appraiser that factor into the calculation.
You might need to know the value of a proposed or existing easement. An easement is a right to use property, without owning it.How much is it worth to your neighbor to build a driveway across part of your property for entry to and exit from his property, rather than an alternate route that may be more costly to build?
You might need an appraisal of your (or your customer's) interest in a timeshare or condominium.
Because there are so many ways the "bundle" of rights to property can be divvied up, when you order an appraisal you might need a partial interest valuation and not even know it. You should be sure the company you hire is qualified to perform partial interest valuations. Here at MLB Appraisal and Associates, we are. Browse our website to learn more about our qualifications, expertise and services offered.
It's not just a good idea -- and it's not just the law -- it's your constitutional right that if the government wants to condemn your property, or take it from you by means of "eminent domain," it must give you "just" compensation. That's where we come in.
It works the other way, too. We perform work for government clients needing to offer and provide "just" compensation in eminent domain cases. A USPAP-compliant appraisal is the best way to determine fair market value of any property.
If the above makes condemnation appraisals sound simple, that's not the case. There are many legal and procedural issues involved in an accurate condemnation appraisal. A federal condemnation will require a different analysis and report format than a state or local taking. And in any event, the jurisdiction proposing to condemn the property is likely to have its own rules for appraisal that must be followed. It is important to hire an appraisal firm that has experience and training in these types of valuations.
An eminent domain action may reserve certain rights in the property to the current owner. The government may petition to take only part of, or a partial interest in, the property. This requires the appraiser to value the "larger parcel" -- the currently undivided, contiguous property -- and the "remainder" of the property, or rights to use the property, that will be held by the owner after condemnation and factor that into the overall value of the taken property. For an added wrinkle, it will often be necessary for the appraiser to determine his or her opinion of value on the "remainder" before the taking and after the development or use prompting the taking, because they are likely to be very different.
Likewise, appraisers always consider a property's "highest and best use" when formulating an opinion of value. For many condemnation appraisals, it is necessary to consider the highest and best use of the property before taking and after the development or use resulting from the taking. Again, it is important to have a professional appraiser with experience and training.
Because an appraiser may often have to testify about his or her condemnation appraisal, it is important that certain steps in valuation methodology -- such as selecting and analyzing comparable sales -- be performed more thoroughly. You rely on your appraiser to know what's necessary, so again, it's important to select an appraiser/company that has experience and training.
Here at MLB Appraisal and Associates, we are ready and able to perform your condemnation/eminent domain appraisal. Browse our website to learn more about our qualifications, expertise and services offered.
Our company is on the FHA Roster of approved residential appraisers. We're qualified and approved to do appraisals for FHA insured loans. We're trained and understand the rules and procedures in FHA's guidance and policy documents.
If you're in need of an appraisal for an FHA loan, please contact us and we'll be able to help you right away.
An FHA loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA does not loan money to borrowers, rather, it provides lenders protection through mortgage insurance (MIP) in case the borrower defaults on his or her loan obligations. Available to all buyers, FHA loan programs are designed to help creditworthy low-income and moderate-income families who do not meet requirements for conventional loans. Remember, the FHA is different from the VA appraiser panel in that the lender can choose the appraiser.
FHA loan programs are particularly beneficial to those buyers with less available cash. The rates on FHA loans are generally market rates, while down payment requirements are lower than for conventional loans.
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A home purchase is the largest, single investment most people will ever make. Whether it's a primary residence, a second vacation home or an investment, the purchase of real property is a complex financial transaction that requires multiple parties to pull it all off.
The Inspection & Appraisal Process: What goes into a real estate appraisal? It all starts with the inspection. An appraiser's duty is to inspect the property being appraised to ascertain the true status of that property. He or she must actually see features, such as the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, the location, and so on, to ensure that they really exist and are in the condition a reasonable buyer would expect them to be. The inspection often includes a sketch of the property, ensuring the proper square footage and conveying the layout of the property. Most importantly, the appraiser looks for any obvious features - or defects - that would affect the value of the house.